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Celiac Disease

Learn the warning signs and symptoms of celiac disease in adults and children, and discover how changes in your diet can lead to dramatic improvements in the quality of your life.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Adults



Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Adults

Celiac disease symptoms in adults are starting to become more prevalent, with celiac disease affecting 1 out of 133 Americans today.

Celiac disease and cases of gluten sensitivity have recently become a growing phenomenon that make the quality of life for sufferers very challenging.

Although the number of cases of celiac disease symptoms in adults has grown, the condition can still be very difficult to diagnose, and symptoms can be difficult to recognize.

“Celiac disease is difficult to diagnose because it is both a disease of malabsorption, and an abnormal immune response to gluten,” says Christy Shatlock, RD, and one of the lead dietitians for BistroMD.

“When analyzing celiac disease symptoms in adults, it’s important to understand that the disease affects adults and children differently, which also produces different symptoms.”

The most common symptoms that occur in adults are mostly physical, and can make quality of life difficult and uncomfortable.

“Often, adults will experience symptoms that can be difficult to manage,” says Christy. “These symptoms can include: iron-deficient anemia, bone loss, bone and joint pain, fatigue, seizures, missed menstrual periods, infertility, arthritis, depression and/or anxiety, numbness in the hands and feet, itchy skin rashes, and canker sores inside the mouth.”

Unlike adults, children experience more digestive problems if they are gluten sensitive or suffer from celiac. These celiac disease symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, decreased appetite, and stomach pain.

Analyze Your Diet, and Monitor Your Body’s Response

When adults with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their bodies respond by destroying the tiny fingerlike structures called villi that are found along the walls of the small intestine.

Villi are responsible for absorbing nutrients you get from food into your bloodstream. If someone with celiac disease consumes foods that contains gluten, it could destroy the villi of their small intestine, and make it impossible for your body to receive adequate nutrition from your blood.

This causes a reaction in the body that can make one of the more common symptoms of celiac disease apparent.

"Since celiac disease is often so difficult to recognize, it's important that you monitor your weight very closely if you think you may be at risk of developing celiac disease," says Christy. "Pay close attention to the foods you eat and your body's reaction to these foods. If you notice that you are eating large quantities of food and either not gaining weight, or losing a drastic amount of weight as a result, this may be a sign that you have celiac disease."

When Are Symptoms Most Likely to Occur?

Celiac disease symptoms have actually been shown to be more prevalent after one of the following events occur: surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, and severe emotional stress.

Many adults go for long periods of time, sometimes decades, before they are even diagnosed with the disease.

"If you have been through one of the following events listed above, certain adult celiac disease symptoms could become more prevalent." says Christy. "After one of these events, these are usually symptoms like numbness in your hands and feet, canker sores, and skin rashes. Over time, these can become more prominent and more serious if untreated."

How is Celiac Disease, and How Are Adult Celiac Disease Symptoms Treated?

For people suffering from celiac disease, there is a way to cope with the symptoms, and there is a way to treat the damage that the condition has caused.

The best-known solution so far is a gluten-free diet.

In almost every known case of celiac disease, those individuals who adhered to a gluten-free diet had a much better quality of life.

“The symptoms of celiac disease are often difficult to live with,” says Christy. “Once diagnosed, it is important to adhere to a diet that meets the gluten-free requirements established by your physician. This is usually a diet that contains minimal processed food, and a variety of green vegetables and fruits."

BistroMD's founding physician, Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., has noticed the dramatic increase in celiac disease cases, both in her patients at her medical center, and with clients of BistroMD.

"With the growing numbers of celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity, Dr. Caroline Cederquist is working with all of us at BistroMD to ensure that our clients have access to gluten-free meals in the near future," says Christy. "BistroMD looks forward to introducing a line of gluten-free meals one day, that still contain the quality nutrition, and delicious taste you would expect from our meals now."

To see how BistroMD can help you get on a path to a healthy new you, learn more about our program by clicking here.

For more tips from our experts, please visit our healthy facts section for more information.

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