Celiac disease or celiac disease is a gluten intolerance constant in patients with genetic predisposition that causes impaired small bowel mucosa. This disease affects all ages, from childhood by introducing the gluten in the diet or at any time of life. According to recent epidemiological data point, nearly 1% of the Spanish population is celiac.
What are the symptoms?
The disease is caused by the body it generates a defense response against a protein fraction of gluten called gliadin, which causes damage to the intestinal mucosa. The main symptoms are gastrointestinal, such as chronic diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain, but also the patient may have other symptoms such as iron deficiency anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency, abnormal liver tests, among others. However, it should be noted that a high percentage of celiac disease have no symptoms.
How celiac disease suddenly appears?
When the disease occurs in adulthood, the "shot effect", in which the patient begins to recognize the gluten as a harmful element for your body that causes inflammation of the intestinal mucosa occurs. This "shot effect" may be infected with a virus or other stimulus that activates the immune system of the patient.
Another factor to consider is that celiac disease is not hereditary, but there is a genetic predisposition to suffer it combined with other external factors such as environmental and immunological runs for developing the disease.
Diagnosis of celiac disease
The diagnosis of celiac disease requires in most cases performing multiple biopsies duodenum for confirmation. These biopsies are performed through a gastroscopy, which involves inserting an endoscope through the patient's mouth to see inside the upper intestine, which today does not cause discomfort to the patient.
In suspected celiac disease, first you must perform a blood test to observe the tissue transglutaminase IgA antibodies or peptides Ig G and Ig G deaminated. These antibodies are very specific to the disease and its positivity indicate the need for an intestinal biopsy.
There are also celiac patients with negative antibodies, called negative celiac serology, and for this reason can complete the diagnosis with a genetic study, examining histocompatibility antigens (HLA) to confirm their possible genetic predisposition, whose negativity almost excludes diagnosis safely.
Treatment of celiac disease
The treatment is based on making a diet without strict gluten and lifetime. This means being able to explain both the patient and their family the benefits of short and long term to make a gluten-free diet. For this reason, patients need to conduct regular visits to specialist in Gastroenterology to take into account the determination of antibodies of celiac disease and thus know the answer and proper compliance to gluten - free diet.
Moreover, in recent years have been developing new treatments, both drugs and vaccines, to desensitize celiac patients the toxic effect of gluten or modify the inflammatory response generated by the gluten.
What staples can not consume a celiac?
Gluten is found mainly in wheat flour, rye, triticale (a cross between wheat and rye), barley and, to a lesser extent in oats. Thus, foods that a celiac can not eat are:
- Biscuits and pastries
- Italian pasta
- malted drinks (beer, whiskey, barley water)
- Manufactured products that enter its composition cited flour or derivatives like starches
Currently there are numerous applications that provide insight into the composition of manufactured foods, which have celiac disease parainformar associations and upgrade to celiac patients of all developments.
Gluten consumption by a celiac can lead to malabsorption of nutrients that can cause anemia, vitamin deficiencies and promote tumor development, mainly in the intestine, such as lymphomas and adenocarcinomas.
In addition, ingestion of small amounts of gluten in the diet is sufficient for the protection afforded by conducting a strict diet against the development of malignancies is lost, so it is vital lead a strictly gluten-free diet.
Where we can go in case of celiac disease detect us ?
Medical specialists responsible for managing and monitoring of celiac patients are pediatricians in childhood, until age 14, and gastroenterologists, specialists in Gastroenterology, for patients in adulthood. Both medical areas help of experts in nutrition and celiac associations that represent great support and help in the daily life of these patients.
Edited by Roser Berner Ubasos.