Celiac disease; It is a disease that causes the digestion and absorption of nutrients from the small intestine. People with celiac disease; It shows sensitivity to ‘gluten’, a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.
When these people are fed with foods containing gluten, inflammation and damage occur as a result of immunological reactions in the tissue folds formed by the cells lining the inner surface of the small intestine. Celiac disease is a genetic disease.
Up to 10% of patients have family members with other celiac disease. Surgical interventions, pregnancy, childbirth, some viral infections and serious mental problems may lead to the emergence of the disease.
It can occur at any age. However, it is more common in infants aged 8-12 months and between the ages of 30-40. The true incidence of celiac disease is unknown. Its incidence in our country is thought to be 1/300.
What are the Symptoms?
Celiac disease manifests itself with different symptoms in children and adults.
Developmental and growth retardation in children can be an early sign of the disease;
- Stomach ache,
- Behavioral Disorders
It can take years for these findings to emerge and intensify.
Celiac disease usually occurs in adults between the ages of 30-40.
- Gas and Discomfort in the Abdomen,
- Stomach ache,
- Weight Loss,
- Fatigue and Joint Pain,
- Depression and Fatigue
They are the main manifestations of adult celiac disease.
The symptoms manifest themselves in two ways in people with the disease: The first is due to nutrient deficiency, the second is due to mineral and vitamin deficiency.
Basic food sources in patients;
- Carbohydrate and Fat Absorption is impaired.
And the most serious absorption is fat. Diarrhea and bloating may occur as a result of impaired fat absorption in patients.
As a result of carbohydrate malabsorption, patients develop lactose intolerance. And this may cause complaints such as abdominal pain and bloating after milky foods in patients.
Nutritional disorders, vitamin and mineral deficiency in patients;
- Anemia (Iron and vitamin B12 deficiency),
- Bone loss (Osteoporosis)
- Easy decay (vitamin K deficiency),
- Muscle weakness (potassium, magnesium deficiency),
- Hair loss,
- Loss of appetite.
If celiac disease is suspected, your doctor may order blood and stool tests after a thorough examination.
Ca, Mg, K, Protein, Cholesterol, B12, Vitamin A, Folic Acid and Iron can be used to measure the levels of certain substances that can be excreted from the body. And it controls the uptake of inflammation markers.
Serological blood tests used in the diagnosis of celiac disease are important. And the sensitivity of these tests in the diagnosis is very high. (80-95%).
Another study that should be done in celiac disease is to take tissue samples from the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine, with an endoscope.
The procedure for this procedure is no different from regular gastroscopy. Biopsy is an essential diagnostic method. And serological tests cannot replace biopsy for diagnosis.
It is also possible to see structural changes in the lining of the small intestine during endoscopy.
What is The Treatement?
Celiac disease can lead to serious problems if not diagnosed early. People with the conditions mentioned above or those with celiac disease in their family should consult a gastroenterologist.,
The mainstay of treatment for celiac disease is strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. For this purpose, gluten-containing wheat, barley and rye should not be consumed.
They may eat rice, corn, potatoes and soy flour products. There is no problem in consuming fruit, vegetables, eggs and meat products. People with lactose intolerance should avoid milk and dairy products.
This is particularly important because a patient on a strict diet may experience severe symptoms again within a day with gluten. After starting a gluten-free diet, the complaints begin to decrease.
Although the complaints disappear completely, it can take up to 2 years for the intestinal mucosa to be complete, but the recovery of the intestinal mucosa usually takes place within 3 to 6 months. Patients on a strict gluten-free diet generally have a good prognosis.
In untreated cases, it can occur among serious long-term illnesses (20-30 years); adenocarcinoma and lymphoma of the small intestine. A strict diet can prevent the transformation of cancer.