Symptoms of Celiac Disease| Celiac Disease Symptoms
With the growing amount of gluten-free products on store shelves and menus these days, you may have heard the reason behind this new awareness: Celiac disease. It’s caused by an allergy to gluten. The disease destroys the finger-like microscopic villi that line the small intestine. You can be exposed for years to gluten before the villi are damaged and a lab confirms that you have Celiac disease. But in the meantime, the gluten can cause other digestive and autoimmune issues before a diagnosis. Celiac disease has become the most well-known autoimmune disease because so many people have developed gluten sensitivities.
- Brain fog
- Digestive issues such as: gas, bloating, diarrhea, heartburn
Gluten doesn’t just get your gut. It can cause autoimmune diseases in other organs, so there are a wide range of symptoms, from low thyroid function and fatigue to tingling in your extremities.
Request the right tests from your integrative M.D.
Experts disagree about how to diagnose Celiac disease. Gastroenterologists, who I saw for way too many years, will only give this diagnosis after a biopsy showing damage to the villi of your small intestine. But this is quite prohibitive if you have silent Celiac disease for decades before this test gives you a positive result. Instead, ask your M.D. for:
- Anti-gliadin antibodies
- Anti-deamidated gliadin antibodies
These tests are more sensitive in picking up gluten allergies and can give you positive results many years before there is even any damage to your small intestine – what we all want. If these tests are positive, that’s a sign an autoimmune attack is waging somewhere in your body. It’s safe to assume you have early Celiac disease that has not yet affected your intestines but is still damaging your body — perhaps showing up as Graves’ disease, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or another autoimmune disease.
This is when it can get REALLY confusing! These tests provided NEGATIVE results for me. But, I still have a sensitivity to gluten, and you might too. These tests are designed to pick up celiac disease only. Gluten can also cause other autoimmune diseases. Therefore, if these tests are negative, and you have an autoimmune disease, you should still remove gluten from your diet based on the research showing the connection between gluten and autoimmune diseases.
You can do a genetic test to see if you have an increased risk of developing Celiac disease. These tests are called HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8. Taking these tests can help your future health.
- Start taking supplements recommended by your integrative M.D.
- Focus on healing your gut because gluten is causing stress there, and your bacteria are likely out of balance, causing Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Ask about probiotics
- Check your antibodies for other autoimmune diseases because you are at an increased risk
It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes.