Celiac Disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. The consumption of gluten also aggravates the small intestines creating chronic inflammation. Gluten is found primarily in wheat, barley, and rye. (Gluten may show up in unlikely places like salad dressings, Ketchup, BBQ sauces, etc.) At Granite Peaks Gastroenterology, we diagnose and treat Celiac Disease in our convenient Utah locations, and help those suffering with Celiac Disease understand and take control of their condition.
DO I HAVE CELIAC DISEASE?
“Most people who have Celiac have had symptoms for four years or more prior to being diagnosed- just this amount of time can result in quite a bit of damage to the small intestines,” says gastroenterologist David Schmidt, MD, who diagnoses several patients a month with Celiac Disease. Not a surprising number considering one in 141 Caucasians are diagnosed with it each year. (Celiac rarely affects people with Chinese, Japanese, or African ancestry.)
If left untreated, people can develop further complications such as anemia, vitamin deficiencies, osteoporosis, and cancer. Villi, minuscule finger-like projections, get worn down or blunted and become ineffective in absorbing nutrients. A lack of certain nutrients can have detrimental effects; for example, a lack of iron can result in anemia or a deficiency in vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis or even neurological dysfunction.