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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.