Celiac Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of celiac disease are similar in children and adults. The victims suffer painful abdominal bloating, and their stools are usually pale, bulky, and foul-smelling.

Celiac Disease is one of several conditions that are classified under the general label of malabsorption syndromes. All malabsorption syndromes interfere with the body's ability to absorb nutrients from the intestinal wall, and therefore anyone suffering from a malabsorption disease will also be likely to suffer from nutritional deficiencies.

Celiac disease is caused by the body's inability to tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. This intolerance causes abnormal changes in the lining of the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients. The disease usually starts in childhood, after about six months of age, but it has been known to appear in adults--or even to reappear in adults who suffered from the disease in childhood, but who have been free of symptoms for years.

Symptoms

The symptoms of celiac disease are similar in children and adults. The victims suffer painful abdominal bloating, and their stools are usually pale, bulky, and foul-smelling. They are also likely to suffer nutritional deficiencies, especially iron deficiency anemia. In childen, celiac disease is marked by a failure to grow.



Treatment

The treatment of celiac disease requires the elimination of gluten from the diet. Grains that can be substituted for wheat in a gluten-free diet include corn, rice, and buckwheat.

But getting rid of all gluten in the diet sounds far easier to accomplish than it actually is, because so many common foods and ingestible products contain (often undisclosed) gluten. Who would think, for example, to worry that both beer and communion wafers would trigger symptoms in a person with celiac disease?

Children with celiac disease often feel frustrated, even persecuted, because they must be denied many of the foods their peers so obviously enjoy, and even adults are bound to feel deprived by such limited food choices in a world where gluten-laden treats beckon from all sides.

Nutritional Supplements

Because serious nutritional deficiencies can result from celiac disease--not justas a result of the effects of malabsorption, but also because so many nutritious foods must be avoided--a celiac sufferer requires nutritional supplements to replace lost nutrients such as zinc, iron, and B vitamins.

© High Speed Ventures 2011