Detecting Celiac Disease


February 10, 2012 10:32:51 AM PST
Chances are you or someone you know is cutting wheat or other grains from their diet. A growing awareness about a digestive disorder called celiac disease.

It is considered an emerging health threat among women and can be challenging for many doctors to diagnose.

Nearly three million people in the U.S. have celiac disease. The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center reports 97% of people with celiac disease have not been diagnosed.

The condition is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process of the small intestine. When a person who has celiac disease consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, the individual's immune system responds by attacking the small intestine and inhibits the absorption of important nutrients into the body. Recent research shows it is possible for a person to have celiac disease and have no symptoms.

What is it?

  • Inherited Autoimmune Disorder
  • Affects the Digestive Process
  • Triggered by foods with gluten
  • Inhibits Absorption of nutrients

Some common symptoms:

  • Recurring abdominal bloating and pain
  • Chronic diarrhea/constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Pain in the joints
  • Tooth discoloration

Children tend to have the more classic signs of celiac disease. However, the disease can develop in a person at a risk at any time. There 3 factors that come together to cause celiac disease to occur: an over-responsive immune system, genetic predisposition, and factors in an individual's environment.

For more information:
The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center