- BY Susan Tucker
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An autoimmune disorder that can lead to damage of the small intestine, people who have Celiac disease cannot ingest gluten without having a host of uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms. Approximately one in one-hundred people suffer from Celiac disease and there may be as many as two and one-half million Americans alone that are living with symptoms but have gone undiagnosed. Because of the variety of symptoms Celiac disease can cause, Celiac disease awareness is important so everyone can better understand what this disease is, what causes it and how it can be treated.
Celiac Disease Awareness
The Immune Response
When a person with Celiac disease consumes gluten in some form that person’s body and immune system will actually attack the small intestine. In addition to immediate symptoms, these attacks will damage the villi in the intestines. These villi are responsible for absorbing nutrients in food and when damaged, this can lead to malnutrition or vitamin deficiencies. Some of the more immediate symptoms can include:
- Stomach pain
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There are people who experience all of the symptoms of Celiac disease but for one reason or another have never been diagnosed. They may have mild symptoms or they may not have any symptoms when they see a doctor and there isn’t enough information to go off of. Essentially, if you see a medical professional regularly and have been abstaining from gluten because you have noticed it bothers you, it can be harder to diagnose Celiac disease. If you are consuming gluten regularly and have a variety of symptoms from its consumption, you are more likely to be diagnosed. If you choose not to seek medical attention or testing for your symptoms, this can lead to lifelong damage to your body. Not to mention, there are other autoimmune disorders that you can develop because of untreated Celiac disease.
RELATED: Celiac Disease Food List: Eating Gluten Free in 2018
Celiac disease is hereditary in nature so if you have other family members that have been diagnosed, you may be at risk as well. There is a one in ten at risk of developing this condition if you have one single primary relative that has been diagnosed. This includes your parent, child or sibling. If you feel you have ongoing symptoms of Celiac disease then it is important to speak with a doctor about what you are experiencing. Being diagnosed, educated on Celiac awareness and treated will allow you to lead a more
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