Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Celiac disease

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, wherein the affected individuals are unable to digest or tolerate gluten. In this condition, gluten gradually destroys the lining of the small intestine, making absorption of nutrients difficult.

What causes celiac disease?

The exact cause of celiac disease is unknown. However, it is believed that, the body’s immune system regards the gluten as a foreign substance and as a result damages the lining of the small intestine. Other conditions that may trigger the development of celiac disease include pregnancy, childbirth, surgery, severe emotional stress and viral infections.

How does celiac disease spread?

Celiac disease is not contagious in nature and does not spread from person to person.

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?

Some of the common signs and symptoms of celiac disease include the following:
  • Alternate bouts of diarrhea and constipation
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Depression
  • Pain in joints
  • Delayed onset of puberty
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

 What are the different stages of celiac disease?

The four different stages of celiac disease as observed during an endoscopy is described below:
Stage 0: Also known as the non – infiltrative stage, this stage is marked by no remarkable changes in the mucosal lining of the small intestine
Stage I: In this stage, the lining becomes infiltrative, though no remarkable changes are noticed in the endoscopy
Stage II: In this stage, the mucosal cells of the small intestine gradually appear to be damaged
Stage III: Stage III is marked by partial villus atrophy, wherein the villi become flattened and shrink
Stage IV: The villi become totally flattened and complete atrophy occurs

What is the treatment of celiac disease?

Treatment of celiac disease is focused on adopting a gluten free diet and medications to control the symptoms. Some of the gluten containing foods that need to be avoided are wheat, barley, malt, rye, semolina, durum, triticale, graham flour, farina and bulgur. In addition to dietary changes, medications are also given to control intestinal inflammation. Individuals are also given vitamin and mineral supplements to maintain the levels of calcium, iron, vitamin B12, D and K, zinc and folate.

How can celiac disease be prevented?

As celiac disease is a genetic condition, it becomes difficult to prevent the disease. Also, since gluten is present in almost every meal, it becomes practically impossible to prevent the condition.

Diet and lifestyle changes in celiac disease?

Individuals living with celiac disease need to adopt several lifestyle and dietary changes to lead a symptom free life. Foods with gluten need to be completely avoided. It is also necessary to avoid cross contamination of foods. Individuals are also advised to carefully read the labels of processed foods as gluten remains a hidden element in many preservatives.

What is Ayurvedic treatment of celiac disease?

Ayurvedic treatment of celiac disease focuses on correcting the digestive system that has become damaged due to gluten. The various medications that are employed for treating celiac disease include bilvavaleha and kalyanakghruta. 1 tsp each of Bilvavalehaand kalyanakghruta should be taken twice daily.

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