Typical celiac symptoms
- Gastric cramps
- Vomiting and nausea
- Weight loss
The range of symptoms is actually quite vast making the disease difficult to detect or diagnose. Other symptoms, seen more in adults than young sufferers, include anemia, depression and anxiety, seizures and even recurrent miscarriage.
Due to the fact that the efficiency of nutrient absorption is compromised by the disease, the sufferer can suffer from certain important nutrient and mineral deficiencies which means that Celiacs will often feel lethargic or fatigued.
We can thus look at Celiac disease as actually causing two separate conditions:
- An abnormal auto-immune response to the presence of gluten
- Nutrient malabsorption due to the effects of gluten on the villi that align the intestine.
Where is gluton found?
Gluten is found in many foods that contain wheat. Of course, even foods that are produced in the same factories that process wheat products may contain levels of gluten which may not be naturally present in food. Once must be very careful to always read the label. Oats are a typical example; oats are naturally gluten free but are often contaminated with gluten due to the factories that produce them also producing wheat-containing products. Gluten may also be found in many medicines, vitamin tablets and even creams or lip balms.
To be noted that you might be gluten intolerant rather than celiac. Gluten intolerance is a milder form of the disease and does not have the same intense autoimmune response to gluten.
Genetic testing and celiac genes
There are genetic predisposition health tests readily available. The test will show the probability percentage you have of developing the disease over the course of your life. In terms of the hereditary of the disease, you also will know whether you children are at high risk or low risk of being celiacs. The genes involved are the genes know as HLA DQ2 and/or HLA DQ8 (the HLA stands for human leukocyte antigen). Whilst many people carry the HLA gene mutations responsible for Celiac disease not all those will actually develop the disease. In fact almost 40% of people carry the genes that cause celiac disease but only around 1% of all these actually suffer from it.
Unlike standard medical blood tests for celiac disease which require that you actually eat gluten before taking the test, a genetic DNA test will show whether or not you carry the gene irrespective of whether you have recently consumed gluten or not.