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Celiac Disease: Signs, Symptoms, and Causes

Most people know that Celiac disease means you can’t eat gluten, but what does it actually entail? What causes the condition?

Celiac disease affects about 1% of the population, and plenty of those afflicted are undiagnosed. This is unfortunate considering that celiac disease can cause a host of serious complications.

As such, understanding celiac disease and its symptoms is essential for early treatment and allowing you to live the most healthy life possible.

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease where ingested gluten triggers an abnormal immune response in the body. This causes damage to your small intestines.

Gluten is a naturally occurring protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It’s also present in any foods that contain these ingredients.

Because of how serious celiac disease is, people suffering from it must avoid consuming gluten.

What Does Celiac Disease Do / Effects

In people with celiac disease, ingesting foods containing gluten triggers the immune system – causing it to attack the small intestine. The resulting damage results in fatigue, bloating, and stomach pain.

If left untreated, celiac disease can eventually lead to other life-threatening conditions.

Celiac Disease: Signs, Symptoms, and Causes

Celiac Disease
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    Celiac Disease Symptoms, Causes, and Side Effects

    What causes celiac disease isn’t definitively known yet, but it appears to have a genetic component.

    This condition runs in families, and you have a higher risk of developing the disease if other blood-related family members already have it.

    Celiac disease symptoms to watch out for include:

    • Diarrhea
    • Bloating and stomach pain
    • Weight loss
    • Changes in your bowel function
    • Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
    • Tooth discoloration
    • Skin rash.

    If left untreated, celiac disease can result in serious health complications such as:

    • Malnutrition due to poor absorption of nutrients
    • Osteoporosis, also caused by poor nutrient absorption
    • Fertility problems and miscarriages
    • Increased risk of some cancers, particularly intestinal lymphoma.

    Forum Health’s Solutions for Celiac Disease

    *Some services may not be available at every clinic. Find a nearby integrative medicine clinic for more information.

    Although there isn’t any cure yet for celiac disease, Forum Health’s team of competent integrative medical practitioners will work with you to ease symptoms and boost immunity.


    When you have celiac disease, the most important thing you can do is to support your gut health


    You’ll need to stop eating gluten immediately, but that alone won’t heal the damage that has already been inflicted on your small intestine. 


    When it comes to restoring health to your gut microbiome, Forum Health can provide helpful suggestions of what to eat in order to support a healthy gut


    Contact Forum Health Today.

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome Program
    Highlights & Solutions

    With a multi-talented team spanning a variety of disciplines, you’re in good hands. From mastering your microbiome to giving you a personalized diet to optimize your gut health, we can help you to effectively resolve IBS symptoms. Our science-backed and holistic treatment programs will allow you to manage your IBS symptoms and treat the condition effectively. Our treatment plans can include:

    IV Nutrition Therapy

    Peptide Therapy

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    Detox Programs

    Learn more about Forum Health's
    Celiac Disease Treatment Plans

    Celiac Disease FAQs

    Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. Like other autoimmune diseases, your body’s immune system attacks healthy cells. 


    In the case of celiac disease, your immune cells mistake gluten for an intruder and the triggered immune response results in significant damage to your small intestine.

    You can develop celiac disease at any age; this is true even if previous tests for the condition were negative. 


    As such, it’s important to be regularly screened for celiac disease for immediate treatment and to avoid contracting its other serious complications.

    Celiac disease has a genetic factor. If your parents, siblings, or children have celiac disease, you’re far more likely to develop the condition too. 

    On its own, celiac disease won’t kill you. However, celiac disease comes with a range of serious complications (such as malnutrition and cancer) that be life-threatening.


    Because of this, it’s essential to treat and manage celiac disease as soon as you’re diagnosed.

    In order to diagnose celiac disease, doctors will typically ask about your family’s medical history to determine whether a close relative has the disease. 


    Physical examination, blood tests, and biopsies are also frequently performed to conclusively diagnose the condition.

    You’ll need to make diet and lifestyle adjustments and to avoid all foods that contain gluten. 


    This can be particularly challenging in cultures rich in gluten or if you’re on a diet that incorporates plenty of it. 


    Even though it’s difficult, minimizing gluten consumption is necessary in order to manage the disease effectively. Fortunately, many people afflicted with celiac disease find that avoiding gluten becomes much easier with time.

    When someone with celiac disease eats gluten, an immune response that damages and inflames the lining of the small intestine is triggered. For this reason, people with this condition must avoid gluten to prevent damage.

    It’s never okay to sneak in cheat days with Celiac disease. Even a small amount of gluten can cause massive amounts of damage.

    People with celiac need to be very careful with their food. 


    Cross-contamination with food products containing gluten is always an issue, so afflicted patients need to make sure to only eat food from trusted sources.

    The disease itself doesn’t get worse with age, but repeated gluten exposure can lead to worsening symptoms over time. 


    Additionally, untreated celiac disease can cause serious complications – some of which can get progressively worse with age (such as cancer).

    The damage celiac disease causes to your small intestine is reversible, and your gut can be completely healed within months (or years, for especially extensive intestinal damage). 


    However, for this to occur, you must stop eating gluten completely. Unfortunately, damage that’s already been caused by celiac disease’s complications (such as infertility) may be permanent.