What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is one of the diseases of hypersensitivity affecting the small intestine, and symptoms of this hypersensitivity due to intolerance of the intestines to the protein gluten protein in wheat, barley and rye, and that is why many people described this disease wheat intolerance.
How does celiac disease occur?
It is known that the basic function of the digestive system, especially the intestines in the human body is the absorption of useful food from food and the introduction of ineffective substances out of the body through the anus and this is normal, but in the case of celiac disease, the immune system in the human body attacks Gluten protein, which is linked The outer wall of the intestines, causing severe damage to the lining of the intestine and inflammation of the intestine, and this leads to the dissolution of the villi villi any loss of its distinctive form (and the glands: protrusions in the lining of the intestines helps to increase the surface absorption of nutrients from Intestine), this will of course make the intestine unable to absorb many important nutrients and fluids.
Celiac Disease Symptoms
In fact, there are no signs and symptoms characteristic of celiac disease that makes diagnosis easy and does not require a diagnostic differentiation. The people suffering from this disease are general symptoms when they eat wheat or barley or one of their products similar to the symptoms of other diseases such as irritable colon syndrome and lactose intolerance, This disease may pass without being diagnosed.
The most important symptoms caused by eating wheat products for patients with celiac disease are:
- Abdominal pain.
- Abdominal swelling, muscle atrophy.
- The stool’s texture changes and smells.
- Fatigue and fatigue.
Sometimes, the patient may not have any symptoms in the digestive system when taking gluten products, but that does not mean that wheat flour will not cause him any harm, but must know clearly that, although not show symptoms of intestinal sensitivity, the situation Is still vulnerable to complications of chronic celiac disease, the most important of which:
- Malnutrition, and weight loss.
- Slow growth and delayed puberty in children and adolescents who suffer from the disease.
- Cancer of the bowel in some rare cases; where tumor infections may appear after about twenty years of the disease, especially in cases where the patient is not committed to treatment.
- Neurological disorders and Seizures.
- Gluten-sensitive patients may be allergic to dermatitis herpetiform, the most common of which is skin rash, itching and skin ulcers.
There are factors that increase the risk of celiac disease, including:
- The genetic factor is one of the most important reasons that increase the chances of celiac disease; where this disease is seen in some families only.
- The disease affects all races, but it is noted that the high incidence of the European race; statistics indicate that the disease affects one person out of 133 people in Western Europe.
Diagnosis of celiac disease
The specialist doctor is the only one who can diagnose the disease based on the presence of three basic components in the patient are:
- The emergence of symptoms of the disease, especially in children; where it begins after the addition of dietary supplements containing wheat mentioned above.
- When biopsies are performed, distinct tissue changes are found in the proximal section of the small intestine, mainly the intestinal flora.
- Rapid and clear clinical improvement following the patient’s adherence to gluten-free diet any foods that do not contain wheat at all.
Treatment of celiac disease
It is necessary to say that the treatments used to treat celiac disease are not intended to be cured in an absolute way, insofar as they aim to stop the symptoms of the disease and prevent its emergence and prevent complications in the future, and help patients, especially children to live in a normal way and exercise their normal life without affecting the disease And restricts the child’s activity and growth. The key to this therapeutic system is to “avoid eating gluten-containing foods” and not to leave the gluten-free diet, although the patient showed some signs of improvement.
Children are the most affected by this disease, and there is a need for awareness and health education, especially for mothers.
- Celiac disease patients must be careful to take the supplements prescribed by the doctor, especially those containing calcium and vitamin D, so as to protect himself from osteoporosis.
- The patient should be aware that his commitment to a gluten-free diet will prevent him from getting cancer of the digestive system.
It should be emphasized that gastrointestinal specialists are best able to diagnose and treat, especially in cases that are not clear. However, it is usually the pediatrician who diagnoses and treats the disease and advises the parents, especially the strict adherence to diet.
The mother should always monitor her child’s feces, especially the number of times of defecation, its content, shape and color, especially in cases of chronic diarrhea, which lasts more than a week, in addition to abdominal pain as well as constant discomfort of the child and delayed growth compared to peers.