Coeliac Disease

    This week's disease is coeliac disease, or as it is spelled in North America; Celiac Disease. The other names; sprue, gluten intolerance, gluen-sensitive enteropathy.
    What is coeliac disease?
    It is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, an allergy to gluten. The hypersensitivity causes an inflammation in the small intestine tissue, and prevents it to absorbe the nutrients that are lethally important to stay healthy and alive. The damage occurs due to the reaction in small intestines to the substance gluten, a protein which is found in wheat, barley, rye and oats.
    What are the causes?
    Actually, the exact cause is unknown. The lining of small intestines called villus (villi in plural), that are increasing the surface area of the intestine, so we can absorbe the nutrients. A person with celiac disease eats a food that contains gluten, his or her immune system reacts the nutrient by damaging villi. And the intestine becomes unabled to absorb the nutrients properly. As a result, the person becomes malnourished, whatever he or she eats. Gluten sensitive enteropathy can develop in any point of life. Any point an infant to a very old person. It is genetically predisposed. Ten percent of the persons who have the disease, has a family member who has the same condition. It is thirty percent in twins.

   In the picture, you see acomparison of the normal small intestine tissue and a celiac diseased s.i.t.
    What are the symptoms?
    Abdominal pain, gas or/and indigestion
    Decreased appetite
    Lactose intolerance (can be cured with a treatment, and i'll talk about the loctose intolerance after)
    And the children characteristically would be growing slower and have a shorter height for their age
   What are the tests?
    Albumin may be low
    Alkaline phosphatase may be high as asign of bone loss
    Clotting factor abnormalities
    For seeing the anemia a complete blood count may be wanted.
   What is the treatment?
    Unfortunately, the gluten-sensitive enteropathy cannot be cured. However, there is a diet style called gluten-free diet. And with a lifelong gluten-free diet you and your villi can be saved from all the damage and symptoms of celiac disease. You should not eat foods or take medications that contains gluten that we specified above. And a warning! You are not supposed to begin this diet unless you're exactly diagnosed. It may be a incorrect negativity in the tests.
    How is the prognosis?
    The prognosis is pretty cool. Patients have complete healing. But as the time, it takes two-three years in adult patients.
    How can we prevent?
    As we said above, because the axact cause is unknown, we cannot prevent the development of sprue.
   Thanks to Pubmed Health. Take care. Bye.

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