Celiac Disease: Myths and Facts

Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune illness that cannot be cured. A person's symptoms can only be relieved by avoiding a gluten-rich diet. Read on to view more.

Dr. Samrat Jankar Created on 11th Jan, 22

According to Dr. Samrat Jankar, an experienced gastroenterologist in Pune, celiac disease affects approximately six to eight million people in India. Gluten allergy or intolerance is not the same as celiac disease. 

Gluten ingestion may cause damage to the small intestine in this disease. It is an autoimmune condition that affects people who are genetically predisposed to it. Celiac disease affects around one out of every 100 persons. 


Dr. Samrat Jankar, a gastric doctor in Pune, is of the opinion that the illness is still under-reported in the country. The lack of awareness significantly affects the prevention and treatment of celiac disease.


The only approach to better control the illness is to follow a rigorous gluten-free diet. Therefore, barley, wheat, rye, durum, semolina, and malt must be avoided by people having celiac disease.


Let’s understand what causes celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a digestive condition also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy or celiac sprue. When gluten-intolerant people consume gluten, a complex protein, they develop this complicated immune-mediated condition. 


Their immune system goes into overdrive and attacks the gut lining. When the intestines are attacked, the villi, or hair-like structures within the intestines, are harmed, causing inflammation. 


The villi are responsible for the absorption of nutrients from meals. When a person has celiac disease, their body loses its capacity to absorb nutrition, and if the condition is not addressed, they can become extremely malnourished.


What are the symptoms of celiac disease?

  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Anaemia
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Hepatitis
  • Pale stools
  • Growth issues in children
  • Joint pain, dental pain, muscle cramps
  • Tingling sensation in the limbs

If you have the above symptoms, it is best to consult Dr. Samrat Jankar, a skilled surgical gastroenterologist in Pune, for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Common myths and facts about celiac disease

Celiac disease is currently considered one of the nation's emerging health epidemics, therefore raising awareness and educating people about the condition is necessary.

Myth: Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are the same things.

Fact: Both are not the same because gluten sensitivity does not cause intestinal damage. People who do not have celiac disease but are gluten sensitive will test negative for celiac disease antibodies, despite the identical symptoms in both cases. Also, malnutrition will not occur in their case.


Myth: Celiac disease is merely an allergic reaction.

Fact: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, contrary to the prevalent misconception that it is merely an allergy reaction. This misunderstanding arises because, like an allergic reaction, celiac disease is triggered by the presence of a foreign item.


Myth: Children are the only ones who get celiac disease.

Fact: Celiac disease can affect people of any age. Undoubtedly, celiac disease symptoms and conditions are more common in children, but they can also affect adults.


Myth: There is no diagnosis for celiac disease.

Fact: Celiac disease, like most disorders, can be diagnosed. The standard way to diagnose celiac disease is via a blood test called tTG-IgA, which looks for antibodies to celiac disease. Your doctor will recommend a small intestine biopsy to ensure 100% confirmation. Celiac disease may be hereditary. Thus, genetic testing may be required.


Myth: You do not have celiac disease if your symptoms do not match those of your blood relatives.

Fact: Females' symptoms of celiac disease may differ from guys. Adults' symptoms of celiac disease may vary from those of children. As a result, there is no single symptom that can be used to diagnose celiac disease, and the only solution to find out if you have it is to get a medical evaluation.


Myth: Celiac disease isn't all that serious.

Fact: Celiac disease is a serious condition. Its symptoms can be severe and interfere with a person's regular activities. Furthermore, celiac disease can lead to severe malnutrition if not managed. 


Myth: Celiac disease can be treated for good.

Fact: Celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune illness that cannot be cured. A person's symptoms can only be relieved by avoiding a gluten-rich diet.


Myth: Celiac disease is a rare condition.

Fact: Celiac disease is more prevalent than you may realize. One out of every 100 persons will have celiac disease. However, the illness is frequently undetected.


How is celiac disease managed?

Currently, the only approach to managing celiac disease is eating gluten-free foods because even a small amount of gluten can cause intestinal damage.


Gluten-sensitive people and those with celiac disease should avoid all gluten-containing foods, such as bread, and beer which are made from wheat, barley, or rye.


If you or your family member have celiac disease, you should consult Dr. Samrat Jankar, a famous gastroenterologist in Pune, for comprehensive treatment and management of the condition.


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