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Celiac Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis And Treatment

Jul 18, 2023

Celiac Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis And Treatment

Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is an immune reaction brought on by the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye.

If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immunological response in your small intestine. This reaction leads to malabsorption, or the inability to absorb some nutrients, and over time damages the lining of your small intestine.

 The following side effects are frequently encountered and may progress into more significant issues like diarrhea, tiredness, weight loss, bloating, anemia, and other intestinal damage symptoms.

Malabsorption in children can affect growth and development in addition to the symptoms that are present in adults.

Although there is no known treatment for celiac disease, the majority of those who have it may manage their symptoms with a strict gluten-free diet.

Symptoms Of Celiac Disease

Children and adults may exhibit different celiac disease symptoms, which can range widely. 

Adults may experience the following digestive symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Losing weight
  • Bloating and gas
  • Stomach ache
  • Vomiting and nauseous
  • Constipation

More than half of people with celiac disease, however, also experience signs and symptoms that are not related to the digestive tract, such as:

  • Anaemia, often due to a lack of iron
  • Bone softening (osteomalacia) or loss of bone density (osteoporosis)
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis, an itchy, blistery skin rash
  • Mouth sores
  • Fatigue and migraines
  • Harm to the nervous system, which may result in cognitive decline, balance issues, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
  • The aching in one's joints
  • Hyposplenism is a reduction in spleen function.

Among the digestive issues  children with celiac disease are more prone than adults to have the following:

  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Constipation
  • Gas
  • Pale, pungent stools

 Inadequate nutrition absorption could lead to:

  • Infants' failure to thrive
  • Erosion of the tooth enamel
  • Loss of weight
  • Anemia
  • Irritability
  • Short height
  • Postponed puberty

Cause Of Celiac Disease

The exact etiology of celiac disease is unknown, however, it may be influenced by your genes, eating gluten-containing foods, and other factors. Practises used when feeding babies, gastrointestinal illnesses and gut flora may also be involved. Celiac disease can occasionally become active following surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or significant mental stress.

The villi which are the  fine, hair-like projections present in the  the small intestine are damaged when the immune system of the body overreacts to gluten in the diet. The vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the food which are ingested  are absorbed by the villus. Even if you consume a lot, you won't be able to obtain enough nutrients if your villi are damaged.

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Risk Factors Of Celiac Disease

People who seem to be more susceptible to celiac disease are:

  • A family member suffering from celiac illness
  • Diabetes type 1
  • Turner syndrome, Down syndrome
  • Thyroid autoimmune disease
  • Lymphocytic or collagenous colitis, or microscopic colitis
  • Addison's illness

Diagnosis Of Celiac Disease

The majority of people suffering from  celiac disease are unaware of their condition. It can be identified using two blood tests:

  • A serology test is to find out antibodies in the blood. Increased levels of certain antibody proteins signify an immunological response to gluten.
  • Celiac disease can be ruled out through genetic testing for the human leukocyte antigens HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8.

If any of the above test indicated that the person is suffering from celiac disease then the doctor will advice  the following examinations:

  • Endoscopy. For this procedure, known as an upper endoscopy, a long tube with a small camera is placed in your mouth and moved down your throat. With the aid of the camera, your doctor can examine your small intestine and obtain a small tissue sample (biopsy) to check for villi damage.
  • The Capsule Endoscopy. The whole length of your small intestine is photographed during this examination using a tiny wireless camera. You ingest a vitamin-sized capsule with the camera inside of it. Thousands of photos are taken by the camera and sent to a recorder as the capsule passes through your digestive system.
  • Your doctor may do a skin biopsy (skin sample collection) if they have a suspicion that you have dermatitis herpetiformis.

Treatment Of Celiac Disease

Celiac disease can only be controlled by adhering to a strict, lifetime gluten-free diet. Gluten is present in a number of foods besides wheat, such as:

  • Barley 
  • Bulgur 
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Graham flour,
  • malt
  • Rye
  • semolina
  • A type of wheat is spelt.
  • Triticale

You can create a balanced gluten-free diet with the aid of a dietician who specializes in treating celiac disease. Even if you don't have any symptoms or indicators of gluten sensitivity, even tiny amounts of gluten in your diet might be harmful.

Foods, pharmaceuticals, and nonfood goods may contain concealed gluten, including:

  • Altered food starch, preservatives, and food stabilizers
  • Both prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • A vitamin and mineral supplement
  • Supplements made from herbs and food
  • Various lipsticks
  • Using mouthwash with toothpaste
  • Wafers for communion
  • Stamp and envelope adhesive
  • Making playdough

Eliminating gluten from your diet will progressively lessen intestinal inflammation, improving your symptoms and allowing your body to recuperate. Compared to adults, kids usually recover more quickly.

supplements with vitamins and minerals

Your physician or nutritionist may advise taking supplements, such as:

  • Copper
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • folic acid
  • B-12
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K

Typically, vitamins and supplements are taken as pills. Your doctor may administer vitamins through injection if your digestive system has difficulties digesting them.

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