What is Celiac Disease, and is There a Special Celiac Disease Diet?
What is the Cause of Celiac Disease ?
What is Celiac Disease, or Coeliac Disease as it's called in
Great Britain? Over 90% of those people who have it don't know
that they have it. Are you one of them?
Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune condition. It is
related to two specific genes that you may have inherited from
your parents. Each parent contributes one gene at the specific
location on chromosome 6. If either or both of your parents
contributed a DQ2 or a DQ8 gene, you are a potential celiac
There is no cure, but those diagnosed with it will need to
follow a gluten free diet for the rest of their lives. This
will control the antibody reaction and stop the damage of the
small intestine that occurs in this disease.
Celiac Disease Blood Tests
When you see your doctor to find out if you have this illness,
they will run the celiac disease blood tests to
check for anti-ttg antibodies. This test is very specific
for this illness, and almost never gives a false positive.
It cannot completely rule out the disease however.
If you have a positive blood test, then the doctor will most
likely order an intestinal biopsy to check for the level of
intestinal damage. The results of this biopsy will be
classified according to the Marsh system.
The range of damage can be minor, or it can go as far as
complete villous atrophy. Villous atrophy means that the
small, hairlike projections of villi lining the small
intestine are completely eroded away. These villi are very
important for the absorption of vitamins and minerals from the
foods you eat. Without them, the elements the body needs to
function cannot be absorbed, no matter how well you eat.
If you do not have a positive blood test, you may still have the
genes for celiac disease. It can remain dormant in the body
until something triggers it, like pregnancy, an illness, or
Some people have symptoms of gluten sensitivity even though their
blood tests are negative. Gluten sensitivity occurs even
among those without celiac genes. The difference is in the
level of damage it can do in the small intestine for those who
do carry the gene. You can read the symptoms by going to the
navigation bar and using the symptom button. The same symptoms
apply to the entire spectrum of illness.
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