The Mystery Behind Celiac Disease
Researchers and doctors alike still struggle to understand celiac disease. Researchers know that when patients with celiac disease consume gluten, it triggers a severe immune response that damages the small intestine. The mystery remains as to how this disease arises. Some researchers have found a link between iron deficiency and celiac disease, while others have observed no common relation that sparks the disease. The autoimmune disease is genetic, but that is all that is known at this time. However, a popular belief among researchers is that different events may trigger celiac and activate it in people who already have the disease present in their bodies.
International studies show that 1 out of every 100 people have celiac disease. This means over three million Americans are affected by the disease, but only 3% have been officially diagnosed with it. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley, so people with celiac should avoid those and foods containing them; even a small amount of gluten will ignite multiple symptoms within the body.
Some of the symptoms of celiac disease are feeling bloated, gas, itchy skin lesions, IBS, frequent cases of headache or migraine, constipation, fatigue, intolerance towards lactose, diarrhea, cramps in the stomach, fibromyalgia, eczema, pain in the joints, anemia, infertility, peripheral neuropathy, and, in severe instances, small intestinal cancer.
Individuals who face any of these symptoms should seek a proper diagnosis before they start a gluten-free diet. If you try to go on a gluten-free diet before you are diagnosed, it can lead to fatty test results. So, it is important to resume your normal diet and go for tests to receive an accurate diagnosis.
In the case of celiac disease, gluten is the known trigger; the moment an individual consumes food containing gluten, the body reacts and begins to fight itself or, in this particular case, the small intestine. For those who know they are suffering from celiac, removing gluten from the diet can bring the symptoms to a halt, and this has helped researchers to identify an “auto-antigen” that is thought to be part of the disease’s trigger. Auto-antigens are basically the part of the cells that provoke the immune response, leading to the body attacking itself and destroying its own healthy tissues. Learning what the trigger is has helped researchers to understand the disease’s complexity as well as gain further information on how the body’s immune system processes gluten and how it is activated.
The Celiac Disease Foundation has been an active part of the various trials and research. They have combined with another research network which would allow celiac patients to provide their input as well as their experiences with this disease. By doing so, the researchers would be able to determine any patterns and various connections between any other autoimmune diseases. Across the globe, this has become a significant issue, and researchers are also finding the cases of those with celiac, Crohn’s or multiple sclerosis are becoming more common today than just a few years back.