Celiac disease

23 May 2016
La maladie coeliaque

Definition: The coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease (the immune system fights the body’s cells because it mistakenly considers them enemies) due to the intolerance at a fraction of gluten: the gliadin. It causes a severe decrease of the villi of the intestinal mucosa (small intestinal structure). This results in an inability of the body to absorb nutrients.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance:

  • Abdominal pain ;
  • Bloating;
  • Steatorrhea and chronic diarrhea;
  • Anemia;
  • Fatigue;
  • Weight loss;
  • Vomiting;
  • Bone Diseases;
  • Skin pigmentation;
  • Tetany (involuntary contractions of muscles)

If disease is suspected, a blood test is done by looking for antibodies (anti-endomysial and anti-transglutaminase). The blood draw can be performed randomly and without food excluding gluten. If the serological test is positive, a biopsy of the small intestine may need to be performed to confirm whether or not there is gluten intolerance.

 

The treatment for the coeliac disease is a strict gluten-free diet for life.

This diet will be provided to the patient by the physician or the nutritionist after diagnosis to insure the patient a complete diet and to avoid the lack of nutrients. Gluten is found in the flour of certain grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, etc.) but also in many processed foods (soup, sausage, cold meat, prepared dish, etc.). It is therefore important to pay special attention to the list of ingredients indicated on the packaging.

To verify the effectiveness of the gluten-free diet, blood tests similar to those of screening should be done.
Nowadays, many people opt for a gluten free diet without consulting a doctor first. It is essential to consult in order to have a real diagnosis of gluten intolerance or of Coeliac disease. The gluten-free diet should not be improvised or be taken lightly as it can cause deficiencies if it is not properly supervised by a health professional.

For further information with respect to our mobile service offering home blood draw, simply contact us via our contact form or by telephone. We operate 7 days a week and serve the greater metropolitan area (Montreal and its suburbs) as a whole.

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