May is Celiac and Hepatitis Awareness Month!
With the national recognition of both Celiac disease and Hepatitis, May is a busy month. These diseases impact huge portions of the U.S. population, with Celiac disease affecting 3 million people and Hepatitis affecting 5 million people nationwide. Only 5 percent of the millions afflicted with Celiac disease are even aware of their disease, making awareness of the disease and its symptoms all the more important. In addition, there are several types of Hepatitis, some of which do not present obvious symptoms. May is the time the medical community brings attention to these serious diseases to aid in their diagnoses and treatments.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder that reduces the rate of nutrient absorption by the small intestine. Symptoms of Celiac disease vary in severity. There are four main types of Celiac disease: typical, atypical, silent, and latent.
What are common symptoms of Celiac Disease?
Typical Celiac disease is characterized by specific intestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, lactose intolerance, and bloating.
Atypical Celiac disease, on the other hand, has minimal to no gastrointestinal symptoms, which makes it more difficult to diagnose. Signs of atypical Celiac disease include iron deficiency, fatigue, and joint pain, as well as neurological symptoms, such as ataxia.
Silent Celiac disease presents no symptoms. However, it can still be diagnosed by the presence of intestinal mucosal damage and blood work that can detect its autoimmune characteristics.
A person with latent Celiac disease may also be asymptomatic and even have normal mucosa morphology but still have autoimmune markers in blood tests and have genetic compatibility with the disease.
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver and has a strong link to liver cancer. Hepatitis has three main forms, Hepatitis A, B, and C, and three rarer forms, Hepatitis D, E, and autoimmune Hepatitis. Hepatitis B is an extremely common form of the disease and may have no visible symptoms. Hepatitis A is usually contracted from ingesting contaminated fecal matter. Hepatitis B and C are usually contracted through sharing needles, among other causes.
What are the common symptoms of Hepatitis?
There are often no symptoms after the initial contraction of the virus that causes Hepatitis A, B, and C. Later symptoms include:
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
After the disease becomes chronic, there may not be symptoms for years even if damage to the liver continues to occur.
If you are suffering or believe you may be suffering from Celiac Disease or any of the forms of Hepatitis, we can help you with your condition. Screening and diagnoses of these illnesses are paramount for quick treatment, early intervention, and symptom relief. Dr. Rieders, Dr. Reddy and Dr. Brandon Rieders here at GastroCare LI have years of experience helping patients with these conditions and can help you return to the happy and functioning life you deserve. If you have any questions or want to set up an appointment with one of our doctors, please contact us at [phone-number] today.