Tag Archives: Celiac Disease

What is the difference between Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity or Wheat Allergy?

There is a lot of confusion about gluten-caused diseases vs. gluten-caused allergies. Today, many grocery stores and restaurants provide many gluten-free choices for people who suffer from gluten-induced health issues. Gluten is a protein naturally found in wheat, barley, rye, and other hybrids and products made from these grains. In recent years, people have identified several common issues for specific individuals that may be linked to gluten, and they have taken steps to remove it from their diet. Some common issues include:

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease (CD) is a genetic, autoimmune disorder that is a reaction to taking in gluten. To develop the disease, a person must inherit the genetic predisposition. The gastrointestinal symptoms include cramping, diarrhea, and constipation. Other parts of the body can suffer, too. Patients have documented a list of over 200 symptoms that include bone and joint pain, headaches, fatigue, rashes, behavioral changes, and anemia, to the even more severe and extreme reactions that include stunted growth and infertility.

Since there is a genetic component to CD, family members and relatives often have it. It is estimated that about 1% of the population are prone to having it, but only 17% of that population have even been diagnosed with it. The only true treatment is to maintain a gluten-free diet. Research is being conducted to find other possible treatments or medications, but currently, nothing is better than just refraining from any and all gluten.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), also known as gluten sensitivity (GS) or non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) is not well defined, but it is not an autoimmune reaction nor is it immunoglobulin-based. There currently is no tests or biomarkers to identify NCGS, and it is not well understood. It isn’t even clear if the gluten parts of the grain are actually causing any symptoms. Figuring out if you have this is by elimination, ruling out that you have CD or wheat allergies or anything else. Then, if improvement is seen by stopping all gluten, and only then, can gluten sensitivity be diagnosed. Staying away from gluten is the only treatment.

Wheat Allergy

Wheat allergy is an immune reaction to any form of the hundreds of forms of proteins contained in wheat. Just like being allergic to seafood, for example. When you eat wheat, your white blood cells attack the wheat, and the body is alerted that it is under attack. Symptoms can happen within minutes or hours and range from tingling/itching of the face, feet, or hands; swelling of the eyes, lips, or tongue; difficulty in breathing; nausea; abdominal pain; and more. It is possible to have a combination of CD and NCGS, plus a wheat allergy. In the United States, wheat is one of the eight most common allergies. Children sometimes outgrow the allergy, but if it kicks in during adulthood, it is usually a lifelong allergy. The only real treatment is to stay wheat-free.

Contact the GastroCare LI Professionals Today

Working closely with your doctor and a registered dietitian will help you get a diagnosis and design a lifestyle and diet that helps support your health and wellness. If you are suffering from symptoms of celiac disease or have other pain or discomfort, contact us today. Dr. Rieders, Dr. Reddy and Dr. Brandon Rieders of GastroCare LI have made their life’s work in helping those suffering from issues just like these and we are ready to help you. Call us today so you can start feeling better. Call us at (516) 265-7049 or schedule a confidential appointment with us online.

May is Celiac and Hepatitis Awareness Month!

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:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • 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.

Contact Us

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.