Celiac disease also known as Celiac Sprue dermatitis, and celiac sprue is an autoimmune disease of the digestive system that prevents the absorption of nutrients from food. The disease is related to an allergic reaction to gluten, a protein in many grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and some oats. In the United States, celiac disease affects about 1 in every 5,000 people. The condition is very rare in Africa and Asia.
How Does Celiac Disease Develop?
In celiac disease, the lining of the small intestine is damaged so that food cannot be absorbed properly. This occurs as the result of an abnormal immune response in which antibodies against gluten are produced. The resulting malabsorption leads to a deficiency of many nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that are vital for good health.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Celiac disease may begin at any age. In infants, no symptoms appear until foods containing gluten are first consumed. Celiac disease often doesn’t cause diarrhea or fatty stools, and a child may have only mild symptoms, which may be interpreted simply as an upset stomach. Anemia can develop from iron deficiency and if the level of protein in the blood falls low enough, the child will retain fluid and tissues may swell.
Symptoms don’t appear until adulthood in many sufferers. These symptoms include weight loss, bone pain, and “pins and needles” sensations in the arms and legs. Some people who develop the disease in childhood may have bowed long bones. Depending on the severity of the disorder, the person may have low blood levels of protein, calcium, potassium, or sodium.
Treatment for Celiac Disese
Conventional treatment for celiac disease may help relieve the symptoms of celiac disease but they do not address the root of the problem. Generally, by undergoing comprehensive natural medicine testing, the root cause for the body’s production of antibodies against itself can be found. Some of these reasons include sensitivities or allergies to foods, environmental toxicity, and various infections.
At Sunridge Medical, our highly-trained physicians are experts in providing an integrated approach to the treatment of cancer and chronic disease. Our treatment plans are individualized, and involve both traditional and alternative medicines.
The physicians at Sunridge Medical have found that symptoms frequently can be improved and even reversed with our natural treatments. We take a holistic approach to patient care and strive not only treat the disease, but also alleviate symptoms, increase quality of life and, most importantly, address the underlying cause of disease.
Celiac sprue is an elusive diagnosis, and often its only clue is the presence of iron or folate deficiency anemia or extraintestinal manifestations, such as osteoporosis, infertility, and neurological disturbances. The challenge for gastroenterologists and other physicians is to identify the large population of undiagnosed patients that probably exists in the community and offer them treatment with a gluten-free diet that will restore the great majority to full health and prevent the development of complications.
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