How to Diagnose Celiac Disease

Diagnosing celiac disease is a process that involves identifying the symptoms manifested by the sufferer and sometimes using tests to eliminate other types of disorders that also impact the ability of the gastrointestinal system to function properly. Toward that end, working closely with a trained physician to identify what is happening and choosing the right tests to narrow the possible causes of those symptoms is very important. With the right combination of testing and evaluating symptoms, the task of diagnosing celiac disease is made somewhat easier, and expedites the opportunity to begin administering treatment.


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    Know the usual celiac disease symptoms. As is true with many health issues, people suffering with celiac disease may experience different combinations of symptoms. Some of the most common include bloating, diarrhea and frequent pain in the abdomen. Other symptoms such as muscle cramps, pain in the joints and even tingling in the arms and the legs may be present. Stool that is unusually foul smelling and somewhat grayish in color is another potential sign that celiac disease is present.
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    Check your mood. One of the manifestations of celiac disease is the present of a great deal of irritability for no apparent reason. People suffering with this condition are also more susceptible to bouts with depression and even anxiety and panic attacks.
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    Get a blood test. Testing for celiac disease usually involves testing blood samples to determine if certain antibodies are present in elevated levels. People with this condition often find that certain substances such a gluten are recognized by the body's natural defenses as being invaders, prompting the additional production of antibodies to fight the threat.
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    Consider an endoscopy. This particular procedure can be used to harvest a small section of the small intestine. The process involves inserting the endoscope, in the form of a small tube down the throat and into the gastrointestinal tract. Once the tissue sample is harvested, the endoscope is removed and the tissue can be examined for signs that the disease is present.
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    Swallow a camera. Using a small camera to perform what is known as a capsule endoscopy, the patient swallows a capsule containing a small camera that can safely travel through the stomach and into the intestines. As the camera makes its way through the system, images are captured and wirelessly transmitted to a recording device that the patient wears on his or her waist or belt. The physician reviews the images and uses the collected data to determine if celiac disease is present, or if the evidence points to some other type of gastrointestinal disorder.


  • In addition to medication, the symptoms of celiac disease can also be lessened with diet. Minimizing or eliminating gluten from the diet can provide a great deal of relief. A doctor and dietician can aid in creating a diet plan that will make it possible to avoid foods that aggravate the condition while including foods that supply an equitable amount of nutrients each day.
  • While a serious medical condition, celiac disease can often be controlled and allow the sufferer to enjoy a relatively high quality of life.

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Categories: Autoimmune Diseases