Stoneleigh Medical Group
Gastroenterology & Internal Medicine located in Carmel, NY, Brewster, NY, Pawling, NY, & Jefferson Valley, NY
Though celiac disease only affects about 1% of the population, a large percentage of people with the gastrointestinal condition don’t know they have it. Without the right diagnosis and treatment, celiac disease may permanently damage your gastrointestinal tract. Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology, with offices in Carmel, New York, has experts who diagnose and treat celiac disease. To schedule an appointment at the office most convenient to you, call or book online today.
Celiac Disease Q&A
What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine. When people with celiac disease eat foods that contain gluten — a protein naturally in wheat, barley, and rye — their immune system views the protein as a foreign invader and mistakenly attacks the lining of the small intestine.
Over time, the constant attack on your small intestine damages the tissue, affecting nutrient absorption, placing you at risk of malnutrition.
Though not common, many people with celiac disease live with the condition for years before getting an accurate diagnosis. You may be at risk of developing this chronic gastrointestinal condition if it runs in your family.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Symptoms of celiac disease vary, which is why so many people go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic diarrhea
- Gas and bloating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Foul-smelling stools
Though the condition affects the small intestine, some people with celiac disease have unrelated symptoms like joint pain, depression, brain fog, and muscle cramps.
Many of these symptoms are similar to other gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
If you have these symptoms and concerns about celiac disease, the experts at Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology can help.
How is celiac disease diagnosed?
When you visit Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology with concerns about celiac disease, your provider conducts an in-depth clinical exam to determine the right diagnosis.
Your provider reviews your symptoms, medical history, and family history and conducts a physical exam. To confirm or rule out celiac disease, they run a blood test and perform an upper endoscopy to take a biopsy of your small intestine.
How is celiac disease treated?
A gluten-free diet is the primary treatment for celiac disease. On the gluten-free diet, you avoid all foods, beverages, medications, supplements, and other products (e.g., toothpaste, mouthwash) that have gluten.
Your provider at Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology gives you detailed information about the diet, including what you can and can’t eat.
They may also recommend nutrition supplements to fix any nutrient deficiencies and refer you to a registered dietitian for a personalized nutrition care plan.
If you have any suspicion you may have celiac disease, schedule an appointment at Westchester Putnam Gastroenterology by phone or online today.