Digestive Disorders

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Celiac Disease - Under-diagnosed And Misdiagnosed

Written by Ganiggle
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The final diagnosis of celiac disease can be difficult to come to. This is often because the symptoms of celiac disease are often very similar to the symptoms of other diseases. Symptoms are generally different depending on age. Children often experience digestive symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, weight loss, and constipation. Adults may develop a wide variety of symptoms such as missed menstrual periods, seizures, bone loss or osteoporosis, bone or joint pain, and even numbness or tingling in the hands and feet.

Many doctors and pharmacists are unfamiliar with celiac disease simply because it is not and can not be treated with medications. Other doctors have a belief that celiac disease only occurs in children which is not the case. This disease occurs in both children and adults, and the only way to treat celiac disease is by following a diet completely free from gluten. Doctors are also often unfamiliar with the diagnostic tests available for celiac disease. It is normally a simple blood test that must be done to check for a certain antibody in the blood which appears in a celiac patient after ingesting gluten. If the antibodies are present, there is a follow up intestinal biopsy done to confirm.

Recent screening shows that approximately 1 in every 133 people has celiac disease in the united states. Many people may never know that they have it, and may never be diagnosed properly. Many people who are diagnosed with celiac disease, get to that diagnosis because they have done the research themselves. Unless the patient mentions a family history of celiac, oftentimes the doctor wont think of it. It's a sad truth, but many doctors just are not aware of the condition the way they should be.


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