Gastrointestinal Diseases

Celiac Disease

It is a chronic digestive disorder that damages the small intestine, which causes the immune system to respond abnormally to the protein "gluten" (a protein found naturally in wheat and barley, which is common in bread, pasta, biscuits, and cakes), which leads to damage to the innermost lining of small intestine. Many products contain gluten (such as: packaged foods, lip balms, lipsticks, toothpastes, vitamins, dietary supplements, and rarely medicines)

In the small intestine, food and nutrients are absorbed, but in the case of celiacs, damage to the innermost lining of small intestine can make it difficult to absorb nutrients (malabsorption). The cause of this condition is not yet known, but environmental and genetic factors may play a role in its occurrence.

Symptoms vary from person to another, with some affected people experiencing:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Chronic diarrhea.
  • Uncomfortable intestine movements.
  • Weight loss.
  • Feeling bloated (gaseous distention) or gas-full all the time.
  • Anorexia.

Symptoms vary in children, as their inability to absorb nutrients at a time when it is so important for normal growth and development can lead to:

  • Permanent dental attrition
  • Delayed puberty.
  • Growth retardation (infant or child weighs less or gains less weight than expected).
  • Mood changes or feeling upset.
  • Slow growth and short length.
  • Weight Loss.

Some Celiac sufferers experience symptoms that affect other parts of the body:

  • Dermatitis is a severe itchy rash with sores on the elbows, knees, buttocks, back, or scalp.
  • Feeling stressed or tired.
  • Joint or bone pain.
  • Psychological problems such as depression or anxiety.
  • Neurological problems (such as headaches, balance problems, seizures, or peripheral neuropathy).
  • Reproductive problems in females that may include infertility, delayed onset of menstrual periods, or recurrent miscarriage.
  • Ulcers or dry mouth.


  • Small intestines have multiple ulcers that do not heal.
  • Lymphoma.
  • Dermatological diseases.

The basic treatment is a gluten-free diet for life, as small amounts of it can worsen the disease, so consult a dietitian to learn how to eat a gluten-free diet, which foods to avoid, which foods to add to a nutritionally balanced diet.

Tips for those with Celiac disease:

  • Avoid foods that contain wheat, barley, and oats.
  • Pay attention to gluten-free food labels.
  • Choose gluten-free foods naturally (such as rice, corn, potatoes, cereals, meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables without additives or some spices).
  • Choose gluten-free nuts and seeds, especially roasted ones.
  • Choose low-lactose or lactose-free dairy products.
  • Choose gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives (e.g., soybeans or walnuts rich in calcium and vitamins).
  • Know what foods, medicines, dietary supplements, and oral care products contain gluten and what alternatives are available.
  • When dining out, a gluten-free menu or ingredient substitutes can be offered.
  • Avoid eating foods when you are not sure if they contain or not gluten.
  • Store and prepare gluten-free foods separately from other family members' gluten-containing foods.
  • At social events, it is best to bring gluten-free foods to eat safely.

Last Update : 23 August 2023 01:58 PM
Reading times :