Celiac Disease: Causes & Symptoms

Celiac disease, or gluten-intolerance, is a disease that causes the body to react negatively to the ingestion of gluten. It can result in a wide range of symptoms including digestive issues, irritability, depression, and a “celiac disease skin rash” more formally known as dermatitis herpetiformis.

It’s a serious condition and seems to be more rampant than ever. The uptick in diagnoses has caused restaurants everywhere to offer gluten-free options, and even those who do not have celiac are opting for gluten-free foods.

First, what causes celiac disease?

The disease is passed on genetically and affects roughly 1 in every 130 people. When someone with the affliction ingests gluten, the immune system responds by attacking the small intestine, most particularly, the villi. The villi are small, hair-like features that are responsible for nutrient absorption. This results in abdominal pain, nutrient deficiencies, and a litany of other symptoms.

How is celiac disease diagnosed?

A blood test is the first step to diagnose celiac disease. A medical professional will extract a small amount of blood using a needle and process the sample in a lab to test for the results.

In the event that the blood test is positive, it you’ll have to opt for a more invasive procedure to receive an accurate diagnosis. 

An endoscopic biopsy is a procedure in which a small piece of tissue from the small intestine is extracted as part of an out-patient surgery. The process is completed by a gastroenterologist and is done by inserting a tube down the esophagus and through the stomach into the small intestine. A few small pieces of tissue are removed and will be analyzed under a microscope.

A doctor inspects a sample underneath a microscope.

What’s the typical Celiac disease diagnosis age?

The age at which people typically get diagnosed can vary wildly. This depends on the intensity of the symptoms, as well as the age when symptoms first arrive. There is no definitive age of onset for celiac disease, and symptoms may first show up anywhere from childhood to old age. Those with milder symptoms may go most of their life without realizing that they suffer from a mild form of the disease. Those with more aggressive symptoms typically seek medical help and get diagnosed earlier on.

Celiac Disease Symptoms In Adults

The most common symptoms of gluten intolerance in adults are nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, stomach aches, and bloating.

Celiac Disease Symptoms In Children

While children experience many of the same effects as adults, they are also at risk of having a delayed onset of puberty and increased irritability.

Keeping A Gluten-Free Diet

If you are like the 3 million Americans that suffer from gluten intolerance, and need help maintaining a gluten-free diet, consider adding Modern Oats to your gluten-free diet plan. Apart from being a delicious certified gluten-free oatmeal, they are certified vegan and certified kosher making them perfect for those with dietary restrictions. We source our oats from small farms right here in the U.S.A. and take pride in our quality.

We keep a list of recipes you can make using our oats right here.