Celiac Sprue (nontropical)

Celiac Sprue disease: Celiac disease is an intestinal disorder in which the body cannot tolerate gluten. Gluten is a natural protein in many grains, including wheat, barley, rye and oats. Most people can eat gluten without a problem. People with celiac disease have an immune reaction that is triggered by gluten. This immune reaction causes inflammation at the surface of the small intestine where it damages the villi and microvilli. The villi and microvilli are fingerlike protrusions of the intestine and are needed in order for proper digestion. When these are damaged the intestine can’t absorb the nutrients and one may become malnourished.
People with this disease must consume gluten-free foods.

source: http://www.aarda.org/patient_information.php
Celiac_sprue.jpg This is a photo of an intestine of a person with Celiac Sprue.


Above is a photo of healthy and damaged villi. Left side=healthy, right side=damaged

The exact cause of Celiac disease is unknown. Scientists aren’t sure why the gluten destroys the villi in the intestinal lining in people with Celiac disease.
  • The disease can form at any point in life, from infancy to late adulthood.
  • A person with a family history of Celiac disease is more likely to develop the disease.
source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000233.htm

Symptoms vary from person to person because the disease can show up at any time in a person’s life.
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal distention, bloating, gas, indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite (may also be increased or unchanged)
  • Diarrhea, chronic or occasional
  • Lactose intolerance (common upon diagnosis, usually goes away following treatment)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stools that float, are foul smelling, bloody, or “fatty”
  • Unexplained weight loss

    There are also very many nonintestinal related symptoms such as:
  • Anemia (low blood count)
  • Bone and joint pain
  • Bone disease (osteoporosis, kyphoscoliosis, fracture)
  • Breathlessness (due to anemia)
  • Bruising easily
  • Dental enamel defects and discoloration
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Growth delay in children
  • Hair loss
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Irritability and behavioral changes
  • Malnutrition
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nosebleed
  • Seizures
  • Short stature, unexplained
  • Skin disorders (dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Swelling, general or abdominal
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiency, single or multiple nutrient (for example, iron, folate, vitamin K)

source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000233.htm

Tests and Diagnosis (When it is found)
Celiac disease may be diagnosed by observing symptoms of an infant after he or she consumes cereals. Most often, Celiac disease is found during the second year of life.
Some tests used to see if one has Celiac disease are:

v Blood tests: test may show impaired levels of carbohydrate absorption
v Stool sample: test for excessive amounts of fats in the stool
v Barium enema x-ray: check for increased intestinal secretion
v Biopsy of small intestine: check for abnormal surface of small intestine

There is no way to prevent this disease. Genetic testing might be helpful for it is an inherited disease, but scientists are unsure how it is inherited. It is not a contagious disease. Gluten-free food will need to be consumed to rid of bad effects.

source: http://www.healthopedia.com/celiac-disease/diagnosis.html