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Celiac Disease Pt. 2

Jul 21, 2023

Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. Jess Brantner, MS, director of Nutrition Services at United Hospital Center, talks about what bringing awareness to celiac disease.

1). Who is more likely to develop celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disease, but it can only occur in people who have certain genes. You are more likely to develop celiac disease if someone in your family has the disease.

Celiac disease affects children and adults in all parts of the world. In the United States, the disease is more common among white Americans than among other racial or ethnic groups. A celiac disease diagnosis is more common in females than in males.

The disease is more common in people who have certain chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, and Williams syndrome.

2). What other health problems do people with this disease encounter?

Experts have found that some people have both celiac disease and other disorders related to the immune system.

These disorders might involve:

  • type 1 diabetes
  • thyroid diseases, such as Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, Addison’s disease, and primary hyperparathyroidism
  • selective immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency, a condition in which your body makes little or no IgA, an antibody that fights infections
  • rheumatic diseases, such as Sjögren’s syndrome
  • liver diseases, such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and primary biliary cholangitis

3). What are the complications of celiac disease?

Well, long-term complications of celiac disease can include:

  • accelerated osteoporosis or bone softening, known as osteomalacia
  • anemia
  • malnutrition, a condition in which you don’t get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need to be healthy
  • nervous system problems
  • problems related to the reproductive system

However, there are some rare complications such as:

  • adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer of the small intestine
  • liver damage, which may lead to cirrhosis or liver failure
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma

In rare cases, you may continue to have trouble absorbing nutrients even though you have been following a strict gluten-free diet. If you have this condition, called refractory celiac disease, your small intestine is severely damaged and can’t heal. You may need to receive intravenous (IV) nutrients and specialized treatment.

This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.

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