Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that interferes with the body’s ability to digest gluten. Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley and rye. It is an abnormal immune reaction to gluten and a disease of malabsorption. Currently 3 million Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease. However, there are estimates that an additional 2.5 million more are affected but have not yet received a diagnosis.
Symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly amongst individuals. Digestive symptoms are more common in young children and may include chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal pain and bloating and weight loss. In adults, the following symptoms are more likely: iron deficiency anemia, fatigue, bone or joint pain, depression, anxiety, dermatitis herpetiformis and canker sores. Some patients with celiac disease have no symptoms. Even if no symptoms are present, long-term complications include liver disease, malnutrition and cancers of the intestine. Treatment for celiac disease involves eliminating all gluten from the diet. This is a lifetime requirement.
Dr. Anne Hermann, a holistic internal medicine physician, offers celiac and food sensitivity testing to her patients. Offices are maintained in Tampa and Saint Petersburg Beach, Florida. Please contact the office at 813-902-9559 for more information or to schedule an appointment.