August 11, 2022
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. This means that the body itself generates antibodies that attack different organs when exposed to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, oats contaminated with gluten and its derivatives, this reaction of the body damages especially the small intestine , altering the absorption of some nutrients, vitamins and minerals. On this occasion, Dr. Javier Silva Balarezo, gastroenterologist at Clinica Ricardo Palma, will give us more information on the subject.
The most common symptoms are:
However, there are other symptoms not related to the digestive system, such as:
To diagnose celiac disease, a blood test is performed, which will determine if there are elevated antibodies against gluten, then the specialist will perform an endoscopy to take a biopsy of the duodenum.
The widespread and almost universal appearance of celiac disease is usually generated in those people who have a genetic predisposition associated with overexposure to gluten found in food, with a prevalence of 1% in the world population and up to a 10-15% in related relatives who have already been diagnosed.
If not properly treated, this disease can cause the following complications:
The main treatment is a gluten-free diet for life, which leads to a significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life, which is why you have to be sure of the diagnosis. In very severe cases, corticosteroids and other medications are used.
Dr. Javier Silva Balarezo
Gastroenterologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma