How does celiac disease affect the small intestine - Doctor answers

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How does celiac disease affect the small intestine?

How does celiac disease affect the small intestine?

Food malabsorption: Celiac disease leads to inflammation and damage of the lining of the small intestine, which causes decreased absorption of nutrients, vitamins, iron, etc... The intestinal lining loses its microscopic "villi", which are tiny protrusions that maximize the absorptive surface area needed to absorb nutrients. A patient gets diarrhea, anemia, lactose intolerance, tummy aches, irritable bowels, etc... ...Read more

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Intestine (Definition)

The gastrointestinal tract starts at the mouth, travel down the tunnel (esophagus), which connects to the stomach, which then empties into the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum---the three parts of the small intestine (@25 feet). This empties into the colon or large intestine (about 5 feet), which then becomes the sigmoid colon, rectum and out the anus. So, every morsel eaten ...Read more


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I had a biopsy of my small intestine come back with elevated lymphocytes and all the blood came back negative for celiac disease. What r other reasons?

I had a biopsy of my small intestine come back with elevated lymphocytes and all the blood came back negative for celiac disease. What r other reasons?

Need more info: The hall mark of celiac disease is destruction of the lining of the intestine (mucosal atrophy). To give you a better idea about what is going on I would need a complete report of the biopsy and description of your symptoms. ...Read more

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I have celiac disease and am about 20 pounds underweight. I am gluten and dairy free but remain severly thin. Will my intestines heal at my age of 54?

I have celiac disease and am about 20 pounds underweight. I am gluten and dairy free but remain severly thin. Will my intestines heal at my age of 54?

Should: If you are truly gluten free & continue to have random IBSD episodes you may want further blood studies to look at cross reacting foods. The disorder is occasionally aggravated by food reactions that are not gluten. Items as diverse as Egg, coffee, cow milk may form IgA antibodies that may need to be eliminated from a diet for improvement to occur. A variety of labs like Cyrex (Phoenix) do these ...Read more

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Is there any relation between ibd and celiac disease? How is celiac diagnosed? (since I think colonoscopy is for large intestine only?)

Is there any relation between ibd and celiac disease? How is celiac diagnosed? (since I think colonoscopy is for large intestine only?)

Similar symptoms: Ibd and celiac disease have been reported together in some patients. Some patients with ibd have also reported a relapse in symptoms on gluten free diet, but a direct relationship has not been definitively established. Celiac disease is diagnosed with the combination of upper endoscopy, duodenum (small intestine) biopsy, and blood test for celiac antibodies. ...Read more

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Can celiac disease cause irritable bowel syndrome?

Can celiac disease cause irritable bowel syndrome?

Not likely: Celiacs occurs because of an allergic reaction to gluten. This reaction destroys the cells in your small intestine that absorb nutrients from your food. Ibs occurs when your digestive tract is not moving food along the way it should, giving you diarrhea, constipation or both. Celiacs may seem like ibs because they have similar symptoms. But one does not cause the other. ...Read more

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Can you please describe the differences in symptoms between irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease?

Can you please describe the differences in symptoms between irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease?

Very similar: Symptoms of ibs and celiac's disease are very similar. The diagnosis of ibs is a diagnosis of exclusion (ie the doctor has ruled out any other diseases that have similar symptoms). Consult with your doctor to determine if a celiac work-up might be appropriate if has not all ready been done. ...Read more

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After eating I get a bump in my lower left abdomen, shooting pains up my abdomen to my chest when I press on the bump. I do have celiac disease.

After eating I get a bump in my lower left abdomen, shooting pains up my abdomen to my chest when I press on the bump. I do have celiac disease.

Nonspecific: Any bump in the abdomen that can be pressed on, and goes away could represent a hernia. You didn't exactly describe that scenario however. Sounds like it may be worth seeing your primary care provider for a proper evaluation and exam. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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Do you recommend an anti -inflammatory for someone with celiac disease and no intestinal issues for 2 years for osteoarthritis of knee?

Do you recommend an anti -inflammatory for someone with celiac disease and no intestinal issues for 2 years for osteoarthritis of knee?

Normal: With controlled celiac disease the patient becomes otherwise essentially like everyone else. All meds have the same risks and benefits (except if they contain gluten, which some do) ...Read more

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When I have a bowel movement I see a sticky substance stuck to the bowl, it looks like fat. Could I celiac disease? I cannot eat gluten.

May be: You apparently have problems with constipation, because you are on lactulose and linzess, both of which can cause diarrhea. You don't mention why you don'[t tolerate gluten. First step, see a gastro-eneterologist and be evaluated for celiac. ...Read more

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Hard bump in center of abdomen. No food in 2 weeks. Not constipated taking laxatives. Celiac disease for 12 years. Pains in chest when I push on it?

Hard bump in center of abdomen. No food in 2 weeks. Not constipated taking laxatives. Celiac disease for 12 years. Pains in chest when I push on it?

See doctor now: No food for 2 weeks but why taking laxative without constipation? Your problem does not appear to be related to Celiac disease if you have been avoiding gluten. You need to be examined by your doctor ...Read more

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Is there an increased risk of STI infection for celiac disease sufferers who have anal sex? Worried about intestinal damage gluten caused over years

Is there an increased risk of STI infection for celiac disease sufferers who have anal sex? Worried about intestinal damage gluten caused over years

No: The gluten injury is somewhat higher up in the small intestines. While anyone can have colitis (inflamed colon tissue) from other sources that might make anal sex painful, celiac would not be the cause. STD transfer is tissue specific and relates to the mechanics of sex. Anal sex has an abrasive component with irritation of tissues making it easier to pass germs. ...Read more

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Would CT scan of chest abdomen and pelvis with contrast help diagnosis of celiac disease?

Would CT scan of chest abdomen and pelvis with contrast help diagnosis of celiac disease?

Doubt it: If any irregularities in the intestinal wall were found, it would be just that, irregularities. Their presence would suggest a problem but the overlap with other possible conditions would make the information inconclusive. A normal study would also not rule out the condition. ...Read more

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I've been experiencing on and off bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Also intestinal cramps. Family history of celiac disease. E.R MD thinks Gerd?

I've been experiencing on and off bouts of constipation and diarrhea. Also intestinal cramps. Family history of celiac disease. E.R MD thinks Gerd?

Many possibilities.: GERD doesn't explain it. Constipation can though. Sometimes if you are constipated you get so backed up that eventually it comes out forcefully and fast (i.e. like diarrhea). If you stay regular it could go away (prune or pear juice, senna, docusate, miralax (polyethylene glycol) -- all over the counter). Take even if you start going to make sure it doesn't build up again. ...Read more

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I have some swollen lymph nodes in my abdomen (1.8x0.9) and one prepancreatic lymph node (1.4x1.1) a fatty liver and a ca19-9 level 46. No symptoms. Cea, Ceruplasmin, Ana, atrf, celiac disease neg.

I have some swollen lymph nodes in my abdomen (1.8x0.9) and one prepancreatic lymph node (1.4x1.1) a fatty liver and a ca19-9 level 46. No symptoms. Cea, Ceruplasmin, Ana, atrf, celiac disease neg.

A few ideas: Urine copper is a better way to rule out Wilson's. I trust hepatitis C was also negative. I'm not worried in the least about your lymph nodes; we see nodes like these all the time in healthy folks. Trusting you don't drink. Your fatty liver may just be your body's way of asking for a return to that fitness-focused lifestyle from your teens. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Why does gluten cause some people abdomen discomfort when the blood work for celiacs disease was negative?

Why does gluten cause some people abdomen discomfort when the blood work for celiacs disease was negative?

Variable: This question is difficult to answer because it really depends on what is being eaten.

In general some people "respond" to limiting gluten despite not having the disease because they are now paying attention to food labels. Gluten containing foods tend to be highly refined or processed. So by avoiding these one is eating more real food. ...Read more

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Can symptoms from Celiac disease that cause small fiber neuropathy be improve?

Can symptoms from Celiac disease that cause small fiber neuropathy be improve?

Sure: First, work closely with your doctor to develop a gluten free diet and control gastro-intestinal symptoms. Secondly, start a medical food, MetanX or a generic equivalent and take twice daily. Will help regrow small fibres over 9-10 months, and should result in less symptoms in feet and legs. Pain can be controlled by Lyrica (pregabalin) or Cymbalta. ...Read more

Dr. Lois Freisleben-Cook
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Small Intestine (Definition)

The small intestine is the intestinal tract that lies between the stomach and the colon. It is involved in digesting and absorbing most of the nutrients we need ...Read more


Bowel (Definition)

The bowel is the intestinal tract in the body. The small intestine ...Read more