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Doctor insights on: How Does Celiac Disease Affect The Small Intestine

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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

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

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I am 54 woman with celiac disease and I'm about 20 pounds underweight. I also have a small polyp in the lining of my stomach called a stromal gist. What is that? I will have a 2nd scope with ultrasound in June. I am worried. Can you tell me what your op

I am 54 woman with celiac disease and I'm about 20 pounds underweight. I also have a small polyp in the lining of my stomach called a stromal gist. What is that? I will have a 2nd scope with ultrasound in June. I am worried. Can you tell me what your op

GIST: GI strongly tumor (GIST) should be removed when diagnosed, not observed with endoscopy except under rare circumstances. Ask about a consultation with a surgical oncologist. GIST's have variable malignant potential, an can only be properly evicted in the pathology lab. Things like tumor size, Motorola activity and a variety of pathology stains are needed. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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How does celiac disease affect the skin?

How does celiac disease affect the skin?

DH: Board Question? Dermatitis Herpetiformis. This appears as a group of itchy blisters, usually on the outside of arms and legs, that can look like herpes. Rarely it can be confused by eczema. Far more people have eczema, though. DH is diagnosed by direct immunofluorescence done via biopsy by a dermatologist. Other conditions can associate with DH as well. ...Read more

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What is the value of a gluten-free diet for people who don't have celiac disease?

What is the value of a gluten-free diet for people who don't have celiac disease?

Less leaky gut: Gluten tends to increase gut permeability, which is bad. It does this in everyone, not just those who are celiac. Wheat is also sprayed with round-up, and not eating it means less toxic exposure. ...Read more

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Gluten free diet. Is this a fad? Is there any point if you don't have celiac disease?

Gluten free diet. Is this a fad? Is there any point if you don't have celiac disease?

Food sensitivities: Some with GI distress feel better if they eliminate foods from their diet. Recently, the low-fodmaps diet is gaining traction for decreasing food hypersensitivity symptoms (these are not allergies!). Wheat based foods may be harder to digest, pull water into the gut, get fermented by bacteria and therefore increase gas in the gut. Stretch of the gut wall by fluids and gas cause GI symptoms. ...Read more

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Is a gluten free diet helpful even if you don't have celiac disease or any condition?

I don't see why: Following a gluten free diet is incredibly difficult and expensive. Obviously, if you are sensitive to gluten and it causes GI symptoms, you will benefit greatly. But there is no significant evidence that such a diet will help you lose weight, boost energy or be healthier. While giving up a lot of carbs (bread/pasta/cereal/pizza/beer) may help weight loss, you can do it with fewer restrictions. ...Read more

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Is a gluten-free diet a healthy alternative for someone that doesn't have celiac disease?

Is a gluten-free diet a healthy alternative for someone that doesn't have celiac disease?

Certainly but....: ... For children this is an unbelievably restricted diet. It is very difficult to sdhere to. In a study where parents were asked whether medicine or the diet was effective, where both would work, the choice by the parents was the medicine by a clear margin. ...Read more

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What happens if individuals who are suffering from celiac disease don't respond to gluten free diet?

What happens if individuals who are suffering from celiac disease don't respond to gluten free diet?

Recheck diagnosis: If a person with celiac disease does not get well on a gluten-free diet, his doctors can re-evaluate to see if he truly has celiac disease, if his diet is really completely gluten-free, or if he has a second problem causing the symptoms that were believed to be caused by celiac disease. ...Read more

Dr. Brad Goldenberg
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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