Celiac disease is a genetic disorder that affects your digestive system and damages your small intestines. If you have celiac disease, your body is sensitive to gluten and your immune system reacts abnormally to foods you eat that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found in foods and products that contain certain grains, such as wheat, oats, barley and rye.
The symptoms of celiac disease vary among individuals and depend on the amount of gluten a person consumes. A rash made of bumps and blisters occurs as one of the first symptoms of celiac disease. It is distinguished from the other skin conditions by the extreme itching that accompanies the rash and it usually continues for a long period. Symptoms can affect the digestive tract as well as other parts of the body, such as elbows and knees. Other common symptoms include excessive gas, abdominal bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue. Some people who have celiac disease may have no symptoms.
According to the National Institutes of Health, more than two million people in the United States are affected by celiac disease. It commonly runs in families and in populations with other autoimmune diseases and genetic disorders. The disease can develop at any point in life, from infancy to late adulthood.
Most people with celiac disease who follow a gluten-free diet experience an improvement in symptoms.
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If you have any further questions feel free to contact Houston OBGYN Dr. Lisa Otey for more information or an appointment.
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