This May, Carolina Digestive Health Associates is working with both new and existing patients to bring attention and understanding to a common disease that affects millions – Celiac Disease. May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month, so it is important that we work with our patients to dispel common myths surrounding Celiac Disease and create an understanding about what exactly it is and how it can be treated.

What Is Celiac?

Gluten sensitivities and allergies are often viewed as the newest dietary trend. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, is seemingly everywhere. While there is certainly some validity to people suffering from gluten intolerance, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that  results in a damaged small intestine, leading to a lifetime of disease management. It’s something you are predisposed to that can be triggered by external or internal factors.

When Should You Visit A Doctor?

Symptoms vary from patient to patient, so you may experience something that another does not, or to a different degree, so it can be difficult to pinpoint when to seek a diagnosis. Celiac can be diagnosed through blood tests or endoscopic examination. The most common symptoms that people with Celiac experience are abdominal pain and bloating, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel, anemia, joint pain and weakness, or weight loss. If you are suffering from any combination of the above described symptoms, contact Carolina Digestive Health Associates today to start working toward an answer and treatment.

If you’re visiting a doctor seeking a cure for Celiac, there is some bad news – there is no actual cure. Our doctors can, however, help you learn how to manage your illness and lessen your symptoms to help create a better quality of life. Celiac is most commonly managed through a gluten free diet. When gluten is avoided, your small intestine can heal, leading to fewer problems with inflammation in the future. It may take some getting used to, but with your doctor’s advice and guidance, you can find yourself feeling better with the right lifestyle adjustments.