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Celiac Disease: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Celiac disease is a hereditary and autoimmune disorder occurring in humans where usually the small intestine is affected that occurs in genetically predisposed people. When people suffering from this problem consume a protein called gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye), their body mounts an immune response to attack the small intestine. Such attacks tend to damage the villi (small finger like projections along the wall of the small intestine) that are involved in absorption of nutrients. When the villi get damaged, absorption of nutrition is hampered within the human body.

There are various symptoms of celiac disease and they include chronic diarrhoea, mal-absorption of nutrients (giving rise to nutrition deficiency problems like anaemia), loss of appetite, abnormal growth in children, late puberty, pregnancy complications, certain skin diseases, smaller and under-active spleen, abnormal liver functioning and abdominal distension. Mouth ulcers, Gastrointestinal problems, diabetes mellitus type1 and thyroiditis are also linked with celiac disease, which may occur if the problem is not treated with care or mal-handled.

Celiac disease can be diagnosed by several blood tests, endoscopy and other pathological tests. Once it is confirmed that a person is suffering from this disease, the treatment should begin. The most important treatment is prevention of further gluten into the diet. No medicines exist to prevent celiac disease completely. Therefore, the subtraction of gluten from the diet is strictly recommended. As soon as the diet is restricted, the intestine starts healing, and the problems related to the celiac disease start disappearing gradually from the body. The diet may seem to be burdensome, but this should be followed without failure till complete results are achieved.

How is the treatment done?

The treatment for curing celiac disease is related to strict gluten free diet. The most important fact is that a dietician should be there to assist the affected person to know well about the nutrition contained in various food items, so that the person knows which food has gluten in it, and which doesn’t. Otherwise, the person might be unaware of the foods which he/she must avoid in order to stay healthy. It is recommended for people suffering from celiac diseases to eat gluten-free food available in the market. People are mainly advised to avoid wheat or barley and rather consume rice and oat products.

If a person is suffering from the diseases that are related to celiac disease like diabetes, gastric or ulcer and thyroid, then he/she can be treated with proper medications. If a person is suffering from diabetes mellitus type1 that can happen due to celiac disease, then the affected person has to take insulin throughout his/her lifetime. In case of thyroiditis, immediate hormone replacement should be done to treat this problem. This prevents hypothyroidism and/or prevents further growth of the size of the gland. Steroids and anti-fungal drugs can be taken to cure the mouth ulcer caused due to celiac disease. Gastric ulcer is a problem, which may arise due to celiac disease. This can be cured by proper restrictions regarding food intake, eating light meals at regular intervals, proper medication and so on.

Therefore, to prevent celiac disease, the most important form of treatment is restricting the patient’s diet as strictly as possible. In case, if the probable problems which can occur if celiac disease is neglected or untreated for a long time, are found to occur, then those diseases should be treated properly along with the treatment of celiac disease.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

The celiac disease is a problem which is related to genes, i.e. it is a hereditary disease. This is a disease which is present in a person once he/she is born. Also, this disease if left unattended for a long time can increase its effect causing other problems like gastric ulcer, thyroiditis and others. Therefore, any person, irrespective of age barrier is eligible for this treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A person who is not suffering from celiac disease, or whose intestine is functioning perfectly is not eligible to take this treatment.

Are there any side effects?

Celiac disease is a problem which does not need a very costly treatment process, as this can alone be treated by proper diet. If the diet is maintained strictly by a victim, then he or she can be cured very soon. This treatment regarding diet does not have any side effect as such. If a person starts suffering from other complications due to the presence of celiac disease in his or her body, and the person in under the influence of steroids, then he or she can have certain side effects in the body. The side effects that can occur due to steroid intake are kidney problems, liver problems, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, presence of feminine traits in men and masculine traits in women and others.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

There are no such post treatment guidelines for celiac disease. Since it is a genetic disease, the person has to take care of it throughout his/her life. The person has to avoid the food items containing gluten like wheat, barley and rye and all products that are made out of these grains. So such persons can take food like rice and oat products to keep his or her intestine in good condition and to keep the body healthy so as to prevent further diseases from occurring. To be precise, there are no specific post treatment guidelines, but a check on the food intake should be strictly followed as long as the affected person lives, in order to stay healthy.

How long does it take to recover?

If a person is affected with this disease, a person might require 4 to 5 months to recover. But others my take more than 15 months to recover. However, the check regarding the food intake of such patients cannot be avoided.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The treatment of celiac disease involves gluten free food consumption, which can cost within Rs. 600 to Rs. 13000. Generally the gluten free food is made separately for such patients and can cost somewhat higher than normal food.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of treatment in case of this disease are not permanent. People who are suffering from celiac disease should keep in mind that this is a hereditary disease and therefore can come back to them in certain instances. So, regular check-ups and tests are recommended to assure the status of the disease within the body.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are no alternatives to the treatment of this disease. The only possible treatment to keep this disease under control is to follow a strict diet. No medicines have been discovered till now to cure this disease completely.

Safety: Disease Effectiveness: High Timeliness: High Relative Risk: Medium Side Effects: Very Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs. 600 - Rs. 13,000

Popular Health Tips

Lactose Intolerance & Age - Understanding The Relation!

MD - Medicine, DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Gurgaon
Lactose Intolerance & Age - Understanding The Relation!

Doctors keep learning from research conducted on different types of diseases and their treatments. In the case of lactose tolerance, the conventional wisdom has been that the condition may actually start setting in by the time the baby turns 2 years, but it may not manifest itself till the child reaches adulthood. However, later research has revealed that not only does lactose intolerance occur as one ages, but there are other considerations besides the age of the person, which determine lactose intolerance and its intensity.

Production of LactaseThere is no difference of opinion that the basic cause of this condition is directly related to the production of an enzyme, lactase within the body. This enzyme is produced in the small intestine, and once its production tapers off or stops completely, lactose intolerance surfaces. Lactose intolerance refers to the manner in which the body reacts to the consumption of milk and some foods made with milk. Chemically, milk is described as a combination of one portion galactose and one portion glucose. When milk is consumed, these two are broken down with the help of the lactase enzyme.

Age Does Matter: When researchers started studying cases of lactose intolerance reported at different locations or parts of the world, the patterns that emerged showed a slightly different picture. It is true that the age of the person diagnosed with lactose intolerance does matter. As mentioned, it can start in kids as young as 2 years, but definitely, many symptoms may appear only later in the adolescence period. But some people may develop the condition much later. This means, they might not have faced lactose intolerance to begin with, but as they grow older, their body’s ability to produce lactase may dwindle and even disappear and that is when the condition could be noticed and if left untreated, it can become serious too.

Other Factors Relating to Lactose Intolerance: While remaining with the same conviction that age is in important factor in the onset of lactose intolerance, there are other significant indicators which have relation to the genetic composition of the person. For example, in a mixed race population or country such as the US, among whites, the condition may not occur before 5 years of age, while among African-Americans, it occurs by the age of 2 years. Among the Asian population also the occurrence of lactose intolerance is very common, whereas in some European races, the condition is rarely noticed.

How to Manage with the Condition?
It can be easily diagnosed by Lactose Hydrogen breath test (LHBT). If you have already been diagnosed with lactose intolerance, there is not much you can do to improve or induce lactase secretion. The only way is to avoid milk. But there are some products such as butter and some specific types of cheese that can be consumed. Many manufacturers mark the packaging of their products to indicate if they can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2822 people found this helpful

Celiac Disease - Signs You Are Suffering From It!

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine , DM - Gastroenterology
Gastroenterologist, Bangalore
Celiac Disease - Signs You Are Suffering From It!

Also called gluten-sensitive enteropathy and celiac sprue, celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder, wherein the consumption of gluten-based foods leads to damage of the tissues that line the small intestine. This hinders the ability of your body to absorb the essential nutrients from the foods you eat.

Under normal conditions, the immune system of the body offers protection against external intruders. When individuals diagnosed with celiac disease consume gluten-based foods, gluten resistant antibodies are formed by the immune system. This causes them to attack the linings around the intestines, thus causing irritation in the digestive tract and harming the villi (hair-like structures on the covering of the small intestine which absorb nutrients from the food). This impairs the nutrient absorbing capacity of the individual, thus increasing chances of malnourishment.

Celiac disease has symptoms that vary from patient to patient. Some of the common symptoms include:

  1. A severe skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis.
  2. Digestive problems such as:
  3. Musculoskeletal problems such as bone and joint pain as well as muscle cramps
  4. Seizures
  5. Aphthous ulcers which are basically sores occurring in the mouth
  6. Tingling sensation in the legs which are caused by low calcium and nerve damage
  7. Growth issues in children since they cannot absorb the required amount of nutrients
  8. Irregular menstrual cycles

Other complications associated with celiac disease

  1. Miscarriage or Infertility
  2. Osteoporosis: This is a disease which weakens the bones and causes fractures. It is caused because of a deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium.
  3. Intestinal Cancer
  4. Other birth defects: Such as irregular spinal shape because of the deficiency of certain nutrients, especially folic acid. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gastroenterologist.
3086 people found this helpful

4 Most Common Food Allergies

Diploma In Allergy & Clinical Immunology, MBBS, MD - Paediatrics, M.Med - Family Medicine
Allergist/Immunologist, Kochi
4 Most Common Food Allergies

Every year, the emergency rooms at hospitals get flooded by cases of allergic reactions from food. According to a census, about 15 million Indians suffer from some kind of food allergy. The symptoms of food allergy may vary from itchy mouth to potentially fatal conditions like anaphylactic shock. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction can present themselves as difficulty in breathing, swelling of the tongue, rashes and intestinal discomfort.

According to specialists, allergies to food can develop at any age, at any time. Hence, if you suspect a sudden allergic reaction to a food that you have consumed before without any problem, it is advised to consult a doctor.

Here is a list of the most common food allergies that people suffer from frequently-

  1. MILK: Milk is the most common food that children and infants are allergic to. Milk allergy must not be confused with lactose intolerance wherein a person faces many difficulties in digesting the sugar present in milk. The two conditions are not related. Milk allergy is the hypersensitivity reaction that happens in response to certain proteins present in milk and can be potentially deadly. Most children are seen to outgrow their allergy to milk.
  2. WHEATIt is a common misconception to confuse Celiac’s disease with a wheat allergy. Wheat allergy exclusively occurs due to the hypersensitivity to the protein present in wheat alone. In Celiac’s disease, it is the gluten in the food they are hypersensitive to, which is also present in rye, barley and oats.
  3. SOY: Soy is a very common allergic food and most children seem to outgrow it by the age of 10. Most of the time, soy allergy is not too severe and the symptoms presented are mostly mild. Although, cases of anaphylaxis in reaction to soy have been reported. Soy and soy protein are very common ingredients found in food, hence it is advised to check the ingredients present before consuming it.
  4. SHELLFISH: This allergy usually does not go away and you are most likely to deal with all your life. Most people who experience allergies from shellfish are most likely to be hypersensitive to both crustaceans (lobsters, shrimps and crabs) and mollusks (mussels, oysters, scallops and clams). This type of allergy can become very intense and you must even avoid the steam produced from cooking shellfish. For some people, the mere contact with shellfish can trigger an allergic reaction  
2734 people found this helpful

Lactose Intolerance - How to Deal With It?

MBBS, Diploma In Child Health
Pediatrician, Hyderabad
Lactose Intolerance -  How to Deal With It?

People suffering from lactose intolerance find it difficult to digest the lactose or sugar in milk, which results in gas, bloating or even diarrhea. An inadequacy of an enzyme called lactase, produced in the small intestine, is the root of lactose intolerance, a condition also known as lactose malabsorption.

How to deal with lactose intolerance in your child?

  1. Cutting out on dairy products does not mean you would be deprived of sufficient amount of calcium. Find alternate sources of calcium in your food apart from dairy products, for instance, spinach, rhubarb, pinto beans oranges, milk substitutes such as rice milk or soy milk, canned salmon, juices, breads and broccoli. Do give your child foods rich in vitamin D such as liver, eggs and yogurt. Asking your child to spend some time out in the sun can be a great idea in this regard, as well. Your physician will prescribe you with calcium and vitamin D supplements.
  2. Limit your child’s intake of dairy products. Opt for small servings of milk so as to reduce the chances of gastrointestinal troubles. Your child should consume milk with other foods to delay the digestive process. Try out a variety of dairy products as not all of them possess the same amount of lactose. Buy lactose free products or use lactase enzyme drops or tablets that may aid your child in digesting different dairy products.
  3. Probiotics are living organisms that exist in your intestine and help you in maintaining a healthy digestive system. Yoghurt and other supplement capsules are rich in probiotics. Hence, they can be perfect choices for your child. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gastroenterologist.
3886 people found this helpful

How to Treat Lactose Intolerance in Children

Diploma in Child Health (DCH), F.I.A.M.S. (Pediatrics)
Pediatrician, Muzaffarnagar
How to Treat Lactose Intolerance in Children

The sugar found in milk and other dairy products such as yoghurt and cheese is called lactose. An enzyme in the small intestine called “lactase” breaks lactose into galactose and glucose. When the lactose is not digested properly by the small intestine, it passes unbroken into the colon. The bacteria in the colon break the lactose down into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. People who fail to digest lactose in their small intestines are diagnosed with lactose intolerance.

Usually lactose intolerance only affects adults, but sometimes children do suffer from it. For children, their symptoms can be mild or very severe (for example, cramps, diarrhoea in children, etc.)
Normally, parents can confuse milk allergy with lactose intolerance. They do share the same symptoms, but they are completely different medical conditions. Milk allergy is caused by the immune system while lactose intolerance is a problem with the digestive system.

The causes of lactose intolerance include:
1. Absence or deficiency of the lactase enzyme
2. Infections in the gastrointestinal tract that damage the lining inside the small intestine

3. Gluten intolerance (It affects lactase production)
4. Genetics (Lactose intolerance can run in the family)

When the lactose is broken down in the colon, certain gases are produced. These gases can cause symptoms such as:
1. Abdominal inflammation and pain
2. Excessive burping
3. Loud sounds in the bowel
4. Excessive diarrhoea and gas
5. Explosive and watery bowel movements
6. A feeling of urgency when it comes to bowel movements (In children, they might feel like they need to get to the bathroom as soon as possible or they might embarrass themselves)

How best to treat it?
Living with lactose intolerance usually involves dietary modifications and taking supplements such as over-the-counter lactase to aid in digestion. For instance, you can replace milk with soy milk, or take lactase before ingesting any dairy product. Or alternatively, you can consume lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk and dairy products.
Calcium deficiency is a serious side effect of lactose intolerance. So incorporate calcium-rich foods such as broccoli, kale, tofu, almond, dried fruits, soybeans, turnip greens, collard greens and fortified orange juice in your diet.

2559 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am giving daily idli, apple juice, cerelac, rice with moong dal, pomegranate juice, moosambi juice, potato, and then in night rice with dal, and last cerelac, to my lactose intolerant 10 month old boy baby. He is very thin. How to become fat? He cries while eating, also he is crying I never mind and I hold him tightly in my hands and I give food by spoon. When I give apple grinded, he does potty like the apple. List the foods to be given him daily to become fat and healthy.

Diploma in Child Health (DCH), F.I.A.M.S. (Pediatrics)
Pediatrician, Muzaffarnagar
you are giving 3 fruits in a day. Give only one fruit or its juice once in a day and give more dal etc cooked in oil or ghee in place of fruits. you may add suji or ata halwa. Crying may be due to hunger. Force feeding is more harmful. Now he is 10 months old, he can pick items he like and it. It may happen some time baby may not digest some item which is short in duration. after 1-2 months, he may start digesting grinded apple.

I'm having very weak digestive system with lactose intolerance I am not consuming any dairy product any related things with lactose. I'm going to gym everyday with professional diet but my stomach getting upset everyday lack of appetite why this occurring? My weight not increasing? So upset:(please help me What I do to solve this problem and get healthy body?

General Physician, Greater Noida
Hi, besides lactose intoleranca it seems you are suffering from 1. Gastritis/hepatitis or irritable bowel disease 2. Take an antacid 3-4 tsf 8 hrly 3. Get a blood investigation - liver function test done 4. Avoid fatty, oily meals 5. No fast food, no momos and samosas 6. No tea and coffee 7. Lots of water 8. Walk after meals 9. Eat less at nights 10. No soft drinks, hard drinks and no smoking recommended a private consultation.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?