Monday, November 15, 2010

Does Your Stomach Bother You?

Do you know what causes your stomach to bother you?  If not, maybe you should be checked for celiac disease.

Content from Mayo Clinic: 
"Celiac disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. If you have celiac disease and eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in your small intestine, causing damage to the surface of your small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.
Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. This can lead to other illnesses and stunted growth in children.
No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease through changing your diet and completely eliminating gluten from your diet.
There are no typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease. Most people with the disease have general complaints, such as:
Intermittent diarrhea
Abdominal pain
Sometimes people with celiac disease may have no gastrointestinal symptoms at all. Celiac disease symptoms can also mimic those of other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, gastric ulcers, Crohn's disease, parasite infections, anemia, skin disorders or a nervous condition.
Celiac disease may also present itself in less obvious ways, including:
Irritability or depression
Stomach upset
Joint pain
Muscle cramps
Skin rash
Mouth sores
Dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis)
Tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy)

Some indications of malabsorption that may result from celiac disease include:
Weight loss
Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
General weakness and fatigue
Foul-smelling or grayish stools that may be fatty or oily
Stunted growth (in children)
If you have lots of stomach problems and you haven't been tested for this disease, please ask your doctor to test you for it.  It goes under diagnosed and there may be millions of people who are unaware that they have this disease.  My mother and brother have this disease and while it is sometimes a pain to stick to a gluten-free diet, they feel much better than they used to before they found out they have it.