2016-06-08 13:43:59 UTC

Celiac Disease 106: Complications

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Things to be Aware of with Untreated Celiac Disease

If you stick to a gluten-free diet (GFD), you greatly lower the chance of future health problems: 

  • People with untreated celiac disease are at a greater risk of not getting enough nutrients, like vitamin D and iron.
  • Patients with untreated celiac disease may have weak or brittle bones; children may be short for their age. 
  • Some patients with celiac disease may have other autoimmune problems, such as Type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease and liver disease, among others.
  • Symptoms that do not get better on the GFD or return after going away can have many causes. Thankfully, most of these are simply treated, but rarely this may be due to refractory celiac disease, which would need treatment with medications along with the GFD. 
  • Patients not being treated may have a slightly greater risk of lymphoma and intestinal cancers.
  • Some patients may gain weight with celiac disease and also on the GFD.
  • Some patients may have constipation, which means they have hard stool or trouble passing stool.
  • Patients may go through depression (low mood) or anxiety (worry), or have trouble coping with celiac disease. These are all normal responses to finding out you have celiac disease. If you are having any of these feelings, reach out to a mental-health expert right away
Celiac Disease – What to Know:
  • Celiac disease is a health issue in which people cannot handle a protein called gluten.
  • Celiac disease causes many GI issues, among other things.
  • The treatment for celiac disease is to cut out gluten and eat a gluten-free diet (GFD).
  • Do not get rid of gluten in your diet until you have been tested by a doctor and then only if he or she tells you to.
  • If you still have celiac symptoms after going gluten-free or would like more information, talk to your gastroenterologist.


© AGA, September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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