Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease services offered in Waldorf, MD

Around 2 million Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease, but many others have the disease and don’t know it yet. GI Associates of Maryland is a one-stop shop for gastroenterological care where you can have a Celiac disease evaluation, get a diagnosis, and start treatment to manage your symptoms. The practice has a Waldorf, Maryland, office and an endoscopy center next door to provide complete care in one place. Book your appointment online or call the office today. 

Celiac Disease Q & A

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the digestive tract is sensitive to gluten, a protein that occurs in wheat, barley, and rye. When the digestive tract gets exposed to gluten, the immune system rebels and starts attacking the gluten. This also damages the lining of your small intestine, ultimately preventing normal digestion and causing severe symptoms. 

What are the signs of celiac disease?

The effects of celiac disease vary greatly. Some people have no symptoms, while others may have life-disrupting issues. You could experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Belly swelling
  • Food intolerances
  • Fatty stools
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Rash 

Neurological disease and celiac disease are also connected with migraines, seizures, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), occurring more often in people with celiac disease.

What caused my celiac disease? 

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder that develops in people who inherit specific genes. One gene - HLA-DQ2, occurs in about 95% of people with celiac disease, and another gene - HLA-DQ8, occurs in 5%. 

Genes aren’t the only explanation for celiac disease. About a third of Americans have these genes, but only a tiny percent of those with the genes develop the disease. 

Experts believe certain factors may activate celiac disease in people with celiac genes. Some of the most common factors include being assigned female at birth (AFAB), viruses, other autoimmune illnesses, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Is celiac disease treatable?

Celiac disease isn’t curable right now; however, you can manage the disease and heal your intestine. The solution for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. This diet includes avoiding all foods with gluten and being careful about gluten from other sources such as lip balm, medication, and even the glue on envelopes.  

You may need medication to help manage symptoms, for example, corticosteroids, if you’re not improving quickly enough with a gluten-free diet or supplements to treat nutrient deficiencies. 

The GI Associates of Maryland team understands that making these diet and lifestyle changes is challenging, but they’re here to support you as you improve your health and heal your life. 

People with celiac disease who adopt a gluten-free diet experience excellent long-term disease control and a rich quality of life. To embrace that, call GI Associates of Maryland or schedule online today.