Should You Be Tested for Celiac Disease?

There is so much information out there about gluten and celiac disease. It is hard to know who to trust, and it is hard to know which information to believe. A lot of people diagnose themselves as being sensitive to gluten (a protein that is found in wheat, barley, and rye) and try to eliminate gluten from their diets. This is not a good idea.

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that is autoimmune. It occurs in patients who have specific responses within their bodies to gluten. Their body will mount an immune response that will attack the small intestine and actually interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the patient. A person suffering from this disease may also have anemia, problems with eyesight, brittle bones, or skin lesions.

If left untreated, celiac disease can do some serious damage to your body and lead to all sorts of health conditions. Complications like neurological disorders, reduced bone density, infertility, and other autoimmune diseases may present themselves.

If you feel that you may have a sensitivity to gluten or celiac disease, the first thing you need to do is to visit your doctor. Your physician will do a blood panel as well as an endoscopic biopsy of the small intestine. If celiac disease has been ruled out, they may then diagnose you as having a gluten sensitivity. But the best thing to do is to let your doctor determine this instead of self-diagnosing.