What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac Disease (also known as Coeliac Disease) is a genetic autoimmune disorder that damages the villi on the intestines. The villi on the intestines are what gathers nutrients from the foods people eat. When those with Celiac Disease ingest wheat, barley, rye and oats, the body sees the food and nutrients as toxic and that causes damage to the villi. This causes very uncomfortable side effects, such as chronic diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal bloating and non-digestive symptoms such as bone/joint pain.
This disease affects 1 in 133 Americans. If Celiac Disease is left untreated, you can develop severe complications, such as thyroid disease, osteoporosis, infertility, and cancer, While there is no cure for Celiac Disease, those with Celiac Disease must maintain a strict gluten free diet for the rest of their lives. If you suspect that you may have Celiac Disease, contact your doctor and explain your concerns. They may order a blood test and a biopsy to determine if you have the disease. If you are diagnosed with Celiac Disease, the doctor will tell you that it is imperative to be gluten free right away so your body can begin to heal and symptoms can subside.
Joint Pain and Celiac Disease
Joint pain is one of 300 symptoms of Celiac Disease. The most common areas of joint pain are the back, knees, and hips. Since Celiac Disease is a malnourishment auto immune disease, the cartilage in the joints are not getting the proper nutrients that it needs in order to do its job. Therefore, loss of cartilage in joints can occur in patients with this disease. Usually joint pain occurs first before digestive symptoms start. Maintaining a strict gluten free diet can help alleviate some of the pain. Taking vitamins and supplements could also provide more nutrients into your system. NSAIDS, which are anti-inflammatory medications, can provide relief from pain. Some examples of anti-anti-inflammatory medications are Ibuprofen and Aleve. In some cases, your doctor might prescribe you more powerful medications such as Flexeril and Tramadal. Those with Celiac Disease and joint pain have expressed relief just days after beginning a gluten free diet.
Celiac Disease can be a scary diagnosis for some, but, when you think of the amount of relief you will feel after beginning a gluten free diet, you will thank your doctor for diagnosing you.
(previously published on Helium: http://www.livinghealthy360.com/index.php/the-connection-between-celiac-disease-and-joint-pain-893/ )