ABC Medical Center > Celiac disease

What is Celiac disease?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


It is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system reacts excessively to the ingestion of gluten, affecting the tissue that lines the small intestine and causing malabsorption, which is an anomaly that prevents the correct use of nutrients.

Gluten is a protein that is present mainly in grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and oats, as well as in various products that use these cereals as raw materials.

The damage it causes to the small intestine gradually intensifies, as well as the symptoms, which include decreased bodyweight, anemia, fatigue, diarrhea, and inflammation, among others, which, if not treated promptly, can lead to serious complications.

Celiac disease is a chronic condition whose origin is unknown, but if timely treatment is received and a gluten-free eating plan is established, it is possible to minimize symptoms and reverse intestinal damage.

Signs and symptoms Celiac disease

The characteristic symptoms differ in children or adults:


  • Tiredness.
  • Decreased body weight.
  • Inflammation.
  • Flatulence.
  • Anemia.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis.
  • Mouth sores
  • Headache.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.
  • Affectations in the nervous system that cause imbalance, cognitive problems, and numbness of the hands and feet.
  • Aching joints.
  • Hyposplenism.
  • Episodes of constipation and diarrhea.


  • Recurrent diarrhea
  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Flatulence.
  • Discolored and extremely foul-smelling stool.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomit.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle incoordination.
  • Learning difficulties.
  • Seizures.
  • Slow growth.
  • Dental problems.
  • Decreased body weight.
  • Anemia.
  • Irritability.
  • Short stature.

Diagnosis and treatment Celiac disease

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination and request blood and genetic tests to establish the diagnosis.

If celiac disease is confirmed, your doctor will order a conventional endoscopy or a capsular endoscopy of the small intestine to carefully observe the magnitude of the damage and take a tissue biopsy.

The main treatment to be followed will be the creation of a lifelong nutrition program in which all foods containing gluten are suppressed, especially cereals and their derivatives.

Similarly, if you have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, you will be prescribed various nutritional supplements that help correct that nutritional deficit.

If your small intestine becomes excessively inflamed or severely damaged, you will need to take steroids to lessen symptoms while the intestinal damage is reversed.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • medlineplus.gov
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  • msdmanuals.com
  • cigna.com
  • topdoctors.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • La Rosa HD, Sánchez CN, Villa JO, et al. Inmunodeficiencia variable común y déficit selectivo de inmunoglobulina A en pacientes celiacos. Rev Cubana Hematol Inmunol Hemoter . 2016;32(3):394-402.
  • Castañeda GC. Enfermedad celíaca en Cuba y sus cuarenta años de experiencias y realidades para su diagnóstico. Rev Cubana Pediatr. 2016;88(4):483-497.

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