Celiac Disease Treated by GI Doctors in Baltimore

Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD

Patients experiencing symptoms of digestive disease turn to the gastroenterology specialists at The Melissa L. Posner Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy. The team of top rated GI doctors works with patients from the Baltimore region to diagnose their digestive conditions including celiac disease.

About the Condition

Celiac disease is caused by foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten cannot be digested by the small intestine because gluten causes the body’s autoimmune system to destroy the lining of the small intestine. Because the lining is destroyed, the body cannot absorb the proper nutrients often causing malnutrition, digestive tract problems, and other symptoms. Celiac disease can be hereditary and is most common in Caucasians as well as people with Type 1 diabetes

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Celiac disease symptoms can vary. Digestive symptoms of celiac disease include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Pain
  • Gas

Infants and children experience the digestive tract symptoms of celiac disease more often than adults. Children with celiac disease also can have growth issues due to the lack of absorption of proper nutrients.

Non-digestive tract symptoms of celiac disease can include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of bone density
  • Soft bones
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis, a blistery skin rash

It is important to have a physical exam when experiencing symptoms of celiac disease since the symptoms are similar to many other conditions. A blood test will be conducted to measure the levels of various autoantibodies in the blood. An endoscopy also may be conducted to diagnose celiac disease.

NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

The only treatment option available for celiac disease is to maintain a gluten-free diet. Celiac disease does not have a cure but it can be managed by not eating foods containing gluten. Patients diagnosed with celiac disease often are referred to dietitians who can help patients learn how to identify foods with gluten and develop gluten-free diets.