Diagnosing and Treating Celiac Disease Online
Gluten is a protein found in various grains including wheat, barley, and rye. When someone develops celiac, their immune system reacts negatively to gluten, which leads to damage in the lining of the small intestine, specifically the villi. The villi are responsible for absorbing vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Over time, damage to the small intestine results in malabsorption, or decreased absorption of certain nutrients.
This condition will develop after there is an interaction between a person’s genes, gluten consumption, and environmental factors. In some cases, celiac can be triggered by a significant episode, including:
- Viral infection
- Emotional stress
For a small portion with nonresponsive celiac disease, a gluten free diet is not sufficient to control symptoms. Therefore, it's recommended that those with nonresponsive celiac disease work with a dietitian to further modify their diet to reduce symptoms. Additionally, someone with nonresponsive celiac disease may develop complications, including microscopic colitis, poor pancreas function, irritable bowel syndrome, or intolerance to disaccharides.
During a video consult on Amwell your doctor will ask you a series of targeted questions to determine if your symptoms point to celiac disease. Then your provider will proceed to determine the best treatment plan for you. Your provider may recommend in-person examination by a specialist if needed. Your treatment plan is based on the duration and severity of your symptoms and your medical history.
Once a diagnosis has been made, your doctor will go over the risks and benefits of the various treatment plans. Treatment for celiac disease is different depending on the severity.
Options for treatment of celiac disease may include:
- Maintain a gluten free diet (avoid barley, bulgur, durum, farina, graham flour, malt, rye, semolina, spelt, and triticale)
- Nutrition supplements