What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease is a chronic disease characterized by an immune reaction to gluten. Sometimes referred to as gluten intolerance, celiac disease causes damage to the small intestine whenever food or drink containing gluten is consumed. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, oats, and rye. Without a proper diagnosis from a celiac disease specialist, patients can unknowingly cause significant damage to the lining of their small intestine, along with experiencing numerous other symptoms and medical complications, including promoting certain cancers. A more newly-recognized entity involves intolerance to gluten, experienced as a variety of abdominal symptoms, but without the intestinal damage as seen with the usual celiac disease.
Symptoms of celiac disease can sometimes be mistaken for other gastrointestinal problems, which is why it is critical to seek evaluation from a top celiac disease specialist in order to be properly diagnosed. A celiac disease test with leading NYC gastroenterologist Dr. Anthony Borcich is the first step to pinpointing the underlying cause of your symptoms and finding long-term relief. Dr. Borcich is a board certified NYC gastroenterologist with more than 30 years of experience in treating patients suffering from a wide range of symptoms such as abdominal pain, acid reflux, and gluten intolerance. He is known for his expertise, compassionate care, and thorough approach. If you suspect that you may have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, contact our specialists today.
What causes celiac disease?
Unfortunately, the precise cause of celiac disease is still unknown. However, there are a number of factors that may place you at a higher risk of developing the condition. If you have a first-degree relative who has celiac disease, you have a 1-in-10 risk of developing it yourself. In addition, celiac disease can sometimes be triggered following certain types of events, such as pregnancy, viral infections, surgery or significant emotional stress.
Risk factors for celiac disease include:
- Family history
- Race (it is most common among Caucasians)
- Having type 1 diabetes
- Having Sjogren’s syndrome
- Having an autoimmune thyroid disease
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Celiac disease symptoms can impact the digestive system as well as the entire body. While symptoms differ from person to person, they commonly include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Acid reflux & heartburn
- Itchy skin rash
- Low blood count (anemia)
- Joint pain
In some cases, a person with celiac disease may experience no digestive problems or other symptoms. Because of this, a gluten intolerance test with a top celiac disease doctor is critical for making a diagnosis and determining your treatment options.
How is celiac disease treated?
Although celiac disease is a chronic condition, typically life-long, many patients can achieve long-term symptom relief through a tailored celiac disease treatment plan made in NYC, which includes a gluten-free diet. The first step to determining the proper treatment for your symptoms begins with a celiac disease diagnosis. Dr. Borcich will start with a thorough evaluation, including a review of your medical history and your symptoms. If necessary, he will order a test to evaluate your blood and an upper endoscopy in order to make an accurate diagnosis.
The primary celiac disease treatment is a strict, gluten-free diet. By removing gluten from your diet, you effectively start to heal your small intestine and prevent any future inflammation from occurring. Depending on the degree of your small intestinal damage prior to diagnosis, other medications may be prescribed. Dr. Borcich may also recommend dietary supplements as part of your gluten-free lifestyle to ensure that you are getting the proper nutrients and vitamins you need.
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of celiac disease, an evaluation with an experienced Manhattan gastroenterologist who specializes in gluten intolerance is the first step to finding relief. Anthony Borcich, M.D. has more than 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating celiac disease and is known for his compassionate care and personalized approach. Schedule an appointment with a celiac disease specialist today by contacting our office or filling out the schedule appointment form on this page.