Diagnosis of Celiac Disease
Celiac disease has mostly been misdiagnosed owing to its symptoms imitating many other diseases. The diagnosis of celiac disease seems to be a long one but it is worth and very essential to confirm the disease. This will at least provide peace finally after knowing that you are affected with this only instead of not knowing what the exact reason is.
The initial stage involves a blood test. In case of celiac disease, because the immune system attacks the gluten cells present in the intestines, the presence of defensive antibodies that would have arisen in the attack will be present in the blood and diagnosed by a blood test. However, it is not a confirmation stage, since there are possibilities for other things having shown a strong likelihood and caused a positive result.
The next stage includes a little complicated procedure. Endoscopy is used to determine if any damage is done to the mucosa lining and to determine the extent of this damage. This confirms the presence of celiac disease. Mucosa is covered by microscopic villi, which is responsible for nutrient absorption from the food passing through the bloodstream.
Villi will be as little bumps to increase the surface area meant for absorption. In the presence of celiac disease, the natural defense mechanisms of the body attack gluten when it comes to the intestines through food. The mechanisms target the villi and flatten them so that the area for absorption is greatly reduced. This is probably why some affected children stop to grow.
In addition to endoscopy, a small camera is sent down the throat to observe the intestines. A biopsy will be taken to look into the state of villi. A general anaesthetic is given only in case of children. Though it is not a painful procedure, it is a bit uncomfortable.
Though all these steps seem to be a long one for diagnosis, this helps to ensure the diagnosis and take the necessary steps later. The biopsy procedure is called the ‘gold standard’ celiac disease diagnosis. And if you are certain that you already possess the disease, then this procedure will seem tiring. But it is worth. It may last for a month sometimes, when you will need to be on a gluten-free diet.
It becomes a necessary after the endoscopy is started to have a gluten-free diet later on. In addition, when it is confirmed, you have no other option but to have a gluten-free diet whether you like it or not. Initially, the gluten-free foods were available only on prescription, but now it is widely available. This is better since the entire family needs to be on the diet later since it is a genetically inherited disease.