Celiac Disease Specialist

Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease services offered in South Bend, Plymouth and LaPorte, IN

More than two million people in the United States live with celiac disease, a genetic condition triggered by the dietary protein gluten. At Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc, the medical providers offer on-site testing services for celiac disease at their offices in Plymouth, La Porte, and South Bend, Indiana, and also at The South Bend Clinic on North Eddy Street. The providers work closely with you to eliminate gluten from your diet. They also provide routine testing to ensure your small intestine is healing efficiently. Call the Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc office nearest to you to schedule an appointment today.

Celiac Disease Q & A

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a chronic immune system and digestive disorder that causes damage in your small intestine. Foods that contain gluten, a protein in barley, rye, and wheat, trigger the disease and cause long-term digestive problems.

When you have celiac disease and eat foods that contain gluten, your immune system reacts. This reaction can damage the villi, small hairlike projections that line your small intestine.

Villi are responsible for absorbing vitamins and other nutrients from your diet. When damaged, villi can no longer collect these nutrients.

What causes celiac disease?

The root cause of celiac disease isn’t well understood, but your genetic background and gut bacteria likely play a role. You may also be at increased risk for celiac disease after pregnancy or childbirth, severe emotional stress, or a viral infection that causes an overreaction in your immune system.

If you have a family history of celiac disease, you may also be at a higher risk for developing the condition.

When should I seek treatment for celiac disease?

The symptoms of celiac disease vary from person to person and can include:

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea and vomiting

You may also have symptoms of celiac disease that don’t relate to your digestive health, such as anemia, osteoporosis (bone loss), mouth ulcers, and joint pain.

If you have any of these symptoms that last for two or more weeks, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc. The providers offer blood work to look for antibodies in your blood that your immune system produces in response to gluten. Genetic testing may also help rule out celiac disease.

You may also need an endoscopy or a capsule endoscopy that helps the physicians identify abnormalities in your small intestine and damage to the villi.

How is celiac disease treated?

The only way to manage celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.

The providers at Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc can provide resources that help you learn how to read food and medication labels to check for gluten. They may also refer you to a dietician to make meal planning easier.

During follow-up visits, the gastroenterology specialists continue to monitor the effectiveness of your diet changes and ensure your small intestine is healing. If you have inflammation in your small intestine that isn’t resolving on its own, you may need to take steroids or other medications to control it.

If you have symptoms of celiac disease and need diagnostic testing, call the Michiana Gastroenterology, Inc office nearest to you to book an appointment today.