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Celiac Disease Specialist

Arkansas Gastroenterology Associates & Endoscopy Center -  - Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

Arkansas Gastroenterology Associates & Endoscopy Center

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Hot Springs, AR

Around three million Americans have celiac disease, but many of them don’t know what causes their pain, diarrhea, and other symptoms. At Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center in Hot Springs, Arkansas, John Brandt, MD, and J. Steven Mathews, MD, provide an expert diagnosis of celiac disease and personalized treatment plans to relieve your symptoms and restore your health. Don’t ignore your symptoms — call Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center or make an appointment online today.

Celiac Disease Q&A

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that attacks your small intestine when you eat gluten. Gluten is a type of protein in wheat, rye, and barley. It helps food maintain its shape and is often in products that you might not expect, like salad dressing and sauces. 

Celiac disease is genetic. You’re more likely to develop the condition if another family member also has celiac disease. The disease is also common in people who have:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Microscopic colitis
  • Addison’s disease

When left untreated, celiac disease can cause complications such as malnutrition, bone weakening, infertility, and nervous system problems.

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?

The most common signs of celiac disease include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Bloating and gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation 

You might also develop anemia, mouth ulcers, and itchy skin rashes. Some patients also have frequent headaches and joint pain. 

If any of these symptoms sound familiar or you’ve had digestive discomfort that has persisted for two weeks or more, make an appointment to determine what’s causing your symptoms. 

How is celiac disease diagnosed?

The team at Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center uses comprehensive exams and testing to diagnose celiac disease. After reviewing your medical history and symptoms, your doctor orders blood tests to look for specific antibodies that indicate an immune response to gluten.

Celiac disease causes symptoms similar to Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center provides comprehensive diagnostics to identify your specific condition, so you receive the most effective treatment.

Your doctor might also order a conventional or capsule endoscopy procedure to examine your digestive tract and intestines. 

How do you treat celiac disease?

If you have celiac disease, your doctor helps you change your diet and lifestyle to eliminate foods and other products that contain gluten. After removing gluten from your diet, your intestines begin to heal, and inflammation subsides, reducing your symptoms. 

Your doctor might recommend dietary supplements if your disease led to severe nutritional deficiencies. They can also prescribe medications to reduce inflammation in your intestines. 

You have routine follow-up appointments at Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center so your doctor can monitor your condition and overall health. 

If you have uncomfortable and distressing gastrointestinal symptoms that disrupt your life or need care for celiac disease, call Arkansas Gastroenterology Endoscopy Center or make an appointment online today.