One of the reasons why this disease remains difficult to treat are its wide ranging symptoms. In spite of the differences, experiencing some of the conditions may indicate that one is stricken.
Gluten Intolerance Signs
An early symptom is problem with the bowel movement. This could mean diarrhea or constipation. The severity of the condition varies a great deal. Most patients also go through stomach pain. The abdomen swells and gas pain is felt. Indigestion leads to a loss of appetite. In rare cases, the appetite may actually grow.
The major symptoms are foul smelling stools. These may also contain blood or be very greasy. Some patients undergo weight loss. The illness may also be accompanied by anemia and aching joints.
Osteoporosis may occur and fatigue could set in. Hair loss and low blood sugar are other indicators. Another sign is easy bruising. Dental defects usually occur as well as shortness of breath. Some patients end up with depression.
Gluten Intolerance Diagnosis
A doctor will conduct a physical assessment of the patient. An evaluation of the symptoms shall be taken into account. A complete blood count is done if anemia is suspected. The goal of this test is to pinpoint its cause.
Other tests will be done to check the alkaline level. Those suffering from the ailment will see an increase. A bone examination shows possible deterioration.
A cholesterol test is conducted. The albumin levels are assessed. Blood clotting may be taken as a sign of the disease. An endoscopy or biopsy is done to confirm any findings. Genetic testing might be done to determine one’s vulnerability to it.
Gluten Intolerance Treatment
The treatment consists of a gluten free diet. All foods and drinks with barley, wheat and rye must be avoided. It’s crucial that the diet be started after diagnosis is made. Starting the diet prior to the tests will affect the results. It will also alter results for any upcoming exams.
The doctor may prescribe health supplements or vitamins. These need to be taken in the dosage prescribed. Corticosteroids are usually given to those with refractory sprue.
Some pain relievers may be given, but most of the time the diet change is the only treatment needed. While some people revert to their old diet after a while, doctors do not recommend this. The gluten free diet should be kept for life.
Gluten Intolerance Prevention and Cause
The cause of the disease is unknown. Its many symptoms has made it hard to perform proper diagnosis or establishing its cause. But genes seem to play a role. Several patients have other relatives who have gone through the disease.
Given this fact, it’s best for the patient to learn the family medical history. If the family is predisposed to it, the individual should keep track of all symptoms, no matter how minor it seems. Successful treatment of this disease rests on early diagnosis.
The sooner it is diagnosed, the earlier one can begin on the diet. In this case, complications arising from gluten intolerance will be avoided.