Celiac Disease


Description:

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease in response to consumption of gluten, a specific protein found in wheat, barley, and rye products. A person with celiac disease who actually digests gluten triggers an immune response in the small intestine.
This response is not a pleasant one, as the inflammation caused to combat the normallly harmless gluten damages the small intestine's outer layers and prevents its main duty to absorb nutrients. This damage causes weight loss, bloating, sometimes diarrhea. Going further in the condition, your brain, nervous system, bones, liver, and every organ in the body can be deprived of nutrients.
In young kids, this effects growth and development. There is also usually pain associated after eating any food. There is no cure, only eating a gluten-free diet can alleviate symptoms and promote the healing done over a long period of time.

Applications:

Celiac disease is largely misdiagnosed, and unknown by many health providers. Health informatics could present this disease to the health care provider if the diverse symptoms can be detected. The variance in symptoms is so diverse, many providers classify someone as having irritable bowel syndrome and just treats the symptoms and not the cause.
An electronic diagnostic tool could show celiac disease as a possibility of these many symptoms:
  • Anemia, from iron deficiency
  • Osteoporosois, from calcium deficiency
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis, an itchy, blistery rash
  • Tooth enamel loss leading to tooth decay
  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling in feet and hands, or balance issues that comes from nervous system damage.
  • Joint pain, from inflammation and vitamin deficiency
  • Hyposplensim, or malfunctioning spleen
  • Acid reflux and heartburn from intestinal inflammation.
Even with these symptoms, most people with celiac disease never have any digestive issues. Around thirty three percent of people diagnosed had diarrhea, and an estimated fifty percent had weight loss. Also, one fifth of people diagnosed with celiac disease had constipation, and one tenth are actually overweight.
A personal health device could help a person experiencing some of these issues come to a health care provider with this information and help them diagnose and treat this disease. A doctor should be notified if you have diarrhea or stomach pains that last for more than two weeks. If you have children that appear pale, irritable, lack of growth, has a bulging abdomen and foul-smelling, bulky stools, you should definitly see a doctor.

Web Resources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/basics/definition/con-20030410
http://www.celiaccentral.org
http://www.celiac.org

Related Terminology:

Irritable bowel syndrome - a catch all diagnosis for stomach pains of unknown origin.
Autoimmune disease - a condition where the body has an immune response to something that is not infective.
Gluten - specific proteins found in grains, specifically wheat, barley, and rye.

Citations/References:

Mayo Clinic Staff (May 2013). Celiac Disease.
Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/basics/definition/con-20030410
Celiac Disease Foundation Staff (accessed by web on Oct 2013). What is Celiac Disease.
Retrieved from http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/

Graphics:
Celiac2.jpgceliacsymptoms.png
Jess (Dec 2012). The Patient Celiac.
Retrieved from http://www.thepatientceliac.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/celiac-disease-symptoms.jpg
UCLA (accessed by web on Oct 2014). Celiac Disease.
Retrieved from http://gastro.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=20