Coeliacs and Misdiagnosis

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Prevalence of Coeliac Disease diagnosis is on the rise on a global scale. This medical issue, also known as coeliac sprue and gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is defined by WebMD as a digestive and autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten.

Gluten is a mixture of proteins that is found in many of our day-to-day foods. It is specifically found in wheat and other grains including oat, rye and barley.

Coeliac.org recently published alarming global statics indicating that 1 in 100 people are affected by Coeliac Disease. Gluten intolerance has risen on a global level in the past decade and this reality is cause for concern as it is a difficult to disease to properly diagnosis.

It is of the utmost importance that our society is made aware of the tell-tale symptoms of this intolerance to ensure that damage to the lower intestine is not prolonged for long periods of time should Coeliac Disease be a reality for that patient.

Various symptoms can manifest if this deficiency arises. Best Doctors has created an easy overview of the classic medical issues indicative of possible Coeliac Disease that should spark concern.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it is recommendable that you schedule an appointment with your GP.

Some believe that gluten intolerance has become somewhat of a medical fad. Remember, that no matter what the internet or your friends are telling you, self-diagnosis is not possible. Like all medical concerns, a proper diagnosis is vital to increasing quality of life.

As diagnosis can be tricky, it is highly recommendable that proper screening be conducted by your physician. Testing can be conducted as early as the age of 3. Several blood tests can be carried out but the most common is known as a tTG-IgA test. If your doctor finds results that suggest gluten intolerance, the next procedure would be to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist to conduct an endoscopic biopsy.

Best Doctors is one of the world’s leading advocates for carrying out all the necessary testing and clinical analyses in order to obtain a correct diagnosis. A proper and timely Coeliac Disease diagnosis could result in avoiding major medical complications and even cancer[1]:

Long-Term Health Conditions

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • Infertility and miscarriage
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Central and peripheral nervous system disorders, including ataxia, epileptic seizures, dementia, migraine, neuropathy, myopathy and multifocal leucoencephalopathy
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Gall bladder malfunction

Malignancies

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (intestinal and extra-intestinal, T- and B-cell types)
  • Small intestinal adenocarcinoma
  • Esophageal carcinoma
  • Papillary thyroid cancer
  • Melanoma

Avoid misdiagnosis by seeking the help of a local gastroenterologist or if you have access to Best Doctors Services and have already been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, we also invite you to Asktheexpert via our online portal or telephone to receive more information about your pathology.

You can also take the Coeliac Disease Foundation’s online symptoms and conditions checklist. While this is not a diagnosis tool, the results are of valuable use to your doctor during the diagnosis procedure.

 

 

 

[1] Coeliac.org

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