Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

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  • According to the University of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center, 3 million Americans already have celiac disease, and 1 in 133 healthy people are diagnosed with this condition
  • Refractory celiac disease is a condition wherein patients experience continuous intestinal injuries even if they already followed a strict gluten-free diet for about a year

Q: How common is celiac disease among people?

A: According to the University of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center, 3 million Americans already have celiac disease, and 1 in 133 healthy people are diagnosed with this condition.1

Q: Is celiac disease hereditary?

A: Celiac disease may be hereditary, as people have a 1 in 10 chance of developing the illness if they have a first- or second-degree relative who already has the disorder.2 However, genetics isn't the only precursor of celiac disease, as there are other risk factors that should be considered too.

Q: How do you know if you have celiac disease?

A: The most common signs of celiac disease include diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, fatigue, vomiting, bloating, gas and constipation.3 But patients with severe cases tend to manifest more devastating indicators. Learn about the potentially devastating symptoms of celiac disease that you should watch out for.

Q: What is refractory celiac disease?

A: Refractory celiac disease is a condition wherein patients experience continuous intestinal injuries even if they already followed a strict gluten-free diet for about a year. This can cause malabsorption. Refractory celiac disease is a very rare illness that develops in only 1 to 2 percent of people with celiac disease.4 It's also one of the many complications that could arise if celiac disease is left untreated.

Q: Can celiac disease cause weight gain?

A: There's a very slim chance that patients with celiac disease will experience massive weight gain. This is because malabsorption, a common symptom of celiac disease, prevents efficient nutrient absorption, despite maintaining a well-balanced and healthy diet.5 If the body does not get enough of the nutrients that it needs, no weight gain occurs.

Q: Is celiac disease contagious?

A: No, celiac disease isn't contagious or transferred from one person to another,6 unlike a bacterial or viral infection.

Q: Is there a foundation for celiac disease patients?

A: Organizations like Beyond Celiac, Celiac Support Association, Celiac Disease Foundation and the Canadian Celiac Association7 not only work toward advancing research for the disease, but help people diagnosed with the condition by providing emotional support and relevant information.

Celiac disease patients can join support groups located in their respective states (the Celiac Disease Foundation has a database for that8), or participate in discussions at GlutenDude,9 HealtheTreatment, Raising Our Celiac Kids (R.O.C.K.) and other online forums.10

Q: Can celiac disease kill you?

A: While celiac disease itself is not life-threatening, there are complications linked to this disorder that may cause a patient's death. These include cancers, neurological problems and even malnutrition.

MORE ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac Disease: Introduction

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease In Children

Celiac Disease Causes

Celiac Disease Types

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac Disease Diagnosis

Celiac Disease Treatment

Celiac Disease Prevention

Celiac Disease Diet

Celiac Disease FAQ

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