Celiac disease is a condition that causes a person to be unable to eat foods that contain gluten. Many people with celiac disease experience serious digestive system symptoms. They may get diarrhea, bloating, constipation, or have pain in their abdomen. However, other people don’t experience such dramatic symptoms, yet their bodies are affected by consuming gluten. These people have a version of celiac disease called “silent celiac disease” or sometimes “asymptomatic celiac disease.”
What Does Silent Celiac Do?
Although silent celiac doesn’t cause the major symptoms of typical celiac disease, it still damages the body. Some common symptoms that could occur are:
- Neurological problems.
- Dental problems.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
While the disease may cause some of the above symptoms or none at all, there isn’t anything that points toward a digestive disorder. Still, the disease is there and affecting organs.
How Do Doctors Find Silent Celiac?
As many as 10 percent of people related to individuals who have traditional celiac disease have silent celiac. Many of them don’t know it. Finding the disease can be difficult because of the lack of symptoms. Often it is found simply through screening when doctors know something is wrong but aren’t sure what. Sometimes it is found because the person has a related condition, such as thyroid disease or anemia. In some cases, it is found when doctors recommend that family members of someone with traditional celiac be screened.
How is Silent Celiac Treated?
Silent celiac disease is treated in the same way that celiac disease is. The chief method of treatment is with a gluten free diet. Eating a gluten-free diet can be difficult because gluten is found in so many different foods, including ones you wouldn’t expect, like salad dressings. Being asymptomatic can further complicate sticking to the recommended diet because your aging relative may think there’s no harm in eating gluten if they feel fine.
Despite the difficulties, it’s important that your older family member with silent celiac disease sticks to a gluten free diet. The main reason for following the diet is that it protects the older adult from developing other long-term health problems. Silent celiac disease can lead to malnutrition, osteoporosis, and certain kinds of cancer. Eating gluten can also lead to the development of other kinds of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
If your aging relative is diagnosed with silent celiac disease, a home care provider can help them to remove gluten from their diet. A home care provider can assist with planning gluten free meals and take the older adult shopping to purchase the ingredients. Home care providers can also cook the meals for your aging relative, ensuring nothing is added that might contain gluten.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care in Dallas, TX please contact the caring staff at Sunlife Home Care today at (877) 888-1311.