Gluten is a protein found in rye, wheat, and barley. Approximately fifteen percent of the population of the United States are at least gluten intolerant, but ninety-nine percent of these individuals are never diagnosed. Celiac disease occurs as a result of gluten intolerance. It is an autoimmune disease characterized by damage in the small intestine of individuals who are predisposed to gluten intolerance. Being aware of the symptoms of celiac disease is crucial to obtaining prompt and effective treatment, which can be life-saving in many instances, as most individuals rely on consuming products containing gluten, such as pasta, and bread, daily.
Diarrhea Or Constipation
Celiac disease is known to manifest as chronic diarrhea or constipation in affected individuals. Diarrhea is the medical term used to describe loose stools with a watery consistency. Diarrhea is the most common symptom to occur in individuals who have untreated or undetected celiac disease. Approximately forty-five to eighty-five percent of all individuals with celiac disease have chronic episodes of diarrhea that begin to manifest within the first couple years of their life. Malabsorption and maldigestion of nutrients are the mechanisms that result in diarrhea. When fats are not digested from the food in the intestine, it tends to move through the gastrointestinal tract too quickly. The food moves through the large intestine too fast and causes the inhibition of proper fluid absorption, resulting in diarrhea.
Some individuals affected by celiac disease experience constipation, the term used to describe stools that are too hard and difficult to pass. The mechanism behind this symptom is due to the small intestine, which is responsible for nutrient absorption becoming damaged. This damage can cause the small intestine to absorb fluid inappropriately and abnormally. By the time the digested food leaves the small intestine, too much fluid has been drawn out. Compounded fluid absorption by the large intestine causes the stool to become abnormally hard.