Celiac disease may be more common than the number of people diagnosed shows. According to WebMD, 1 in 5 people who have the disease don’t know they have it. In fact, they may never be diagnosed with it. Part of the problems is that diagnosing celiac disease can be difficult because there isn’t a single test for it. Instead, doctors perform a series of tests to determine if the patient has celiac disease. However, there is good news on the horizon. Scientists continue to study the disease and a test for the disease may be close.
Celiac Test May Be Coming
Recent studies of celiac disease have revealed biomarkers that may be helpful in testing for the disease. Celiac disease causes an immune response in the gut when the sufferer eats gluten. The immune system attacks the tissues of the small intestine, which is what causes the unpleasant symptoms and the inability to absorb some nutrients.
The scientists found that introducing gluten to the gut caused an increase in certain molecules in the blood, such as interleukin-2, a molecule produced by T cells. The presence of these molecules may make it possible for scientists to develop a blood test for diagnosing celiac disease.
Current Method of Diagnosing Celiac Disease
The process for diagnosing celiac disease can take weeks or even months. In addition, it involves eating gluten and experiencing the symptoms of the disease, which include:
- Pain in the abdomen.
There can be several steps involved in determining if your aging relative has celiac disease. Some of the tests doctors may conduct are:
- Blood Tests: Doctors use blood tests to look for certain immune responses present in the blood. They also use them for performing genetic testing since certain genes are associated with the presence of the disease.
- Endoscopy: If the blood tests indicate that celiac disease could be present, the patient will have an endoscopy. During an endoscopy, a tube with a small camera at the end is put down the throat to look for damage to the small intestine.
If the doctor determines that your older family member has celiac disease, they will need to follow a gluten free diet. Senior care can assist with making dietary changes. A senior care provider can prepare gluten-free meals that are healthy and provide the necessary nutrients. The doctor may also suggest medications and supplements to treat symptoms and provide nutrients. A senior care provider can remind the older adult to take medications and supplements at the proper times.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE IS CONSIDERING SENIOR CARE IN LAS VEGAS, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE OF SUMMERLIN. 702-800-4616.