Sunday, July 9, 2023

Long-term Health Consequences of Untreated Coeliac Disease

 Untreated coeliac disease can lead to serious long-term health consequences. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the digestive tract after a person consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and other foods and beverages[1]. 


If left untreated, coeliac disease can lead to the development of other autoimmune disorders like type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS), and many other conditions, including dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash), anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines, short stature, heart disease, and intestinal cancers[1]. People with coeliac disease have a 2x greater risk of developing coronary artery disease, and a 4x greater risk of developing small bowel cancers[1]. 


In addition, untreated coeliac disease can result in malnutrition, bone weakening, and infertility and miscarriage[2]. Chronic inflammation can also lead to other problems in the intestine[5]. Children with coeliac disease are more likely than adults to have digestive problems, including anemia, loss of bone density (osteoporosis), or softening of bone (osteomalacia), and itchy, blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis) [2]. 


It is important to note that the longer coeliac disease goes untreated, the more severe and long-lasting the effects can be. Malnutrition can affect the nervous system and skeletal system, and some of these effects are hard to reverse, especially when they occur during childhood development[5]. 


In summary, untreated coeliac disease can lead to serious long-term health consequences, including the development of other autoimmune disorders, anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions, heart disease, and intestinal cancers. If you suspect you have coeliac disease, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Citations:

[1] https://celiac.org/about-celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease/

[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20352220

[3] https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/left-untreated-celiac-disease-can-result-in-serious-complications/

[4] https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/celiac-disease-complications

[5] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14240-celiac-disease

[6] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32558687/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2852736/

[8] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/can-celiac-disease-affect-life-expectancy-2020052819930

[9] https://www.carolinadigestive.com/blog-post/left-untreated-celiac-disease-can-lead-lead-to-serious-health-complications

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