Tip of the Day

Celiac disease affects an estimated one in 133 Americans. However, only one in 4,700 people in the U.S. is diagnosed with it. Why the disparity? Although celiac disease can be easily diagnosed through a blood test that detects antibodies to gluten, and a biopsy of the small intestine can confirm the diagnosis, many doctors overlook it because its symptoms are so similar to those caused by other conditions, such as arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, or depression. Celiac disease can cause: -Gastrointestinal symptoms: recurring abdominal bloating and pain; chronic diarrhea, etc.
-Musculoskeletal symptoms: bone pain, joint pain, and muscle cramps.
-Nervous system symptoms: seizures and tingling numbness in the legs from nerve damage.
-Oral symptoms: ulcers in the mouth, discolored teeth, loss of tooth enamel.
-Other symptoms: behavioral changes, fatigue and a painful skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis. (Source: Arthritis Today magazine, May-June 2004.)

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