Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disease that needs to be quickly identified by doctors so people can decrease their chances of lifelong negative health consequences.
We hear it all the time. A person waits weeks, months or, most often, years to get a celiac disease diagnosis. We’re perceived as needy, picky and oftentimes as hypochondriacs.
We deserve better than going through years of guesswork and pain. While doctors are more educated than ever on the serious genetic autoimmune disease, it’s still not enough.
Read on for the top 3 reasons we need earlier diagnosis of celiac disease.
- Celiac disease can have serious long-term health consequences if left untreated, including infertility, other autoimmune diseases (like thyroid disease), and even certain cancers. With faster diagnosis, we can decrease the risk of developing these complications.
- Our families are at-risk for celiac disease. People can have it without even knowing it. In fact, biological relatives of those diagnosed have a much higher risk of developing celiac disease than the general population. By diagnosing those seeking an answer for their symptoms, doctors can diagnose even more people by explaining the genetic risk and how to get tested.
- Celiac disease symptoms are life-interrupting. It’s more than a tummy ache. Symptoms can range from weight loss, weight gain, diarrhea and constipation to depression, anxiety and debilitating migraines. People are unable to live the way they want to, free of pain and the stress that comes with dealing with a mystery illness.
How YOU Can Help Get People with Celiac Disease Diagnosed Sooner
There are so many ways to help people learn more about celiac disease and get diagnosed. The fastest, most likely way to help people find their diagnosis is to talk to your genetically at-risk family members. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, everyone related to you by blood is at a higher risk for celiac disease.
There is a right and wrong way to talk to your relatives about getting tested for celiac disease. Beyond Celiac encourages you to talk to them through a one-on-one, in-person conversation. Tell them the facts. Urge them to test. We can show you how. Learn more at www.SeriouslyCeliac.org.
Beyond Celiac thanks Thai Kitchen for their support of this blog post!