"So, you just eliminate gluten and feel better right?" I hear this simple proclamation all the time. With the gluten-free craze and tendency to self-diagnose it seems like such an easy fix. You suspect you have celiac disease so why not give up gluten and see how you feel? If you feel better you can continue the gluten-free lifestyle and never look back. Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Or at least it shouldn't be.
For starters, there are over 300 symptoms associated with celiac disease. Celiac disease affects so much more than just your gut health. Celiac disease can also cause migraines, seizures and other neurological symptoms. It can also be linked to a number of mental health issues like ADHD, depression and anxiety. There's also the tendency for autoimmune disorders to travel in groups, so if you do in fact have celiac disease there's the increased risk of you developing another autoimmune disease as well. By seeking formal care you can be fully examined to see if you potentially have other symptoms or conditions that need to be monitored or treated.
There is also the damage you could have experienced prior to removing gluten that needs to be addressed. There are common vitamin and nutrient deficiencies present in many newly diagnosed celiac patients from years of nutrient malabsorption. If you do indeed have celiac disease and just remove gluten on your own you're also not getting an endoscopy to examine the damage done to your small intestine. You're also not getting the formal blood work done for baseline antibody levels. This baseline measurement of your antibody levels is important to track the level of antibody reaction and inflammation in your system. Having this baseline measurement is also helpful for monitoring your future healing and potential continued exposure to gluten.
Overall, the mysteries of an autoimmune disease like celiac disease and its extensive abuses of the body warrants the help and support of trained medical professionals. Don't mess with your health! Before you self-diagnose or eliminate gluten on your own, seek out the help of trained professional!
Peace, Love and Health!