Celiac disease is a digestive and autoimmune disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten. Gluten is a form of protein found in some grains. When foods containing gluten are consumed, the immune system forms antibodies to gluten, which then attack the intestinal lining. This causes inflammation in the intestines and damages the villi, the hair-like structures on the lining of the small intestine, which normally absorb nutrients provided from food. If the villi are damaged, nutrients are not absorbed properly and malnutrition may occur.
Symptoms of celiac disease include digestive problems (abdominal bloating, pain, gas, diarrhea, pale stools, and weight loss), iron deficiency anemia, and musculoskeletal problems (muscle cramps, joint and bone pain). Adopting a gluten-free diet is the primary treatment approach for celiac disease, however nutritional supplementation may also be necessary for malabsorption caused by damage to the intestines.
How We Help
At METANU, we identify nutritional deficiencies, address symptoms you may be experiencing, and assist with your adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease experience iron, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies before adopting a gluten-free diet. Other common deficiencies include zinc, B6, B12, and folate. A bone density test may be ordered and dietary supplements may be prescribed. You will also meet with a registered dietitian for education and support with adhering to a gluten-free diet. We may also provide additional nutritional support based on your individual needs, which may include parenteral nutrition or enteral nutrition.