Celiac Disease Specialist

Center For Digestive Healing

Lourdes Bahamonde, DO

Gastroenterology & Internal Medicine located in Cudahy, CA & Pasadena, CA

Approximately one in 100 people worldwide have celiac disease, including 2.5 million undiagnosed Americans who’re at risk for long-term health complications such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis (MS). At Center For Digestive Healing, fellowship-trained gastroenterologist Lourdes G. Bahamonde, DO, can help you stave off future risks through lifestyle modification counseling. If you suspect you or a loved one has gluten intolerance, call her office in Cudahy, California, or schedule an appointment online today.

Celiac Disease Q & A

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a condition marked by an intolerance to gluten, a protein commonly found in wheat, barley, and rye products. For those with celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an adverse immune response in the small intestine.

Many celiac disease sufferers go undiagnosed and continue to eat gluten to their detriment. Over time, if you have celiac disease and go on eating gluten, the lining of your small intestine becomes increasingly damaged and prevents your body’s intake of certain key nutrients.

This damage to your small intestine can lead to a number of symptoms, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Bloating

If left undiagnosed, celiac disease can lead to long-term, irreversible damage to your small intestine and other serious complications, including malnutrition, neurological problems, and cancer.

What causes celiac disease?

While the exact cause of celiac disease isn’t known, in some cases it can develop after events like major surgery, pregnancy, viral infection, or intense emotional stress.

There are certain risk factors that are linked to celiac disease, including:

  • Type I diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Down syndrome
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease

Celiac disease also tends to run in families. If you have a family member with celiac disease, it’s probably a good idea to get tested.

When should I get tested for celiac disease?

Consult with Dr. Bahamonde if you have diarrhea or digestive discomfort stemming from gluten that lasts for at least two weeks.

Don’t try a gluten-free diet before talking to Dr. Bahamonde. If you stop or even reduce your gluten intake before you get tested for celiac disease, you may alter the test results.

The test for celiac disease involves taking a blood sample for evaluation. In some cases, Dr. Bahamonde may also opt for further testing, such as extracting a small tissue sample from your small intestine for a biopsy.

How is celiac disease managed?

Dr. Bahamonde is a fellowship-trained gastroenterologist and she can help you effectively manage celiac disease through dietary counseling. With her guidance, implementing a gluten-free diet will stave off the detrimental effects of celiac disease.

If a gluten-free diet presents any nutritional deficiencies, supplements taken in pill form, such as calcium, iron, or vitamin B12, can round out your diet. Dr. Bahamonde closely monitors your progress and makes sure to maintain regular checkups with you.

To learn more about celiac disease and how Dr. Bahamonde can help you manage its symptoms, call Center For Digestive Healing or schedule an appointment online today.