Tag Archives: Blood Samples

Celiac Disease- Digesting The Root Of The Problem

Theres no one symptom that can be used to diagnose Celiac disease. The condition, which simply can be described as a form of gluten intolerance, is a combination of symptoms. In fact, there are many cases where the disease has been misdiagnosed because the symptoms it shares with other digestive and allergy related diseases. Among the symptoms that manifest in children include abdominal pain, diarrhea, not gaining weight, nausea, anemia, mouth sores, lack of appetite, hair loss, bloated abdomen, not growing in height, dermatitis, and behavioral disorders. In adults, it is common to exhibit fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, irritability, and lactose intolerance. The importance in diagnosis celiac disease is getting to the root of the problem to diagnose it properly.

As we all know, celiac disease is a condition where the inner lining of the small intestines gets inflamed due to the contact with gluten. Gluten is a protein that is commonly found in wheat, barley and rye. Once inflammation of the small intestines occurs, the body is unable to absorb the necessary nutrients from the food you eat. So no matter how much you gobble up food, you will still experience malnutrition. And because youre not receiving the right amounts of nutrients, your body will get weaker and becomes more susceptible to other diseases.

Diagnosing the condition is somewhat troublesome due to the fact that the exact cause of the disease is still unknown. Research and studies, however, have proven that the disease is genetic based. So this means that if someone in your family has it, theres a chance that you can have it as well.

Tests and diagnosing the disease can be done through laboratory analysis of blood samples. What doctors will be looking for is the high levels of antibodies, more specifically anti-gliadin, anti-endomysium, and anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies, in your blood. It has been found out that people with celiac disease has high levels of these antibodies in their system. These antibodies identify gluten as a threat to the body and try to get rid of it just like the immune system trying to get rid of virus and bacteria.

However, there are times that the levels of these antibodies were found to be normal, and yet patients still exhibit symptoms of celiac disease. Only once gluten is removed from their diet did they only started feeling a lot better. The disease is really a tricky one to diagnose but through observations and laboratory analysis the task is not impossible.

If left undiagnosed, the disease can potentially lead to complications and other more dangerous disease. Some of the risks the people with the disease have to be ready for include lupus, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, microscopic colitis, and autoimmune thyroid disease.

Of course, malnutrition will be a starting point for deficiencies in vitamins A, B-12, De, E, and K which can cause anemia and weight loss. The body will be lacking in calcium as well which greatly affects the bone density. The damage caused by the disease can also result to developing other allergic reactions from foods that dont even contain gluten, such as lactose.

So it is really important that people who exhibit symptoms of the disease get some medical attention get to the root of the problem. And if the doctors found out that the disease is not celiac, then thats still good. However, leaving everything as it is will never turn out good.

Diagnosing Gilbert’s Disease

There are times when people go through a certain stage in their lives when they need to understand and adjust to certain changes in the way that they live. Some people are burdened with adjusting to getting married, losing a loved one or acquiring a disease or a medical condition. Of all the three, getting diagnosed with a medical condition can be the hardest to adjust to especially if you found out that you have been living with it for all your life. Hereditary diseases like Gilberts disease are one of those that we can acquire and not know about for a long time.

One of the reasons why we can live without knowing the presence of Gilberts disease is that the condition itself has no symptom or noticeable effect. Some people can even live through the rest of their lives without even knowing.

Just because it has no symptom it doesnt mean that it should not be consulted. People sometimes have the wrong notion of not going to a specialist if they suspect that they have Gilberts disease. So why is it important to have your condition diagnosed? Well there are several reasons but lets just look at one and that is for proper identification of the solution for the the problem, once we have the right diagnosis we can move on to taking care of the person who is sick.

Exclusion of other conditions

While this syndrome Gilberts disease is considered to be harmless by itself, it is clinically important to be diagnosed and identified correctly because it may be confused with much more dangerous liver conditions. However, these will show other indicators of liver dysfunction:

– Hemolysis can be excluded by a full blood count, haptoglobin, lactate dehydrogenase levels and the absence of reticulocytosis (elevated reticulocytes in the blood would usually be observed in haemolytic anaemia);

– Hepatitis can be excluded by negative blood samples for antigens specific to the different hepatitis vira;

– Cholestasis can be excluded by the absence of lactate dehydrogenase, low levels of conjugated bilirubin and ultrasound scan of the bile ducts;

– More severe types of glucoronyl transferase disorders like Crigler-Najjar syndrome (types I and II). These are much more severe and cause brain damage in infancy (type I) and teenage years (type II);

Other diseases of the liver can be exluded by the liver-enzymes ALAT, ASAT and albumin being within normal ranges.

Findings specific to Gilberts syndrome

Patients with Gilberts disease show predominantly elevated unconjugated bilirubin. While conjugated is usually within normal ranges and form less than 20 percent of the total. The level of total bilirubin is often increased if the blood sample is taken after fasting for two days, and a fast can therefore be useful diagnostically. If the total bilirubin does in fact increase while fasting, the patient can then be given low doses of phenobarbital when fasting has ended, and following samples should show a decrease in total bilirubin toward normal levels.

Once the findings have been reported, the patient with Gilberts disease should be more careful and should follow what the physician says. It will also be helpful for him or her to conduct a research so he or she can take care of themselves at home or if they cannot go to the doctor regularly. It is also best to watch diet carefully, conduct regular exercise, and take necessary medications or undergo treatments when needed.