3 Triggers for Celiac Disease

3 Triggers for Celiac Disease

You live under a near constant threat that your celiac disease is going to rear its ugly head, leaving you with abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and a host of other unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms.

If you’re one of the estimated two million Americans who have celiac disease, managing triggers and risks is one of the most important steps that you can take.

As an autoimmune disease specialist, HealthFirst’s Dr. Jonathan Singer has considerable experience helping patients navigate chronic digestive issues like celiac disease. In the following, we dive into some of the common triggers for celiac disease so you can better manage the condition and improve your quality of life.

1. Gluten: enemy number one

Celiac disease is a digestive condition that’s triggered by gluten, a protein found in barley, wheat, and rye. When you eat gluten, your body launches an immune response that targets your small intestine. Over time, these attacks can lead to considerable damage in the small intestinal lining.

So, it’s fair to say that celiac disease really only has one trigger — the aforementioned gluten. In fact, we suspect that if you’re reading this, you’re already familiar with this fact, and you’re doing your best to make sure that gluten never passes your lips.

2. Stress

Reports are constantly being released about how stress can trigger or exacerbate any number of health issues, from migraines to digestive issues like celiac disease.

When you’re under stress, your body raises the levels of stress hormones, which leads to certain changes in your body, such as muscle tension, that allow you to fight or flee from a perceived danger. When you’re in a constant state of fight-or-flight mode, however, it can wear your body down physically and trigger preexisting health issues, celiac disease among them.

So, if you have celiac disease, a great way to avoid flare-ups is to manage your stress levels.

3. Previous infections

Researchers are currently exploring whether infections early in life, especially those in your digestive tract, can trigger celiac disease. We don’t have definitive answers, yet, but an older study from 2012 found that, “Repeated infectious episodes early in life increases the risk for later celiac disease.”

Unfortunately, this is one trigger that you can’t do much about, but it’s worth mentioning as a possible driver of your digestive issues.

The bottom line is that avoiding gluten is the best way to manage celiac disease, and managing your stress is a distant second. 

When it comes to managing the side effects and complications of celiac disease, it’s important that you have an autoimmune expert like Dr. Singer on your medical team. Dr. Singer works with you to make the necessary changes to manage celiac disease, and he also helps you manage the symptoms.

For expert oversight of your celiac disease, please contact one of our offices in Greenwood Village, Colorado, or Cheyenne, Wyoming, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Singer.

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