Celiac Disease (cont.)

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What is latent and silent celiac disease?

The terms latent and silent celiac disease are used to refer to individuals who have inherited the genes that predispose them to celiac disease but have not developed the symptoms or signs of celiac disease.

Latent celiac disease refers specifically to individuals who have abnormal antibody blood tests for celiac disease (see discussion of specific tests for celiac disease) but who have a normal lining of the small intestine and no signs or symptoms of celiac disease. For example:

  • Some individuals may have had a childhood onset of celiac disease and the disease may have been successfully treated with a gluten-free diet. The individuals' intestines may have resumed a normal appearance and function, and they may have no signs or symptoms of celiac disease.
  • Some individuals with celiac disease in childhood abandon the gluten free diet as adults, yet they remain free of the signs or symptoms of celiac disease.

In both of the above instances, the celiac disease is latent, and the individuals can develop signs and symptoms of celiac disease later in life.

Silent celiac disease refers to individuals who have abnormal antibody blood tests for celiac disease as well as loss of villi in the small intestine but have no symptoms or signs of celiac disease, even on a diet that contains gluten. Like individuals with latent celiac disease, these people can develop signs or symptoms of celiac disease later in life.

What diseases are associated with celiac disease?

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The following diseases are associated with celiac disease:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/12/2013

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Celiac Disease - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Celiac Disease - Diagnosis Question: How was your celiac disease diagnosed?
Celiac Disease - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment have you tried for your celiac disease?
Celiac Disease - Diet Question: Discuss the dietary changes you've made to manage your celiac disease. Has your condition improved?
Celiac Disease - Associated Diseases Question: What associated diseases do you have in concurrence with celiac disease?

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