Food allergies have become increasingly prevalent. Regarding gluten: are a significant number of people gluten intolerant or is it a food fad? Nutritionist Kristen Michaelis explains :
First, let’s be clear about what gluten intolerance is. It isn’t a food allergy. It’s a physical condition in your gut. Basically, undigested gluten proteins (prevalent in wheat and other grains) hang out in your intestines and are treated by your body like a foreign invader, irritating your gut and flattening the microvilli along the small intestine wall. Without those microvilli, you have considerably less surface area with which to absorb the nutrients from your food. This leads sufferers to experience symptoms of malabsorption, including chronic fatigue, neurological disorders, nutrient deficiencies, anemia, nausea, skin rashes, depression, and more.
Medical journalist Jane Anderson writes that the first diagnostic step to determine celiac disease is blood tests. A positive determination will result in a referral to a gastroenterologist. These doctors specialize in conditions involving the digestive system. The gastroenterologist may perform an endoscopy, taking samples of the small intestine in order to determine if there is evidence of celiac disease. A pathologist will then review the samples to see if villous atrophy exists. This type of intestinal damage is the hallmark of celiac disease.
The gastroenterology expert will discuss with the patient that the only treatment for celiac disease is adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. After a year, the doctor will most likely prescribe a second endoscopy to examine intestine tissue for signs of healing.
Gastroenterologists are physicians who perform a range of procedures such as colonoscopy, endoscopy and endoscopic retrograde pancreatography. When medical malpractice claims arise from complications such as bleeding, perforated colons or infection following these procedures, gastroenterology expert witnesses are called upon to testify on the medical standard of care involved. Only the most experienced and thoroughly vetted gastroenterology expert witness can undertake the complexities of medical malpractice litigation in this field.