Celiac Disease

The M Health Fairview Celiac Disease Care Team includes medical experts and support staff who specialize in the diagnosis and management of celiac disease. The goal of our multidisciplinary team is to provide optimal individual treatment, improve quality of life, and provide superior care for people with celiac disease. 
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Celiac disease is a condition in which the immune system responds abnormally to a protein called gluten, which then leads to damage to the lining of the small intestine. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and possibly oats. It can also be found in a multitude of prepared foods. Celiac disease is also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy (enter-OH-pathy) and celiac sprue.

The small intestine is responsible for absorbing food and nutrients. Damage to the lining of the small intestines can lead to difficulty absorbing important nutrients; this problem is referred to as malabsorption. Resulting symptoms can include abdominal pain, cramping, bloating and irregular stools. However, symptoms can very from person to person.

Although celiac disease cannot be cured, avoiding gluten usually stops the damage to the intestinal lining and the malabsorption that results. Celiac disease can occur in people of any age and it affects both genders.

Our Approach

How is celiac disease diagnosed?
It is not clear what causes celiac disease. A combination of environmental and genetic factors is important. Fortunately, at the University of Minnesota testing is available that can easily distinguish celiac disease from other disorders. As a M Health Fairview patient, your care team consists of an interdisciplinary team of physicians, surgeons, advanced practice providers, dieticians, and health phycologists. Your care team will determine the most accurate series of testing for diagnosis of celiac disease. The care team will run tests that consists of but are not limit to blood and stool tests, imaging, and endoscopy with small intestine biopsies,. These tests are completed to confirm the diagnosis of celiac disease and to ensure there are no resulting nutritional deficiencies.

Scheduling a visit: what should I do before my visit?
Before your visit, obtain reports of any prior procedures (colonoscopies, endoscopies, or surgeries) and imaging reports (Ultrasounds, CT or MRI scans). If you have been seen by a gastroenterologist obtain a report of that visit and send us those medical records.

Our team aims to make patient education a priority. Please write down your visit expectations and any questions you may have. It is important to us that we meet your expectations and answer all of your questions.

What to expect on your first visit:
On your first visit you will meet with the office staff to review your medications, allergies, and history. If you sent your records ahead of time your physician reviewed them prior to your visit. Your physician will sit down with you to take a detailed history of your past medical and surgical history. If the diagnosis of celiac disease is in question our providers will discuss scheduling blood tests, stool tests, and endoscopy to obtain small bowel biopsies to establish the diagnosis. If the diagnosis has already been confirmed our providers will work with you to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dieticians to educate you on a gluten free diet.

Treatments, Tests, and Procedures

Health Psychology

Our licensed, faculty health psychologists are active clinicians providing a range of diagnostic and therapeutic psychological services in collaboration with physicians, integrating behavioral services with medical services to help patients achieve their health and wellness goals.
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