When looking at what causes celiac disease in adults, there are several points to consider; celiac disease causes are combined. It is a hereditary autoimmune condition; a latent allergic reaction to gluten is present, and sensitivity causes damage to the stomach lining and small intestine, causing stomach bloating and pain, as well as other harmful side effects. When the stomach lining is damaged, there is also poor nutrient absorption as a result. Essential vitamins and minerals cannot be absorbed properly, and fat is also not broken down effectively in the body.
The detection of wheat as the culprit was made in the 1940s by Dr. Willem Dicke, a Dutch paediatrician. His patients noticed improvement in their symptoms during the Dutch famine of 1944, when there was a limited availability of flour. In 1952, a group of doctors from England identified gluten as the offending component of wheat that can damage the lining of the intestine. In later years, other features of celiac disease were revealed but with many misconceptions, such as the erroneous belief that celiac was primarily a childhood disease, or that a person could eventually resume eating gluten-containing food.
Signs of celiac disease begin to show not only in childhood patterns, but can also develop at more mature ages. What causes celiac disease is often linked to hereditary reasons, certain genetic disorders, and autoimmune disease. Some indicators can include anemia, bad liver function, autoimmune thyroid disease, Down syndrome, Microscopic colitis (colon inflammation), and Turner Sydrome (an incomplete sex chromosome).
Other genetics-related clues as to what causes celiac disease include the parent’s bad diet habits before conception and/or the mother’s poor diet during pregnancy, vitamin deficiency, and Candida (yeast overgrowth) present in one or both parents during conception. The child will inherit these with a similar immune system state as his or her parents, and it will be in such a state since birth onwards, unless the parent supplies the child with proper vitamins and nutrients and excludes gluten from the child’s diet. This is why it is very important for parents to be conscious of what they consume before and during pregnancy.
When investigating what causes celiac disease, there can also be a strong Candida, or yeast overgrowth, connection. A researcher from Holland by the name of Dr. Nieuwenhuizen( from the TNO nutrition group) concluded in his published paper in 2003 that there is the same sequence of proteins that occurs in both cell walls of Candida Albicans and those that trigger celiac disease. Hwp1 is the nickname for the Candida gluten-like protein that acts as the yeast’s Velcro by hanging onto the endomysium, or the layer of connective tissue surrounding each muscle fiber cells, in the intestinal wall. While many people that have celiac disease get better shortly after eliminating gluten from their diet, some people’s symptoms remain even when gluten is eliminated. According to Nieuwenhuizen, this may be because the Candida in their gut acts like gluten and symptoms may be triggered continuously until Candida overgrowth is brought back to its original size. On the other hand, a Candida infection, which is common with antibiotic usage, could actually be one of the major causes of celiac disease. Even when the infection is treated, the patient may still have a prolonged or permanent sensitivity to wheat gluten.
There is always more caution needed when people are genetically susceptible to celiac, because a result could be Candida overgrowth. Both wheat sensitivity and Candida can lead to neurological damage. Because what causes celiac disease still requires more research, celiac disease is often dismissed or under diagnosed. One should first test for celiac disease in any chronic digestive condition. When one diagnoses celiac disease and looks for its causes, Candida infections and overgrowth should also be tested and treated, preferably naturally by way of anti-candida diet, vitamins and probiotics.