Refractory Celiac Disease

Refractory celiac disease also known as RCD is a term used in describing a celiac disease condition that doesn’t respond to gluten-free diet.  If you’re suffering from celiac disease for instance, it’s expected that your condition improves when you eat gluten-free diet.  In situation whereby you still suffer the disease after taking the gluten-diet for over a year, you’re said to be suffering from refractory celiac disease (RCD).

People suffering from RCD may still be eating gluten-free diets without having any improvement. In most cases, they are usually advised to consult a medical doctor for proper medical attention.  Such individuals suffering from the disease may encounter several symptoms such as abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and so on.  In fact, such people may still suffer the same symptoms found in the lives of people suffering from ordinary celiac disease.

Refractory celiac disease is not all that common in various countries. Only very few people suffer the disease as a severe type of celiac which continues to remain incurable.  It’s estimated that 2 to 5 % of people with celiac disease may end up developing   RCD.

Several diagnoses carried on people suffering from RCD showed that women are more at a risk of developing the disease than their men counterparts.  However many people suffering from the condition do report of some improvements when they begin to   eat gluten-free diet. In most cases, they may improve their conditions for some weeks.  Despite this, there are still many people with the disease who don’t respond to gluten-free diets. Such people continue to experience repeated cases of the symptoms for several years.

Oftentimes, people suffering from RCD may suffer extra severe symptoms such as inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatic insufficiency,   bacteria overgrowth, lactose intolerance, bowel disorders and so on.


Diagnosis and Treatment

Refractory celiac disease can be very difficult to treat. However,   professional medical doctors can still do something to arrest the condition.  The diagnosis can be based on observational reports, case studies and expert opinion.    A dietary evaluation may be conducted to check the total response of the patient to gluten-free diet.

Again, regular dietetic input is also necessary for assessing the nutritional adequacy involved.  In most cases, the individual can be helped by forcing him or her to follow strict guidelines in taking the gluten-free diet.  He or she may be given a special gluten-free diet plan to follow.  This can actually improve the person’s condition.

The person suffering from RCD may also be admitted to the hospital for proper treatment.  He or she may be given nutritional treatment which will assist in addressing nutritional deficiencies.  If the person’s condition still fails to improve, certain drug treatment may be initiated.   The doctor will recommend the use of immunosuppressive drugs, steroids and chemotherapy in order to help the person.  Some of the drugs may also be combined during the treatment process.

In all, the refractory celiac disease may be difficult to treat especially when the condition of the individual continues to resist all forms of treatment. However, the doctor will continue to carry out other tests and also recommend more medications to arrest the situation.

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