Mandy Moore Undergoes Endoscopy To Test for Celiac Disease

This is Us star Mandy Moore took to Instagram Saturday as she was recovering from an endoscopy procedure. She had undergone the procedure to test whether she has celiac disease (otherwise known as gluten sensitive enteropathy.)

“Grog city. Just had an upper endoscopy to officially see whether or not I have celiac [disease] (only way to officially diagnose)…things are looking 👌).”

In July, Moore had announced that she had been tentatively diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease of the bowel. She asked fans for advice on how to live with the illness, saying: “Well, this definitely takes the (now gluten free cake) for bummer news. Any celiac sufferers out there with any helpful tips??”

An upper endoscopy, is a procedure in which a thin scope with a light and camera at its tip is used to look inside the upper digestive tract — the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. Taking a small sample of the tissue and looking at it under a microscope for tell-tale signs of the disease is the only way to make a definitive diagnosis.

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine. In people who have celiac disease, gluten causes the immune system to attack the small intestine.  The inflammation causes shortening of the villi lining the small intestine. Villi are finger-like projections from the walls of the intestine which increase the internal surface area of the intestinal walls,  making  a greater surface area for absorption. Damage to the villi affects the absorption of nutrients, frequently leading to anemia.

Gluten is a protein found naturally in wheat, barley, and rye, and is common in foods such as bread, pasta, cookies, and cakes. Many pre-packaged foods, lip balms and lipsticks, hair and skin products, toothpastes, vitamin and nutrient supplements, and, rarely, medicines, contain gluten.

Celiac disease can be very serious. The disease can cause long-lasting digestive problems and keep your body from getting all the nutrients it needs. Celiac disease can also affect the body outside the intestine.

Celiac disease is different from gluten sensitivity or wheat intolerance. If you have gluten sensitivity, you may have symptoms similar to those of celiac disease, such as abdominal pain and tiredness. Unlike celiac disease, gluten sensitivity does not damage the small intestine. Celiac disease is also different from a wheat allergy. In both cases, your body’s immune system reacts to wheat. However, some symptoms in wheat allergies, such as having itchy eyes or a hard time breathing, are different from celiac disease. Wheat allergies also do not cause long-term damage to the small intestine.

How common is celiac disease?

As many as one in 141 Americans has celiac disease, although most don’t know it.

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?

Most people with celiac disease have one or more symptoms. However, some people with the disease may not have symptoms or feel sick. Sometimes health issues such as surgery, a pregnancy, childbirth, bacterial gastroenteritis , a viral infection, or severe mental stress can trigger celiac disease symptoms.

If you have celiac disease, you may have digestive problems or other symptoms. Digestive symptoms are more common in children and can include:

  • bloating, or a feeling of fullness or swelling in the abdomen
  • chronic diarrhea
  • constipation
  • gas
  • nausea
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stools that float
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting

Adults are less likely to have digestive symptoms and, instead, may have one or more of the following:

  • anemia
  • a red, smooth, shiny tongue
  • bone or joint pain
  • depression or anxiety
  • dermatitis herpetiformis
  • headaches
  • infertility or repeated miscarriage
  • missed menstrual periods
  • mouth problems such a canker sores or dry mouth
  • seizures
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • tiredness
  • weak and brittle bones

What are the complications of celiac disease?

Long-term complications of celiac disease include

  • malnutrition, a condition in which you don’t get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you need to be healthy
  • accelerated osteoporosis or bone softening, known as osteomalacia
  • nervous system problems
  • problems related to reproduction

Rare complications can include

  • intestinal cancer
  • liver diseases
  • lymphoma, a cancer of part of the immune system called the lymph system that includes the gut

How do doctors diagnose celiac disease?

Celiac disease can be hard to diagnose because some of the symptoms are like symptoms of other diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and lactose intolerance. Your doctor may diagnose celiac disease with a medical and family history, physical exam, and tests. Tests may include blood tests, genetic tests, and biopsy.

How do doctors treat celiac disease?

Gluten Free Diet

Doctors treat celiac disease with a gluten-free diet. Gluten is a protein found naturally in wheat, barley, and rye that triggers a reaction if you have celiac disease. Symptoms greatly improve for most people with celiac disease who stick to a gluten-free diet. In recent years, grocery stores and restaurants have added many more gluten-free foods and products, making it easier to stay gluten free.

Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian who specializes in treating people with celiac disease. The dietitian will teach you how to avoid gluten while following a healthy diet. He or she will help you check food and

  • product labels for gluten
  • design everyday meal plans
  • make healthy choices about the types of foods to eat

For most people, following a gluten-free diet will heal damage in the small intestine and prevent more damage. You may see symptoms improve within days to weeks of starting the diet. The small intestine usually heals in 3 to 6 months in children. Complete healing can take several years in adults. Once the intestine heals, the villi, which were damaged by the disease, regrow and will absorb nutrients from food into the bloodstream normally.

Avoiding medicines and nonfood products that may contain gluten

In addition to prescribing a gluten-free diet, your doctor will want you to avoid all hidden sources of gluten. If you have celiac disease, ask a pharmacist about ingredients in

  • herbal and nutritional supplements
  • prescription and over-the-counter medicines
  • vitamin and mineral supplements

You also could take in or transfer from your hands to your mouth other products that contain gluten without knowing it. Products that may contain gluten include

  • children’s modeling dough, such as Play-Doh
  • cosmetics
  • lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm
  • skin and hair products
  • toothpaste and mouthwash
  • communion wafers

Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

1 Comment

  1. Sharon Black

    January 11, 2018 at 6:40 pm

    Re: News story about Mandy Moore undergoing endoscopy to test for celiac disease –

    -For five or six years, thought I had the same thing – was ill, sometimes very, every day
    -During the five days leading up to endoscopy was instructed to eat many of the foods I usually avoided
    -I wasn’t enthusiastic about this, but it had to be done
    -As the days went by, I noticed the various, dreaded foods I was eating weren’t having the expected adverse effect – weird
    -A day or two prior to endoscopy, my husband threw his back out, so I went to the drugstore, consulted with the pharmacist about which anti-inflammatory to buy for him
    – As the pharmacist explained the pros & cons of each medication, at one point she mentioned one version was harder on one’s stomach lining, than the other
    -It was at that very moment I experienced an epiphany: I realized for the past few days, I hadn’t taken any over-the-counter medication for headaches and migraines – this was unusual for me as I tend to get stress-related headbangers
    -So, now I knew: at least part of my gastrointestinal problem was becoming clear
    – Incidentally, the pharmacist advised I only take Tylenol, as it is kindest on the esophagus, and stomach lining, other headache medications are known to be quite harsh
    – I hadn’t realized this
    – As anyone reading this might have already guessed, following my endoscopy exam, it was determined I wasn’t suffering from celiac disease
    – Somehow, a short period after the endoscopy, I realized I cannot eat anything containing canola
    – This, “stuff,” which began as an industrial oil for machinery, (especially heavy) had somehow morphed into a food stuff, not only that – it was in virtually everything – cereals, salad dressings, various, other condiments, mass produced baked goods, and those made in-house at grocery stores, as well as at one-off bakeries
    – It can sneakily conjoin with other ingredients for a meat marinade – recently, my husband bought some marinated pork tenderloin – it tasted good, but shortly thereafter, I felt very ill
    – There are occasional slip-ups like this, but overall I manage to totally avoid the stuff
    – I now know canola, in all of its various, odious permutations was the cause of my approximately 6 year, virtually unrelenting illness, malaise, you name it
    – I find it thoroughly unconscionable various, multinational corporations, (some grow food, some process food stuffs, and some whip up all sorts of GMO nightmarish concoctions of all sorts) even governments, have been extolling the healthful benefits of cooking and baking with canola oil
    -While it would appear I belong to a very small contingent of people throughout the world who have a high-sensitivity to ingesting canola oil, more and more folks are coming to realize canola is precisely the thing making them chronically ill
    -As well, I have a very strong suspicion that a much, much higher percentage of people are plagued with ongoing, generally mysterious, but often profound health issues that sap the joy from their lives
    -Along with canola, so many of the foods eaten by North Americans is majorly adulterated
    -e.g., wheat isn’t really anything like it was – thanks to science, big agri-business, et al., its goodness has been largely stripped from it
    -Even animals such as dogs, and likely many other species also have a high-sensitivity or an all-out allergy to today’s mainstream wheat products
    -There are innumerable other raw, semi-processed, and processed foods that are now anathema to humans and virtually all of the other creatures sharing the earth
    -We need to educate ourselves more – take a sober look at monoliths such as Monsanto – what with their agricultural suicide seeds, they are akin to a hijacked Mother Nature, now strung out on crack
    – Heritage seed libraries represent one of the best pushbacks people of the world can employ
    -many of these libraries are in fact, affiliated with countless bricks and mortar libraries all over the world
    – Of course, even libraries are being seriously devalued, and therefore, severely threatened in this day and age that practically outright mocks what has primarily come to be seen as the quaint, outmoded notions of reading, writing, (Cursive? What’s that?! Who cares?) and yes, higher cognition
    – It is an empirically based fact that food stuffs in places such as Europe are far healthier than those to be had in N.A.
    – And hey, European food tastes infinitely better
    – Why? European countries askew GMOs via the legal system(s), they aren’t nearly as slavishly caught up in how food looks versus how it tastes, what its nutritional value is
    – Whereas here, on the other side of the pond, a piece of fruit may look like a work of art, perfection personified, but it will probably taste like cardboard
    – This is what we get for operating at such a high level of vacuity – just like a Kardashian bum, (complete with butt lifts, or extreme exercise, etc.) natural products, natural raw ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and meats, are to appear plump, juicy, and flawless – it’s as though we want everything under the sun to have undergone plastic surgery – the cult of fake over real
    -Lastly, I recently read that the oranges our grandparents ate, (Back in the 30s and 40s) were incredibly nutritious – as they should be
    -Today in North America, for every one orange said grandparents ate, we would have to ingest an equivalent of eight – that’s 8!!
    – I think it’s time we all lurched ourselves from our semi-somnambulant state, that we took back our rightful, inalienable power and control
    -We’ve been lulled into thinking we never had it in the first place, or at very least can never get it back
    -This is precisely what those in power, (i.e., in government, mega-corporations, and so on) want us to believe
    -While working harder and harder, functioning as cogs in a corrupt, soulless machine, many of us have come to have a great attachment to material goods – many love to constantly shop, must shop – and many absolutely must have the latest, most trendy, most prestigious items
    – While we know the world is on tilt, we don’t believe we have the means to do anything to change this, if only because we don’t want to sacrifice any of our stuff – never mind that a lot of us aren’t even happy
    – As is the case in health-related matters, each individual should in small or big ways, be positive advocates for change, even if we’re just actively sharing more information, more knowledge about important issues, important things we should know – each person has a right to thrive, not merely survive
    – I didn’t intend to write at such length, but hope what I’ve shared might help at least one other person
    – We really need to recognize and acknowledge the interconnectivity of everything and everyone
    – …Last time I was at my local grocery store, I spoke with a bakery dept. employee
    – Upshot of this conversation: more and more customers are inquiring about whether or not the bakery’s products contain canola oil
    – These folks wanted to know because, you know, canola make them sick
    – This was really heartening to learn as it would seem there are lots of other people who like myself, are becoming more cognizant of the countless ways the quality of our society and lives are being bastardized
    -It ain’t a new story, yet somehow many of the specifics are still largely unknown to the majority of the population in North America, and likely other places, too
    – Cheers, Everyone! I’m gonna shut up now, off to quaff some organic red wine!
    – Well, sadly, the organic bit isn’t true, although, come to think of it, from what I have gleaned countries such as Chile produce wines devoid of any noxious, manmade chemicals
    – I’ll drink to that :))
    P.S. Many thanks for providing this informative web site, and for providing a venue for folks to share – a bit dangerous not placing a character limit on emails, but, hey, verbosity queens & knowledge lovers such as myself are mighty grateful. As already touched on, it’s wonderful thinking one might be able to light a positive spark in others, might even tangibly help them, or someone they love to find viable, even natural solutions to their physical sufferings – through which they will attain better health and a better life. Salut!

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