Medical Surgical Celiac disease #5

Question

How will a client with celiac disease best describe their stool when they eat gluten foods?

Answers

  1. Hard, formed
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a client with celiac disease eating gluten food does not have hard, formed stools. Instead, foamy, fatty diarrhea (steatorrhea) is present for these clients.

  2. Foamy, fatty
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because foamy, fatty diarrhea (steatorrhea) is present in clients with celiac disease eating gluten food. This is due to the malabsorption in their small intestines.

  3. Ribbon-like
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because ribbon-like stools are more associated with Hirschsprung’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, or other gastrointestinal problems. Foamy, fatty diarrhea (steatorrhea) is present in clients with celiac disease eating gluten food. This is due to the malabsorption in their small intestines.

  4. Watery, bloody
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because watery, bloody stool is more consistent with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or cancer. Foamy, fatty diarrhea (steatorrhea) is present in clients with celiac disease eating gluten food. This is due to the malabsorption in their small intestines.

Overview

The stool description of a client with celiac disease when they eat gluten foods is foamy and fatty or steatorrhea. Stools are usually loose and watery as well.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Celiac disease is a condition where the body builds an immune reaction to gluten. This reaction causes inflammation and damages the small intestines. A biopsy of the small intestines confirms the diagnosis of celiac disease. Damage to the small intestines from celiac disease causes malabsorption of some nutrients. Common symptoms of celiac disease are chronic foamy, fatty diarrhea (steatorrhea), abdominal cramping pain, gas, fatigue, and anemia. The main treatment of celiac disease is strict avoidance of gluten-containing foods. Foods containing gluten include rye, barley, oats, and wheat so the client should avoid these foods.

Test Taking Tip

Remember the cause of steatorrhea is malabsorption of fats, so fats will be undigested and found in the stools of clients with celiac disease eating gluten.

Video Rationale