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Upper endoscopy procedures are the most effective way to diagnose Celiac disease


Eating a gluten-free diet is a fad for some, but for individuals with celiac disease, it can save their life. Astria Health Gastroenterologist, Dr. Vu Le, is here to help individuals with celiac disease find relief from their symptoms and give them tools to live healthier and happier lives.

“Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that, if left untreated, can cause chronic stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, damage to the small intestine, and in some cases, cancer,” said Dr. Le. “The best way to diagnose celiac disease is through an upper endoscopy procedure.”

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation website, “celiac disease affects 1 in 100 people worldwide, but only 30% are properly diagnosed.” An upper endoscopy procedure is where a gastroenterologist places a small tube with a camera at the end of it down an individual’s throat to look at the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (or the first part of the small intestine). During the procedure, the doctor takes a tissue biopsy and images of the areas to see if there is damage caused by celiac disease.

“People experiencing chronic stomach pain, diarrhea or constipation, bloating and gas, itchy skin or developing rashes, mouth ulcers and canker sores need to see their primary care doctor immediately. These symptoms can indicate several different gastrointestinal problems, including celiac disease,” said Dr. Le. “The most common treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet, but without a proper diagnosis, going on a completely gluten-free diet is not the most appropriate option for everyone experiencing these symptoms.”

September 13 is National Celiac Awareness Day. For more information about celiac disease, please visit If you have any of these symptoms, please call your primary care provider and ask about seeing a gastroenterologist. Dr. Le is accepting new patients at Astria Health Center in Union Gap at 1420 Ahtanum Ridge Dr. To make an appointment, please call (509) 314.6565. Dr. Le is performing upper endoscopy procedures at Astria Toppenish Hospital’s brand-new Endoscopy suite that opened last month.

Astria Health, headquartered in the heart of the Yakima Valley, is the largest non-profit healthcare system based in Eastern Washington state. Astria Health is the parent organization of Astria Sunnyside Hospital and Astria Toppenish Hospital, along with 23 outpatient clinics offering primary care and specialty services, including but not limited to behavioral health, cardiology, home health and hospice, neurosurgery, oncology, podiatry, rehabilitation therapy and sleep medicine. For more information, visit


Posted September 12, 2022

Upper endoscopy procedures are the most effective way to diagnose Celiac disease

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