Celiac disease is a chronic digestive disorder resulting from an immune reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats.
It involves inflammation and destruction of the inner lining of the small intestine and can lead to the malabsorption of minerals and nutrients.
Celiac disease affects about 1 in 141 Americans. It can affect a person of any age who is genetically predisposed, but it often begins in middle infancy.
Celiac disease, sometimes called celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction damages your small intestine's lining and prevents it from absorbing some nutrients (malabsorption). The intestinal damage often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.
In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development, besides causing the symptoms seen in adults.
There's no cure for celiac disease ? but for most people, following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.