What is Celiac Disease?
In a nutshell:
Celiac Disease (also known as Celiac Sprue or Coeliac) is an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system decides that the consumption of the gluten protein (found in barley, rye, wheat and oats contaminated by wheat
) is good enough reason to cause inflammation in the small intestine. This inflammation shrinks and flattens the precious villi of the small intestine, with many adverse effects.
What are villi?
Think of villi as microscopic fingers lining our small intestine. These microscopic fingers are responsible for grabbing the nutrients and minerals in our food and absorbing them into our blood stream.
What is the impact?
In light of the villi's vital role in the digestive process, a Celiac’s autoimmune response to the consumption of gluten can have serious consequences. Compromised villi can lead to mal-absorption, poor absorption of the nutrients found in our food. This, in turn, can cause a host of side effects, not limited to malnourishment, depression, abnormal weight gain or weight loss, fatigue of varying severity, joint pain, muscle pain, and much more.
For more information on symptoms see FAQ “What are the symptoms of Celiac Disease?” here.
We know, we know. One night you go to bed and the world is as you’ve known it. Then, the next day, you wake up hearing “gluten free this!!!” or “gluten free that! See more...
There is not one set of symptoms that a Celiac is guaranteed to have. The damage to the villi caused by Celiac Disease effects many of the body systems in a variety of wa See more...
Part 1: Blood Test
- There are a few blood tests used to detect Celiac Disease. The most reliable tests look for specific antibodies, such as anti-tissue transgluta See more...