Medical Conditions » Celiac Disease
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, the immune system is triggered to attack the small intestine. Over time, this results in chronic inflammation that damages the surface of the small intestine. This interferes with the absorption of nutrients and can lead to a wide range of serious problems. Because of this, people with celiac disease must avoid eating anything with gluten in it.
What are the Symptoms of Celiac Disease?
Symptoms of celiac disease may include:
Celiac disease runs in families. Because its symptoms are like many other digestive diseases, people with celiac disease often go untreated for many years.
Testing for Celiac Disease
Laboratory tests help doctors diagnose celiac disease. Genetic testing may also be ordered for people without symptoms but who have close relatives with the condition, or for others who may be at increased risk for celiac disease.
Following a healthy, gluten-free diet can dramatically improve the condition of people with celiac disease so they can lead full, active lives.
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