COELIAC DISEASE

November 9, 2015

(also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, Coeliac disease).

  Coeliac disease is a common genetic disorder that affects the small intestine and the body’s ability to digest and absorb nutrients. Coeliac disease can be serious, and if left untreated, can result in such conditions as vitamin and mineral deficiencies, malnutrition, small intestine cancer, and anaemia. It can affect anyone but it more common in people with genetic disorders like Turner Syndrome and Down Syndrome. People with conditions like type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, autoimmune liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis and microscopic colitis are also at risk of developing celiac disease although it is more often seen in people of northern European descent. In coeliac disease, the lining of the small intestine is damaged by the body’s own immune system after a person eats a food containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, such as wheat, oats, barley, and rye. When partially digested foods containing gluten reach the small intestine, an abnormal reaction occurs in the intestinal lining. The lining is made of many villi, small finger-like bumps, which flatten out when exposed to gluten. This decreases the amount of surface area of the small intestine that is available to digest and absorb nutrients. The symptoms of coeliac disease vary between individua