What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that results in malabsorption, or the inability of the small intestines to absorb necessary nutrients from food. Individuals with the disease have an abnormal immune system response to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This reaction damages the villi that line the inside of the small intestine and interferes with the ability to absorb nutrients during digestion.
When gluten is consumed, symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation can occur.
Because of its symptoms, celiac disease it is often incorrectly diagnosed or not diagnosed at all. If you notice your pain worsen after eating and you have a progressive weight loss, it is important to contact your doctor. Individuals who have celiac disease and continue to eat gluten increase their chances of gastrointestinal cancer by 40 to 100 times that of the normal population.