Celiac Disease is a chronic digestive disorder affecting both children and adults. In Celiac disease, the body reacts abnormally to the presence of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye in the stomach. The ingestion of this protein causes an auto-immune reaction whereby the body’s immune system attacks the lining of attacks the small intestine, inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients, destroying the intestinal villi and causing problems in various other bodily systems.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common symptoms of Celiac disease are:
- Intermittent diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Irritability or depression
- Stomach upset
- Joint pain
- Muscle cramps
- Skin rash
- Mouth sores
- Dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis)
- Tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy)
- Foul-smelling or grayish stools that may be fatty or oily
- Stunted growth (in children)
How do you get Celiac Disease?
The cause of Celiac disease is still not fully understood. It is known that Celiac disease affects those with a genetic predisposition. It is known that certain genes – HLA-DQ2 and DQ8 — are associated with an increased risk of Celiac disease.
It tends to be more common in people who have Type 1 diabetes, Autoimmune thyroid disease, Down syndrome, and Microscopic colitis, particularly collagenous colitis. Like many other autoimmune diseases, the condition is two to three times more common in women than men.