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Celiac disease

Celiac disease
Celiac disease
Causes and Risk Factors

Celiac disease
One out of 133 people in the United States is affected with celiac disease, or CD. But what is celiac disease exactly?  And what can cause gluten intolerance and the resulting digestive problems. 

What is celiac disease? 
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.  In a basic definition, people who have celiac disease cannot tolerate the protein called gliadin in the formation of gluten (a composite of proteins gliadin and glutenin).  Gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley (or medicines, vitamins, and lip balms).

To be clear, celiac disease is not a food allergy - it is an autoimmune disease: the body becomes "confused" during this disorder, and does not recognize its own small intestine cells.  During celiac disease, the immune system attacks and destroys these cells. Food allergies, including wheat allergy, are conditions that people can grow out of.  This is not the case with celiac disease.

When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, the immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi- tiny protrusions that line the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food one eats.  But why does the body respond like this to gluten?  And what causes this immune system response?  More on causes and risk factors of celiac desease here.

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Tags: small intestine, food allergies, food allergy, absorption, Allergies, intestine, attacks, Allergy, cells, food, allergies immune system, allergy immune system, absorption definition, autoimmune disorder, autoimmune response, allergy allergies, autoimmune system, food intolerance, allergy products, allergies causes
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