Celiac disease involves an immune-mediated intolerance to gluten; which is a protein component found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats. When gluten is ingested, an inflammatory response damages the villi and microvilli lining the walls of the small intestine that aid in absorption of nutrients. This damage interferes with proper digestion and absorption.
Both adults and children can be diagnosed with celiac disease, and the disease is currently estimated to affect 1 in 100 people.
While there are no “typical” symptoms presented in a person with celiac disease, nutrient deficiencies are responsible for most symptoms including: diarrhea, unhealthy weight loss or gain, abdominal pain, bone pain and headaches.
A well-balanced, gluten-free diet is currently the only long-term treatment option.