Celiac Disease | Overview

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What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is a disorder that causes problems in your small intestine when you eat gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is poison to people who have celiac disease.

What does gluten do to people who have celiac disease?

In people who have celiac disease, gluten causes the immune system to attack the small intestine. This damages the small intestine and keeps your small intestine from taking in nutrients from the foods you eat. When this happens, your body doesn’t get the vitamins, calcium, protein, carbohydrates, fats and other important nutrients it needs. Your body can't work well without these nutrients.

Source

Detecting Celiac Disease in Your Patients by HT Pruessner, M.D. (American Family Physician March 01, 1998, http://www.aafp.org/afp/980301ap/pruessn.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 03/98

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