Celiac Disease | Causes & Risk Factors


How did I get celiac disease?

Doctors and researchers don’t know exactly what causes celiac disease. Celiac disease is more common in people who:

  • Have a family member with celiac disease. If 1 member of your family has celiac disease, about 1 person out of 10 other members of your family is also likely to have it.
  • Have an autoimmune disease, such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune thyroid or liver disease, Addison’s disease, or Sjogren’s syndrome.
  • Have a genetic disorder such as Down syndrome or Turner’s syndrome.

If you have celiac disease, you probably won’t know it right away. You may have this disease for a while without getting sick. Then something like severe stress, physical injury, infection, childbirth, or surgery can trigger, or "turn on," your celiac disease.


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