What is Celiac Disease and What Symptoms Does it Cause?
Raise awareness on Celiac Disease Awareness Day. Celiac Disease Awareness Day educates the public about celiac disease and the health challenges it causes. Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, is a digestive and autoimmune disorder. This disorder results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when a gluten-sensitive person eats foods with gluten. Gluten is a form of protein found in some grains. Therefore, damage to the intestine makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients, especially fat, calcium, iron, and folate.
What Causes Celiac Disease?
Normally, the body’s immune system protects it from foreign invaders. However, when people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system forms antibodies to gluten. Then, these antibodies attack the intestinal lining. When the intestinal lining is attacked, inflammation occurs in the intestines and damages the villi. Villi are the hair-like structures on the lining of the small intestine. Villi normally absorb nutrients from food. Ultimately, if the villi are damaged, the person cannot absorb nutrients properly. Thus, the person with celiac disease ends up malnourished, no matter how much he or she eats.
What Are the Symptoms of Celiac Disease?
All in all, symptoms of celiac disease vary among sufferers and include:
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