Search: Articles:


Dr. Richard Isaacson

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease (also known as Celiac Sprue) is a chronic digestive disease caused by an intolerance to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats.  In susceptible individuals, gluten damages the lining of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. Celiac Disease is considered an autoimmune disorder because the body’s own immune system causes the damage,  It is also classified as a disease of malabsorption because nutrients are not properly absorbed.

Gluten is not listed as one of the eight major allergens because the sensitivity people have to gluten is not an allergic reaction, it is an intolerance.  Recent findings estimate that 2 million people in the U.S. have celiac disease or about 1 in 133 people, yet 97% of people are unaware that they even have the disease.  Because Celiac Sprue manifests in so many different, seemingly unrelated, symptoms, people are often misdiagnosed and the disease is not recognized by doctor or patient.  Some common symptoms of Celiac Disease include bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, skin rashes, tingling or numbness, mouth sores, discolored teeth, joint pain, delayed growth, poor weight gain, thin bones, infertility, headaches, irritability, and depression.  The only true cure for Celiac is to adhere to a strict gluten free diet.

Commenting is not available in this section entry.