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Celiac Disease overview from WebMD

Posted Jan 08 2011 9:32pm

Celiac Disease - Topic Overview

Celiac disease is a problem some people have with foods that contain gluten. Gluten is a kind of protein found in foods like bread, crackers, and pasta. With celiac disease, your immune system attacks the gluten and harms your small intestine when you eat these kinds of foods. This makes it hard for your body to absorb nutrients that keep you healthy.
Gluten comes from grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It’s important to get treatment, because celiac disease can lead to iron deficiency anemia and osteoporosis . It can also raise your risk of lymphoma.
Celiac disease can slow growth and weaken bones in children. If it is not treated, your child can get very sick. Call a doctor if your child is losing a lot of weight , has diarrhea , or feels weak and tired for many days for no reason.
Doctors don't really know what causes the disease. Having certain genes can increase your chance of getting it. You are more likely to have these genes and get celiac disease if a close family member has it. In some people, viruses or infections can also trigger changes in your immune system that can lead to celiac disease.
Symptoms of celiac disease include
  • Gas and bloating .
  • Changes in bowel movements.
  • Feeling very tired.
  • Weakness.
These symptoms can be very mild.
Some people vomit after they eat gluten. This is more likely to happen in children than in adults.

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