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Celiac disease

Preventing nutrients from being absorbed in  the small intestine

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that damages the villi (fingerlike projections in the intestines through which nutrients are absorbed), preventing the body from getting the nourishment it needs from  food as it passes through the small intestine. It is caused by an genetic intolerance of a protein called gluten, which is commonly found in foods made from wheat, barley and rye.

Symptoms

Can include abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea or constipation, weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, unexplained anemia, joint pain, muscle cramps, irritability, itchy skin rashes

Diagnosis

May include a blood test for high levels of autoantibodies (antibodies that react against a body’s own tissues) or a tissue sample or biopsy of the small intestine to test for damage to the intestinal lining.

Treatment

Adopting a strict gluten-free diet generally provides relief from symptoms. If you think you have celiac disease, do not eliminate gluten from your diet until you can be tested by a physician for this condition.