Celiac Disease Definition, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

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Dispersed damage of the mucosa in the proximal portion of the small bowel that results in malabsorption of nutrients is known as celiac disease.

The symptoms appear between 6 and 24 months of age after weaning foods are introduced.

The precise cause of this disease it’s not known. Yet, elimination of foods that contain gluten eliminates the symptoms and allows the intestine to heal.

Some grains like barley, rye and wheat contain storage proteins known as glutens. These proteins are not found in corn, rice and oats. There is a hypothesis that people are predisposed to gluten intolerance. The gluten stimulates T cell-mediated autoimmune response in the submucosa of the intestine that is inappropriate. As a result, the mucosal enterocytes are destroyed. The autoimmune response affects the tissue transglutaminase. This enzyme modifies a component of gluten, and turns it into a form that stimulates the T cells strongly.

Unbelievably, more than 80% of people who suffer from celiac disease are not diagnosed or they get the wrong diagnosis. The disease is first noticed by the appearance of transglutaminase autoantibodies. Then, the disease is more certainly confirmed by small intestine biopsy by upper intestinal endoscopy.

Treatment

Eliminating gluten from the diet is the lifelong treatment of celiac disease. In a gluten-free diet there is no complete absence of gluten. Instead harmless levels of gluten are consumed by the patients.

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