Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine. It is caused by an abnormal immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. When people with coeliac disease consume gluten, the immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine, causing damage to the villi, which are small finger-like projections that line the small intestine. This damage makes it difficult for the small intestine to absorb nutrients from food, leading to a wide range of symptoms.

Symptoms of coeliac disease can vary widely, but may include diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. Some people with coeliac disease may also experience non-gastrointestinal symptoms such as an itchy rash, joint pain, and depression. Diagnosis of coeliac disease is typically made through blood tests and a small intestine biopsy. The only treatment for coeliac disease is a strict gluten-free diet, which means avoiding all foods that contain wheat, barley, and rye. This diet can help to heal the damage caused by the disease and relieve symptoms. It is important to be diagnosed by a doctor before starting a gluten-free diet, as it can lead to nutritional deficiencies if not done properly.

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