It is an inflammatory diseases that includes the immune system and the digestive system, in particular the small intestines. Celiac disease is an intolerance for a certain protein called gliadin, found in wheat, rye and barley, which is when mixed with glutenin forms gluten. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.
Gluten intolerance appears as a result of a disorder of the immune cells in the intestinal mucous membranes where they mistakenly identify gliadin as an allergen and attack it causing an inflammatory process that causes damage to the mucus membrane.
The resultant damage causes the inner walls of the small intestines to become straight and flat unlike their normal brush-like position. This straightening of the inner walls of the intestine causes malabsorption of essential nutrients. However, when the patient ceases to consume foods that contain gluten, the structure of the intestinal walls will return to normal and will function properly.
The inflammation of the mucous membranes of the intestines and malabsorption can have complications such as: malnutrition, anemia, osteoporosis, allergy to lactose, cancer, and many disorders in the nervous system.
Causes for Celiac Disease
- Hereditary- is a major cause for celiac disease. Moreover, the disease can occur at any age.
- Trauma or a shock such as injury, accident, pregnancy, tension, stress or a surgery.
- People at higher risk for celiac are: people with type 1 diabetes, people with impaired thyroid function (Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism), and also patients with colitis.
- Excessive emotions.
- Stomach disorder that causes flatulence and gases.
- Pain in the abdomen.
- Iron deficiency (Anemia).
- Lack of absorption of vitamin K, which causes to an increase of blood thinning.
- Delayed growth and puberty.
- Weakness of teeth and bones and Osteoporosis.
- General fatigue and muscle weakness as a result of anemia.
- Constipation and chronic diarrhea.
- At times, there might occur a rash with itching and sometimes the disease might not show any symptoms.
- Weight loss.
- Fatty stool with strong odor is a strong symptom of celiac.
- Skin rash.
- Mouth ulcers.
- Paleness, renal weakness, dimness and tiredness.
- At times: depression, discomfort, anxiety as well as numbness of the hands and feet.