Celiac Disease is diagnosed and treated by our GI Division at Premier Medical Group.
What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the small intestine that interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People with CD can’t tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms. When they do consume gluten, their immune systems respond by damaging or destroying the villi—tiny fingerlike protrusions lining the small intestine—which normally allow nutrients to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food he or she consumes.
Celiac disease was once thought to be a rare childhood syndrome, but is now recognized as a common generic disorder that can first appear at any age. About 5-10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with CD— a parent, sibling, or child—is likely to have it as well. In the U.S., it’s estimated that close to 3 million (over 10%) people have CD, but the majority haven’t been diagnosed.