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Celiac Disease

Celiac disease (pronunciation, see-lee-ak) is a condition in which the lining (mucosa) of the small intestine is damaged by ingestion of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains like wheat, rye, barley and triticale.
The lining of the small intestine normally has very tiny finger-like projections called villi. These villi help to absorb nutrients from the diet into the blood. In celiac disease, when gluten is ingested, the immune system of the patient causes inflammation and damage to these villi. This can lead to various symptoms and an inability of the body to absorb nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. This can cause a variety of health problems and complications.
Removal of gluten from the diet leads to healing of the intestine with resolution of the symptoms and nutritional problems. Therefore, celiac disease may be considered as a sensitivity or allergy to gluten.
 

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