Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction produces inflammation that damages the small intestine's lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption).
The intestinal damage can cause weight loss, bloating and sometimes diarrhea. Eventually, your brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other organs can be deprived of vital nourishment. In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development. The intestinal irritation can cause stomach pain, especially after eating.
There's no cure for celiac disease. But the symptoms usually can be managed effectively, and the intestine healed, by following a strict gluten-free diet.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked high performing for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report.
I am writing my story of celiac disease. I was diagnosed in March 2008, at the age of 73. I also want to tell my mother's story. She passed away in 1945 at the age of 30; when I was ...