What is Celiac Disease?

GlutenCeliac disease, often referred to as celiac sprue, is a disease of the digestive system that causes damage to the small intestine, interfering with absorption of vital nutrients from food. The word ‘celiac’ is derived from Greek words, and it means ‘relating to the abdomen.’ People who suffer from celiac disease are unable to tolerate ‘gluten,’ a word actually derived from the Latin word ‘glue.’ Gluten is a mixture of plant proteins that occur in grains such as wheat, barley, corn, and rye. Gluten is used as an adhesive and a flour substitute. Today, gluten is found not just in many processed foods, but it is also used in medications, lip balms, and even vitamins. Because celiac disease prevents nutrients from being absorbed into the body, it causes damage to intestinal linings, and this can lead to certain autoimmune disorders. So, what are the symptoms of celiac disease, and when should you visit a GI doctor for testing? Continue reading “What is Celiac Disease?”