Celiac Disease

'Gluten-free' labeling standards kick in

Starting this week, "gluten-free" labels on packaged foods have real meaning. Until now, the term "gluten-free" had not been regulated, and manufacturers made their own decisions about what it means.

Aug 05, 2014
popularity 5 / 5 (1) | comments 0

Coeliac disease ( /ˈsiːli.æk/; spelled celiac disease in North America and often celiac sprue) is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that occurs in genetically predisposed people of all ages from middle infancy onward. Symptoms include chronic diarrhoea, failure to thrive (in children), and fatigue, but these may be absent, and symptoms in other organ systems have been described.

A growing portion of diagnoses are being made in asymptomatic persons as a result of increased screening; the condition is thought to affect between 1 in 1,750 and 1 in 105 people in the United States. Coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to gliadin, a prolamin (gluten protein) found in wheat, and similar proteins found in the crops of the tribe Triticeae (which includes other common grains such as barley and rye). Upon exposure to gliadin, and specifically to three peptides found in prolamins, the enzyme tissue transglutaminase modifies the protein, and the immune system cross-reacts with the small-bowel tissue, causing an inflammatory reaction. That leads to a truncating of the villi lining the small intestine (called villous atrophy). This interferes with the absorption of nutrients, because the intestinal villi are responsible for absorption. The only known effective treatment is a lifelong gluten-free diet. While the disease is caused by a reaction to wheat proteins, it is not the same as wheat allergy.

This condition has several other names, including: cœliac disease (with œ ligature), c(o)eliac sprue, non-tropical sprue, endemic sprue, gluten enteropathy or gluten-sensitive enteropathy, and gluten intolerance. The term coeliac derives from the Greek κοιλιακός (koiliakós, "abdominal"), and was introduced in the 19th century in a translation of what is generally regarded as an ancient Greek description of the disease by Aretaeus of Cappadocia.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

New drug promises relief for inflammatory pain

Pain from inflammation sidelines thousands of Americans each year. Many face a tough choice: deal with the pain, take a potentially addictive opioid or use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that may increase risk for ...

Fear, safety and the role of sleep in human PTSD

The effectiveness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment may hinge significantly upon sleep quality, report researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans ...

Scientist finds clearer obesity, diabetes connection

(Medical Xpress)—New findings about the biological links between obesity and insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes may also shed light on the connection between obesity and cancer, says a scientist at ...