Inflammatory disorders

Comparing heirloom and modern wheat effects on gut health

Amid concerns about gluten sensitivity, increasing numbers of people are avoiding wheat. Most have not been diagnosed with a wheat-related medical condition, yet they seem to feel better when they don't eat gluten-containing ...

Health

How does a piece of bread cause a migraine?

Migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world and causes suffering for tens of millions of people. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 U.S. household includes someone with migraines.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Researchers describe catatonia in Down syndrome

Down syndrome, due to an extra chromosome 21, occurs in 250,000 children and adults in the United States, making it the country's most common chromosomal disorder. Inherited heart defects, thyroid cancer, celiac disease and ...

Health

Celiac disease screening for family members

Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that this autoimmune disease tends to run in families. Researchers say screening family members of celiac disease patients could prevent ...

Immunology

New treatment may reverse celiac disease

Results of a new phase 2 clinical trial using technology developed at Northwestern Medicine show it is possible to induce immune tolerance to gluten in individuals with celiac disease. The findings may pave the way for treated ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Recommendations developed for evaluating chronic diarrhea

(HealthDay)—In new American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) clinical practice guidelines, published in the September issue of Gastroenterology, recommendations are presented for laboratory evaluation of chronic watery ...

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Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease (pronounced /ˈsiːli.æk/), also spelled celiac disease, is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that occurs in genetically predisposed people of all ages from middle infancy on up. 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.

Coeliac disease is caused by a reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat (and similar proteins of the tribe Triticeae, which includes other cultivars such as barley and rye). Upon exposure to gliadin, 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 (koiliakόs, "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.

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