Medications

New drug shows real promise against celiac disease

An experimental drug can prevent intestinal damage caused by celiac disease, an early trial has found—raising hopes that it could become the first medication for the serious digestive disorder.

Gastroenterology

5 reasons to see a gastroenterologist

If you regularly experience common ailments—like heartburn or stomachaches that don't improve with over-the-counter medications, or you have severe pain or other symptoms—a gastroenterologist could help.

Gastroenterology

Consumer health: Summer eating with celiac disease

With summer nearly here, thoughts turn to summer eating, including potlucks, picnics at the beach and celebrations. In addition to concerns about food safety and keeping sand out of the fruit salad, people with celiac disease ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

5 facts about celiac disease

For people with celiac disease, foods as seemingly wholesome as whole grain bread can be dangerous.

Gastroenterology

ACG develops first guideline for irritable bowel syndrome

(HealthDay)—In a new American College of Gastroenterology clinical guideline, published online Dec. 14 in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, recommendations are presented for diagnostic testing and therapeutic options ...

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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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