September 11, 2009
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder and a malabsorption disease that creates an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, oats and barley, as well as some medicines and vitamins. When exposed to gluten, the villi of the small intestine are damaged, interfering with the absorption of nutrients. Other problems can occur as a result of damage to the small intestine, including malnutrition, anemia, lymphoma and adenocarcinoma, osteoporosis, miscarriage and congenital malformation, and short stature.
Celiac disease is also linked other autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, liver disease, collagen vascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren's syndrome.