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Celiac disease is one of the most common autoimmune conditions affecting approximately 1 in 133 people. Even though celiac disease is very common, more than 80% of celiac disease patients remain undiagnosed. Celiac disease is a chronic, autoimmune digestive disorder that results in inflammation of the small intestine of genetically-susceptible individuals when they ingest gluten. In patients with celiac disease, ingestion of gluten results in an abnormal immune response that results in inflammation within the small intestine. Gluten is the protein fragments of wheat, rye and barley that triggers the disease. Gluten is the compound that gives elasticity to dough and makes bread chewy. The only treatment at this time for celiac disease is adherence to a gluten-free diet.
Symptoms of celiac disease can include abdominal bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. Celiac disease can also cause fatigue, iron deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, weight loss and malnutrition.