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Coeliac disease

Persons affected with coeliac disease have small intestine disorder that makes them unable to absorb nutrients from food. The principal cause of the disease is toxic influence of dietary gluten. A strict wheat- and gluten-free diet[?] will relieve the symptoms and make a normal life possible.

Signs and symptoms

  • Loss of normal villous ("frilly") lining of the small bowel[?]
  • Reduced surface area available for absorption
  • Coeliac disease improves dramatically when gluten (a protein found in wheat products) is removed from the diet
  • Causes malabsorption[?] (diarrhea with bulky pale offensive stools which float)
  • Often have secondary iron deficiency[?] or other secondary dietary deficiencies if untreated
  • There seems to be an increased lifetime risk of bowel lymphoma
  • Runs in families

Tests Characteristic appearance on bowel biopsy. Patients have gliadin antibodies.

Causes Unknown but probably:

  • Partly a genetic suspectibility to the illness (identical twins dont have 100% concordence however).
  • together with a environmental agent probably a virus or other infection
  • It is associated with other autoimmune disease (these diseases are also probably a combination of suspectibility + infection).

See also: Gastroenterology



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