Celiac Disease

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  • Topic: Coeliac disease, Gluten, Wheat
  • Pages : 3 (941 words )
  • Download(s) : 444
  • Published : July 4, 2008
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Celiac disease: an often missed diagnosis

Commonly referred to as wheat allergy, celiac disease is not an allergic disorder; rather it is actually intolerance to gluten, a protein in wheat. It is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Celiac disease occurs in people who have a genetic susceptibility. It was considered a north European disease initially but now it has a high prevalence in all the continents. In north- India it affects 1 in 200-300 individuals, similar to its prevalence in Europe. Celiac disease is primarily a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten resulting in an immune reaction in the small intestine, which leads to inability to absorb certain nutrients from food. Eventually, decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) causes vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. The decreased nutrient absorption that occurs in celiac disease is especially serious in children, who need proper nutrition to develop and grow. Unfortunately awareness about this disease is very poor among the population and even among doctors. Celiac disease is seen primarily by pediatricians and gastroenterologists but increasingly endocrinologists, hematologists and internists are getting patients of this malady.

Signs and symptoms
There are no typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease. In children it manifests early with diarrhea which starts when the child is weaned off milk and started on solid diet. Another common manifestation in children is stunting of growth or failure to gain height and weight .School performance may get affected in some children. In India celiac disease has been recognized in children for the last over 40 years but it has attracted the attention of those caring for adults only in the last decade. Most adult people with the disease have general complaints, such as intermittent diarrhea,...
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