About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Celiac Disease / Celiac Sprue / Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy

Last Updated on Jan 04, 2017
Font : A-A+


We eat to live, grow and remain healthy. What happens when the nutrition from the food we eat, is not absorbed in the body? The purpose of food itself is defeated and the condition, not known to many, is labeled as Celiac Disease.


Celiac Disease is a genetic digestive disorder associated with malabsorption caused by the body’s abnormal immune reaction to Gluten, a protein found in food and cereals such as barley, rye and wheat.

The condition also known as Celiac Sprue, Nontropical Sprue, and Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy affects the small intestine’s capacity to absorb nutrients from food. Those who suffer this disease cannot tolerate food and products containing gluten.

Fracture with Dinner Fork deformity of the wrist

In people with Celiac disease, the autoimmune reaction triggered by the consumption of food containing Gluten, damages the Villi, which are finger-like protrusions lining the small intestine that help in the absorption of nutrients from food. Therefore, victims of Celiac Disease remain malnourished despite eating food.

What is Gluten – This is a protein that helps in giving elasticity to baked food such as bread, pasta, noodles, pastries and cereals. It makes the food stretchy. Gluten protein is usually found in wheat, barley and rye.

Normally a protein like gluten should be broken down into amino acids and absorbed by the intestine. However in celiac disease the gluten is considered as foreign tissue and sets an immunological reaction that destroys its own cells such as the cells of the intestinal villi, which normally helps in absorption of food leading to malabsorption of food and leads to a variety of symptoms and ill effects.

If you or someone in your house is allergic to gluten always read the labels of the food you buy off the shelf.

Celiac Disease was first described by a Dutch pediatrician called Willem-Karel Dicke in 1940s. It is thought to be triggered by some environmental factors. Although at present there is no known cure for the condition but by following a strict gluten free diet one can lead a relatively trouble free life.

Food that contains Gluten are as follows:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Malt
  • Semolina
  • Kamut
  • Some types of oats
  • Bulgur

It is estimated that 1 in 133 Americans have the disease and in the majority it remains undiagnosed. Of the approx. 3 million Americans who have the disease, it is estimated that only 100,00 are aware that they have the disease.

Join a Celiac Disease Support Group - People with this condition should join a support group and keep in touch with others via a newsletter and visit the forum discussion boards to be in touch the ‘latest’ research. Sometimes the discussion not only makes you understand the condition better but also accept it better.

Fracture with Dinner Fork deformity of the wrist
Fracture with Dinner Fork deformity of the wrist

Villi are tiny fingerlike stalks that line the small intestine. They absorb nutrients from digested food.

When your child has celiac disease, the villi become damaged and cannot absorb nutrients properly.

Latest Publications and Research on Celiac Disease

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Savitha.C.Muppala. (2017, January 04). Celiac Disease. Medindia. Retrieved on May 17, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/celiac-disease.htm.

  • MLA

    Savitha.C.Muppala. "Celiac Disease". Medindia. May 17, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/celiac-disease.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Savitha.C.Muppala. "Celiac Disease". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/celiac-disease.htm. (accessed May 17, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Savitha.C.Muppala. 2021. Celiac Disease. Medindia, viewed May 17, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/celiac-disease.htm.

Do you wish to consult a Gastroenterologist for your problem? Ask your question

Dr. Pankaj Kumar
Dr. Pankaj Kumar
MBBS, MD, DM Gastroenterology
10 years experience
Teleconsult Now View Profile
Dr. Deshmukh Parag
Dr. Deshmukh Parag
5 years experience
Teleconsult Now View Profile
View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.



Screening for celiac is routinely done among Americans. In a study by Joseph Murray it was suggested that the present generation has 4.5 times moré chances of having Celiac Disease.

Health Topics A - Z

    Drugs for Celiac Disease
    What's New on Medindia
    World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
    Drinking This Popular Beverage May Drop Dementia Risk
    Worst Mistakes Parents Make When Talking to Kids
    View all

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    Find a Hospital Accident and Trauma Care Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) The Essence of Yoga Drug Side Effects Calculator Vent Forte (Theophylline) A-Z Drug Brands in India Selfie Addiction Calculator How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Daily Calorie Requirements

    Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

    © All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

    This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
    open close