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What Happens With Celiac Disease

Published December 26th, 2007 in Allergies

What Happens With Celiac Disease

When individuals with CD ingest gluten, the villi, tiny hair-like projections in the small intestine that absorb nutrients from food, are damaged.  This is due to an immunological reaction to gluten.  Damaged villi do not effectively absorb basic nutrients — proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and, in some cases, water and bile salts.  If CD is left untreated, damage to the small bowel can be chronic and life threatening, causing an increased risk of associated disorders — both nutritional and immune related.

Some long-term conditions that can result from untreated CD:

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Osteoporosis
  • Vitamin K deficiency associated with risk for hemorrhaging
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Central and peripheral nervous system disorders — usually due to unsuspected nutrient deficiencies
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Intestinal Lymphomas and other GI cancers
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Neurological manifestations

Other associated autoimmune disorders:

  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH)
  • Insulin-dependent Type I Diabetes Mellitus
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Liver Diseases

Less commonly linked to CD:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Chronic Active Hepatitis
  • Down Syndrome
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Turner Syndrome
  • Williams Syndrome
  • Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Alopecia Areata
  • Scleroderma
Category: Allergies
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