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CELIAC DISEASE 101

 

WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE?

Celiac disease (CD) is a permanent intolerance to gluten, a protein found in various wheats (e.g., durum, kamut, spelt), rye, barley and triticale. Gluten consumption causes damage to the absorptive surface of the small intestine and can result in malnutrition, anemia, nutritional deficiencies and an increased risk of other autoimmune diseases and some cancers of the gut. Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is celiac disease of the skin, and is characterized by blistering, intensely itchy skin. The rash has a symmetrical distribution and is most frequently found on elbows, knees, buttocks, back of the neck, scalp and upper back. People with dermatitis herpetiformis can have gastrointestinal damage without obvious symptoms.