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What is Celiac Disease? PDF Print E-mail

It is a genetic, autoimmune disorder, which damages small intestine by interfering with the absorption of nutrients. According to the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research, “1 in 133 Americans have celiac disease…making it twice as common as Crohn’s disease, ulceric colitis and cystic fibrosis combined”.

Celiac disease (CD) is triggered when gluten causes an immunologically toxic reaction which damages the mucosal surface of the small intestine. Gluten is the common name for the offending proteins in specific cereal grains that are harmful to persons with CD. These proteins are found in all forms of wheat (including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn, and faro), and related grains, rye, barley, tritcale and possibly oats.