The information contained in this section has been procured from  the Mayo Clinic.

It is all for educational purposes and not intended to be taken as medical advice.

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What Causes Celiac Disease?

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Genes combined with eating foods with gluten and other factors can contribute to celiac disease, but the precise cause isn't known. Infant-feeding practices, gastrointestinal infections and gut bacteria might contribute, as well. Sometimes celiac disease becomes active after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress.

When the body's immune system overreacts to gluten in food, the reaction damages the tiny, hairlike projections (villi) that line the small intestine. Villi absorb vitamins, minerals and other nutrients from the food you eat. If your villi are damaged, you can't get enough nutrients, no matter how much you eat. Coo

 

Source: Mayo Clinic king Blog

 

Risk factors

Celiac disease tends to be more common in people who have:

  • A family member with celiac disease or Dermatitis Herpetiformis

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • Down syndrome or Turner syndrome

  • Autoimmune thyroid disease

  • Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)

  • Addison's disease

Source: Mayo Clinic

Complications

Untreated, celiac disease can cause:

  • Malnutrition. This occurs if your small intestine can't absorb enough nutrients. Malnutrition can lead to anemia and weight loss. In children, malnutrition can cause slow growth and short stature.

  • Bone weakening. Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D can lead to a softening of the bone (osteomalacia or rickets) in children and a loss of bone density (osteopenia or osteoporosis) in adults.

  • Infertility and miscarriage. Malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D can contribute to reproductive issues.

  • Lactose intolerance. Damage to your small intestine might cause you abdominal pain and diarrhea after eating or drinking dairy products that contain lactose. Once your intestine has healed, you might be able to tolerate dairy products again.

  • Cancer. People with celiac disease who don't maintain a gluten-free diet have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer, including intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer.

  • Nervous system problems. Some people with celiac disease can develop problems such as seizures or a disease of the nerves to the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy).

Source: Mayo Clinic

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