Experts at the James A. Clifton Center for Digestive Diseases diagnose and treat patients who have an intolerance to grain products. Celiac disease is an immune disorder in which people are allergic to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
In people with celiac disease, gluten sets off an immune reaction that causes the destruction of the lining in the small intestine. People with celiac disease often produce antibodies that can be detected by blood tests.
Symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, weakness, malnutrition and other gastrointestinal problems. The disease may affect other organs and systems in the body, such as the bones, blood, the reproductive system and the nervous system.
Currently, there are no drugs to treat celiac disease and there is no cure. By following a gluten-free diet, however, people with celiac disease can live long, normal lives. Many health food and grocery stores have gluten-free food sections that make it easier for those with the disease.
Pediatric patients are seen by specialists at UI Children’s Hospital.