Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a genetic, digestive disorder that causes damage to the small intestine, interfering with nutrient absorption from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. And though it is mainly found in food, gluten also pops up in everyday products like medicine, lip balm or even envelope glue.

Celiac disease affects everyone differently. Some people experience no symptoms at all, while others may be depressed, tired and irritable. Physical symptoms can also include seizures, missed periods and infertility. Some will feel it in their digestive system, with cramping, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, especially if they are young.

It is important to see a doctor if you suspect you have celiac disease since it can cause malnutrition. Also, people with celiac disease tend to have other diseases that attack the immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis or Type 1 diabetes.