Max Rady College of Medicine

Term: Celiac Disease

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Glossary Definition

Last Updated: 2018-01-31


Also known as gluten intolerance, an immune disease related to the body’s inability to digest gluten (a protein in wheat, rye and barley and certain other food and personal products). With celiac disease, eating foods with gluten results in damage to the small intestine called by an immune system response.

Effects of celiac disease vary by person; symptoms may occur in the digestive system (i.e. diarrhea, abdominal pain) or in other parts of the body. Some may become irritable and depressed. Irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children.

Celiac disease is genetic and can be diagnosed through blood tests or a biopsy of the small intestine. Treatment consists of a gluten-free diet.

See Medline – Health Topics – Celiac Disease for more clinical information.

Related terms 

Term used in 

  • Vestergaard P, Mosekilde L. Fracture risk in patients with Celiac Disease, Crohn's Disease, and Ulcerative Colitis: A nationwide follow-up study of 16,416 patients in Denmark. American Journal of Epidemiology 2002;156(1):1-10.(View)

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