Celiac disease (gluten-sensitive enteropathy), sometimes referred to as sprue or coeliac, is an immune reaction to consuming gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have celiac disease, eating gluten helps trigger an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction damages your small intestine’s lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption). The intestinal damage often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and it can also lead to serious complications.
In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development, in addition to the symptoms seen in adults.
There;s no cure for celiac disease — but for most people, following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and help promote intestinal healing.