Gluten Intolerance and Coeliac Disease
The clinical symptoms of this condition can range from the typical malabsorption symptoms of chronic diarrhoea, weight loss, and abdominal bloating, to symptoms and conditions that can affect any organ system. Since the onset of Coeliac Disease may be atypical or even silent, where there are seemingly no digestive problems, many cases remain undiagnosed and carry the risk of other long-term complications, such as osteoporosis.Gluten, a substance found in wheat, barley and rye, reacts with the small bowel, causing damage by activating the immune system to attack the delicate lining of the bowel, which is responsible for absorbing nutrients and vitamins.Coeliac Disease is a condition of the small intestine.
Coeliac Disease has a strong genetic component with prevalence increased to 1 to 10, in families where Coeliac Disease exists. Coeliac Disease is the most common genetic disease in Europe and the USA: in Italy 1 in 125; UK I in 100; Ireland 1 in 125; USA 1 in 133.
One of the problems with investigation for gluten intolerance and Coeliac Disease is that you must be 100% positive for the diagnosis to be made, which would generally require the need of a biopsy. Now simple blood tests can make the diagnosis and can also grade the severity of the condition.