Coeliac Disease

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Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine[1], specifically the villi that constitute the intestinal lining[2]. Coeliac disease isn't an intolerance to gluten, but rather a response by the immune system wherein substances found in gluten are incorrectly perceived as a threat. The attack on gluten causes inflammation of the intestinal tract and leads to a decrease in the definition of the structure of the individual villi eventually merging[3]. This decreases the surface area of the small intestine and decreases the efficiency of absorption of nutrients which in turn leads to other health problems, associated with deficiencies if left untreated. Symptoms can include bloating, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

References

  1. Website: Association of European Coeliac Societies; Coeliac Disease; nd; 18/11/2017; http://aoecs.org/coeliac-disease
  2. Website: VIVO Pathophysiology; Gross and Microscopic Anatomy of the Small Intestine; nd; 18/11/2017; http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/smallgut/anatomy.html
  3. Journal: M. Shiner, M.S.C. Birbeck; The microvilli of the small intestinal surface epithelium in coeliac disease and in idiopathic steatorrhoea; Gut; 1961; vol2, issue3, page277
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