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What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease that mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract. Individuals who have CD are permanently intolerant to gluten, a group of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Gluten is toxic to those with CD. In a person with undiagnosed or untreated CD, the finger-like ridges that line the walls of the small intestine known as villi become flattened and unable to absorb nutrients properly. CD may also affect other organ systems.

What is Gluten Intolerance or Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?

Gluten Intolerance (GI) or Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) encompasses a collection of medical conditions in which gluten has an adverse effect on the body. Unlike celiac disease, damage to the small intestine does not occur, but symptoms can range from mild to severe and include diarrhea, vomiting, and migraines. Following a gluten-free diet can reduce or eliminate these symptoms.

What is Dermatitis Herpetiformis?

Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is an itchy, blistering skin rash that is associated with CD. In almost all cases, the small intestine of a person with DH is also damaged by exposure to gluten. DH is diagnosed via skin biopsy by a dermatologist. The treatment for DH is the GF diet and topical treatments to manage symptoms.

Want to learn more?

Download Celiac Disease: The FACTS (English)

Download Celiac Disease: The FACTS (Spanish)

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