For people who have celiac disease, eating foods that contain gluten, such as wheat, rye and barley, can cause an immune system reaction that injures the small intestine. Celiac disease can also prevent nutrients from being properly absorbed, so malnutrition can be a result if the condition goes untreated.
Symptoms may include diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, vomiting and nausea. Other symptoms can present as abnormal stool, weight loss, lactose intolerance, fatigue, abnormal menstrual periods, depression and more depending on the individual.
Risk factors include having a family history of the disease, being Caucasian and of European descent, and being a woman. People who suffer from this condition are also at risk for other health conditions like Addison’s disease, thyroid disease, Type 1 diabetes and intestinal cancer.
There is no cure for Celiac disease, but symptoms are relieved when you don’t eat gluten.