Celiac disease

Celiac disease represents one of the adverse bodily reactions to the intake of cereals (wheat, spelt, rye, barley, oats ...).

The protein portion of these cereals, the gluten, may trigger an autoimmune reaction in genetically susceptible people. The resulting antibodies and the activated immune cells damage various parts of the body. Most often, the intestines are affected, which causes problems in food digestion ability. As a result, bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, as well as abdominal pain may ensue. Due to an insufficient utilization of food, there may be weight loss, anaemia due to lack of iron, or osteoporosis. 

Only fifteen years ago, celiac disease was considered to be a rare childhood disease, but now we know that it can affect adults equally often. Celiac disease is one of the most common chronic disorders in our environment - 0.5-1% of the population suffers from it. Since adult patients with celiac disease often present with atypical problems, the path to finding the right diagnosis can be longer.

The diagnosis of celiac disease is based on a particular blood test for specific antibodies. In the case that values are positive, the diagnosis must be confirmed with a gastroscopic biopsy of the duodenum or small intestine.

Celiac disease is treated with a strict gluten-free diet - the patients must not ingest even one crumb of plain bread or any other food containing gluten, or gluten in trace. These foods need to be replaced with special gluten-free products.

When do we suspect celiac disease?

Complications in celiac disease

Treatment of celiac disease

Related diseases - not every problem after ingesting bread is caused by celiac disease

How to diagnose celiac disease?

Targeted examination for celiac disease