Celiac sprue

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Celiac Sprue, also known as Celiac Disease, is a chronic, autoimmune disorder primarily affecting the small intestine that occurs in genetically predisposed people of all ages. It is caused by a reaction to gluten, a group of proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

The classic symptoms of celiac sprue include diarrhea, weight loss, and malnutrition. However, many people with the disease have non-gastrointestinal symptoms, such as anemia, osteoporosis, itchy skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis), and neurological problems.

Causes[edit | edit source]

Celiac sprue is caused by an immune response to gluten. The exact cause of this immune response is unknown, but it is believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. The main genetic factors are the HLA-DQ genes, which are necessary but not sufficient to cause the disease.

Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

The diagnosis of celiac sprue is based on a combination of symptoms, blood tests, and a biopsy of the small intestine. The blood tests look for antibodies that are typically present in people with celiac sprue, such as tissue transglutaminase antibodies.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

The only effective treatment for celiac sprue is a lifelong gluten-free diet. This can help to control symptoms and prevent complications. Some people may also need to take nutritional supplements to correct deficiencies.

Epidemiology[edit | edit source]

Celiac sprue affects about 1% of the population in the United States and Europe. It is less common in Africa, Asia, and South America. The disease is more common in women than in men, and it can develop at any age.

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD