Coeliac disease is a condition in which the immune system reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. When someone with coeliac disease consumes gluten, their immune system mounts an attack against the small intestine, causing damage to the intestinal lining and preventing the absorption of nutrients from food. This can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. In some cases, coeliac disease can also cause skin rashes (dermatitis herpetiformis), mouth sores, and other problems.
Coeliac disease is a genetic condition, meaning that it runs in families. It is not contagious and cannot be caught from someone else. The only treatment for coeliac disease is a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding all foods and products that contain gluten, including bread, pasta, and many types of baked goods. With a gluten-free diet, most people with coeliac disease can lead normal, healthy lives.
If you have a relative with celiac disease, you may be at an increased risk of developing the condition yourself. Coeliac disease is a genetic condition, meaning that it runs in families. People who have a first-degree relative (such as a parent, child, or sibling) with coeliac disease have a 1 in 10 chance of also having the condition.
If you have a relative with coeliac disease, it is important to be aware of the potential for developing the condition yourself. You may want to talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested for coeliac disease, especially if you have symptoms that may be related to the condition.
If you do have coeliac disease, it is important to follow a strict, gluten-free diet in order to prevent symptoms and maintain your health. This means avoiding all foods and products that contain gluten, including wheat, barley, and rye. With a gluten-free diet, most people with coeliac disease can lead normal, healthy lives.
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