Celiac is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged by an allergic reaction to the food protein gluten which is present in a number of grains. It is said to be an auto-immune disease since antibodies produced by the immune system against specific gluten components, namely gliadin, cross react with intestinal tissue which contains similar proteins.
Celiac disease is also referred to by other names including coeliac disease, celiac sprue, gluten intolerance, and gluten enteropathy.
Official figures for clinically diagnosed celiac disease put the rate at between 1 in 100 and 1 in 200 people based on results from various studies. However, it is widely accepted that the condition is underdiagnosed with many people suffering symptoms for years without either they or their healthcare practitioners realizing they have celiac disease. For this reason our emphasis here is on identifying the disease rather than treating it. The Biocard Celiac Test offers a cost effective and accurate way of identifying the disease at an early stage. If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, the only treatment is to go on a gluten free diet for life.
The disease most often effects people of European (especially Northern European) descent. Rates amongst people of African, Japanese, and Chinese descent are much lower. This is thought to be due to a combination of less genetic susceptibility and low wheat diets. The risk for developing celiac disease is elevated in people with other autoimmune diseases. It is also considered to have a strong genetic component since it tends to run in families.
Classic gastrointestinal symptoms: