Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine, damaging it by ingestion of gluten. It is a chronic disease that can begin at any age and the only treatment is to follow a gluten-free diet throughout life. Fortunately, not everyone can be celiac… a genetic basis is needed. Anyway, even if you have the gene, you may not develop celiac disease because the gene is not “active. Statistically, only 1% of the population is celiac.
IMPORTANT: Celiac disease is not an allergy! Although food allergy and food intolerance may have similar symptoms, these are two distinct conditions.
To easily understand the damage caused by gluten in the intestine, it can be explained as follows: the small intestine is a wrinkled tube filled with villi. The effects of gluten on a coeliac are the removal of wrinkles and villi from the small intestine due to the damage it causes to the mucosa. The main consequence of having a damaged intestine is the malabsorption of nutrients necessary for proper functioning of the body.
RECOMMENDATION: If, under any concept, you think you might be celiac, before starting a gluten-free diet, consult your doctor and ask the Celiac Association for information.