Celiac disease is the end result of a collision between the human immune system and the widespread cultivation of wheat, where the point of contact is the lining of the small intestine. This collision results in inflammatory and architectural changes of the absorptive mucosa in those susceptible to celiac disease. The inflammation leads to the destruction and eventual loss of the absorptive surface (villi), increased net secretion, and malabsorption, leading to a multitude of consequences. Celiac disease predominantly affects Caucasians, and it is relatively rare in peoples from sub-Saharan Africa and the Far East, which may be due to different genetic backgrounds and/or the absence of wheat from the diet. The disease occurs in people who carry the particular tissue types HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8, which appear to play an essential role in the disease pathogenesis. The inflammation usually resolves completely with the exclusion of gluten from the diet, will recur if gluten is reintroduced, and, as such, is regarded as permanent. While once thought to be a rare disease, it is recognized as a common chronic disorder that affects as many as 1% of some
Western populations. Indeed, in some populations, it is regarded as the most common genetic disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract. It is now frequently detected by the presence of circulating autoantibodies against tissue transglutaminase, which is released in the damaged intestine. The final diagnosis of celiac disease is defined by biopsy evidence of the characteristic inflammatory changes in the small intestine and ultimately a response to the gluten-free diet.
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What Is The Gluten Free Diet And What You Need To Know Before You Try It. You may have heard the term gluten free, and you may even have a general idea as to what it means to eat a gluten free diet. Most people believe this type of diet is a curse for those who simply cannot tolerate the protein known as gluten, as they will never be able to eat any food that contains wheat, rye, barley, malts, or triticale.