Question

Celiac Disease

What happens when people with celiac disease eat gluten?

A Answers (1)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered

    If you have Celiac disease and ingest gluten, your immune system responds by releasing antibodies that damage or destroy your intestinal villi - part of the fine architecture of your small intestine. Normally, your small intestine is like a plush carpet lined with finger-like villi that absorb crucial nutrients from food. When you have Celiac disease, those villi flatten out and the intestinal carpet looks more like a hardwood floor; and you can no longer absorb nutrients properly. This leads to malnutrition, no matter how much you eat. There is a difference between gluten intolerance and Celiac disease; gluten intolerance generally does not cause the same kind of intestinal damage, but does lead to uncomfortable abdominal symptoms with the ingestion of gluten.

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