Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Celiac disease is also known by other names including celiac sprue,
non-tropical sprue, and gluten enteropathy.
What causes celiac disease?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. In some people who are
exposed to gluten in their diet, an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase
changes the gluten into a chemical that causes an immune response, leading to
inflammation of the lining of the small intestine. The normal villi that make up
the lining of the intestine are blunted and destroyed, preventing the normal
absorption of nutrients from the diet.
This malabsorption of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients may lead to
damage to other organs in the body, such as the liver, bone, and brain' that depend
on those nutrients to function normally. In children, the lack of effective
nutrition because of malnutrition can lead to abnormal growth and development.
There seems to be a genetic predisposition to developing celiac disease,
however not all people with a family history of celiac disease develop the
condition. There is another reason, yet unknown, why the autoimmune response