Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. Gluten is found mainly in foods, but is also found in products we use every day, such as stamp and envelope adhesive, medicines, and vitamins. Gluten causes the intestine to have an autoimmune response which in turn causes damage to the intestine causing it to lose its ability to absorb nutrients, regardless of the quantity of food that is eaten.

Celiac disease (also called sprue, celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, adult celiac disease, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy) is an autoimmune disease that has been recently linked to type 1 diabetes (also an autoimmune disease). In fact, few people realize that about 1 in 20 people with type 1 diabetes also has celiac disease, most of which have never been diagnosed. An autoimmune disease is an illness that occurs when the body tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is a complex organization within the body that is designed normally to "seek and destroy" invaders of the body, including infectious agents. Patients with autoimmune diseases frequently have unusual antibodies circulating in their blood that target their own body tissues.

If you or your child has diabetes and exhibits the signs and symptoms of celiac disease, discuss the possibility with your doctor. Please visit the links listed below to find out more information.

More about diabetes and celiac disease

The Celiac Disease Foundation Northeast Ohio Chapter can provide information about gluten-free events and programs around the area.

How is celiac disease diagnosed?
What is the treatment?
Foods that contain gluten
Going gluten-free

Web Resources


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Diabetes Partnership of Cleveland

3601 S. Green Rd., #100
Beachwood, OH 44122
Phone: 216-591-0800 | Fax: 216-591-0320



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