DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID GIFFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artist's depiction of coeliac disease. Also known as gluten enteropathy, this is an uncommon condi- tion in which the lining of the small intestine reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and certain other cereals. This gluten reaction is limited to the intestinal lining which causes mal- absorption (a failure to absorb nutrients). The affected person loses weight and suffers from deficiencies of some vitamins and minerals. In babies, symptoms usually develop within 6 months of introducing gluten into the diet. In adults, symptoms develop slowly. There is a genetic link to this disease. Treatment consists of a life-long diet that is free of gluten products.
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