DAVID MUSHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID MUSHER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Celiac sprue occurs in a large population of children and adults. It is due to malabsorption of gluten, due to an allergic reaction. Celiacs may have symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dyspepsia, diarrhoea. It is associated with bleeding, stunted growth, vitamin deficiencies, osteomalacia (thinning of bones) and cancer of the entire gastrointestinal tract including the esophagus. It may be diagnosed by blood test for gluten antibodies and by upper endoscopy (EGD) with visualization of a hypertrophic duodenitis. The gold standard is considered to be duodenal biopsy. Abnormalities revert to normal upon the cessation of gluten.
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