Celiac disease is a condition in which eating foods that contain the protein gluten—found in wheat, barley, and rye—causes damage to your small intestine. People who have untreated celiac disease often cannot absorb nutrients from their food, and this can lead to serious health complications, such as malnutrition, osteoporosis, infertility, and even cancer.
Fortunately, the damage caused by celiac disease often can be reversed once you’ve been diagnosed and begin following a gluten-free diet, which is the only current treatment for the condition. But because celiac causes such a wide range of potential symptoms, it frequently is mistaken for other conditions. In some cases, it’s even overlooked entirely, although that’s less common than it was a few decades ago, since celiac disease awareness has been rising.
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