Celiac disease, also known as celiac sprue and gluten-sensitivity enteropathy, is an autoimmune-mediated disease. It causes inflammation of the small intestine and leads to numerous abdominal as well as nongastrointestinal symptoms. Patients with celiac disease have a genetically inherited intolerance to storage proteins present in wheat, barley, and rye.1 Previously thought to be a relatively rare condition, a recent hearing by the National Institutes of Health consensus panel on the condition has concluded that the condition is under diagnosed and is estimated to affect between 0.5% and 1% (up to three million individuals) of the US population.2 These new figures are 10 times higher than previous estimates, with celiac disease affecting 1 in every 120 persons, making it one of the most common genetic disorders.3. Because symptoms of celiac disease are varied or silent, diagnosis can be substantially delayed, with the average time to diagnosis being 11 years.2 The following case represents a common presentation that illustrates the challenges of reaching a timely and correct diagnosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Complementary and alternative medicine