Celiac disease is a disorder characterized by intestinal malabsorption of nutrients due to sensitivity to the alcohol-soluble portion of gluten known as gliadin. Wheat, rye, barley, and to a lesser extent, oats contain this protein substance and can induce mucosal damage in the gut causing nonspecific villous atrophy of the small intestine mucosa.
Most patients are asymptomatic.
This disease has variable clinical manifestations that can lead to severe symptoms such as profound malabsorption, steatorrhea, and wasting.
There are associations between celiac disease and Type I diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease and other autoimmune diseases.