Coeliac disease is a serious permanent condition caused by an adverse reaction to gluten in food
Coeliac disease is a serious permanent condition caused by an adverse reaction to gluten in food, affecting up to 1 in 100 people in the UK today (nhs.uk. 2016. Coeliac disease. ONLINE Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coeliac-disease/. Accessed 3 November 2018.) Coeliac disease is an auto-immune condition in which your immune system mistakes one of the substances that make up gluten, gliadin, as a threat to the body. The antibodies that are produced cause the surface of your intestine to become inflamed (red and swollen). Normally, the surface of the intestine is covered with millions of villi which increase the surface area of your gut and help it to digest food more effectively. However, in coeliac disease, the damage and inflammation to the lining of the gut flatten the villi, meaning sufferers become unable to digest the nutrients from food, therefore causing the symptoms of coeliac disease. (nhs.uk. 2016. Coeliac Disease Causes. ONLINE Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coeliac-disease/causes/. Accessed 3 November 2018.) Symptoms, however, are often mistaken for IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and so recognising and diagnosing the problem can often be a gruelling, drawn-out process -often lasting years- and can lead to many long-term complications.