Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to interfere with the proper function of the small intestine, making it so the body is unable to tolerate a protein called gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
When gluten is eaten, the immune system reacts causing inflammation of the intestinal lining. Over time, the tiny fingerlike protrusions (vili) that line the intestinal wall are damaged and flattened.
As a result, they no longer absorb nutrients effectively. The only way to confirm a diagnosis of coeliac disease and determine the extent of the damage is to perform an intestinal biopsy by way of an upper endoscopy.
Dr Papageorgiou offers consultations on how to best manage coeliac disease.