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What are the causes of celiac disease?

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celiac disease

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  • When it comes to determining the root of celiac disease, there is one likely culprit: gluten, a protein commonly found in bread, pasta, biscuits and other items that contain wheat, rye and barley
  • Patients with celiac disease experience an immune response that attacks the small intestine, particularly the villi, which are the small fingerlike projections lining the intestines and are responsible for absorbing nutrients
  • Apart from consuming gluten-rich foods, there are genetic and environmental factors that can influence a person’s risk for celiac disease

When it comes to determining the root of celiac disease, there is one likely culprit: gluten, a protein commonly found in bread, pasta, biscuits and other items that contain wheat, rye and barley.1 Find out how consumption of gluten-rich foods can affect your body and, ultimately, your risk for celiac disease.

Certain protein reactions trigger celiac disease

Patients with celiac disease typically experience an immune response that attacks the small intestine, particularly the villi, which are the small fingerlike projections lining the intestines and are responsible for absorbing nutrients.2 This response is triggered by gluten, particularly its peptide called gliadin.

According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, gliadin peptides may stimulate the release of interleukin (IL)-15, “a proinflammatory cytokine that promotes the adaptive immune response.”3 The recurring destruction of the villi eventually leads to impaired functionality of the intestinal lining and malnutrition.4

Genetic and environmental factors in celiac disease

Apart from gluten-rich foods, there are other factors that can influence a person’s risk for celiac disease. One is genetics, particularly if a patient has one or both of the HLA DQ2 and DQ8 genes. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, these genes are present in “25% to 30% of the general population.”5

Having these genes doesn’t automatically mean that you already have celiac disease or you will develop the disorder in the future. What this indicates is that your risk for the disorder increases by 3%, which is higher compared to the general population’s risk of 1%.6

Moreover, HLA DQ2 and DQ8 genes can be hereditary, so individuals who have a first- or second-degree relative that has celiac disease have a higher risk of developing this condition.7 There are environmental factors that could also raise your risk for developing celiac disease, such as:8,9

  • Infant feeding practices
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Gut bacteria
  • Post-surgical reactions
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth
  • Viral infections
  • Severe emotional stress

Some illnesses may also be associated with the development of celiac disease, including:10,11,12

  • Selective IgA deficiency
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Down syndrome
  • Turner syndrome
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Microscopic or lymphocytic colitis
  • Addison’s disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Anemia

MORE ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac Disease: Introduction

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease In Children

Celiac Disease Causes

Celiac Disease Types

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac Disease Diagnosis

Celiac Disease Treatment

Celiac Disease Prevention

Celiac Disease Diet

Celiac Disease FAQ

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