What Is Celiac Disease?

Thomas Spetter is currently a regional key account manager in the market access division at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Outside the office, Thomas Spetter participates in numerous activities to support charitable causes, including a 5K race in San Diego in support of celiac disease awareness.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the intestinal tract. It’s characterized by damage to the lining of the small intestine when the person eats food with gluten, a protein primarily found in grains. Once that damage has been done, it becomes harder to absorb some nutrients, especially calcium, iron, folate, and fat.

In the approximately 1 percent of the population who are genetically predisposed to celiac disease, the disorder can develop at any point after the ingestion of food containing gluten. Different people display different symptoms, which include iron deficiency anemia, digestive problems, sores in the mouth, missed menstrual periods, seizure, and several more. It can lead to several other serious health problems, among which are infertility, miscarriage, growth problems, and osteoporosis.

Several organizations provide various services to people with celiac disease and their families; they also support research, education, and resources for physicians. These organizations include the American Celiac Disease Alliance, the Celiac Disease Foundation, the Celiac Support Association, and the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.