Digestive Health

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is an immune disorder that occurs when the small intestine becomes extraordinarily sensitive to gluten. It damages the small intestines and affects the absorption of nutrients. Gluten intolerance symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation and nausea. Learn more about this condition and how a gluten free diet is essential for better health.

What is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is a chronic disorder caused by intolerance to gluten, which leads to impaired absorption of nutrients from the small intestine.

Causes of coeliac disease

When your immune system is reacting abnormally to the protein gluten, found in foods such as bread, pasta, cereals and biscuits, chances are good that it is caused by coeliac disease.

Treating coeliac disease

The secret to treating coeliac disease is usually by excluding foods that contain gluten from your diet.

Diagnosing coeliac disease

People with coeliac disease may complain of certain specific symptoms, or show signs that suggest the diagnosis.

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is a chronic disorder caused by an intolerance to gluten.

Promising coeliac therapies on the horizon

When people with coeliac disease consume foods that contain gluten, their immune response leads to intestinal damage, malnutrition and other problems – but new developments may change all that.

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Ask the Expert

Digestive Health Expert

Dr. Estelle Wilken is a Senior Specialist in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at Tygerberg Hospital. She obtained her MBChB in 1976, her MMed (Int) in 1991 and her gastroenterology registration in 1995.

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