Coeliac is an autoimmune disease which can not tolerate gluten. People with coeliac disease should follow a 100% gluten-free diet for the rest of their lives. If people with celiac disease continue to eat gluten, the intestinal wall can be severely damaged. There will no longer be left bowel flakes, so nutrients will not be absorbed properly. As a consequence, people with celiac disease are seriously deficient in vitamins and minerals.
The small intestine
The small intestine is a very important part of the digestive tract. In the small intestine, most of the digestion of food takes place. Subsequently, important nutrients should be absorbed into the body through the small intestine wall. The nutrients are spread through the blood. To make nutrient uptake as smooth as possible, the small intestinal wall has a huge surface. The small intestine is pleated and covered on the inside with finger-shaped protrusions. This small protrusion is also called villi or bowel flakes. Together they form an enormously large area needed to absorb all the important nutrients.
Is it often?
Coeliac disease is most common in the Western world. In the Netherlands there are about 25,000 people with coeliac disease. This number is expected to be much higher, because symptoms are not always recognized as coeliac disease. Coeliac disease also occurs twice as often in women as in men.
The diagnosis of coeliac disease can be made at different ages. Usually this occurs in children, but also more often in adults between the ages of twenty and forty years. It is unclear whether these adults may have coeliac disease for a long period of time, perhaps without severe complaints, or that the disorder occurred at a later age.
Kaleb, the son of Yvette, was seen a few years ago at the klokhuis to tell about coeliac disease. Below you can view the episode of the Klokhuis.