Celiac Disease involves damage to the digestive tract, specifically the small intestine. Damage to the small intestine results in a lack of absorption of nutrients from the food consumed. Celiac Disease has much more of an impact if it occurs in a child because children need these nutrients for growth and development. If your child is short for his age, not growing, and has not faced puberty when he/she should have, they may be at risk of developing Celiac disease as because of a lack of nutrients that often causes these symptoms.
The inability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients is a result of the damaged Villi. Villi are hair like structures that line the inside of the small intestine. Villi increase the surface area of the small intestine so that more nutrients can be absorbed. These villi are damaged or even destroyed
when a person with Celiac Disease eats food containing gluten – a protein found in wheat.
In order for a person with Celiac Disease to stop damage to the small intestine, they have to establish and maintain a gluten free diet. A gluten free diet basically consists of foods that do not contain any wheat,barley, and rye. Even a tiny bit of contamination could cause damage. This diet does take a lot of getting used to because there is so much that one has to give up.
Unfortunately there is no real cure for Celiac disease. A gluten free diet for life is necessary. It may also help to take daily multivitamins.