- celiac disease
- celiac disease n a chronic hereditary intestinal disorder in which an inability to absorb the gliadin portion of gluten results in the gliadin triggering an immune response that damages the intestinal mucosa called also celiac sprue, gluten-sensitive enteropathy, nontropical sprue, sprue
* * *a malabsorption syndrome, thought to be hereditary, precipitated by ingestion of gluten-containing foods. It is characterized by degeneration of intestinal villi with loss of their absorptive function; diarrhea and steatorrhea; abdominal distention; flatulence; weight loss; asthenia; deficiency of vitamins B, D, and K; and electrolyte depletion. The infantile form (called also Herter or Herter-Heubner disease) has an insidious onset, with irritability, loss of appetite, weakness, extreme wasting, growth retardation, and celiac crisis. The adult form is marked by fatigue, dyspnea, clubbing of fingers, bone pain, muscle cramps, tetany, megacolon and abdominal distention, tympanitis, and skin pigmentation. The two forms were formerly considered different entities but are now believed to be the same. Called also gluten or gluten sensitive enteropathy and celiac or nontropical sprue.
Medical dictionary. 2011.