Celiac disease is a lifelong digestive condition that is triggered by gluten. When a child with celiac disease eats food with gluten, their body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the lining of the small intestine, which makes it difficult to digest and absorb nutrients. This type of disease is called an autoimmune disorder.
Gluten sensitivity can have symptoms that are similar to those of celiac disease, but it does not have the same typical injury to the intestine. And although wheat is a main source of gluten, wheat allergy is also different from celiac disease.
Girls are more likely to have celiac disease than boys, and children who have Type 1 diabetes are at higher risk for this condition. Celiac disease can also run in families.