• Question: How do people get celiac disease?

    Asked by Mariha to Priya, Natt on 23 Jun 2015.
    • Photo: Natt Day

      Natt Day answered on 23 Jun 2015:

      Hi Mariha,

      We’re not 100% certain yet why some people get Coeliac disease– currently we believe it’s caused by a combination of genetics (that some people have genes that will make them more likely to get Ceoliac disease) and the environment (that potentially what you’re exposed to growing up may trigger the development of the disease).

      What we do know is that when individuals who have Coeliac disease eat gluten, their immune system thinks this completely harmless substance is actually very dangerous to our system and so attacks them. When the immune system attacks the gluten, it damages the intestine at the same time– which is what causes the long-term problems.