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A form of food intolerance, coeliac disease inhibits the body from digesting gluten, a protein component of wheat and rye, among other cereal grains. Once inside the body of an infected person, gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, further prohibiting absorption of other vital nutrients. This leads to malnutrition, dehydration and weight loss.
A genetic disorder affecting adults and young children, coeliac disease causes Vomiting, Diarrhoea, muscle wasting, lethargy, and a pale, foul-smelling stool. The disease may also be accompanied by Lactose Intolerance, making it necessary to eliminate both dairy and wheat products from the diet.
1. Russell RM, Smith VC, Multak R, et al. Dark-adaptation testing for diagnosis of subclinical vitamin-A deficiency and evaluation of therapy. Lancet 1973;2:1161-64.