Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disease, where a person experiences inflammation in the small intestine when they eat gluten.
An enzyme called tissue Transglutaminase(tTG) breaks down the gluten into it’s separate components, Gliadin and Glutenin, while also supporting the microvilli in the intestinal wall which help absorb nutrients. The small intestine’s immune system (the Gut-Associated Lymphoid Tissue or GALT) reviews everything in the intestine to check for any threat.
In a healthy body this is normal, but in Coeliac patients the GALT mistakes the gliadin molecules for an infection and tries to defend itself. However, while attacking the gliadin it also attacks the tTG enzyme leading to damage of the microvilli and intestinal wall. This damage then results in reduced nutrient absorption and other complications.
The only effective treatment for Coeliac Disease is to avoid gluten completely. This will help prevent symptoms of the disease as well as disease-related complications.