Is Celiac Disease an Autoimmune Disease?

Perhaps you’ve heard a friend say, “I have celiac disease,” or you’ve heard of someone with an autoimmune disorder who doesn’t eat wheat or products with gluten. Are the two related? Is celiac disease an autoimmune disorder? The short answer is, Yes.

What’s an Autoimmune Disorder, Anyway?

Just what is an autoimmune disorder, or autoimmune disease? In brief, it’s when your body accidentally attacks itself. Healthline.com explains, “An autoimmune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, decides your healthy cells are foreign. As a result, your immune system attacks healthy cells.”

Put another way: an autoimmune disorder is when your immune system confuses your healthy, working, harmless cells with viruses, bacteria, or just plain intruders. When this happens, it’s as though your body has labeled itself the bad guy, and will create antibodies to kill your healthy cells. This can lead to gut problems, illness, insomnia, and a host of other issues.

So, is Celiac Disease an Autoimmune Disorder?

Yes, celiac disease is one type of autoimmune disorder. Celiac disease is a label for the reaction some individuals have to gluten, a certain protein found in grains, primarily wheat. When gluten enters the gut of a person with celiac disease, their immune system mislabels it as a danger, and will fight it. Unfortunately, it also mislabels the gut lining as dangerous. In effect, it begins tearing down the body’s own defensive walls.

If you suspect you have celiac disease, you’re in the right place to start learning about how to diagnose it, and start getting your health back.

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