What is Celiac Disease (CD) and Dermatitus Herpetiformis (DH)?
Celiac disease (CD) is a genetic disorder. In people with CD, eating certain types of protein, called gluten, sets off an autoimmune response that causes damage to the small intestine. This, in turn, causes the small intestine to lose its ability to absorb the nutrients found in food, leading to malnutrition and a variety of other complications.
The offending protein, gluten, is found in wheat, barley, rye, and to a lesser extent, oats (WBRO). Related proteins are found in triticale, spelt, kamut.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is an important associated disorder or complication of celiac disease which is manifested in the form of a skin rash. There is strong evidence that the changes in the intestinal mucosa and the immunologic findings in the majority of patients diagnosed with DH are identical with those found in celiac disease. Gluten has been found to have a close relationship with this skin rash. DH is often referred to as "celiac disease of the skin" while CD is referred to as "celiac disease of the gut."
The following links are to our national parent organizations web site listing topics on Celiac Disease and Dermatitus Herpetiformis. In the interest of providing the most current and correct state-of-the-art information we refer the viewer to this site.