In celiac disease, a protein in wheat, barley, and rye called gluten triggers destruction of tiny h...
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In celiac disease, a protein in wheat, barley, and rye called gluten triggers destruction of tiny hair-like protrusions called villi in the small intestine. Normally, villi allow vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to be absorbed through the wall of the small intestine into the bloodstream. In celiac disease, gluten triggers the immune system to damage or destroy the villi. Instead of being absorbed, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins are eliminated in the stool. Decreased absorption of nutrients, or mal-absorption, can cause malnutrition and other long-term problems.