Coeliac Disease is a permanent condition in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged if gluten is ingested. Gluten is present in wheat, barley, rye, oats, kamut, spelt, triticale and ingredients derived from these grains.
The small intestine is the region of the gut where most of the food we eat is digested to provide us with energy and nutrients which allow us to function normally. In the small intestine there are finger-like protrusions called villi which absorb the nutrients. If a Coeliac eats gluten the villi become damaged and can no longer absorb nutrients. Even a trace of gluten either through error in ingredients or through cross-contamination can cause harm and cause diarrhoea and/or vomiting which can last for several days.