Celiac Disease

In celiac disease, your body produces an allergic reaction to gluten — a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. This allergic reaction causes an inflammation that destroys the lining of your small intestine.

Cross-Section of Small Intestine

This allergic reaction also reduces your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and can lead to nutritional, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease and live in New York City, you are fortunate. There are restaurants offering gluten-free meals and grocery stores offering gluten-free products throughout the metropolitan area. Gluten-free products are also appearing on supermarket shelves and in restaurants in other cities, as well.

Celiac disease can go undiagnosed for years. At Mount Sinai, our goal is to diagnose patients quickly. Our physicians and dieticians provide tailored care, working collaboratively with other specialists to diagnose your condition.

The methods we most commonly use to identify celiac disease are:

  • Blood tests to detect the presence of gluten antibodies and look for evidence of malabsorption. (Malabsorption refers to difficulty digesting or absorbing nutrients from food.)
  • Stool tests to check for evidence of malabsorption.
  • Endoscopy to examine the inside of your digestive tract.
  • Biopsy to remove a small tissue sample using an endoscope to test for inflammation and tissue damage.

Celiac disease runs in families. If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, we encourage your family members to undergo screening. This way, those family members who share the same symptoms can avoid additional years of similar discomfort and complications.

Celiac disease is associated with autoimmune gastrointestinal and nongastrointestinal conditions such as microscopic colitis, pancreatic insufficiency, and autoimmune thyroid disease. We screen anyone diagnosed with celiac disease for those diseases, as well.

We can help

If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, our physicians and dieticians will coordinate comprehensive treatment for you, including dietary counseling and nutritional monitoring. As part of your care we will develop a gluten-free nutritional plan for you so that you can resume a healthy lifestyle.

Please call us to learn how we can help you or a loved one. We are conveniently located on the Upper East Side of New York City.