Celiac sprue is an inflammatory condition caused by intolerance to gluten, a substance found in wheat and other grains. The inability to digest and process this substances may lead to inflammation of the intestines, vitamin deficiencies due to lack of absorption of nutrients, and bowel abnormalities. Gluten may be found in many foods, especially processed foods and baked goods. Breads, cakes, desserts that use thickeners, alcoholic beverages (except wine), cereals and pastas may all contain gluten.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.