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Coeliac disease is a condition that causes the body's autoimmune system to enter a heightened defence state when items containing gluten are eaten. When the autoimmune system is triggered by the digestion of gluten based products the intestines (small bowel) can become damaged; the substance gliadin within gluten causes this response. There are a number of factors that can increase your chance of developing coeliac disease including a family history of the condition, environmental factors such as prior digestive infections and secondary medical conditions such as type 1 diabetes or ulcerative colitis. There is now medical evidence that suggests that introducing gluten into a babies diets too early may lead to the development of coeliac disease.
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