celiac sprue

celiac disease

or nontropical sprue

Digestive disorder in which people cannot tolerate gluten, a protein constituent of wheat, barley, malt, and rye flours. In celiac disease, gluten generates an immune response that damages the mucous lining of the small intestine; it is believed that a deficiency of gluten-digesting enzymes may underlie the disease. Poor nutrient absorption causes foul, bulky, fatty stools; malnutrition; stunting of growth; and anemia similar to pernicious anemia. It can run in families. Children begin having intermittent intestinal upset, diarrhea, and wasting at 6–21 months. In adults it usually begins after 30, with appetite loss, depression, irritability, and diarrhea. Symptoms in advanced cases stem from nutritional deficiencies and may require supportive measures. A high-protein diet low in glutens and saturated fats usually relieves symptoms.

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CSA is the largest non-profit coeliac disease support group in the United States, with over 125 chapters and 65 resource units across the country, and over 10,000 members worldwide.


The Midwestern Celiac Sprue Association (MCSA) was formed in 1977 by Pat Murphy Garst of Des Moines, Iowa. MCSA officially changed its name to Celiac Sprue Association/United States of America, Inc. in 1986.

Mission Statement

Celiac Sprue Association/United States of America, Inc. (CSA/USA, Inc) is a member based non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis worldwide through education, research and support. In particular, it has information for its members on following a gluten-free diet.

Current Officers

Executive Director: Mary Schluckebier B.S., M.A.
President: Gary Powers
President-Elect: Bill Eyl
Treasurer: Clark Kolterman
Recording Secretary: James Blank

External links

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