Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own enzymes that are made by the body in order to digest the protein gluten. Gluten is mostly found in wheat and in cousins of wheat, such as spelt and kamut; however it also has found its way into many processed foods as it is a cheap filler ingredient. Those with an undiagnosed celiac disease are usually quite sick as their body is unable to absorb any nutrients along their digestive tract as the finger-like projections lining their tract are usually wiped out, making the absorption of nutrients very difficult.
Celiac disease is not be confused with a gluten intolerance, allergy, or sensitivity; in these cases, the body has considered the protein gluten to be a dangerous molecule and as such produces an immunity response against it. When the body attacks gluten, symptoms can include diarrhea, bloating, discomfort, confusion, abdominal pain, weakness, lethargy, headaches... to name a few. The symptoms of a gluten reaction are numerous and varied. Following an Elimination/Hypoallergenic diet can help determine if the body produces a reaction to gluten.
On popular gluten-free blogger (who goes under the alias "Gluten-Free Goddess") works diligently to create mouthwatering recipes for those with celiac disease or for those who have cut gluten out of their diet. Recently on her blog, she discussed that researchers are developing a vaccine that will allow those with celiac disease to eat gluten! Talk about groundbreaking research. Nevertheless, as she discusses in her post on the vaccine, the vaccine won't be for everyone. I myself am wondering how on earth this vaccine can cause the body to "smarten up" and stop attacking itself in the presence of gluten. That's a pretty complicated thing to get a drug to do, I wonder if they'll be successful...?