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The disorder is more commonly found among white Europeans or in people of European descent.It is very unusual to find celiac disease in African or Asian people. Estimates vary from one in 5000, to as many as one in every 300 individuals with this background.
The most commonly recognized symptoms of celiac disease relate to the improper absorption of food in the gastrointestinal system.
Many patients with gastrointestinal symptoms will have diarrhea and fatty, greasy, unusually foul-smelling stools.
A recent study of random blood samples tested for celiac disease in the US showed one in 250 testing positive.
It is clearly under-diagnosed, probably due to the symptoms being attributed to another problem, or lack of knowledge about celiac disease by physicians and laboratories.
The resulting inflammation causes damage to the delicate finger-like structures in the intestine, called villi, where food absorption actually takes place.