What is this article about?
Coeliac disease is a chronic autoimmune condition affecting about 1 in 70 Australians. It is characterised by an abnormal immune response to gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, rye, oats, triticale and barley. Gluten contains a component known as a prolamin fraction, which is responsible for triggering the abnormal immune response. When a person living with coeliac disease eats even a tiny amount of gluten, it triggers an immune response that damages the villi - tiny, finger-like projections that increase the surface area of the small intestine.