What causes celiac disease?
The exact cause of celiac disease isn't known. But having certain genes increases your risk. You are more likely to have these genes if you have a first-degree relative who has celiac disease. A first-degree relative is a mother, father, brother, sister, son, or daughter.
Environmental factors, such as infections, may trigger changes in the small intestine of a person with these genes. Eating foods that contain gluten can then trigger an abnormal immune system response. Over time, this response can cause problems with digestion and absorbing nutrients.