Refractory celiac disease is a rare condition in which the symptoms of celiac disease (and the loss of villi) do not improve despite many months of a strict gluten-free diet. Before making a diagnosis of refractory celiac disease it is important to exclude complications of celiac disease and other co-existing conditions that can produce similar symptoms. It is believed by many knowledgeable physicians that refractory celiac disease is a malignant condition, that is, it is a cancer.
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