Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Refractory Sprue

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Refractory Sprue is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    Disorder Subdivisions

    • type I refractory sprue
    • type II refractory sprue

    General Discussion

    Refractory sprue (RS) is a complex autoimmune disorder much like the more common celiac sprue but, unlike celiac sprue, it is resistant or unresponsive to six months of treatment with a strict gluten-free diet. Gliadin, a component of the wheat storage protein gluten, together with similar proteins in barley and rye, are the villains that trigger the immune reaction in celiac sprue. The diagnosis of RS is made by exclusion, especially of any other disorder that can affect the huge number of thread-like projections that line the interior of the intestine (intestinal villi), such as intestinal lymphoma, Crohn's disease, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or hypogammaglobulinemia.

    The intestinal villi are the means by which the gut absorbs fluids and nutrients. In celiac sprue and refractory sprue, these villi shrink and shrivel (atrophy) affecting the absorption of nutrients via the intestines. In celiac sprue, treatment by means of a strict gluten-free diet is usually sufficient to overcome the disorder. However, refractory sprue is just that: refractory or stubbornly resistant to treatment. Only a small percentage of the people with celiac sprue will develop RS, and these patients are almost invariably 30 years of age or older. However, as yet, it is impossible to predict which patient of those with celiac sprue will develop RS.

    Resources

    Association of Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders, Inc.
    12 Roberts Drive
    Bedford, MA 01730
    Tel: (781)275-1300
    Fax: (781)275-1304
    Email: gimotility@gmx.com
    Internet: http://www.agmd-gimotility.org

    Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
    31214 124th Ave SE
    Auburn, WA 98092
    Tel: (253)833-6655
    Fax: (253)833-6675
    Email: info@gluten.net
    Internet: http://www.gluten.net

    Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America
    386 Park Avenue South
    17th Floor
    New York, NY 10016-7374
    USA
    Tel: (212)685-3440
    Fax: (212)779-4098
    Tel: (800)932-2423
    Email: info@ccfa.org
    Internet: http://www.ccfa.org

    Celiac Sprue Association
    P.O. Box 31700
    Omaha, NE 68131-0700
    USA
    Tel: (402)558-0600
    Fax: (402)643-4108
    Tel: (877)272-4272
    Email: celiacs@csaceliacs.org
    Internet: http://www.csaceliacs.org

    NIH/National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive & Kidney Diseases
    Office of Communications & Public Liaison
    Bldg 31, Rm 9A06
    31 Center Drive, MSC 2560
    Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
    Tel: (301)496-3583
    Email: NDDIC@info.niddk.nih.gov
    Internet: http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/

    International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
    700 W. Virginia St., 201
    Milwaukee, WI 53217
    USA
    Tel: (414)964-1799
    Fax: (414)964-7176
    Tel: (888)964-2001
    Email: iffgd@iffgd.org
    Internet: http://www.iffgd.org

    Celiac Disease Foundation
    20350 Ventura Blvd
    Ste 240
    Woodland Hills, CA 91364
    USA
    Tel: (818)716-1513
    Fax: (818)267-5577
    Email: cdf@celiac.org
    Internet: http://www.celiac.org

    Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
    120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
    Chicago, IL 60606-6995
    Tel: (312)899-0400
    Fax: (312)899-4899
    Tel: (800)877-1600
    Email: knowledge@eatright.org
    Internet: http://www.eatright.org

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
    P.O. Box 544
    224 South Maple Street
    Ambler, PA 19002
    Tel: (215)325-1306
    Fax: (215)643-1707
    Email: info@celiaccentral.org
    Internet: http://www.CeliacCentral.org

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 2/7/2013
    Copyright 2006, 2010, 2013 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Today on WebMD

    man holding his stomach
    Get the facts on common problems.
    blueberries in a palm
    Best and worst foods.
     
    woman shopping
    Learn what foods to avoid.
    fresh and dried plums
    Will it help constipation?
     
    diverticuliltis illustration
    Slideshow
    couple eating at cafe
    Article
     
    sick child
    Slideshow
    Woman blowing bubble gum
    Slideshow
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Woman with crohns in pain
    Slideshow
    Woman with stomach pain
    Slideshow
     
    diet for diverticulitis
    Video
    what causes diarrhea
    Video