In 1888, Dr. Samuel Gee, in his article, "On the Coeliac Affection," described with great clarity "a kind of chronic indigestion which is met with in persons of all ages, yet is especially apt to affect children between one and five years."1 Dr. Gee concluded that if the patient with celiac disease can be cured, it must be attained with a suitable dietetic regimen. His conclusion was supported by his observations of a child who throve on a diet consisting of only the best Dutch mussels but relapsed when the season for mussels was over. Although neither the exact site nor the full nature of the primary defect in celiac disease has been defined, the basic disturbance is apparent inability of the absorbing epithelium to tolerate gluten or the products of gluten digestion.
Although numerous diets were tried over the years, it was not until 1950 that gluten was