WSVN -- Tom Hopper never had a health problem until his 60s. Then all of a sudden he began to have serious pains in his stomach.
Tom Hopper: "The lower extremity cramps would be so severe that at times I would have to hold myself up by clinging on top of the door in the bathroom."
Months of tests showed nothing until Tom Found himself doubled over in pain on a plane to Boston. Once he landed, paramedics rushed him to the hospital. It was there he found he had celiac disease.
Tom Hopper: "I said 'That's great but what is it?'"
Celiac is a painful disease that damages the lining of the small intestine which keeps nutrients from being absorbed. It's triggered by eating gluten which is found in wheat, barley and rye.
Celiac was primarily diagnosed in children. But research now shows that it can flare up at any age.
Dr. Alessio Fasano: "It's intriguing the concept that some individuals lose the capability to ingest gluten after a few weeks of exposure and then some people can tolerate it for 60, 70 years."
Tom changed his diet and now his tummy trouble is on the mend.
Diana Diaz: "If researchers can identify why some people develop celiac later in life, they could eventually develop better ways to treat celiac in patients of all ages."