Sprue, nontropical: This condition results from an immune (allergic) reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat and related grains and present in many foods that we eat. Sprue causes impaired absorption and digestion of nutrients through the small intestine. Symptoms include frequent diarrhea and weight loss. A skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis can be associated with celiac sprue. The most accurate diagnostic test for sprue is a biopsy of the involved small bowel. Treatment is to avoid gluten in the diet. Medications are used for refractory (stubborn) sprue. Known under a number of other names, including celiac sprue.