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Celiac Disease Diagnosis, Testing & Treatment (Gluten-Free Diet)

This category contains a comprehensive overview that covers the information on diagnosing and treating celiac disease, including the latest research on the various new tests/screening techniques.
Note: The only medically acceptable treatment for celiac disease is a 100% gluten-free diet for life.

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    In a medical first, researchers at UCLA have made a connection between intestinal inflammation and systemic chromosome damage in mice, a discovery that may pave the way for early identification and treatment of human inflammatory disorders, some of which raise the risk for various kinds of cancer, according a study published in Cancer Research.

    Vitamin deficiency and less than optimal health are common problems for people with celiac disease, even those who faithfully follow a gluten-free diet. A recent clinical study has shown B vitamins to be beneficial for celiac disease sufferers following gluten-free diets.

    A team of Austrian researchers recently set out to determine which noninvasive test for celiac disease is best for assessing mucosal status in people with celiac disease.

    The latest antihuman tissue transglutaminase (tTG) IgA tests are reported to spot celiac disease with nearly 100% sensitivity and specificity. Also, a new generation of deamidated gliadin peptide (α-DGP) antibody tests is alleged to have sensitivity levels on par with the tTG IgA tests. However, in actual practice, sensitivity and specificity for these tests are often lower than claimed for trial conditions.

    A recent study confirms that B-vitamin supplements are helpful in raising vitamin B6, B12 and folate levels and in reducing homocysteine levels in people with celiac disease.

    A simple, reliable low-cost home screening test for celiac disease recently made its Canadian debut. The test works by metering gluten antibody levels from a tiny fingertip blood sample, and is the currently the only home celiac disease test kit approved by Health Canada.

    Current medical wisdom dictates that once a person is diagnosed with celiac disease and experiences an improvement in symptoms by adopting a gluten-free diet, there is little need to undergo follow-up screening unless they experience a clear recurrence of symptoms. Some doctors are beginning to challenge that practice.

    The emerging field of metabonomics offers a new way to understand celiac disease.

    Dr. Anderson’s team has created a peptide-based therapeutic vaccine to treat the main problem T-cell epitopes of gluten. The vaccine has the potential to treat at about 80% of people with celiac disease and having the appropriate genetic background.

    When people tell me their story of diagnosis, I always think it's incredible. Sometimes the mystery seems to be more difficult and have fewer "clues" than others. As a result, the missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis takes a toll on our bodies. These stories of diagnosis run the gambit of drama and difficulty, but they are good to share so we can empathize and learn from as a celiac community.

    Doctors treating people with celiac disease might soon be able to use a simple saliva test to monitor the progress of their patients’ gluten-free diets.

    A research team recently set out to compare multiplex immunoassay (MIA) testing for antibodies against enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing for antibodies in biopsy-proven celiac patients and control subjects, and to determine the helpfulness of using the two tests in combination for making diagnosis of celiac disease.

    Mucosal inflammation of the small intestine, coupled with damage to intestinal villi, is a classic indication of celiac disease. Recently, doctors have begun to embrace the idea that some patients with positive celiac blood tests may have mucosal lesions that are too small to appear on routine histopathological analysis.

    Among the main things doctors look for when they’re trying to make a classic diagnosis of celiac disease are small intestinal mucosal membrane villous atrophy and inflammation. However, the latest research indicates that these criteria are possibly too narrow, leading to a lack of diagnosis and treatment of people with celiac disease. If so, far more people than previously imagined may suffer from celiac disease and not even know it.

    ActoGeniX is a recently formed Belgian company specializing in the development and use of genetically altered probiotic Lactococcus lactis bacteria designed to secrete and deliver therapeutic peptides and proteins to treat gastrointestinal disorders. Their product is called ActoBiotics™. Celiac disease is among the disorders ActoGeniX is currently investigating. Research has already shown efficacy in a celiac disease model where ActoBiotics™ continuously secrete small segments of gluten peptides to induce tolerance to gluten. Further research and trials are in the pipeline.

    A greater awareness of celiac disease, coupled with better and more accurate tests for celiac disease have helped to bring about a situation where most people currently diagnosed with celiac disease show no symptoms at the time of their diagnosis. Currently, most people diagnosed with celiac disease do not show symptoms, but are diagnosed on the basis of referral for elevated risk factors.

    This question, “how early can you diagnose celiac disease?” is a major concern for both parents and paediatricians.  This is because, like many diseases, celiac disease comes on slowly.  This means that it can take a long time to make the diagnosis.

    A new confocal laser microscopic probe has been developed by Mauna Kea Technologies which works in conjunction with conventional endoscopes providing real-time video sequences of the intestinal mucosa magnified 500-1000 times greater than the conventional endoscopic view.

    A recent study published in the August issue of American Journal of Gastroenterology suggest that villous atrophy in suspected cases of celiac disease can be reliably detected by video capsule enteroscopy (VCE).

    A team of Dutch dentists recently conducted a study to determine if Dutch children with proven celiac disease exhibit corresponding defects in dental enamel and to gauge whether children without proven celiac disease, but showing celiac-associated gastro-intestinal complaints lack any such defects in their dental enamel.

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