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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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    Photo: CC--Labomikro

    Getting high-quality biopsy specimens is key to making accurate celiac disease diagnoses. Endoscopists may take either a single- or double-biopsy specimen with each pass of the forceps. Does it matter whether they take one or two? Is two better than one?



    Photo: CC--Torley

    Can a scientific equation based on immunohistochemical analysis of duodenal biopsies improve the diagnosis of celiac disease and potential celiac disease?



    Photo: CC--Kirian Foster

    Most people with celiac disease suffer from classic symptoms like weight-loss and diarrhea before diagnosis, right? Wrong. In fact, the most common medical issues for people with celiac disease might really surprise you.



    Photo: CC--Dennis Jarvis

    What an odd thing to say: “Do not mask the appearance of celiac disease.” Inferring that you keep on eating gluten, despite early signs of celiac disease, until you get enough damage to your intestines that it can be seen under a microscope. I totally disagree with this concept—but this is still a common belief of medical practitioners.



    Image: Wikimedia Commons--Samir

    Following a strict gluten-free diet is the only way to treat celiac disease. However, researchers have been lacking clear agreement on how and when to assess gluten-free dietary adherence in celiac patients or how to determine its effectiveness on villous atrophy.



    Photo: CC--Steven Depolo

    It is common for many people with celiac disease to have vitamin deficiencies. Eating a wide variety of foods such as meat, fish, eggs and vegetables can assist in with fixing those deficiencies. Children need vitamins to promote growth, development and good immune health. As adults we need them to prevent disease and stay healthy.



    Photo: CC--Orin Zebest

    Gluten comes from the Latin word for glue. It is a protein in wheat and other grains. It will elicit an autoimmune response in celiacs. Other grains like barley, rye and spelt contain gluten as well. In wheat products, the difficult part for celiacs to digest is gliadin. Some fad diets may try to claim glaidin is new, but it is not, and to dispel another myth there isn’t any wheat on the market that is genetically modified.



    Photo: CC--Liz West

    A research team recently examined the effects of prednisolone and a gluten-free diet on mucosal epithelial cell regeneration and apoptosis in celiac disease.



    Photo: CC--AJ Cann

    The human gastrointestinal tract contains approximately 1014 bacterial cells that form a unique, diverse and very dynamic microbial ecosystem also known as gut microbiota. The genomes of all intestinal microbes form the “microbiome”, representing more than 100 times the human genome.



    Photo: Wikimedia Commons--spain cordova

    Spotting celiac disease early is important for optimal patient outcome. However, serological markers of celiac disease aren't much good for spotting mild histopathological lesions in adults at risk for celiac.



    Photo: CC--kthm

    A team of researchers recently evaluated the usefulness of an on site rapid fingertip whole blood point-of-care test (POCT) that would help primary workers to spot patients who might benefit from further diagnostic tests for celiac disease.



    Photo: CC--Ken_Turner

    Data from blood studies suggest that about 1% or so of North Americans have celiac disease. However, there is no good screening data based on small intestinal biopsy performed during routine endoscopic evaluations.



    Photo: CC--WBUR

    The official stance of celiac disease experts is that doctors should recommend a dietitian for every patient with celiac disease. But, do dietitians actually improve the treatment outcomes of celiac disease?



    Photo: CC--jeporrier

    Doctors currently know very little about the best way to treat and manage cases of villous atrophy in patients without celiac disease.



    Image: Public Domain--Wikicommons

    Is an intestinal biopsy always necessary to diagnose celiac disease, or can diagnosis be made without biopsy? 



    Photo: CC--aurostar739

    A recent study of celiac screening methods shows that testing for antireticulin antibodies (ARA) in patients with celiac disease is obsolete. 



    Photo: CC--Andy G

    Currently, there are two main diagnostic tools available to would-be celiacs: biopsy and serological (antibody) tests. For the past few decades, biopsy has been the only relatively reliable (and diagnostically accepted) path to diagnosis. The problem is, biopsies are expensive and highly invasive – antibody tests would be a cheap and painless alternative, but they haven't proven themselves to be accurate enough for conclusive diagnosis.



    CC--jepoirrier

    I speak to many people from across the country and internationally who contact me requesting help. The issues they face could be summarized into three categories: 1. individuals with celiac disease who do not have their disease under good control; 2. those with gluten sensitivity whom remain less than healthy despite their gluten-free diet...



    Photo: CC--US Army Africa

    Doctors can face challenges when attempting to diagnose celiac disease in patients who have already begun a gluten-free diet, and/or when the results of tests are inconsistent. To better understand this problem, a group of researchers set out to assess the benefits of an in vitro gliadin challenge.



    Photo: CC--SD Dirk

    Research has indicated that giving small amounts of wheat-rich food to people with celiac disease, who are on a gluten-free diet, will trigger interferon (IFN)-γ-secreting T cells in the bloodstream. These T cells react to gluten, and can be easily detected.


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