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Celiac Remission

Posted by , in Diagnosis 04 October 2011 · 2,024 views

When I saw Marku Makki talk, he spoke about desensitization and spontaneous remission in some celiacs. He has seen it in his decades of practice. It's in one of his articles but I can't seem to turn it up. I did find some other stuff for you. I don't know whether the Gut links will work for you because I have an academic affiliation that allows me to see research articles but I copied the conclusions.


This is the best article I can find. It is a retrospective study on 70 people diagnosed with celiac in childhood.

"In conclusion, this study indicates that up to 10% of celiac disease patients diagnosed in childhood can spontaneously recover a normal villous architecture after a long period of normal diet without retaining any clinical or biological sequelae of celiac disease. The persistence of immunological stigmata of celiac disease and the risk of relapse indicate, however, that this remission state must not be considered as a definitive recovery but as a return to latency that requires a regular follow-up. Most of the patients with celiac disease diagnosed in childhood who resumed a normal diet, however, have an active celiac disease at adulthood, even in the absence of symptoms. These patients should be screened for the presence of villous atrophy and osteopenia, and should be advised to return to a GFD in the case of persisting villous atrophy."

A case study.

"If the initial diagnosis was correct this represents a previously unrecognised course of childhood coeliac disease with either cure or prolonged latency (during which a normal diet may be tolerated). This has major implications to the individual, their families and to the provision of health care resources, particularly in the context of the increased prevalence of coeliac disease. The key questions that arise are whether lifelong gluten exclusion is necessary in childhood coeliac disease and whether gluten exclusion in children with coeliac disease has the potential to promote a period of prolonged latency or remission? In the context of the exponential increase in diagnosis and advent of screening further study of the natural history (including the potential impact of gluten challenge) and revision of the diagnostic criteria are indicated. We must ensure that patients are fully informed about uncertainty and that we do not over-diagnose or over-treat a condition that may not be lifelong and may, in a number of children, have the potential to enter a prolonged remission."

Remission in DH
Reuters summary of the research and interview with Stephen Katz at NIH

Source: Transient Celiac Autoimmunity In A Adult

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Hi Skylark,

This topic is quite interesting to me. I actually have a colleague that insists he was severely gluten intolerant (And was avoiding all gluten as it made him very sick). However, he says, after a few years as a vegetarian (and gluten free because of said symptoms), he returned to eating wheat and found he was "cured". He encourages me to try going vegetarian to see if it'll help me too, but 1) Because I'm aware of the reason/mechanism behind gluten intolerance, I'm in no way deluded I can be cured 2) There's no way I'm limiting my diet even further on the off chance it'll cure me! :D

Anyway, I always wonder if he went into remission, or if he wasn't gluten-intolerant in the first place. He didn't get tested for celiac disease, and not sure how strict he was with his diet.

Cheers :)
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