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African Americans And Celiac Disease


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#1 Bravie

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 10:54 PM

Okay. So while I was looking up info on celiac disease, I realized that almost every site i've referred to, it explains that it predominately affects White Europeans. What bothered me the most is that I am half African American and half European, and I still managed to get this disease. Hehehe. So much for that. But what has really been bugging me is that there is so few support groups, sites, or anything that raises the awareness of celiac disease in African Americans and other race groups for that matter.

I would have never even known about this disease if my boyfriend didn't suggest that I might have had it. I would have never gotten tested. My twin brother was diagnosed with Chrons Disease 5 years ago, I think he has Celiac disease. Infact, I think everyone in my family has it. But when I tried to explain to them that they might have it, they kept telling me that this was my problem and to not include them. And that they personally think the disease doesn't even exhist.

This is not only affecting me but I feel its affecting African Americans pretty negatively. :( What do you think?
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#2 gfp

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 02:28 AM

Okay. So while I was looking up info on celiac disease, I realized that almost every site i've referred to, it explains that it predominately affects White Europeans. What bothered me the most is that I am half African American and half European, and I still managed to get this disease. Hehehe. So much for that. But what has really been bugging me is that there is so few support groups, sites, or anything that raises the awareness of celiac disease in African Americans and other race groups for that matter.

I would have never even known about this disease if my boyfriend didn't suggest that I might have had it. I would have never gotten tested. My twin brother was diagnosed with Chrons Disease 5 years ago, I think he has Celiac disease. Infact, I think everyone in my family has it. But when I tried to explain to them that they might have it, they kept telling me that this was my problem and to not include them. And that they personally think the disease doesn't even exhist.

This is not only affecting me but I feel its affecting African Americans pretty negatively. :( What do you think?

Its 2 issues ...
The first is quite common, that is for some reason families sometimes get all defensive over celiac disease because its genetic. Its almost like some 'guilt thing' which is obviously silly but happens all the same.

As for the racial genetic side ? I guess it is fairly uncommon ... in most things I tend to think that trying to 'promote' a certain disease or anything else for any specific racial group is best only if that group are at particular risk, not the inverse ??? Without trying to sound blazee' about it we would end up with the East Asian American Diabetics, Latin American Cardiac arhythmia Society etc. hen really these things are best looked at and publicized as a whole not split into subgroups etc. ???

As for it affecting African Americas negatively then what about Africans? This in itself is lots of subgroups ...
Would you have a Massai awareness group and a Xosa Group ?? Probably not .. so I'm just saying this to highlight that it is best to only make special awareness groups in at risk populations or the overall awareness ends up diluted?
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Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt. (JC, De Bello Gallico Liber III/XVIII)

#3 debmidge

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 03:47 AM

Okay. So while I was looking up info on celiac disease, I realized that almost every site i've referred to, it explains that it predominately affects White Europeans. What bothered me the most is that I am half African American and half European, and I still managed to get this disease. Hehehe. So much for that. But what has really been bugging me is that there is so few support groups, sites, or anything that raises the awareness of celiac disease in African Americans and other race groups for that matter.

I would have never even known about this disease if my boyfriend didn't suggest that I might have had it. I would have never gotten tested. My twin brother was diagnosed with Chrons Disease 5 years ago, I think he has Celiac disease. Infact, I think everyone in my family has it. But when I tried to explain to them that they might have it, they kept telling me that this was my problem and to not include them. And that they personally think the disease doesn't even exhist.

This is not only affecting me but I feel its affecting African Americans pretty negatively. :( What do you think?


I am sure that it'll be discovered that all races have a small segment who have celiac: it just isn't going to be in large enough numbers to make a case for a African-Amercian (or fill in the blank) Celiac Society group emerge. However, I urge you and all of those of non-white background to stick to the societies already in place as splinter groups only dilute the cause of celiac. Everyone knows there's power in numbers and one large group cannot be ignored.

Secondarily if your family is also a split race background, they shouldn't be so uninterested. I guess they feel "what they don't know won't hurt them.."
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Husband has Celiac Disease and
Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -
The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis
Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,
most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as
being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."
Serious Depressive state ensued
Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003
Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.
Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle
Developed neuropathy in 2005
Now has lymphadema 2006
It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

#4 Lemonsieur

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:04 PM

Okay. So while I was looking up info on celiac disease, I realized that almost every site i've referred to, it explains that it predominately affects White Europeans. What bothered me the most is that I am half African American and half European, and I still managed to get this disease. Hehehe. So much for that. But what has really been bugging me is that there is so few support groups, sites, or anything that raises the awareness of celiac disease in African Americans and other race groups for that matter.

I would have never even known about this disease if my boyfriend didn't suggest that I might have had it. I would have never gotten tested. My twin brother was diagnosed with Chrons Disease 5 years ago, I think he has Celiac disease. Infact, I think everyone in my family has it. But when I tried to explain to them that they might have it, they kept telling me that this was my problem and to not include them. And that they personally think the disease doesn't even exhist.

This is not only affecting me but I feel its affecting African Americans pretty negatively. :( What do you think?


I agree with you. I am black and my GI looked at me like I was crazy when I suggested celiac. Most American blacks know nothing of celiac disease. I believe my sister and cousin are symptomatic, but neither take it seriously. I am pretty sure my uncle had it as well, and that it played a hand in his early death.

Bravie & gfp I don't think the OP was suggesting that there be an "African American Celiac Society" (example) or any other splinter group. Just that awareness needs to be raised that African Americans (AA) are at risk as well. Take for instance heart disease and hypertension. Doctors know that for whatever reason it seems to be more prevalent in AA populations, so they more aggressively watch for it. AA community groups also advocate and raise awareness among AA populations. But you do not see an African American Hypertension Association or an African American Heart Association. The existing organizations are just fine.

I think the problem lies in how we as a country deal with race and appearances. Well he looks black so he must be *all* black. This is just not the case. My cousin is blacker than I am, and her grandfather is Scottish, straight from Scotland. But you wouldn't know her ancestry by her appearance. The truth is a good portion of the AA population have European and Native American ancestry to varying degrees depending on location, and appearance is not a good indicator of it. The following links talk about this issue:

Link: How white are blacks?
Link: DNA research
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#5 home_based_mom

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 07:16 PM

The truth is a good portion of the AA population have European and Native American ancestry to varying degrees depending on location, and appearance is not a good indicator of it.


I was going to post this same thing last night but I hit something wrong on my keyboard and lost everything! Sigh. Anyway, except for first and maybe second generation immigrants, there are few if any African Americans of pure African descent in North America. There don't call America a melting pot for no reason!

Bravie, you may think of yourself as African American, but if you are half European, you are just as much one as the other, no matter what you look like.

If your family would like to believe that celiac is a white people's disease, tell them OK fine, your white half has it, and maybe theirs does, too! :lol: :lol: :lol: (sorry) Seriously, good luck with trying to convince them to at least try the diet. Others have posted family reluctance so you are not alone. We'll be pulling for ya!

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Sandi ~ learning to live in a world obsessed and infested with wheat.
"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" probably was not referring to us . . .
"For the love of money gluten is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (apologies to 1 Timothy 6:10 (NASB)
The person we most dislike is still a soul for whom Christ died. (David Jeremiah)

#6 debmidge

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 02:10 AM

The CSA has an advertisement running in "Living Without" magazine which shows a group of people, black and white and asks the question something like "are you the 1 in 133"? So the CSA is putting the fact forward that Blacks can get celiac disease.

A lot of people don't know that the only other nationality to have a type of Sickle Cell Anemia are Italians (of which I am of this descent as well). That doesn't mean I reject it because it's a "black" disease. It makes me want to know more about it because my family is then more at risk for it.

Well let's then kick around some ideas on how blacks can be made more aware of celiac and not dismiss it as a "white" only disease....

I hate to go back to this again as it's been posted numerous times on this board, but perhaps Oprah can lend assistance to all Celiacs and have a show on it (it's been mentioned about Oprah on this board now for a few years, many board members wrote to her and suggested a show on celiac disease). Maybe now it's time for her to lend this assistance.
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Husband has Celiac Disease and
Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -
The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis
Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,
most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as
being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."
Serious Depressive state ensued
Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003
Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.
Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle
Developed neuropathy in 2005
Now has lymphadema 2006
It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

#7 Lemonsieur

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 03:52 AM

The CSA has an advertisement running in "Living Without" magazine which shows a group of people, black and white and asks the question something like "are you the 1 in 133"? So the CSA is putting the fact forward that Blacks can get celiac disease.

A lot of people don't know that the only other nationality to have a type of Sickle Cell Anemia are Italians (of which I am of this descent as well). That doesn't mean I reject it because it's a "black" disease. It makes me want to know more about it because my family is then more at risk for it.

Well let's then kick around some ideas on how blacks can be made more aware of celiac and not dismiss it as a "white" only disease....

I hate to go back to this again as it's been posted numerous times on this board, but perhaps Oprah can lend assistance to all Celiacs and have a show on it (it's been mentioned about Oprah on this board now for a few years, many board members wrote to her and suggested a show on celiac disease). Maybe now it's time for her to lend this assistance.


Hey I knew about Sickle Cell and Italian ethnic subgroups. ;) I don't know that blacks are dismissing it as a "white" only disease. I know I certainly didn't when I learned of it. However there is still a lot of language out there that can lead one to that implication. And that implication can have an affect on not only the black community, but *doctors* and other social ethnic groups as well. Which is what I think the OP was getting at.

I think in my prior post I got a little tangential, but I think we agree that we just need to raise awareness in general for everyone. I just wanted to push back on the whole idea that socially constructed racial groups based on appearances and locale have any bearing on the reality of a persons genetic makeup. (Well it has some bearing, but not nearly as much as we like to think).
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#8 debmidge

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 04:02 AM

Hey I knew about Sickle Cell and Italian ethnic subgroups. ;)



Actually I was thinking of my father's sister who is 100% Italian....I'd bet a week's pay that she doesn't know about Italians and Sickle cell.... My hard-headed Italian relatives, that unless it happens to them, it doesn't exist.....even if someone in my Italian side of family had it, I'd never know because they refuse to talk about any of them having any disease. I had to pry it out of my grandmother and find out that she had Diabetes Type 2. When my grandfather had congestive heart failure we kind of surmised it was that, but when asked the family replied "There's nothing wrong with him" and he was swollen with water in his legs.
  • 0
Husband has Celiac Disease and
Husband misdiagnosed for 27 yrs -
The misdiagnosis was: IBS or colitis
Mis-diagnosed from 1977 to 2003 by various gastros including one of the largest,
most prestigious medical groups in northern NJ which constantly advertises themselves as
being the "best." This GI told him it was "all in his head."
Serious Depressive state ensued
Finally Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003
Other food sensitivities: almost all fruits, vegetables, spices, eggs, nuts, yeast, fried foods, roughage, soy.
Needs to gain back at least 25 lbs. of the 40 lbs pounds he lost - lost a great amout of body fat and muscle
Developed neuropathy in 2005
Now has lymphadema 2006
It is my opinion that his subsequent disorders could have been avoided had he been diagnosed sooner by any of the dozen or so doctors he saw between 1977 to 2003

#9 SAN_Tiger

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 07:59 AM

Celiac disease has long been described as a "European" disease. However, the below information does not surprise me in the least.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/11436476

Additional links for information...
http://thriveglutenf...celiac-disease/

http://www.celiachia...ews/page33.html
Carlo Catassi--Istituto di Clinica Pediatrica, Università di Ancona

Coeliac disease, an emerging problem in developing countries
Celiachia News inglese 2002
SOMMARIO

In the past, coeliac disease (celiac disease), a chronic enteropathy caused by the permanent intolerance to gluten, was thought to be a disorder almost exclusively affecting people of european origin. As far as the phenotype is concerned, blond hair and blu eyes were even described as the typical features of a coeliac child (1). Moreover, this condition was almost unknown among black people from America and Far Eastern countries. The availability of simple and specific serological tests such as the antiendomysium (EMA) and the anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies determination led to a significant change in the celiac disease epidemiological pattern. An unsuspected frequency of this condition has been indeed shown in different areas of the world, such as Northern Africa, Middle East and India. It is therefore possible that, in the above areas, celiac disease can be one of the most common causes of chronic diarrhea and malnutrition. In the context of poverty, the therapeutical approach of the gluten-free diet is extremely difficult, due to economical and cultural reasons. The aim of this paper is to describe the current "globalization" of celiac disease, by mentioning the therapeutic strategies that, based on the personal experience, appear to be the most suitable to face this health problem in the developing countries.

Thousand millions of people eat gluten

It is well known that the coeliac enteropathy results from the combination of genetical and environmental factors (2). The genetic predisposition depends on specific alleles of the HLA system, the DQ2 and, less frequently, the DQ8 (3). The primary environmental factor consists of the continuous ingestion of gluten containing cereals, first of all wheat and, secondly, barley and rye. Traces of gluten-derived peptides come in contact with the antigen-presenting cells (APC) located in the lamina propria of the intestinal mucosa and activate, in DQ2 or DQ8 positive subjects, an abnormal immune response leading to the typical coeliac enteropathy (intestinal villous atrophy with crypts hyperplasia) (4). A relationship between the amount of ingested gluten, the severity of the intestinal histological picture and the symptoms intensity has been shown (5).
It is logical to hypothesize that celiac disease geographical spreading parallels, at least in part, the consumption of gluten- containing cereals. On a world-wide extent, wheat is the most used cereal for human feeding (according to the data from FAO, in 1998 wheat availability per capita was 71.5 kg/year, compared to 58.1 kg/year of rice). In developing countries, wheat availability (63.4 kg/year) comes after that of rice (71.4 kg/year), but the former is increasing more rapidly than the latter (in 1961, the availability of rice and wheat were 54.4 and 29.3 kg/year, respectively) (6). This trend, that could be a sign of a coeliac "pandemia", likely depends on the increasing diffusion of the "western" pattern of feeding on a worldwide basis. This is confirmed by the fact that gluten containing food, such as pasta, pizza and filled rolls are now easily found everywhere.
As far as the worldwide availability per capita of wheat is concerned, it is interesting to note that:
a) countries where gluten is widely consumed are those of the mediterranean and middle-eastern areas that are located nearby the "fertile halfmoon", a place extending from Israel to Siria, Iraq and western Iran up to southern Turkey. This is the area where the agriculture developed about 10.000 years ago (7);
B) although the epidemiological data are still patchy, the areas where there is a wide and long-lasting consumption of wheat-flour based food are the same showing a higher celiac disease prevalence. This observation is the basis for an evolutionary interpretation that is summarized in one of the following paragraphs. 

The "new epidemiology"

The "cradle" of celiac disease is traditionally in countries where the population is mostly of european origin (Europe, Northern America and part of the Latin America, Australia). However, many reports have been recently published from developing areas in Asia and Africa.
Among the Punjabis indians celiac disease is known as the "summer diarrhea", as the intestinal disorder becomes worse during summer, when the buns are made with wheat flour and not with corn as in winter (8).
In a recent study-group consisting of 246 Indian children affected with chronic diarrhea and poor growth who were admitted in a specialized hospital, patients with coeliac disease were 16.6 % (a percentage that could have been even higher as the new diagnostic tests, such as the EMA, had been introduced only recently). Differently from what has been noticed in western countries, symptoms usually appeared after the first years of life, likely related to the late gluten introduction and to the protracted breast-feeding. Among the most common symptoms, there were severe problems, such as edema, rickets and short stature (9). In Iran, in a group of 100 adult patients with chronic diarrhea undergoing the EMA test, celiac disease prevalence was 20 % (10).
Wide series have been reported from Turkey (11) and Jordan (12), but the most affected area seems to be the Magreb (Northern Africa), as it has been shown by surveys performed in Libya (13), Tunisia (14) and Algeria. Among 116 patients with type I diabetes, Dr. Boudraa (Oran, Algeria) found the highest worldwide frequence of the association between this autoimmune disorder and celiac disease, that is 16 - 20 % (15). Algeria is also the country where the Saharawi refugees live, a population of arab-berber origin showing, as it is described in the next paragraph, a huge celiac disease prevalence.

A population "castigated" by celiac disease   

The Saharawi originally lived in the Western Sahara, part of them in towns and part as nomadics in the desert. In 1975, following the spanish decolonization, the country was (and still is) occupied by Morocco. Since then, about 150.000 Saharawi camped in the Tinduf desert, in the Middle-Western Algeria, waiting for a pacific solution of the political problems. The health situation of these refugees is poor, because of the difficult environment (in summer, the temperature may be higher than 55°C), the food and water shortage, the lack of the sanitary facilities. The supply of the basic food, mainly wheat flour, rice, lentils, powdered milk and canned meat and fish, is almost exclusively guaranteed by the european humanitarian aid.
During these last decades, Italian families hosted Saharawi children for summer holidays. After arriving in Italy, their health status was routinely checked. Soon it was noticed that an unbelievably high number of them presented with the typical symptoms of celiac disease, a diagnostic suspicious confirmed in many cases by the positivity of the serological markers (AGA and EMA) and the intestinal biopsy performed in our hospitals.
On the basis of these aneddoctal observations, a large epidemiological project was developed, the results of which have been recently published (16). The study group consisted of 989 Saharawi children (mean age 7.4 ± 3.8 years) who have been examined at the refugees camps. The diagnosis of celiac disease has been made in 5.6 % of them (by contrast celiac disease frequency is close to 0.5 - 1 % in Europe) on the basis of EMA positivity and, in some cases, the finding of the typical coeliac enteropathy at the intestinal biopsy.
In Saharawi children affected with celiac disease, the presenting clinical pattern is usually typical, that is chronic diarrhea, severe delay in both weight and height velocity (so called nutritional dwarfism), abdominal distension and severe iron deficient anemia. In some cases the haemoglobin values are as low as 3 g %. An increased childhood mortality has also been shown, especially among younger children (2 - 5 years) and during summer, caused by the "coeliac crisis" (acute diarrhea and dehydration). In coeliacs who started treatment with the gluten-free diet, the clinical recovery, especially the increase of growth velocity (catch-up growth), has been impressive (17).
In both children affected with celiac disease and the general Saharawi population, the prevalence of HLA celiac disease-predisposing genotypes is high, mainly due to the high level of inbreeding of this population.
It has been hypothesized that the abrupt change of feeding habits in this population played a primary role in increasing the risk of celiac disease (18). In the traditional diet, the main foods consisted of camel milk and meat, moderate amounts of cereals (wheat, barley and millet), legumes (lentils) and dates. Young children were exclusively fed with breast milk during the first years of life. After the european colonization, bread made of wheat became the staple food of this population. Moreover, duration of the breast feeding felt dramatically down, and it is not uncommon nowadays to see Saharawi children that are weaned during the first three months of life.
The strong genetic predisposition and the "sudden load" of dietary gluten, in a population that was not used to high intakes of this protein, seem therefore to be the factors responsible for the celiac disease "endemy" in the Saharawis.

An evolutionary interpretation

We hypothesized that the current epidemiological situation in the Saharawi people depends on the recent unbalance between genetical and environmental factors predisposing to celiac disease (18).
When the dietary gluten intake of this people was moderate, that is up to the beginning of the last century, the intestinal mucosa damage, in "ancestral" coeliacs, was slight and could even be "protective". An intestinal mucosa showing a slight villous atrophy is covered by partially undifferentiated enterocytes, that show a decreased concentration of receptors for the intestinal microrganisms (19). The bacteria and the viruses are therefore not able to adhere to the mucosa, so that they "glide" on the intestine without exerting their pathogen role.
The genotype that predisposes to celiac disease could therefore have determined a selective advantage, because it made subjects more resistent to the severe intestinal infections, such as colera.
The recent increase of gluten intake, due to the sudden change of the feeding habits, could have been responsible for the shift, in subjects carrying the "coeliac trait", from a slight enteropathy to a severe intestinal villous atrophy with subsequent malabsorption and chronic malnutrition.
Following an environmental modification, a protective "optional" became a detrimental mechanism of self-aggression.
This evolutionary interpretation is entirely speculative at present and need to be experimentally confirmed by studies on the relationship between the intestinal mucosa and bacteria colonizing the gut. 

An easy treatment becomes almost impossible

In western countries the dietary treatment of celiac disease represents a challenge to patients, but it is easy to be followed on, mainly thanks to the wide availability of commercial gluten-free products and to the activity of patients' associations, which support their members in different ways (publishing the list of safe foods and restaurants, publishing handbooks on celiac disease, organizing meetings, etc.).
On the other hand, in a poor country the treatment of a coeliac patient can be very difficult for several reasons, such as general shortage of food, lack of specific dietary products, and lack of information among the doctors, mass media and population at large.
In this context, the problem can be faced by a series of public health interventions, as we have learned by the ongoing project of aid to the Saharawi children with celiac disease:
a) sensitization of health operators and other key-figures (dietitians, teachers, etc.), using publications and videotapes recorded in the local language;
B) training of health operators in specialized centers, with the aim of performing the basic investigations for celiac disease diagnosis locally. After all the serum EMA determination can be performed everywhere with a minimal support of technology (immunofluorescence microscope);
c) development of a registry, which has to be kept updated by motivated health personnel, and coordination of the distribution of gluten.free food aid for coeliacs;
d) foundation of the patients' association, by looking for the help of people with high level of education who are able to keep the relationships with the coeliac societies of other countries;
e) adaptation of the treatment protocols which should take into account the feeding habits and the local facilities. In the african situation, for example, it is not possible to think of systematically using commercial gluten-free products, that are very expensive and not always well accepted (as in the case of the gluten-free pasta). It is more realistic to promote the consumption of cereals that are gluten-free by origin, such as millet or rice, which are present in the traditional diet.

Conclusions

The geography of celiac disease is changing so quickly that it can be nowadays hypothesized that in some areas of the developing world this disorder is even more common that in western countries. The damages to the health caused by this condition, especially in childhood, could be serious wherever primary malnutrition and intestinal infections are quite common.
This situation seems to depend, at least in part, on the quick changes of the feeding patterns imposed by the globalization of the food market. The international health organizations should be informed about this situation; a humanitarian intervention, such as sending wheat flour, can be harmful if it does not take into consideration the "nutritional anthropology" of the receiving population. Further researches are needed in order to quantify the health impact of celiac disease in wide areas of the planet and to define, in this context, the most suitable preventive and therapeutic strategies to face this emerging health problem.



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2. Holmes GKT, Catassi C. Coeliac Disease. Health Press, Oxford (UK): 2000.
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4.Schuppan D. Current concepts of celiac disease pathogenesis. Gastroenterology 2000; 119: 234-42.
5.Marsh MN. Gluten, major histocompatibility complex, and the small intestine: a molecular and immunobiologic approach to the spectrum of gluten-sensitivity ("celiac sprue"). Gastroenterology 1992; 102: 330-54.
6.FAOSTAT 2000 (dati disponibili al sito www.fao@org).
7.Cavalli-Sforza LL, Menozzi P, Piazza A. Storia e geografia dei geni umani. Adelphi Ediz, Milano: 1997.
8.Romijn JA, Mulder CH, Erqteman ThW, Tytgat GNJ. Summer disease in Punjab. J Indian Med Assoc 1987; 85: 54-6.
9.Mohindra S, Yachha SK, Srivastava A, Krishnani N, Aggarwal R, Ghoshal UC et al. Celiac disease in Asian Indian children: a clinical, anthropometric and histological study. J Health Popul Nutr (in stampa).
10. Shahbazkhani B, Maghari M, Nasseri Moghaddam S, Kamalian N, Sotoudeh M, Minapour M, et al. Prevalence of celiac disease among Iranian patients with chronic diarrhea. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2000; 31 (Suppl 3): S4.
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14. Clot F, Fulchignoni-Lataud MC, Renoux C, Percopo S, Bouguerra F, Babron MC. Et al. Linkage and association study of the CTLA-4 region in coeliac disease for Italian and Tunisian populations. Tissue Antigens 1999; 54: 527-30.
15.  Boudraa G, Hachelaf W, Benbouabdellah M, Beikadi M, Benmansour FZ, Touhami M. Prevalence of coeliac disease in diabetic children and their first-degree relatives in West Algeria : screening with serological markers. Acta Paediatr 1996; 412: 58-60.
16. Catassi C, Rätsch IM, Gandolfi L, Pratesi R, Fabiani E, El Asmar R, et al. Why is coeliac disease endemic in the people of the Sahara ? Lancet 1999; 354: 647-8.
17. Rätsch IM, Catassi C. Coeliac disease is a primary, potentially treatable, health problem of Saharawi refugee children. Bull World Health Organ. 2001;79:541-5.
18. Catassi C, Macis MD, Rätsch IM, De Virgiliis S, Cucca F. The distribution of DQ genes in the Saharawi population provides only a partial explanation for the high coeliac disease prevalence (Tissue Antigens 2002; 58: in pubblicazione).
19. Kerneis S, Chauviere G, Darfeuille Michaud A, Aubel D, Coconnier MH, Joly B, et al. Expression of receptors for enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli during enterocytic differentiation of human polarized intestinal epithelial cells in culture. Infect Immun 1992; 60: 2572-80.
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#10 SAN_Tiger

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 08:26 AM

I think celiac is under-tested in minority groups. If they don't test for it, they won't find it! Wherever there is gluten, there will be gluten intolerence....

check out this article....
http://www.sciencedi...bfe61645885400b

"'The global village of celiac disease'
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#11 Ms. Skinny Chic

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 12:48 PM

Okay. So while I was looking up info on celiac disease, I realized that almost every site i've referred to, it explains that it predominately affects White Europeans. What bothered me the most is that I am half African American and half European, and I still managed to get this disease. Hehehe. So much for that. But what has really been bugging me is that there is so few support groups, sites, or anything that raises the awareness of celiac disease in African Americans and other race groups for that matter.

I would have never even known about this disease if my boyfriend didn't suggest that I might have had it. I would have never gotten tested. My twin brother was diagnosed with Chrons Disease 5 years ago, I think he has Celiac disease. Infact, I think everyone in my family has it. But when I tried to explain to them that they might have it, they kept telling me that this was my problem and to not include them. And that they personally think the disease doesn't even exhist.

This is not only affecting me but I feel its affecting African Americans pretty negatively. :( What do you think?


Africans have celiac disease... It isn't a purely european disease..
Most of the African american population are of mixed lineage anyway..
If you think logically..
The fact is that the romans introduced wheat to europeans..but the wheat has been introduced in other societies as well.
European explorers didn't stop eating wheat in europe..They brought it with them..wherever they went..
McDonalds is expanding across the world at record rate with wheat buns.. ;-)
Eastern & other african populations traditionally ate other grains... Not wheat..



http://www.wrongdiag...ats-country.htm

Here is a chart of celiac disease sufferers..including africa
Celiac Disease in Northern Africa (Extrapolated Statistics)
Egypt 304,469 WARNING! (Details) 76,117,4212
Libya 22,526 WARNING! (Details) 5,631,5852
Sudan 156,592 WARNING! (Details) 39,148,1622
Celiac Disease in Western Africa (Extrapolated Statistics)
Congo Brazzaville 11,992 WARNING! (Details) 2,998,0402
Ghana 83,028 WARNING! (Details) 20,757,0322
Liberia 13,562 WARNING! (Details) 3,390,6352
Niger 45,442 WARNING! (Details) 11,360,5382
Nigeria 71,001 WARNING! (Details) 12,5750,3562
Senegal 43,408 WARNING! (Details) 10,852,1472
Sierra leone 23,535 WARNING! (Details) 5,883,8892
Celiac Disease in Central Africa (Extrapolated Statistics)
Central African Republic 14,969 WARNING! (Details) 3,742,4822
Chad 38,154 WARNING! (Details) 9,538,5442
Congo kinshasa 233,268 WARNING! (Details) 58,317,0302
Rwanda 32,954 WARNING! (Details) 8,238,6732
Celiac Disease in Eastern Africa (Extrapolated Statistics)
Ethiopia 285,346 WARNING! (Details) 71,336,5712
Kenya 131,928 WARNING! (Details) 32,982,1092
Somalia 33,218 WARNING! (Details) 8,304,6012
Tanzania 144,283 WARNING! (Details) 36,070,7992
Uganda 105,561 WARNING! (Details) 26,390,2582
Celiac Disease in Southern Africa (Extrapolated Statistics)
Angola 43,914 WARNING! (Details) 10,978,5522
Botswana 6,556 WARNING! (Details) 1,639,2312
South Africa 177,793 WARNING! (Details) 44,448,4702
Swaziland 4,676 WARNING! (Details) 1,169,2412
Zambia 44,102 WARNING! (Details) 11,025,6902
Zimbabwe 14,687 WARNING! (Details) 1,2671,8602

All of these african people were affected, because they consumed western diets..
I am sure the individuals/ communities that stuck to traditional diets have been unaffected by celiac disease...
Don't feel bad about celiac disease...it affects many races...equally.. ;)
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#12 coldnight

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 01:59 PM

It's kind of odd that Europeans are more prone to it. I'm not sure they mean genetically, although that is hard to explain. I assume europeans have been grinding grain longer, or just as long as, anyone else. I posted elsewhere, but reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food," he says that as the "western diet" makes its way around the globe, with it's heavily modified and processed wheat flour, that plenty of diseases follow it. So, it may be more common because of diet, or any number of issues, although genetics clearly play a part, it would be odd for europeans to develop some sort of immunological resistance to wheat and not other races.

For instance, sickle cell is allegedly more common among africans because the same gene carries a resistance to malaria. So unless the celiac genes carry some benefit, one would have thought they would have died out long ago from failure to thrive. But I think the main thing is, people just never ate as much protein filled wheat as we eat. It apparently makes good filler.

But yea, I'm not saying Atkin's is a great diet, but people do it, to lose weight. I bet if you put forth a gluten free diet as a health benefit with a weight loss component, people generally want that. If you want your family to try it, tell them it's a new fad diet, those are much more popular than diseases. ;)
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#13 faithbuilder

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 05:55 PM

I am an African American with Celiac Disease...I was shocked to a point about the news concerning this disease. However, my great grandmother was white. I am glad to know that I am not alone.
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#14 Nadia2009

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 01:46 PM

This is an old discussion but it is interesting.
I am gluten intolerant and I am African originally from Eastern Africa. Our people don't have awareness of this disease but it doesnt mean it is present. For the last two years, I have been talking to friends and family about celiac disease and since then, I am learning it might under diagnosed in some African subgroups. Now, I know celiac disease is present in my ethnic community: people tell me oh my cousin my niece my friends friend has it. My sister back home now can empathize with her student who has it...she had no clue about it before. Just like celiac disease is more prevalent among North-Western Europeans, there must be some African regions where the rates are higher. From what I have read in books, Sahraaouis in N-W Africa have higher rate than N-W Europeans.

But when you heard that 95% of Americans and Canadians don't know they are gluten intolerant, then you can't blame Africans or African Americans who believe celiac disease is a White man disease. Among my friends, I have those who wonder what kind of "curse" I must carry for having caught celiac disease and the other who became recently familiar because a family member issues.

I had to fight with my doctor so that he could send me for the test and he knew I was paying not Health Canada but in his brain Africans have sickle cell not Celiac. When he was explaining to me that I was negative for the test sickle cell that I didn't ask for, he said maybe all my ancestry wasn't African ahahahah.
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May 2009: IgG abnormal (not tested for full panel)
Sept 2009: Negative blood tests (I was on and off gluten)
Sept 21 2009: gluten free
Sept 21 2011: gluten free for 2 full years
Dec 2012: chronic fatigue and leaky gut.
Feb 2012: IgG reactions to almond, amaranth, sesame, sunflower, dairy, eggs, beans and of course gluten.
March 2012: modified GAPS diet.

#15 Takala

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 02:44 PM

Have you seen the wiki link on the HLA - DQ8 gene carriers ? They are adding more and more details to it all the time about which ethnic groups on which continents are carriers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HLA-DQ8
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