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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    CANADIAN CELIAC ASSOCIATION'S MAY 1998 CONFERENCE ON DERMATITIS HERPETAFORMIS


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    The following report comes to us from The Sprue-Nik Press, which is published by the Tri-County Celiac Sprue Support Group, a chapter of CSA/USA, Inc. serving southeastern Michigan (Volume 7, Number 5 July/August 1998 Dermatitis Herpetiformis). Dr. Kim Alexander Papp is a consultant at St. Marys, Grand River, and Listowel Memorial Hospitals. He is also President of Probity Medical Research Inc.

    The first mention of Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) in the literature was in 1884 in Dhring. The connection to wheat was made in Dreke, Holland in 1941. It is an uncommon, but not rare, disease that affects males twice as often as females. It is found in 10% of first degree relatives. There is a genetic association; 90% of DH patients have HLA-B8 vs. only 15% of the general population. HLA-DRw4 and HLA-DQw2 are also associated with some DH patients.

    DH normally is found on elbows, knees, shoulders, buttocks, sacrum, posterior scalp, and face. While it is unusual, it can also show upon the hands or inside the mouth. It presents as clear blisters that itch very badly. [One patient described the itch ...like rolling in poison ivy naked with a severe sunburn, then wrapping yourself in a wool blanket filled with ants and fleas.-ed]

    The original diagnosis of DH was done by giving Dapsone, a leprosy drug, and noting any improvement. Today, the gold standard for diagnosing DH is a skin biopsy with immunofluorescence. (A plain skin biopsy is not sufficient.) Most DH patients also have villi damage in the small intestine and lymphocyte infiltration of the intestinal wall, and IgA/IgG antigliadin antibodies in the bloodstream. However, there is really no need to perform a small bowel biopsy or test for blood serum antibodies; the skin biopsy with immunofluorescence provides a definitive diagnosis.

    Dr. Papp indicated that about half of his patients are diagnosed after having their symptoms recognized and pointed out to them by other DH patients.

    DH is not an allergic reaction; a different mechanism is involved. It is caused by antibodies to the gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley.

    The causes of DH flares include large quantities of iodides (some iodine is needed in the diet), kelp, shellfish, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (such as aspirin), gluten, stress, and some cleansers.

    What else looks like DH?

    • DH can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis, or the patient may have both conditions.
    • Linear IgA disease--the immunofluorescence pattern is different, but it looks and feels the same as DH to the patient.
    • Allergic contact reactions.

    DH is treated by adherence to a gluten-free (gluten-free) diet. The skin lesions can be treated with either a sulfone (Dapsone) or sulfonamide(Sulfapyradine) drug. In about 85% of the cases, at least a year on a strict gluten-free diet is needed before DH is resolved. In rare cases DH lesions clear up after only a few weeks on the gluten-free diet.

    Dapsone can have side effects, though these are not common. It can alter blood chemistry, causing anemia. Those of Mediterranean or African ancestry can have sudden red blood cell count drops [known asG6PD Deficiency--Dr. Alexander]. Other complications include tingling fingers and neurological problems.

    Ideally, if the patient is on medication there would be monthly lab tests to monitor the dosage and effect on the patient. This almost never happens.

    The gluten-free diet takes a long time to bring DH under control because it requires time to clear the IgA and IgG from the blood. So even if one is on a gluten-free diet and/or taking Dapsone, technically one has DH. Like an alcoholic, one always has the disease.

    Dr. Papp concluded his presentation by answering a few questions from the audience:

    Q: How soon after ingesting gluten or iodine will a flare occur?
    A: It varies tremendously. With iodine, it usually takes several days of consumption before a flare occurs.
    Q: What effect does stress have on a DH patient?
    A: It intensifies any symptoms the patient is experiencing.
    Q: What effect does iodine on the skin have?
    A: It really has no effect; it doesnt penetrate enough. Iodine must be consumed to cause a DH flare.
    Q: After several years on a gluten-free diet with no flares, is iodine still a problem?
    A: No.


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    Br J Dermatol 1994 Oct;131(4):541-5
    Garioch JJ, Lewis HM, Sargent SA, Leonard JN, Fry L.
    Department of Dermatology, St Marys Hospital, London, U.K.
    Gluten-free diets have been used in the treatment of patients with dermatitis herpetiformis in our department since 1967. Of the 212 patients with dermatitis herpetiformis attending between 1967 and 1992, 133 managed to take the diet, and 78 of these achieved complete control of their rash by diet alone. Of the remaining 55 patients taking a gluten-free diet, all but three were taking partial diets; over half of these patients managed to substantially reduce the dose of medication required. Of the 77 patients taking a normal diet, eight entered spontaneous remission, giving a remission rate of 10%; a further two patients who had been taking gluten-free diets were found to have remitted when they resumed normal diets. Loss of IgA from the skin was observed in 10 of 41 (24%) patients taking strict gluten-free diets. These patients had been taking their diets for an average of 13 years (range 5-24 years), and their rash had been controlled by diet alone for an average of 10 years (range 3-16 years). The advantages of a gluten-free diet in the management of patients with dermatitis herpetiformis are: (i) the need for medication is reduced or abolished; (ii) there is resolution of the enteropathy, and (iii) patients experience a feeling of well-being after commencing the diet. Thus, we propose that a gluten-free diet is the most appropriate treatment for patients with dermatitis herpetiformis.
     

    admin
    Dr. Lionel Fry from the U.K. talked about DH. He stated that all patients with DH have some degree of enteropathy, even though less than 1 in 10 patients with DH have GI symptoms. Dr. Fry also said 40 percent of DH relatives have gluten-sensitive enteropathy. He went on to say that the gluten-free diet can take 6 months to two years to get healing of DH, and a relapse of the DH rash may take 2 to 12 weeks to occur after someone eats gluten. Total disappearance of IGA skin deposits may take up to 7 years after a gluten-free diet is started. Dr. Reunala from Finland talked about associated diseases. He quoted others who said 5 to 14 percent of DH patients have thyroid disease and went on to say that DH patients have an increased incidence of lymphoma but a gluten-free diet seems to protect against lymphoma.

    Kristen Campbell
    Gluten intolerance often presents itself in ways unexpected, including several common skin conditions.  Ranging in severity from dermatitis herpetiformis to dry skin, avoiding gluten may have more to do with your plaguing skin concerns than you imagined.
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    Dermatitits Herpetiformis—This painful, blistery condition can be very stressful, especially when misdiagnosed.  An inflamed, itchy rash, dermatitis herpetiformis begins as tiny white filled blisters or red spots around hair follicles.  Trying to hide or disguise DH, as well as trying to treat it when misdiagnosed can be incredibly stressful for a person. Eczema—Eating a gluten-free diet is becoming an increasingly popular mode of treatment for eczema.  Those who are gluten intolerant also tend to have more advanced psoriasis.Psoriasis—Like eczema, psoriasis has in many cases shown improvement when the person is put on a gluten free diet.  In Scott Adams’ 2004 article, he also mentioned that psoriasis in those with celiac tends to be more severe. Acne—Links between celiac and malabsorption, as well as hormonal upset can contribute to a greater production of acne.  Many birth control pills boast promises of clearer skin, their method is through hormone manipulation.  Because many who suffer from gluten intolerance also experience a disruption of normal hormone function, this disharmony can lead to problems with acne.  Dry Skin—Also correlated to malabsorption, dry skin is a very common complaint amongst those with celiac.  But this condition is one that many people see even after the prescribed treatment of a gluten free diet.  Why?  Vitamin E rich grains are vital to maintaining skin harmony, but since many who are gluten intolerant begin avoiding grains completely—even those grains that are gluten-free, getting that important Vitamin E in their diets can become a challenge.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/14/2014 - Exposure to stressful stimuli, such as inflammation, cause cells to up-regulate heat shock proteins (Hsp), which are highly conserved immunomodulatory molecules. Research points to Hsp involvement in numerous autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune bullous diseases and celiac disease.
    To better understand the role of Hsp in autoimmune bullous diseases, a research team conducted the first investigation of the humoral autoimmune response to Hsp40, Hsp60, Hsp70, and Hsp90 in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis (DH; n = 26), bullous pemphigoid (BP; n = 23), and pemphigus vulgaris (PV; n = 16), the first representing a cutaneous manifestation of celiac disease.
    The research team included Kasperkiewicz M1, Tukaj S, Gembicki AJ, Silló P, Görög A, Zillikens D, Kárpáti S. They are affiliated with the Department of Dermatology at the University of Lübeck in Lübeck, Germany.
    In patients with active BP and PV, serum levels of autoantibodies against these Hsp matched the healthy control subjects (n = 9-14), while circulating autoantibodies against Hsp60, Hsp70, and Hsp90 increased at the active disease stage of DH.
    Further analysis showed that in patients who adopt a gluten-free diet, these anti-Hsp autoantibodies decreased in relation to serum autoantibodies against epidermal and tissue transglutaminase during remission of skin lesions.
    Larger groups of patients must be studied to confirm these findings, but these results indicate that autoantibodies against Hsp60, Hsp70, and Hsp90 play a key role in the development and maintenance of DH, possibly also in the underlying celiac disease, and may be important in
    potentially undiscovered disease biomarkers.
    Source:
    Cell Stress Chaperones. 2014 Mar 19.

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