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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/07/2018

      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 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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    PRIMARY BILIARY LIVER CIRRHOSIS LINKED TO CELIAC DISEASE


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    Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2005; 21 (5): 515-518.

    Celiac.com 06/08/2005 – Australian researchers searched Medline and other references for cases of celiac disease and liver disease from 1966 to 2003. They found six studies that reported liver biochemistry in 591 celiac disease patients—out of which a full 248 had abnormal results—the most common of which being elevated transaminases. In 115 of 130 patients with elevated transaminases a gluten-free diet returned the levels to normal.

    The researchers found a much greater association of primary biliary cirrhosis and advanced liver disease in those with celiac disease than expected, and conclude that abnormal liver biochemistry is frequent in untreated celiac disease—and those with it should undergo tissue transglutaminase screening for celiac disease—which could lead to a proper diagnosis in many cases. In rare cases celiac-induced hepatitis may progress to end-stage liver disease.


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    Guest Majetta

    Posted

    I was diagnosed with celiac in 2000, and in 2004 had surgery and my liver enzymes elevated. An ultrasound revealed fatty liver, but the enzymes have remained elevated, were going down, and now going back up again. I am seeking further testing and evaluation for possible cirrhosis.

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    Guest StomachAche

    Posted

    Have not been "officially" diagnosed with Celiac, but am pretty sure I have it since every time I eat anything with gluten, I suffer incredible after-effects. Been on a mostly gluten-free diet for about 3-4 years, but occasionally fall off wagon and have some pizza or a cupcake, then my innards get all inflamed & sore & swollen again.

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    Nov 26th will mark the one year anniversary of the passing of my younger sister of liver cancer. Because I have had GI issues and was (I think) erroneously diagnosed as having moderate severe colitis, I am concerned that perhaps she also had celiac, but instead was also misdiagnosed and had her GB removed. She complained after the removal that she wasn't feeling better. So now my concerns for my own self are higher as I am finding that there is more to worry and be concerned about then just watching my diet. Thank you for all the articles and info this site has.

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    I have primary biliary cirrhosis, diagnosed in 2009. Then I got pregnant and all my liver test results were all so high including my bile acids which made me so very itchy. After having my little girl, it took 4 months for the Usro medication to start working and for the itch to stop. I have been in urso for 3 years now and been fine. I am now pregnant again and the itch has come back which I knew it was. My urso dose has increased from 1g a day to 3g a day, maximum dose I can be on. I just received a phone call from my consultant to say all my liver tests results have gone down to normal levels except the bile acids which have gone up. The doctor did seem quite surprised about the other going down as they didn't do that before. I told her I was on a gluten free diet and had been for 2 months now. I am amazed at the blood results going into normal levels as they have never been normal. But bile acids have increased but I know from experience and from going to a London hospital i who specialize in liver problems in pregnancy, that bile acids are related to hormone levels and of course pregnancy has increased these massively. So in understanding that gluten could have possibly lowered my other liver function tests they could not touch the bile acids if they are hugely affected by hormones, as I see it, gluten would not have any affect on hormones levels. So I am quite amazed and do believe the gluten free diet is helping me. It is a long term thing now, but am happy and very interested to see what my liver results are like in a years time and very interested to read articles like this.

     

    Thanks,

    Liz

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    Guest Elaine Fischer

    Posted

    I have PBC, underwent a Liver transplant in Nov 2009, and I can't understand why my Doctors never once mentioned this to me? I had my Transplant at UCSF by Dr. Nancy Asher. This possibility was never discussed with me, and since then, my daughter who is now 30, has been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, guess what that disease is called? celiac disease!!!!!

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  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 09/16/2008 - A team of researchers recently set out to examine the connection between celiac disease and primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and autoimmune hepatitis.
    The research team was made up of Alberto Rubio-Tapia, Ahmad S. Abdulkarim, Patricia K. Krause, S. Breanndan Moore, Joseph A. Murray, and Russell H. Wiesner.
    The team measured the rates of occurrence for tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTGAs) and endomysial antibodies (EMAs) in end-stage autoimmune liver disease (ESALD). They then correlated autoantibodies and the human leucocyte antigen (HLA) haplotype. Finally, they assessed the effect of liver transplantation on antibody kinetics.
    The team tested tTGA levels on blood samples from 488 prior to transplant. 310 of these had ESALD, and 178 had non-autoimmune disease. The team tested positive samples for EMAs, and retested at 6-12 and =24 months after transplant. They then correlated their results with the HLA type of the recipient.
    The results showed that 3% of ESALD patients showed evidence of celiac disease compared to 0.6% of those with non-autoimmune disease.  This represents a five-fold greater risk for those with ESALD. The prevalence of tTGAs was 14.2 for ESALD patients compared to 5.4% for those with non-autoimmune disease (P = 0.0001). The prevalence of EMAs was 4.3 for ESALD patients compared to 0.78% for those with non-autoimmune disease (P = 0.01)—significantly higher for those with HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 haplotypes.
    After transplant, tTGAs and EMAs normalized in 94% and 100%, respectively, without gluten elimination. Also, three out of five patients with classical symptoms of celiac disease improved. The research team found two cases of intestinal lymphoma in two cases that showed no clinical signs of celiac disease.
    Patients with ESALD, particularly those with HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 gene haplotypes, showed greater occurrances of celiac disease-associated antibodies. Following liver transplants, both tTGA and EMA levels decreased without gluten withdrawal.
    The team also concluded that symptoms of celiac disease might be improved through immune suppression, but those improvements may not prevent the disease from progressing to intestinal lymphoma.
    The study doesn’t tell what effect, if any, early detection and treatment of celiac disease might have on rates of ESALD. It would be helpful to know if celiac disease contributes to liver disease, if liver disease contributes to celiac disease, or if some third connection links the two. Until then, we’ll just have to keep a tight eye on developments concerning celiac disease and liver disease.
    Liver Int. 2008; 28(4): 467-476.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/03/2009 - A new study provides demonstrates that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and increased intestinal permeability are both associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
    Previous studies have suggested that bacteria from the intestine might play a role in NAFLD, which is the hepatic component of the Metabolic Syndrome. NAFLD can worsen to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and some experts have wondered if this progression might be promoted by liver exposure to gut bacteria.
    A team of researchers, led by Antonio Grieco of Rome, set out to answer this question by investigating gut permeability in patients with NAFLD and comparing the results to patients with untreated celiac disease and known susceptibility to this condition, and with healthy volunteers.
    The research team included Luca Miele, Venanzio Valenza, Giuseppe La Torre, Massimo Montalto, Giovanni Cammarota, Riccardo Ricci, Roberta Masciana, Alessandra Forgione, Maria Gabrieli, Germano Perotti, Fabio Vecchio, Gian Ludovico Rapaccini, Giovanni Gasbarrini, Christopher Day, and Antonio Grieco.
    They studied 35 patients with biopsy-confirmed NAFLD, 27 with celiac disease and 24 healthy volunteers. For each participant, the research team checked levels of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth using a glucose breath test. They evaluated intestinal permeability by examining urinary excretion of Cr-EDTA. They then assessed the integrity of tight junctions within the gut via duodenal biopsy.
    "The main findings of this study are that both intestinal permeability and the prevalence of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are increased in patients with NAFLD and correlate with the severity of steatosis," the authors report. "Disruption of tight junction integrity may explain the increased permeability in these patients."
    The authors hypothesize that small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and/or the associated increase in gut permeability may cause steatosis. This hypothesis is supported by studies on mice, and by reports that probiotics can improve steatosis resulting from a high fat diet.
    One important note was that the study showed no connection between either small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or intestinal permeability and steatohepatitis or fibrosis, which suggests gut bacteria do not play a role in the transformation of NAFLD to more serious liver disease.
    "In conclusion," the authors write, "we have demonstrated that NAFLD is associated with increased intestinal permeability and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and that these factors are associated with the severity of hepatic steatosis."
    More study is needed to nail down the exact causal relationship, which, once understood, could help scientists develop new therapies for NAFLD that incorporate the microbiome of the gut.''
    According to colleagues Elisabetta Bugianesi and Ester Vanni of the University of Turin, "The study...raises the possibility that gut microbiota and intestine permeability are important mediators of diet-induced metabolic disturbances in NAFLD."
    Bugianesi and Vanni add that lifestyle-focused therapy would likely present the best treatment for NAFLD, but suggest that influencing gut flora by antibiotics, prebiotics, and probiotics might help offset the effects of unbalanced diets on metabolic conditions.

    Article: "Increased Intestinal Permeability and Tight Junction Alterations in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)."
    Editorial: "The Gut-Liver Axis in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): Another Pathway to Insulin Resistance?" Bugianesi, Elisabetta; Vanni, Ester. Hepatology; June 2009.

    Hepatology. 2009 Jun;49(6):1877-87.
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/23/2014 - Transaminasemia develops through various pathways in patients with celiac disease. Currently, there is not much information on risk factors specifically attributable to celiac disease.
    A team of researchers recently set out to determine what factors contribute to hypertransaminasemia in patients with celiac disease. The research team included B. Zanini B, R. Baschè A., Ferraresi, M.G. Pigozzi, C. Ricci, F. Lanzarotto, V. Villanacci, and A. Lanzini.
    They analyzed data collected from consecutive patients referred from January 1997 through December 2009 to the celiac disease clinic at the Spedali Civili of Brescia, Italy. They then used serologic and biopsy analysis to assess the factors influencing hypertransaminasemia in 683 patients with celiac disease (group A), and 304 patients with functional gastrointestinal syndromes (group . Both groups were about the same average age and range.
    The research team detected hypertransaminasemia in 138 patients in group A (20%). Factors associated with the condition included malabsorption (odds ratio [OR], 2.22; P = .004), diarrhea (OR, 1.72; P = .005), and increasing severity of mucosal lesion (Marsh-Oberhuber class; OR, 1.46; P = .001), but not body mass index (BMI) or the blood levels of tissue-transglutaminase antibodies (tTG).
    The team also detected hypertransaminasemia in 22 patients from group B (7%), which they found to be associated with the World Health Organization's BMI categories (OR, 7.9; P < .001). A total of 313 patients from group A had significantly higher levels of tTG at baseline (25.2 ± 16.9 U/L aspartate aminotransferase [AST]) than a similar bunch from group B (20.6 ± 9.9 U/L AST, P < .0001). These levels were related to BMI in group B (P = .0012), but not group A.
    Patients eating gluten-free diets saw levels of AST decrease from 25.2 ± 16.9 U/L to 19.9 ± 6.6 U/L (P < .0001). This decrease was independent of the changes of duodenal histology and tTG and correlated with BMI (P = .0007). Meanwhile, the prevalence of hypertransaminasemia in gluten-free patients decreased from 13% to 4%.
    These study results show that hypertransaminasemia is more common in people with celiac disease than in patients with functional gut syndromes. Also, hypertransaminasemia is related to the severity of the duodenal lesion and malabsorption, but unrelated to BMI.
    By contrast, the control group, with functional gut syndromes, showed a positive correlation between the levels of AST and BMI. This relationship was restored when patients with celiac disease began to follow gluten-free diets.
    Source:
    Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 May;12(5):804-810.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2013.10.033. Epub 2013 Nov 7.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/16/2015 - Researchers don't really have too much data on celiac disease in patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis or idiopathic noncirrhotic intrahepatic portal hypertension (NCIPH).
    In India, a research team recently set out to look for celiac disease in patients with portal hypertension. The research team included Rakhi Maiwall, Ashish Goel, Anna B. Pulimood, Sudhir Babji, J. Sophia, Chaya Prasad, K. A. Balasubramanian, Banumathi Ramakrishna, Susy Kurian, G. and John Fletcher.
    For their study, the team enrolled 61 consecutive patients with portal hypertension having cryptogenic chronic liver disease, including 14 with NCIPH, along with 59 patients with hepatitis B- or C-related cirrhosis as control subjects.
    They looked at tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibody and duodenal histology in study patients. They found six cases of celiac disease, including two NCIPH patients, while they found none in control subjects.
    Duodenal biopsies for a significant percentage of the remaining study subjects showed villous atrophy, crypt hyperplasia, and lamina propria inflammation, not accompanied by raised intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs), far more commonly than in controls.
    Study subjects with portal hypertension having cryptogenic chronic liver disease showed an unexpectedly high rate of tTG antibody positivity (66%), as compared to 29% in controls (p-value < 0.001), which could indicate false-positive test result.
    This study showed that 10% of patients with unexplained portal hypertension (cryptogenic chronic liver disease) had associated celiac disease. In addition, an unexplained enteropathy was seen in a significant proportion of study patients, more so in patients with cryptogenic chronic liver disease. This finding warrants further investigation.
    Source:
    Indian Journal of Gastroenterology. November 2014, Volume 33, Issue 6, pp 517-523

  • Recent Articles

    Connie Sarros
    Celiac.com 04/21/2018 - Dear Friends and Readers,
    I have been writing articles for Scott Adams since the 2002 Summer Issue of the Scott-Free Press. The Scott-Free Press evolved into the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. I felt honored when Scott asked me ten years ago to contribute to his quarterly journal and it's been a privilege to write articles for his publication ever since.
    Due to personal health reasons and restrictions, I find that I need to retire. My husband and I can no longer travel the country speaking at conferences and to support groups (which we dearly loved to do) nor can I commit to writing more books, articles, or menus. Consequently, I will no longer be contributing articles to the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. 
    My following books will still be available at Amazon.com:
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/20/2018 - A digital media company and a label data company are teaming up to help major manufacturers target, reach and convert their desired shoppers based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free diet. The deal could bring synergy in emerging markets such as the gluten-free and allergen-free markets, which represent major growth sectors in the global food industry. 
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/19/2018 - Previous genome and linkage studies indicate the existence of a new disease triggering mechanism that involves amino acid metabolism and nutrient sensing signaling pathways. In an effort to determine if amino acids might play a role in the development of celiac disease, a team of researchers recently set out to investigate if plasma amino acid levels differed among children with celiac disease compared with a control group.
     
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    First, the team used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to analyze amino acid levels in fasting plasma samples from 141 children with celiac disease and 129 non-celiac disease controls. They then crafted a general linear model using age and experimental effects as covariates to compare amino acid levels between children with celiac disease and non-celiac control subjects.
    Compared with the control group, seven out of twenty-three children with celiac disease showed elevated levels of the the following amino acids: tryptophan; taurine; glutamic acid; proline; ornithine; alanine; and methionine.
    The significance of the individual amino acids do not survive multiple correction, however, multivariate analyses of the amino acid profile showed significantly altered amino acid levels in children with celiac disease overall and after correction for age, sex and experimental effects.
    This study shows that amino acids can influence inflammation and may play a role in the development of celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS One. 2018; 13(3): e0193764. doi: & 10.1371/journal.pone.0193764

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/18/2018 - To the relief of many bewildered passengers and crew, no more comfort turkeys, geese, possums or other questionable pets will be flying on Delta or United without meeting the airlines' strict new requirements for service animals.
    If you’ve flown anywhere lately, you may have seen them. People flying with their designated “emotional support” animals. We’re not talking genuine service animals, like seeing eye dogs, or hearing ear dogs, or even the Belgian Malinois that alerts its owner when there is gluten in food that may trigger her celiac disease.
    Now, to be honest, some of those animals in question do perform a genuine service for those who need emotional support dogs, like veterans with PTSD.
    However, many of these animals are not service animals at all. Many of these animals perform no actual service to their owners, and are nothing more than thinly disguised pets. Many lack proper training, and some have caused serious problems for the airlines and for other passengers.
    Now the major airlines are taking note and introducing stringent requirements for service animals.
    Delta was the first to strike. As reported by the New York Times on January 19: “Effective March 1, Delta, the second largest US airline by passenger traffic, said it will require passengers seeking to fly with pets to present additional documents outlining the passenger’s need for the animal and proof of its training and vaccinations, 48 hours prior to the flight.… This comes in response to what the carrier said was a 150 percent increase in service and support animals — pets, often dogs, that accompany people with disabilities — carried onboard since 2015.… Delta said that it flies some 700 service animals a day. Among them, customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders, and other unusual pets.”
    Fresh from an unsavory incident with an “emotional support” peacock incident, United Airlines has followed Delta’s lead and set stricter rules for emotional support animals. United’s rules also took effect March 1, 2018.
    So, to the relief of many bewildered passengers and crew, no more comfort turkeys, geese, possums or other questionable pets will be flying on Delta or United without meeting the airlines' strict new requirements for service and emotional support animals.
    Source:
    cnbc.com

    admin
    WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE?
    Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects around 1% of the population. People with celiac disease suffer an autoimmune reaction when they consume wheat, rye or barley. The immune reaction is triggered by certain proteins in the wheat, rye, or barley, and, left untreated, causes damage to the small, finger-like structures, called villi, that line the gut. The damage occurs as shortening and villous flattening in the lamina propria and crypt regions of the intestines. The damage to these villi then leads to numerous other issues that commonly plague people with untreated celiac disease, including poor nutritional uptake, fatigue, and myriad other problems.
    Celiac disease mostly affects people of Northern European descent, but recent studies show that it also affects large numbers of people in Italy, China, Iran, India, and numerous other places thought to have few or no cases.
    Celiac disease is most often uncovered because people experience symptoms that lead them to get tests for antibodies to gluten. If these tests are positive, then the people usually get biopsy confirmation of their celiac disease. Once they adopt a gluten-free diet, they usually see gut healing, and major improvements in their symptoms. 
    CLASSIC CELIAC DISEASE SYMPTOMS
    Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, bloating, gas, weight loss, and malnutrition, among others.
    LESS OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS
    Celiac disease can often less obvious symptoms, such fatigue, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, anemia, to name a few. Often, these symptoms are regarded as less obvious because they are not gastrointestinal in nature. You got that right, it is not uncommon for people with celiac disease to have few or no gastrointestinal symptoms. That makes spotting and connecting these seemingly unrelated and unclear celiac symptoms so important.
    NO SYMPTOMS
    Currently, most people diagnosed with celiac disease do not show symptoms, but are diagnosed on the basis of referral for elevated risk factors. 

    CELIAC DISEASE VS. GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
    Gluten intolerance is a generic term for people who have some sort of sensitivity to gluten. These people may or may not have celiac disease. Researchers generally agree that there is a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. That term has largely replaced the term gluten-intolerance. What’s the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten-sensitivity? 
    CELIAC DISEASE VS. NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY (NCGS)
    Gluten triggers symptoms and immune reactions in people with celiac disease. Gluten can also trigger symptoms in some people with NCGS, but the similarities largely end there.

    There are four main differences between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity:
    No Hereditary Link in NCGS
    Researchers know for certain that genetic heredity plays a major role in celiac disease. If a first-degree relative has celiac disease, then you have a statistically higher risk of carrying genetic markers DQ2 and/or DQ8, and of developing celiac disease yourself. NCGS is not known to be hereditary. Some research has shown certain genetic associations, such as some NCGS patients, but there is no proof that NCGS is hereditary. No Connection with Celiac-related Disorders
    Unlike celiac disease, NCGS is so far not associated with malabsorption, nutritional deficiencies, or a higher risk of autoimmune disorders or intestinal malignancies. No Immunological or Serological Markers
    People with celiac disease nearly always test positive for antibodies to gluten proteins. Researchers have, as yet, identified no such antobodies or serologic markers for NCGS. That means that, unlike with celiac disease, there are no telltale screening tests that can point to NCGS. Absence of Celiac Disease or Wheat Allergy
    Doctors diagnose NCGS only by excluding both celiac disease, an IgE-mediated allergy to wheat, and by the noting ongoing adverse symptoms associated with gluten consumption. WHAT ABOUT IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) AND IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD)?
    IBS and IBD are usually diagnosed in part by ruling out celiac disease. Many patients with irritable bowel syndrome are sensitive to gluten. Many experience celiac disease-like symptoms in reaction to wheat. However, patients with IBS generally show no gut damage, and do not test positive for antibodies to gliadin and other proteins as do people with celiac disease. Some IBS patients also suffer from NCGS.

    To add more confusion, many cases of IBS are, in fact, celiac disease in disguise.

    That said, people with IBS generally react to more than just wheat. People with NCGS generally react to wheat and not to other things, but that’s not always the case. Doctors generally try to rule out celiac disease before making a diagnosis of IBS or NCGS. 
    Crohn’s Disease and celiac disease share many common symptoms, though causes are different.  In Crohn’s disease, the immune system can cause disruption anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract, and a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease typically requires more diagnostic testing than does a celiac diagnosis.  
    Crohn’s treatment consists of changes to diet and possible surgery.  Up to 10% of Crohn's patients can have both of conditions, which suggests a genetic connection, and researchers continue to examine that connection.
    Is There a Connection Between Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Large Number of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Sensitive To Gluten Some IBD Patients also Suffer from Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Many Cases of IBS and Fibromyalgia Actually Celiac Disease in Disguise CELIAC DISEASE DIAGNOSIS
    Diagnosis of celiac disease can be difficult. 

    Perhaps because celiac disease presents clinically in such a variety of ways, proper diagnosis often takes years. A positive serological test for antibodies against tissue transglutaminase is considered a very strong diagnostic indicator, and a duodenal biopsy revealing villous atrophy is still considered by many to be the diagnostic gold standard. 
    But this idea is being questioned; some think the biopsy is unnecessary in the face of clear serological tests and obvious symptoms. Also, researchers are developing accurate and reliable ways to test for celiac disease even when patients are already avoiding wheat. In the past, patients needed to be consuming wheat to get an accurate test result. 
    Celiac disease can have numerous vague, or confusing symptoms that can make diagnosis difficult.  Celiac disease is commonly misdiagnosed by doctors. Read a Personal Story About Celiac Disease Diagnosis from the Founder of Celiac.com Currently, testing and biopsy still form the cornerstone of celiac diagnosis.
    TESTING
    There are several serologic (blood) tests available that screen for celiac disease antibodies, but the most commonly used is called a tTG-IgA test. If blood test results suggest celiac disease, your physician will recommend a biopsy of your small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.
    Testing is fairly simple and involves screening the patients blood for antigliadin (AGA) and endomysium antibodies (EmA), and/or doing a biopsy on the areas of the intestines mentioned above, which is still the standard for a formal diagnosis. Also, it is now possible to test people for celiac disease without making them concume wheat products.

    BIOPSY
    Until recently, biopsy confirmation of a positive gluten antibody test was the gold standard for celiac diagnosis. It still is, but things are changing fairly quickly. Children can now be accurately diagnosed for celiac disease without biopsy. Diagnosis based on level of TGA-IgA 10-fold or more the ULN, a positive result from the EMA tests in a second blood sample, and the presence of at least 1 symptom could avoid risks and costs of endoscopy for more than half the children with celiac disease worldwide.

    WHY A GLUTEN-FREE DIET?
    Currently the only effective, medically approved treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. Following a gluten-free diet relieves symptoms, promotes gut healing, and prevents nearly all celiac-related complications. 
    A gluten-free diet means avoiding all products that contain wheat, rye and barley, or any of their derivatives. This is a difficult task as there are many hidden sources of gluten found in the ingredients of many processed foods. Still, with effort, most people with celiac disease manage to make the transition. The vast majority of celiac disease patients who follow a gluten-free diet see symptom relief and experience gut healing within two years.
    For these reasons, a gluten-free diet remains the only effective, medically proven treatment for celiac disease.
    WHAT ABOUT ENZYMES, VACCINES, ETC.?
    There is currently no enzyme or vaccine that can replace a gluten-free diet for people with celiac disease.
    There are enzyme supplements currently available, such as AN-PEP, Latiglutetenase, GluteGuard, and KumaMax, which may help to mitigate accidental gluten ingestion by celiacs. KumaMax, has been shown to survive the stomach, and to break down gluten in the small intestine. Latiglutenase, formerly known as ALV003, is an enzyme therapy designed to be taken with meals. GluteGuard has been shown to significantly protect celiac patients from the serious symptoms they would normally experience after gluten ingestion. There are other enzymes, including those based on papaya enzymes.

    Additionally, there are many celiac disease drugs, enzymes, and therapies in various stages of development by pharmaceutical companies, including at least one vaccine that has received financial backing. At some point in the not too distant future there will likely be new treatments available for those who seek an alternative to a lifelong gluten-free diet. 

    For now though, there are no products on the market that can take the place of a gluten-free diet. Any enzyme or other treatment for celiac disease is intended to be used in conjunction with a gluten-free diet, not as a replacement.

    ASSOCIATED DISEASES
    The most common disorders associated with celiac disease are thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes, however, celiac disease is associated with many other conditions, including but not limited to the following autoimmune conditions:
    Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: 2.4-16.4% Multiple Sclerosis (MS): 11% Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: 4-6% Autoimmune hepatitis: 6-15% Addison disease: 6% Arthritis: 1.5-7.5% Sjögren’s syndrome: 2-15% Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: 5.7% IgA Nephropathy (Berger’s Disease): 3.6% Other celiac co-morditities include:
    Crohn’s Disease; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Chronic Pancreatitis Down Syndrome Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Lupus Multiple Sclerosis Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Psoriasis Rheumatoid Arthritis Scleroderma Turner Syndrome Ulcerative Colitis; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Williams Syndrome Cancers:
    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (intestinal and extra-intestinal, T- and B-cell types) Small intestinal adenocarcinoma Esophageal carcinoma Papillary thyroid cancer Melanoma CELIAC DISEASE REFERENCES:
    Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University
    Gluten Intolerance Group
    National Institutes of Health
    U.S. National Library of Medicine
    Mayo Clinic
    University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center