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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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    WHAT'S THE LATEST ON CELIAC-ASSOCIATED PANCREATIC DISEASE?


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 01/05/2017 - Patients who have both pancreatic disease and celiac disease can experience adverse endocrine and exocrine changes. When this happens, severe clinical changes with marked nutritional alteration may result. For some patients, a gluten-free diet can help improve endocrine and exocrine pancreatic function.


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    Also, numerous studies show that people with celiac disease have higher rates of type 1 diabetes mellitus. In part, this relationship was possibly due to shared human leukocyte antigen alleles, DR3, and by linkage disequilibrium, DQ2. Besides this hypothesized common "immune-mediated" etiopathogenesis, some celiacs with pancreatic disease likely have developed secondary diabetic changes from severe exocrine pancreatic failure, driven in part by celiac-induced protein malnutrition.

    Some researchers estimate that more than one in five celiac patients have defective pancreatic function, possibly due to impaired release of peptides, because of mucosal endocrine cell loss.

    Researcher Hugh J. Freeman recently set out to evaluate the prevalence of type 1 diabetes in celiac disease. He is a gastroenterologist affiliated with the Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

    Prospective studies using an initial screening IgA tissue transglutaminase antibody assay (tTG) were done at the university center, while a total of 125 male and 108 female children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus were evaluated from an established pediatric diabetes clinic. Of these, 15 male and 11 female patients had elevated tTG titers, of whom 19 were also positive for endomysial antibodies. Among these cases, 1 was already known to have celiac disease. Small intestinal biopsies were done in the other 18 children positive for both antibodies.

    In all, histopathological changes consistent with celiac disease were detected, ranging from increased numbers of intraepithelial lymphocytes to severe crypt hyperplastic villous atrophy (i.e., so-called Marsh 3 lesion). Studies also suggested that serial tTG titers in insulin-dependent diabetic children might play a useful clinical role in monitoring compliance to a gluten-free diet, possibly of value since close monitoring of compliance of children to a gluten-free diet may be exceedingly difficult.

    In this study, over 40% of diabetic children were asymptomatic, and yet, prospective serological screening facilitated selection for small intestinal biopsy evaluation. Overall, 7.7% of this entire pediatric patient population had biopsy features common in celiac disease. A subsequent European study found 8.6% of diabetic children and adolescents to have tTG positivity; many had no symptoms, or only non-specific or mild gastrointestinal symptoms.

    Prior studies have shown increased serum amylase levels in about 25% of patients, indicating possible low-grade pancreatic inflammation. Later studies examined exocrine pancreatic function in celiac disease by measuring fecal elastase-1 concentrations along with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed pancreatic insufficiency in 4 of 90 celiacs, or 4.4% (1 mild, 3 severe), while MRI was normal in all 4 of these celiac patients.

    In contrast, a study from India shows exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in 10 of 36 young adults under 30 years of age, based on fecal elastase determinations. Of these, over 80% showed reversal of elevated fecal elastase values on a gluten-free diet.

    Most had moderate to severely abnormal small bowel biopsies (i.e., Marsh 2-3C) and only 1 had recurrent bouts of acute pancreatitis. Structural changes based on imaging studies were rarely encountered.

    Although his own study, like a number of others, has documented the relationship between pancreatic exocrine function and celiac disease, Dr. Freeman calls for further longer-term study to determine if these observations can be verified by other centers.

    Source:


    Image Caption: A new study looks at celiac disease and associated pancreatic disease. Photo: cc--Amber Kennedy
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/18/2010 - One of the conditions associated with celiac disease is called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. A previous study showed that exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is the trigger for about one in three (20/66) cases of current or persistent diarrhea in adults with celiac disease. Of these 20 patients, 19 showed initial improvement with pancreatic supplementation.
    However, at this point, there are no longitudinal studies on exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in the medical literature. A research team set out to rectify that by conducting their own longitudinal study. The team included Kate E. Evans, John S. Leeds, Stephen Morley, and David S. Sanders.
    Over the next four years, the team conducted prospective follow-up checks on the 20 patients who received therapy for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. The team assessed gastrointestinal symptoms, dietary adherence, celiac antibody status, and dose of enzyme supplementation. They repeated titters for fecal elastase-1 (Fel-1) to reassess exocrine pancreatic function.
    The team was able to review 19 of the 20 patients; one patient had died. The group averaged 59.7 years of age. Seven subjects were male. On average, patients suffered from celiac disease for 13.2 years.
    Eleven out of nineteen patients continued on enzyme supplementation, with average doses of 45,000 units of lipase per day. Only one of the eleven patients reported no reduction in symptoms, while eight of the 19 patients had discontinued the supplements after their diarrhea abated.
    The entire group showed a substantial increase in Fel-1 levels over time, with median values of 90 lg/g at zero months, 212 lg/g at six months, and 365 lg/g at follow-up of 45–66 months (p/0.0001).
    Fecal elastase-1 is helpful in spotting exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in adult celiac patients with diarrhea.
    Results of the team's longitudinal survey indicate that that patients with celiac disease can end pancreatic enzyme supplementation as symptoms improve.
    Source:

    Dig Dis Sci. DOI 10.1007/s10620-010-1261-y

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/02/2012 - A team of researchers recently conducted a prospective controlled study on a gluten-free diet and autoimmune thyroiditis in patients with celiac disease.
    The research team included S. Metso, H. Hyytiä-Ilmonen, K. Kaukinen, H. Huhtala, P. Jaatinen, J. Salmi, J. Taurio, and P. Collin. They are affiliated with the Department of Internal Medicine at Tampere University Hospital in Tampere, Finland.
    Prior to the study, there had been contradictory data regarding the ways in which early diagnosis and a gluten-free diet might slow the progression of associated autoimmune diseases in celiac disease.
    The research team investigated the course of autoimmune thyroid diseases in newly diagnosed celiac disease patients, both before and after gluten-free dietary treatment.
    For their study, the team examined twenty-seven adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease, both at the time of diagnosis and after one year on gluten-free diet.
    They also recorded and examined previously diagnosed and subclinical autoimmune thyroid diseases. The team used ultrasound to measure thyroid gland volume and echo-genicity. They also measured autoantibodies against celiac disease and thyroiditis, and conducted thyroid function tests.
    As a control group, they enrolled twenty-seven non-celiac subjects, all of whom followed a normal, gluten-containing diet.
    The data showed that, upon diagnosis, ten of 27 celiac disease patients had either manifest (n = 7) or subclinical (n = 3) thyroid diseases. Only three of 27 control subjects (10/27 vs. 3/27, p = 0.055) had thyroid disease.
    After treatment with a gluten-free diet, thyroid volume continued to decrease significantly in the patients with celiac disease compared with the control subjects, indicating the progression of thyroid gland atrophy regardless of the gluten-free diet.
    Overall, celiac patients faced a higher risk of thyroid autoimmune disorders than non-celiac control subjects. Moreover, a gluten-free diet did not seem to stop or reverse the progression of autoimmune disease after one year.
    Source:

    Scand J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan;47(1):43-8. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/07/2012 - People with celiac disease face a higher risk of developing primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in the early years after their celiac disease is diagnosed, according to a new report from Sweden. The report appears in the The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
    A team of researchers recently set out to examine the risk of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in people with celiac disease. The researchers included Dr. Jonas F. Ludvigsson, Olle Kämpe, Benjamin Lebwohl, Peter H. R. Green, Shonni J. Silverberg and Anders Ekbom. They are affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics (J.F.L.) at Örebro University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden, the Clinical Epidemiology Unit (J.F.L., A.E.) of the Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Medical Sciences (O.K.) at Uppsala University and University Hospital in Uppsala, Sweden; and Celiac Disease Center (B.L., P.H.R.G.), and Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine (S.J.S.) at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York city, USA.
    At least one other study has suggested an association between celiac disease and primary hyperparathyroidism.
    For their study, Dr. Jonas F. Ludvigsson from Orebro University Hospital and colleagues examined the risk of PHPT among 17,121 patients with biopsy-verified celiac disease. They found that patients with celiac disease faced a 1.91-fold increased risk of PHPT compared to 85,166 matched controls.
    Ignoring the first year, due to a risk of ascertainment bias, the team found that the risk level for PHPT increased 3.29-fold through 60 months, and disappeared after that period.
    The decrease in risk level over time may be due to the beneficial effect of the gluten-free diet, the team noted. For every per 100,000 person-years at risk, the absolute risk level from one to five years of follow-up was 61 cases in patient, compared with just 22 cases in controls. The overall risk level was even greater, by 2.53 times, when the outcome was restricted to PHPT with an adenoma diagnosis in the National Cancer Registry.
    A review of the data show that the increased risk of PHPT persisted after restricting the analysis to 1987 or later, which post-date changes in ICD coding. The risk for PHPT was slightly higher for women diagnosed with celiac disease after menopause than for women diagnosed earlier in life.
    Their study does not "provide any insight into the nature of the association between celiac disease and PHPT," the authors admit. They are unsure whether the association  is causal or whether celiac disease and PHPT might be tied another unidentified condition.
    Because most patients with untreated celiac disease have vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, the team expected to find a "constellation of celiac disease and elevated parathyroid hormone levels," but that they did not expect to see a connection between celiac disease with hypercalcemia and PHPT.
    The team calls for future studies to focus on thoroughly investigating the connection, so that researchers can understand all possible aspects of the link between these two conditions.
    Source:
    J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/09/2016 - Although exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) has been reported in a number of patients with celiac disease (celiac disease), it is not clear if this is primarily a functional or a structural defect. We studied pancreatic structural abnormalities by endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in adult celiac disease patients with EPI.
    A team of researchers recently set out to prospectively assess pancreatic exocrine function in recently diagnosed celiac patients. The research team included Surinder S. Rana, Arvind Dambalkar, Puneet Chhabra, Ravi Sharma, Vishal Sharma, Satyavati Rana, Deepak K. Bhasin and Ritambhra Nada. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Gastroenterology, and the Department of Histopathology at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, India.
    For their study, the team measured fecal elastase to prospectively assess pancreatic exocrine function in 36 recently diagnosed celiac patients. They relied on EPI by EUS and elastography to assess pancreatic structural changes in celiac patients. The team then reassessed exocrine functions in these patients after 3 months of gluten-free diet.
    Of the 36 celiac patients the team studied, 30 patients had anemia, 21 had diarrhea, and 7 had hypothyroidism. Ten patients had EPI with mean elastase levels of 141.6 μg/g of stool, only one of whom had a history of recurrent acute pancreatitis, while the other 9 patients had no history of either acute or chronic pancreatitis. Of these 10 patients, 8 (80%) had diarrhea, 8 (80%) anemia, and 2 (20%) had hypothyroidism.
    The team performed EUS in 8 patients. Five showed normal pancreas, 3 showed hyperechoic strands, and 2 patients showed hyperechoic foci without shadowing. None showed lobularity or parenchymal calcification. All patients, except the patient with recurrent pancreatitis, showed normal strain ratio. In 6 of the remaining 7 patients, follow-up fecal elastase fell within normal range.
    EPI, as measured by fecal elastase levels in adult celiac patients, possibly does not relate to structural alterations in the pancreatic parenchyma, and may be reversible by following a gluten-free diet.
    Source:
    Ann Gastroenterol. 2016 Jul-Sep;29(3):363-6. doi: 10.20524/aog.2016.0042. Epub 2016 May 11.

  • Recent Articles

    Tammy Rhodes
    Celiac.com 04/24/2018 - Did you know in 2017 alone, the United States had OVER TENS OF THOUSANDS of people evacuate their homes due to natural disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis? Most evacuation sites are not equipped to feed your family the safe gluten free foods that are required to stay healthy.  Are you prepared in case of an emergency? Do you have your Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag ready to grab and go?  
    I have already lived through two natural disasters. Neither of which I ever want to experience again, but they taught me a very valuable lesson, which is why I created a Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag (see link below). Here’s my story. If you’ve ever lived in or visited the Los Angeles area, you’re probably familiar with the Santa Ana winds and how bitter sweet they are. Sweet for cleaning the air and leaving the skies a brilliant crystal blue, and bitter for the power outages and potential brush fires that might ensue.  It was one of those bitter nights where the Santa Ana winds were howling, and we had subsequently lost our power. We had to drive over an hour just to find a restaurant so we could eat dinner. I remember vividly seeing the glow of a brush fire on the upper hillside of the San Gabriel Mountains, a good distance from our neighborhood. I really didn’t think much of it, given that it seemed so far from where we lived, and I was hungry! After we ate, we headed back home to a very dark house and called it a night. 
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    In 2017 alone, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) had 137 natural disasters declared within the United States. According to FEMA, around 50% of the United States population isn’t prepared for a natural disaster. These disasters can happen anywhere, anytime and some without notice. It’s hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent of a gluten free family member. Now, add a natural disaster on top of that. Are you prepared?
    You can find my Gluten Free Emergency Food Bags and other useful products at www.allergynavigator.com.  

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/23/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to learn whether celiac disease patients commonly suffer cognitive impairment at the time they are diagnosed, and to compare their cognitive performance with non-celiac subjects with similar chronic symptoms and to a group of healthy control subjects.
    The research team included G Longarini, P Richly, MP Temprano, AF Costa, H Vázquez, ML Moreno, S Niveloni, P López, E Smecuol, R Mazure, A González, E Mauriño, and JC Bai. They are variously associated with the Small Bowel Section, Department of Medicine, Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo Gastroenterology Hospital; Neurocience Cognitive and Traslational Institute (INECO), Favaloro Fundation, CONICET, Buenos Aires; the Brain Health Center (CESAL), Quilmes, Argentina; the Research Council, MSAL, CABA; and with the Research Institute, School of Medicine, Universidad del Salvador.
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    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar 1. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001018.

    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:
    Gluten-free Cooking for Dummies Student's Vegetarian Cookbook for Dummies Wheat-free Gluten-free Dessert Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Reduced Calorie Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults (revised version) My first book was published in 1996. My journey since then has been incredible. I have met so many in the celiac community and I feel blessed to be able to call you friends. Many of you have told me that I helped to change your life – let me assure you that your kind words, your phone calls, your thoughtful notes, and your feedback throughout the years have had a vital impact on my life, too. Thank you for all of your support through these years.

    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. 
    Under the deal, personalized digital media company Catalina will be joining forces with Label Insight. Catalina uses consumer purchases data to target shoppers on a personal base, while Label Insight works with major companies like Kellogg, Betty Crocker, and Pepsi to provide insight on food label data to government, retailers, manufacturers and app developers.
    "Brands with very specific product benefits, gluten-free for example, require precise targeting to efficiently reach and convert their desired shoppers,” says Todd Morris, President of Catalina's Go-to-Market organization, adding that “Catalina offers the only purchase-based targeting solution with this capability.” 
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    Morris says the joint partnership will allow Catalina to “enhance our dataset and further increase our ability to target shoppers who are currently buying - or have shown intent to buy - in these emerging categories,” including gluten-free, allergen-free, and other free-from foods.
    The deal will likely make for easier, more precise targeting of goods to consumers, and thus provide benefits for manufacturers and retailers looking to better serve their retail food customers, especially in specialty areas like gluten-free and allergen-free foods.
    Source:
    fdfworld.com

    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