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    • Scott Adams

      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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    Challenging the Gluten Challenge - By Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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    This article appeared in the Autumn 2005 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter.

    Celiac.com 01/11/2006 - There is an abundance of stories about people who begin a gluten-free diet, find that they feel better then decide they want a firm diagnosis of celiac disease. They are facing several problems. First, they may be gluten sensitive without the intestinal lesion of celiac disease. This is very likely since about twelve percent of the population is gluten sensitive, but only a little more than one percent of the general population has celiac disease. Another problem faced by gluten-free individuals who want a diagnosis is that it can take more than five years after returning to a regular gluten-containing diet before the characteristic damage of celiac disease can be seen on a biopsy1. Simply put, after beginning a gluten-free diet, only a positive biopsy is meaningful. A negative biopsy does not rule out celiac disease.

    A variety of opinions have been offered regarding how much gluten, for how long, should result in a definitive biopsy. The reality is that no such recommendation is consistent with the medical literature1-4. Some people with celiac disease will experience a return of intestinal damage within a few weeks of consuming relatively small amounts of gluten. Such brief challenges are valuable for these individuals. However, many people with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis will require much larger doses of gluten, over much longer periods, to induce characteristic lesions on the intestinal wall. Unfortunately for these latter individuals, a negative biopsy after a brief gluten challenge can, and often is, misinterpreted as having ruled out celiac disease. Blood tests can compound this problem. If, as seems likely, celiac patients who are slow to relapse are also the ones who develop milder intestinal lesions, they are the very celiac patients for whom blood tests are very unreliable5. Claims to have ruled out celiac disease based on brief challenges with small quantities of gluten is a mistake that could lead to serious, even deadly, consequences.

    We may forget that gluten consumption by a person with celiac disease can lead to deadly cancers and a variety of debilitating autoimmune diseases. Any recommendation of a gluten challenge should be accompanied by a clear warning that the process may overlook many cases of celiac disease. The absence of such warnings is inexcusable.

    And what about non-celiac gluten sensitivity? The absence of an intestinal lesion does not rule out gluten induced damage to other tissues, organs, and systems. Evidence and research-based information in this area is sadly lacking but we do know that undigested or partly digested gliadin can damage a wide range of human cells6. Thus, one need only be consuming gluten and experience increased intestinal permeability for gluten-induced damage to be a factor in an almost infinite number of ailments.

    There are several partial answers to this problem. One, which Ive raised before, is to employ Dr. Michael N. Marshs rectal challenge for the diagnosis of celiac disease, particularly when the individual has already begun a gluten-free diet. This test permits a definitive diagnosis of celiac disease for up to six months after beginning a gluten-free diet. That would catch a great number of celiac patients who have found relief through a gluten-free diet and now want a diagnosis. Another piece of this puzzle is to test for IgG anti-gliadin antibodies. Although these antibodies are considered "non-specific," they inarguably identify an immune response to one of the most common foods in a regular North American diet. Although these individuals may experience improved wellness on a gluten-free diet, we just dont know enough about non-celiac gluten sensitivity to do more than recommend that they continue on this diet since it makes them feel better.

    Ron Hoggan is an author, teacher and diagnosed celiac who lives in Canada. His book "Dangerous Grains" can be ordered at Celiac.com. Rons Web page is: www.DangerousGrains.com.

    References:

    • Kuitunen P, Savilahti E, Verkasalo M. Late mucosalrelapse in a boy with coeliac disease and cows milk allergy.Acta Paediatr Scand.1986 Mar;75(2):340-2.
    • Bardella MT, Fredella C, Trovato C, Ermacora E, Cavalli R, Saladino V, Prampolini L. Long-term remission in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis on a normal diet. Br. J. Dermatol. 2003 Nov;149(5):968-71.
    • Shmerling DH, Franckx J. Childhood celiac disease: a long-term analysis of relapses in 91 patients.J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1986 Jul-Aug;5(4):565-9.
    • Chartrand LJ, Seidman EG. Celiac disease is a lifelong disorder. Clin Invest Med. 1996 Oct;19(5):357-61.
    • Rostami K, Kerckhaert J, von Blomberg BM, Meijer JW, Wahab P, Mulder CJ. SAT and serology in adult coeliacs, seronegative coeliac disease seems a reality.Neth J Med. 1998 Jul;53(1):15-9.
    • Hudson DA, Cornell HJ, Purdham DR, Rolles CJ. Non-specific cytotoxicity of wheat gliadin components towards cultured human cells.Lancet. 1976 Feb 14;1(7955):339-41.

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  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams

    Celiac.com 03/19/2002 - The following excerpts were taken from The New England Journal of Medicines January 17, 2002 (Vol. 346, No. 30) article on recovery from celiac disease:
    In addition to a gluten-free diet, all patients with newly diagnosed celiac sprue who have clinically evident malabsorption should initially receive a multi-vitamin preparation and appropriate supplements to correct any iron or folate deficiency. Patients with steatorrhea, hypocalcemia, or osteopenic bone disease should receive oral calcium and vitamin D supplementation.
    Approximately 70 percent of patients have symptomatic improvement within two weeks after starting a gluten-free diet. The speed and eventual degree of histologic improvement are unpredictable but invariably lag behind the clinical response and may not be evident on repeated biopsy for two to three months. Although a return to normal histologic findings is common in children, half of adults have only a partial resolution on biopsy. If a patient has no response to the diet, the most common cause is incomplete adherence. Persistent symptoms may be caused by coexisting disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, microscopic colitis, or pancreatic insufficiency.
    In one study strict adherence to a gluten-free diet reduced the risk of all disease-associated cancers including enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma. Thus, it seems prudent to recommend lifelong strict adherence to a gluten-free diet in all patients with celiac sprue.
    Regarding untreated celiac sprue:
    Dairy products should be avoided initially because patients with untreated celiac sprue often have secondary lactase deficiency. After three to six months of treatment, diary products can be reintroduced if the patient has no ill effects.

    Scott Adams

    Am J Gastroenterol. 2002;97(11):2702-2704, 2785-2790
    Celiac.com 04/30/2003 - The results of a population-based study published in the November 2002 edition of the American Journal of Gastroenterology indicate that it is time to change celiac disease screening methods. Karoly Horvath, MD, PhD, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and Ivor D. Hill, MD, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, found that testing first for tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies followed by endomysial antibodies may eliminate the need to screen using antigliadin IgA.
    Using a community-based population the researchers screened the blood of 1,000 consecutive subjects (age 16 to 71 years, 497 women) using the three tier classic screening which looks at IgG and IgA antigliadin antibodies, followed by endomysial antibodies (EmA) and total serum IgA in positive patients, and finally at intestinal biopsies of patients with positive EmA. The study screening protocol consisted of the use of a commercial guinea pig anti-tTG antibodies and total serum IgA, the with EmA (IgA and/or IgG) for positive patients followed by intestinal biopsies.
    The classic screening found five patients who were eligible for intestinal biopsy, and celiac disease was confirmed in all five. The study group yielded the five patients identified in the classic screening, plus two more with positive IgG antigliadin antibodies and normal total serum IgA (both were positive for EmA).
    Juan C. Gomez, MD, and colleagues from San Martin Hospital in La Plata, Argentina write: "Our data showed that a new screening protocol using [anti-tTG] as first line followed by endomysial antibodies is a cost-effective screening and yielded more realistic figures of prevalence for celiac disease in a community setting than the classic three-level sequential evaluation using antigliadin antibodies." In addition to being more sensitive than the classic method of detection, the new screening protocol is cheaper: $3,006 per new patient detected vs. $4,687. Further: Although we still did not perform intestinal biopsy on all those subjects with positive anti-tTG tests but negative EmA, current evidence appears to suggest that the addition of EmA to the seropositive anti-tTG patients might have a key role in the simplified screening avoiding unnecessary biopsies, although the researchers still recommend using a biopsy to confirm diagnosis until the new protocol can be standardized.
    In conclusion: We recommend using the anti-tTG as the initial test in both population screening studies and for individual cases suspected of having celiac disease on the basis of symptoms or conditions associated with the condition...(T)hose with positive results should be tested for EmA as a second step in the screening process and, if positive, should undergo an intestinal biopsy for confirmation of the diagnosis.

    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 09/28/2007 - Celiac disease is one of the most common lifelong disorders in western countries. However, most cases in North America remain currently undiagnosed, mostly because they present unusual symptoms and because of the low number of doctors who have a sound awareness of celiac disease.
    In a large European survey, the ratio between diagnosed and undiagnosed cases, found by mass serological screening, was as high as 1 to 7 , an effect termed the ‘celiac iceberg’. In addition to having chronic symptoms that might otherwise respond to a gluten-free diet, undiagnosed patients are exposed to the risk of long-term complications of celiac disease, such as anemia, infertility, osteoporosis, or cancer, particularly an intestinal lymphoma.
    Celiac Disease is diagnosed by confirming the presence of intestinal damage to the small intestine through a biopsy, along with a clinical response to the gluten-free diet. However, serological markers, e.g., the IgA class anti-tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies, are useful screening tests. The sensitivity and the specificity of the IgA anti-tTG test are 94% and 97%, respectively.
    To address the large number of undiagnosed cases, a team of researchers recently set out to assess whether an active case-finding strategy in primary care could lead to increased frequency of celiac disease diagnosis, and to assess the most common clinical manifestations of the condition.
    The team was made up of Carlo Catassi, M.D., M.P.H.; Deborah Kryszak, B.S.; Otto Louis-Jacques, M.D.; Donald R. Duerksen, M.D.; Ivor Hill, M.D.; Sheila E. Crowe, M.D.; Andrew R. Brown, M.D.; Nicholas J. Procaccini, M.D.; Brigid A Wonderly, R.N.; Paul Hartley, M.D.; James Moreci, M.D.; Nathan Bennett, M.D.; Karoly Horvath, M.D., Ph.D.; Margaret Burk, R.N.; Alessio Fasano, M.D.
    737 women and 239 men, with a median age of 54.3 years, who attended one of the practices participated in a multi-center, prospective study involving adult subjects during the years 2002-2004. All individuals with celiac-associated symptoms or conditions were tested for immunoglobulin A anti-transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies. Those with elevated anti-tTG were then tested for IgA antiendomysial antibodies (EMA). All who were positive for EMA were advised to undergo an intestinal biopsy and HLA typing.
    30 out of 976 study subjects showed a positive anti-tTG test (3.07%, 95% CI 1.98-4.16). 22 patients,18 women, 4 men, were diagnosed with celiac disease. In these 22 cases the most common reasons for screening for celiac disease was: bloating (12/22), thyroid disease (11/22), irritable bowel syndrome (7/22), unexplained chronic diarrhea (6/22), chronic fatigue (5/22), and constipation (4/22).
    The prevalence of celiac disease in the serologically screened sample was 2.25% (95% CI 1.32-3.18). The diagnostic rate was low at baseline (0.27 cases per thousand visits, 95% CI 0.13-0.41) and rose sharply to 11.6 per thousand visits (95% CI 6.8-16.4, P
    This study shows that the diagnosis rate for celiac disease can be significantly increased through the implementation of a strategy of active case-finding.
    Am J Gastroenterol. 2007;102(7):1454-1460.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/26/2015 - Celiac disease occurs along a spectrum, which includes cases where patients have only minor histological abnormalities, or, what is called "potential celiac disease."
    Can a scientific equation based on immunohistochemical analysis of duodenal biopsies help to better diagnose celiac disease and cases of potential celiac disease? A team of researchers recently set out to assess the potential of immunohistochemical analysis of duodenal biopsies to aid in the diagnosis of gluten-related minor enteropathy.
    The research team included A. Tosco, M. Maglio, F. Paparo, L. Greco, R. Troncone, and R. Auricchio. They are affiliated with the Department of Translational Medical Science, Section of Pediatrics, and the European Laboratory for the Investigation of Food Induced Diseases at the University Federico II in Naples, Italy.
    For their analysis, the team looked at duodenal biopsies from 56 untreated celiac patients and 56 control subjects, and assessed patients based on CD3 and γδ intraepithelial lymphocytes number, γδ /CD3 ratio, and density of CD25+ lamina propria cells. 
    To help them blindly evaluate 61 more biopsies with normal villous architecture, the team used a discriminant equation, that is, an equation that allows them to determine whether the patient has celiac disease based on the four factors noted above. Both celiac patients and control subjects showed widely variable immunohistochemical ranges, and no single parameter showed sufficient specificity for celiac disease. However, by combining parameters for all four markers, the team was able to produce an accurate discriminant equation.
    The result of the team’s discriminant equation is a score called a Dscore. Their equation is as follows: Dscore = (CD3 x 0.06) - (γδ x 0.119) + (CD25 x 0.012) + (γδ /CD3 x 0.131) - 4.709.
    Under the team’s system, patients’ Dscores could be used to correctly point to celiac disease in 97.3% of cases.
    When the team applied this equation to a validation set of 61 patients with normal villous architecture and unknown diagnosis, 92.9% of those with a positive score turned out to be potential celiac patients. However, a normal score did not exclude celiac disease.
    In certain cases, immunohistochemistry can be helpful for diagnosing celiac disease, but, because it lacks sensitivity, it can miss some potential celiac cases.
    Source:
     J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2014 Dec 14.

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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/22/2018 - Proteins are the building blocks of life. If scientists can figure out how to create and grow new proteins, they can create new treatments and cures to a multitude of medical, biological and even environmental conditions.
    For a couple of decades now, scientists have been searching for a biological Rosetta stone that would allow them to engineer proteins with precision, but the problem has remained dauntingly complex.  Researchers had a pretty good understanding of the very simple way that the linear chemical code carried by strands of DNA translates into strings of amino acids in proteins. 
    But, one of the main problems in protein engineering has to do with the way proteins fold into their various three-dimensional structures. Until recently, no one has been able to decipher the rules that will predict how proteins fold into those three-dimensional structures.  So even if researchers were somehow able to design a protein with the right shape for a given job, they wouldn’t know how to go about making it from protein’s building blocks, the amino acids.
    But now, scientists like William DeGrado, a chemist at the University of California, San Francisco, and David Baker, director for the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington, say that designing proteins will become at least as important as manipulating DNA has been in the past couple of decades.
    After making slow, but incremental progress over the years, scientists have improved their ability to decipher the complex language of protein shapes. Among other things, they’ve gained a better understanding of how then the laws of physics cause the proteins to snap into folded origami-like structures based on the ways amino acids are attracted or repelled by others many places down the chain.
    It is this new ability to decipher the complex language of protein shapes that has fueled their progress. UCSF’s DeGrado is using these new breakthroughs to search for new medicines that will be more stable, both on the shelf and in the body. He is also looking for new ways to treat Alzheimer’s disease and similar neurological conditions, which result when brain proteins fold incorrectly and create toxic deposits.
    Meanwhile, Baker’s is working on a single vaccine that would protect against all strains of the influenza virus, along with a method for breaking down the gluten proteins in wheat, which could help to generate new treatments for people with celiac disease. 
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    Source:
    Bloomberg.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/21/2018 - Just a year ago, Starbucks debuted their Canadian bacon, egg and cheddar cheese gluten-free sandwich. During that year, the company basked in praise from customers with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity for their commitment to delivering a safe gluten-free alternative to it’s standard breakfast offerings.
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    A few of the choice tweets include the following:  
    “If I’m going to get coffee and can’t eat anything might as well be DD. #celiac so your eggbites won’t work for me,” tweeted @NotPerryMason. “They’re discontinuing my @Starbucks gluten-free sandwich which is super sad, but will save me money because I won’t have a reason to go to Starbucks and drop $50 a week,” tweeted @nwillard229. Starbucks is not giving up on gluten-free entirely, though. The company will still offer several items for customers who prefer gluten-free foods, including Sous Vide Egg Bites, a Marshmallow Dream Bar and Siggi’s yogurt.
    Stay tuned to learn more about Starbucks gluten-free foods going forward.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/19/2018 - Looking for a nutritious, delicious meal that is both satisfying and gluten-free? This tasty quinoa salad is just the thing for you. Easy to make and easy to transport to work. This salad of quinoa and vegetables gets a rich depth from chicken broth, and a delicious tang from red wine vinegar. Just pop it in a container, seal and take it to work or school. Make the quinoa a day or two ahead as needed. Add or subtract veggies as you like.
    Ingredients:
    1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well ½ cup water ½ cup chicken broth 2 radishes, thinly sliced 1 small bunch fresh pea sprouts 1 small Persian cucumber, diced 1 small avocado, ripe, sliced into chunks Cherry or grape tomatoes Fresh sunflower seeds 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar  Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper Directions:
    Simmer quinoa in water and chicken broth until tender.
    Dish into bowls.
    Top with veggies, salt and pepper, and sunflower seeds. 
    Splash with red wine vinegar and enjoy!

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/18/2018 - Across the country, colleges and universities are rethinking the way they provide food services for students with food allergies and food intolerance. In some cases, that means major renovations. In other cases, it means creating completely new dining and food halls. To document both their commitment and execution of gluten-free and allergen-free dining, these new food halls are frequently turning to auditing and accreditation firms, such as Kitchens with Confidence.
    The latest major player to make the leap to allergen-free dining is Syracuse University. The university’s Food Services recently earned an official gluten-free certification from Kitchens with Confidence for four of the University’s dining centers, with the fifth soon to follow.
    To earn the gluten-free certification from Kitchens with Confidence, food services must pass a 41 point audit process that includes 200 control check points. The food service must also agree to get any new food item approved in advance, and to submit to monthly testing of prep surfaces, to furnish quarterly reports, and to provide information on any staffing changes, recalls or incident reports. Kitchens with Confidence representatives also conduct annual inspections of each dining center.
    Syracuse students and guests eating at Ernie Davis, Shaw, Graham and Sadler dining centers can now choose safe, reliable gluten-free food from a certified gluten-free food center. The fifth dining center, Brockway, is currently undergoing renovations scheduled for completion by fall, when Brockway will also receive its certification.
    Syracuse Food Services has offered a gluten-free foods in its dining centers for years. According to Jamie Cyr, director of Auxiliary Services, the university believes that the independent Gluten-Free Certification from Kitchens with Confidence will help ease the anxiety for parents and students.”
    Syracuse is understandably proud of their accomplishment. According to Mark Tewksbury, director of residence dining operations, “campus dining centers serve 11,000 meals per day and our food is made fresh daily. Making sure that it is nutritious, delicious and safe for all students is a top priority.”
    Look for more colleges and universities to follow in the footsteps of Syracuse and others that have made safe, reliable food available for their students with food allergies or sensitivities.
    Read more.

    Zyana Morris
    Celiac.com 05/17/2018 - Celiac disease is not one of the most deadly diseases out there, but it can put you through a lot of misery. Also known as coeliac, celiac disease is an inherited immune disorder. What happens is that your body’s immune system overreacts to gluten and damages the small intestine. People who suffer from the disease cannot digest gluten, a protein found in grain such as rye, barley, and wheat. 
    While it may not sound like a severe complication at first, coeliac can be unpleasant to deal with. What’s worse is it would lower your body’s capacity to absorb minerals and vitamins. Naturally, the condition would cause nutritional deficiencies. The key problem that diagnosing celiac is difficult and takes take longer than usual. Surprisingly, the condition has over 200 identified symptoms.
    More than three million people suffer from the coeliac disease in the United States alone. Even though diagnosis is complicated, there are symptoms that can help you identify the condition during the early stages to minimize the damage. 
    Here is how you can recognize the main symptoms of celiac disease:
    Diarrhea
    In various studies conducted over years, the most prominent symptom of celiac disease is chronic diarrhea.
    People suffering from the condition would experience loose watery stools that can last for up to four weeks after they stop taking gluten. Diarrhea can also be a symptom of food poisoning and other conditions, which is why it makes it difficult to diagnose coeliac. In certain cases, celiac disease can take up to four years to establish a sound diagnosis.
    Vomiting
    Another prominent symptom is vomiting.  
    When accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting can be a painful experience that would leave you exhausted. It also results in malnutrition and the patient experiences weight loss (not in a good way though). If you experience uncontrolled vomiting, report the matter to a physician to manage the condition.
    Bloating
    Since coeliac disease damages the small intestine, bloating is another common system. This is due to inflammation of the digestive tract. In a study with more than a 1,000 participants, almost 73% of the people reported bloating after ingesting gluten. 
    Bloating can be managed by eliminating gluten from the diet which is why a gluten-free diet is necessary for people suffering from celiac disease.
    Fatigue
    Constant feeling of tiredness and low energy levels is another common symptom associated with celiac disease. If you experience a lack of energy after in taking gluten, then you need to consult a physician to diagnose the condition. Now fatigue can also result from inefficient thyroid function, infections, and depression (a symptom of the coeliac disease). However, almost 51% of celiac patients suffer from fatigue in a study.
    Itchy Rash
    Now the chances of getting a rash after eating gluten are slim, but the symptom has been associated with celiac disease in the past. The condition can cause dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes a blistering skin rash that occurs around the buttocks, knees, and elbows. 
    A study found out that almost 17% of patients suffering from celiac disease might develop dermatitis herpetiformis due to lack of right treatment. Make sure you schedule an online appointment with your dermatologist or visit the nearest healthcare facility to prevent worsening of symptoms.
    Even with such common symptoms, diagnosing the condition is imperative for a quick recovery and to mitigate the long-term risks associated with celiac disease. 
    Sources:
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov  Celiac.com ncbi.nlm.nih.gov  mendfamily.com