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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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    Discovery of Key Genetic Risk Factor for Celiac Disease Offers Hope of Advances in Diagnosis and Treatment - Results Promise Better Diagnostics and Treatment for Celiac Disease


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 06/26/2007 - The results of a study recently published in the online science journal Nature Genetics have revealed a previously unknown genetic risk factor for celiac disease. An international team of researchers set out to study the genetic causes of intestinal inflammatory disorders.


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    When the study began, it was well known that individuals with celiac disease have specific tissue types that identify wheat proteins. Why healthy individuals with the same tissue type failed to develop celiac symptoms or celiac disease remained unknown, and was a key question the team set out to answer. The team was led David van Heel, Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics at Queen Mary, University of London. The Human Genome Project and the Hap Map Project played key support roles in the study.

    The results show that a protective DNA sequence in a specific gene segment, generally found in healthy individuals are missing in people with celiac disease. The research team evaluated genome data of 778 individuals with celiac disease and 1,422 controls non-celiacs within the British, Irish and Dutch populations.

    Key DNA Sequence Missing in Celiacs

    Researchers discovered that, compared to people with celiac disease, healthy people more commonly have a DNA sequence in the interleukin-2 and interleukin-21 gene region that protects against celiac disease. Interleukin-2 and interleukin-21 are cytokine proteins that are secreted by white blood cells, and which control inflammation. In people with celiac disease, the protective DNA sequence most likely leads to lesser amounts of these cytokines being produced, which weakens the defense against intestinal inflammation.

    Breakthrough in Better Understanding Risk Factors for Development of Celiac Disease

    About 1 in 133 people develop the disease, but, so far, predicting those at risk to develop the disease has been haphazard at best. Present methods of genetic testing can only narrow down the search to about 30% of the general population. These results give doctors a means to discover what further genetic risk factors leave people vulnerable to developing celiac disease.

    Queen Mary, University of London Press Release - Public release date: 10-Jun-2007

    health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com.

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  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams

    - Genetic Digestive Disorder Affects an Estimated One in 250 Americans -
    Celiac.com 02/26/2003 - WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Feb. 19, 2003/PRNewswire -- Results from a new study may lead to the first medical treatment for celiac disease, a hereditary digestive disease that can damage the small intestine and interfere with the absorption of nutrients from food. Celiac disease sufferers cannot tolerate gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye. Celiac disease affects an estimated one in 250 Americans, mostly those of European descent, and there is no known medical treatment or cure.
    Zengen, Inc. researchers discovered that a synthetic form of alpha-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone (alpha-MSH) has an anti-inflammatory effect in celiac mucosa, the inside lining of the intestinal tract that absorbs food into the body. A naturally occurring molecule, alpha-MSH modulates inflammatory and immune responses. Data confirming the presence of alpha-MSH in celiac mucosa suggests the presence of a local reaction of the molecule to control the inflammatory response elicited by gliadin. Gliadin is the sub fraction of gluten that acts as a toxin or poison in people with celiac disease; it causes an immune reaction, resulting in damage to the small intestine and an inability to digest and absorb nutrients necessary for health and growth (malabsorption).
    The findings, Anti-Inflammatory Effects of alpha-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone in Celiac Intestinal Mucosa, appear in the February 20, 2003 issue of NeuroImmunoModulation, the official journal of the International Society for Neuroimmunomodulation.
    Our research suggests that locally-produced alpha-MSH modulates inflammation and perhaps limits epithelial damage in patients with celiac disease, stated James M. Lipton, Ph.D., study investigator, chief scientific officer and director of Zengen. We are particularly excited by these findings as these data, coupled with abundant evidence of the anti-inflammatory and anti-infective activity of Zengens novel molecules based on alpha-MSH, further validate our research and development efforts in numerous areas including celiac disease. These positive results will be used to guide further advancements toward clinical use of the molecules.
    The study used human celiac mucosa cells in culture. Researchers collected duodenal biopsy pairs from 53 adult celiac patients (34 untreated patients and 19 celiac patients on a gluten-free diet) and 14 normal subjects and conducted three series of experiments in order to determine: (1) mucosal immunoreactivity for alpha-MSH and melanocortin receptors (MCRs), and gene expression of alpha-MSH precursor pro-opiomelanocortin and MCRs; (2) alpha-MSH and inflammatory cytokine production by duodenal specimens in vitro, and the influence of synthetic alpha-MSH on such cytokine production, and; (3) the influence of stimulation with gliadin on alpha-MSH and cytokine production in vitro and the effect of alpha-MSH on gliadin-stimulated cytokine production.
    Results suggest a localized anti-inflammatory influence based on alpha-MSH and its receptors: duodenal mucosa showed evidence of alpha-MSH and two of its receptor subtypes, MC1R and MC5R. Further, alpha-MSH and MC1R immunoreactivity was more intense in cell specimens from celiac patients and release of interleukin 6 (a lymphokine that stimulates the inflammatory response) from gliadin-stimulated duodenal mucosa was inhibited by synthetic alpha-MSH.
    Patients suffering from celiac disease currently have no medical options beyond a lifetime adherence to a strict, gluten-free diet, added Dr. Lipton. Clearly, if we can control the inflammatory responses that are a major part of celiac disease and limit the immunosuppression, this could lead to the first medical treatment to help the millions worldwide suffering from this genetic disease.
    Zengens novel molecules were developed from more than 25 years of original research in the US, Europe and Asia on peptide molecules derived from alpha-Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone (alpha-MSH). James Lipton, Ph.D., Zengens chief scientific officer, chairman of the scientific advisory board and director, and his collaborators first demonstrated that alpha-MSH possesses anti-inflammatory properties and uncovered the specific activity of the carboxy-terminal tripeptide region (C-terminal peptide) of the alpha-MSH peptide. These discoveries led to the development of Zengens proprietary peptide molecules, including CZEN 002, a synthetic octapeptide. Zengen is currently conducting phase I/II clinical trials with CZEN 002 in vaginitis.
    About Celiac Disease
    According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), celiac disease (celiac disease), also known as gluten intolerance, celiac sprue or gluten sensitive enteropathy, affects an estimated one in 250 Americans. Celiac disease is a condition in which there is a chronic reaction to proteins called glutens which causes destruction of the villi in the small intestine, with resulting malabsorption of nutrients. A genetic disease, it may appear at any time in the life of a person with a hereditary predisposition.
    Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed, symptoms are varied and there is no current medical treatment or cure. Patients who suffer from celiac disease currently have only one alternative -- adherence to a lifetime, gluten-free diet. If left untreated, celiac disease can lead to malabsorption, which, in turn, can lead to malnutrition. Celiac disease is especially serious in children and adolescents, who need adequate nutrition to develop properly. Further, people with celiac disease who dont maintain a strict, gluten-free diet have a greater chance of developing one of several forms of cancer, particularly intestinal lymphoma. Other long-term complications include anemia, diabetes mellitus, hypothyroidism, osteoporosis, seizures and peripheral neuropathy.
    About Zengen, Inc
    Zengen, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative products to treat and prevent infection and inflammation through application of its proprietary peptide technologies. Zengens novel molecules offer broad-based anti-infective and anti-inflammatory solutions for multiple diseases and disorders, ranging from yeast infection to transplantation, and have the potential to significantly alter the way these diseases are treated. For more information about Zengen, please visit www.zengen.com.
    Zengen, Inc. Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer
    This announcement may contain, in addition to historical information, certain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements reflect managements current views and are based on certain assumptions. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated as a result of a number of factors. The company is developing several products for potential future marketing. There can be no assurance that such development efforts will succeed, that such products will receive required regulatory clearance or that, even if such regulatory clearance were received, such products would ultimately achieve commercial success.
    Source: Zengen, Inc.

    Scott Adams

    Celiac.com 12/27/2005 - The BioBalance Corp. (BioBalance), a wholly owned subsidiary of New York Health Care (OTC BB: BBAL), announced today that it has received approval to begin a small-scale clinical trial of its proprietary biotherapeutic agent, Probactrix, in the dietary management of patients with celiac disease, a chronic disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
    The Company also announced that it has responded to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding questions received earlier this year on the Companys Investigational New Drug (IND) application for Probactrix as a prescription drug for pouchitis, a frequent complication following bowel surgery.
    The pilot study for celiac will take place at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, Israel. Dr. Rami Eliakim, the Centers Director of Gastroenterology, is the principal investigator. The study will be conducted in approximately 38 celiac patients to demonstrate the ability of a medical food formulation of Probactrix to modify the bacterial flora in the GI tract and improve quality of life. Probactrix has been proven to displace pathogenic bacteria in the GI tract and prevent their re-colonization, restoring and maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal flora without the potential negative consequences of antibiotic use.
    We are very excited to have approval to initiate this celiac study and to have provided a comprehensive response to FDA questions on our pouchitis IND, said Dennis ODonnell, BioBalances President and CEO.
    Celiac disease is an inherited condition where gluten proteins found in grains trigger an immune system attack on the lining of the small intestine. While celiac disease is rarely life threatening, it is a life altering disorder with symptoms such as diarrhea, fatigue, nausea and weight loss. Celiac is also linked to other autoimmune disorders and is now believed to lead to osteoporosis, anemia, infertility and cancer if left untreated. Diagnosis is often difficult because of the range of GI symptoms. A 2001 survey found that celiac patients in the U.S. suffer for 11 years on average before they are successfully diagnosed. Estimates from the NIH indicate that as many as one in 100 Americans have celiac disease, with significantly higher levels found in Finland, Italy, Ireland and Israel.
    Dr. Robert Hoerr, BioBalances Vice President of Medical & Regulatory Affairs, commented, Recent studies have identified a potential link between the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and the symptoms of celiac disease. We are pleased to participate in this study, which will test the use of Probactrix as a means of modifying the bacterial flora in the GI tract and its impact on quality of life for these individuals.
    Contacts:
    Dennis ODonnell
    CEO
    The BioBalance Corp
    Tel: (212) 679-7778
    Fax: (212) 679-7774
    Stanley Wunderlich
    CEO
    Consulting For Strategic Growth
    Tel: (800) 625-2236
    Fax: (212)337-8089

    Roy Jamron
    Celiac.com 04/20/2008 - ActoGeniX is a recently formed Belgian company specializing in the development and use of genetically altered probiotic Lactococcus lactis bacteria designed to secrete and deliver therapeutic peptides and proteins to treat gastrointestinal disorders. Their product is called ActoBiotics™. Celiac disease is among the disorders ActoGeniX is currently investigating. Research has already shown efficacy in a celiac disease model where ActoBiotics™ continuously secrete small segments of gluten peptides to induce tolerance to gluten. Further research and trials are in the pipeline.
    Shortly after the release of a recent paper by Italian researchers demonstrating that a peptide from durum wheat is able to completely suppress the immune response to gluten in a culture of celiac disease intestinal T cells (see Durum Wheat Peptide Could Lead To Celiac Disease Treatment ), I contacted ActoGeniX to suggest they work with the Italian researchers to create an ActoBiotic™ designed to continuously secrete the durum wheat peptide as a therapy for celiac disease. ActoGeniX replied and was very interested in the durum wheat peptide, indicating it was possible for them to produce an ActoBiotic™ to secrete the durum wheat peptide and they would contact the Italian group. I also attempted to contact the Italian researchers to inform them about ActoGeniX, but they did not reply. I strongly believe that a collaboration between these two groups would result in the speediest and most successful development of a treatment which could effectively "cure" celiac disease through continuous secretion of the durum wheat peptide by genetically modified probiotic bacteria in the gut.
    ActoGeniX has recently totally revised their website which is now much more informative and includes short videos discussing ActoBiotics™ as well as a short video presentation of their celiac disease research. More about this article can be found on their website at http://www.actogenix.com/eng/products/celiacdisease.php.
    Technical information describing their product and initial research and development in detail is presented in the following patent application:  http://www.freepatentsonline.com/WO2007063075.html.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/03/2008 - Blood testing for radioimmunoassay (RIA) tissue transglutaminase auto-antibodies (tTG-Abs) has proven to be a sensitive test for celiac disease follow-up. Recent studies have shown that RIA can accurately detect tTG-Abs in human saliva. However, not much is known about reliability of this method for monitoring the progress of celiac disease over time in patients who are attempting to follow a gluten-free diet.
    A team of researchers recently set out to assess salivary RIA tTG-Abs in celiac children on gluten-free diet. The research team included doctors M. Bonamico, R. Nenna, R.P.L. Luparia, C. Perricone, M. Montuori, F. Lucantoni, A. Castronovo, S. Mura; A. Turchetti, P. Strappini, and C. Tiberti.
    The team evaluated blood and saliva samples taken from 109 children at the time of their diagnosis for celiac disease. The first group included 71 females, with an average age of 9.4 years. A second group included 58 people who were following a gluten-free diet. The second group was broken into two subgroups: group 2a with 36 patients assessed at 3-6 months; and group 2b with 34 patients at 9 months or more (group 2b).
    The research team also included two control groups matched for age and sex. Group 3 included 89 gastroenterological patients, while group 4 included 49 healthy subjects. The team used RIA to detect tTG-Abs in saliva and blood, and compared the results against two other established tests: serum tTG-Abs ELISA and IgA anti-endomysium antibodies (EMA).
    The team detected salivary RIA tTG-Abs in 94.5% of patients from group 1, 66.7% of celiac patients from group 2a, and 50.0% from 2b. They detected blood RIA tTG-Abs in 98.2% of patients from group 1, 72.2% of celiac patients from group 2a, and 50.0% from 2b. The longer patients were on a gluten-free diet, the more the tTG-Abs decreased. The research team also found a correlation between saliva and serum levels (r = 0.75, P = 0.0001). A celiac disease follow-up showed comparable salivary and serum RIA sensitivities, and higher levels for EMA and ELISA methods.
    The research team concluded that it is possible to measure salivary tTG-Abs with a high level of accuracy; both at initial diagnosis for celiac disease, and also while patients are following a gluten-free diet.
    This discovery means that doctors treating people with celiac disease might soon be able to use a simple saliva test to monitor the progress of their patients’ gluten-free diets. Such a development might take remove much of the guesswork for celiacs who are trying to follow a gluten-free diet, and would be particularly useful for patients who might be asymptomatic, or who are at risk for celiac-associated conditions.
    Aliment Pharmacol Ther.  2008; 28(3): 364-370.


  • Recent Articles

    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.
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    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.
    But that commitment came to an ignoble end recently as Starbucks admitted that their gluten-free sandwich was plagued by  “low sales,” and was simply not sustainable from a company perspective. The sandwich may not have sold well, but it was much-loved by those who came to rely on it.
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    A few of the choice tweets include the following:  
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    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