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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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    NEW HUMAN ANTI-TTG TYPE IGA TEST KIT IS HIGHLY SENSITIVE AND SPECIFIC FOR THE DETECTION OF CELIAC DISEASE


    admin

    Celiac.com 06/25/2003 - Below is an abstract of yet another study that supports the use of human anti-tTG type IgA serological tests to accurately diagnose celiac disease:


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    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics

    Volume 17 Issue 11 Page 1415 - June 2003

    Antibodies to human recombinant tissue transglutaminase may detect coeliac disease patients undiagnosed by endomysial antibodies

    N. Tesei*, E. Sugai*, H. Vázquez*, E. Smecuol*, S. Niveloni*, R. Mazure*, M. L. Moreno*, J. C. Gomez, E. Mauriño* & J. C. Bai*

    Background: The screening and diagnosis of coeliac disease have been simplified by the advent of new serological tools.

    Aim: To assess the clinical utility of a newly developed kit for antibodies to human recombinant tissue transglutaminase (hu-anti-tTG) in a large population of patients undergoing intestinal biopsy for suspected intestinal disorders.

    Methods: We evaluated 426 serum samples from consecutive adult patients (250 from untreated coeliac disease patients and 176 from individuals in whom a diagnosis of coeliac disease had been excluded), obtained at the time of intestinal biopsy. Samples were tested for immunoglobulin A (IgA) hu-anti-tTG by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay, IgA endomysial antibodies (EmA) by indirect immunofluorescence and IgA and IgG antigliadin antibodies by enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay. A sub-group of samples was also assessed for a guinea-pig-based anti-tissue transglutaminase.

    Results: According to the cut-off for hu-anti-tTG, the sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative predictive values were 91%, 96%, 97% and 87%, respectively. Simultaneous determination of EmA showed values of 86%, 100%, 100% and 83% for the same parameters. Although 19 coeliac disease patients (7.6%) were negative for EmA and hu-anti-tTG, both tests rendered superior statistical values to antigliadin antibody tests. At diagnosis, IgA deficiency was detected in 11 patients, but both assays were able to detect samples with mild to moderate deficiency. The comparison of hu-anti-tTG with EmA showed excellent concordance between the tests ( statistic, 0.85). Discordance was observed in 20 samples from coeliac disease patients (8%) and in nine samples from controls (5%). Fifteen samples had an EmA-negative but hu-anti-tTG-positive serology, and five showed the converse pattern. Comparison of human recombinant and guinea-pig tests showed concordant results in 96% of cases.

    Conclusions: The quantitative determination of hu-anti-tTG type IgA using a commercial enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay kit was highly sensitive and specific for the detection of coeliac disease. Our results in a large population of patients with a clinical condition suggestive of the disorder demonstrated that the test can be used to detect a substantial number of patients otherwise unrecognized by IgA EmA.


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    admin

    This article appeared in the Summer 2005 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter.
    Celiac.com 01/11/2006 - For many years, biopsy of the small bowel demonstrating villous atrophy has been fundamental to the diagnosis of celiac disease. Older celiacs will remember, fondly or otherwise, the Crosby suction biopsy device which was swallowed attached to a long tube and made its way down to the small bowel where, position confirmed by x-rays, it guillotined a small portion of tissue. The procedure was tedious and technical failures common—only identified when the device was hauled up after several hours. Later it became clear that biopsies from the duodenum obtained during endoscopy were just as good, and the biopsy process became a five minute job with no need for X-rays. Nevertheless, many celiacs are reluctant to undergo biopsy and its necessity is increasingly questioned, particularly now that blood tests for celiac-related antibodies are highly sensitive and specific. There are a number of reasons why, in my own practice, biopsies continue to be helpful in celiacs diagnosed in adulthood.
    Biopsies are necessary when blood tests are negative. While endomysial (EmA) and tissue transglutaminase (TTGA) antibodies are detectable in most cases where villous atrophy is present, 5-10% of patients lack these antibodies1. In this situation, where the story is suggestive of celiac, perhaps with a family history or strongly suggestive symptoms, biopsy is the only way to make the diagnosis. Increasingly, physicians recognize that many patients with gluten sensitivity do not have villous atrophy (Grade III of the Marsh classification) of "classic" celiac disease, but have milder abnormalities such as crypt hyperplasia (Marsh II) or an excess of the inflammatory cells called lymphocytes (Marsh I). Patients in these categories are less likely to have positive serology2. Biopsies are necessary where false positive blood tests may occur. TTGA, particularly where levels are low, may be associated with diseases other than celiac: ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, arthritis and liver diseases without any evidence of celiac disease have been linked3. Newer TTGA tests have steadily improved in this regard but I still would be reluctant to diagnose celiac on a TTGA test alone. "False positive" EmA is a different issue which I will return to. Biopsies give a baseline for comparison. Suppose a patient starts a gluten-free diet without biopsy—we dont know whether she or he had Marsh I, II or III or even normal histology. A year later, same patient develops new symptoms of diarrhea, weight loss, whatever. Well get a duodenal biopsy as part of the workup, but its going to be difficult to interpret without knowing what things were like before going gluten-free. Specifically, a baseline to look back at tells us whether the small bowel is better, worse or no different, and helps us decide whether we need to focus on celiac disease as the most likely cause of new problems or explore other possibilities involving the rest of the gut. The biggest diagnostic disaster of all, of course, is the gluten-free diet started without any sort of baseline investigation including antibodies, raising the specter of the infamous gluten challenge if a definitive diagnosis is needed. Biopsies provide a "gold standard" assessment of the state of the bowel. There has been much excitement recently about capsule endoscopy, a wireless device the size of a large pill (not to be confused with the Crosby capsule!) which makes its own way down the small bowel taking pictures as it goes. Characteristic abnormalities can be seen in celiac disease, raising the possibility that this device might be useful in diagnosis. If experience with conventional endoscopes is any guide, however, these abnormalities are missing in a sizeable minority of celiacs particularly with mild disease4 (Capsule endoscopy in its present state of development can not take biopsies). Certainly the capsule allows assessment of the bowel beyond the reach of conventional "anaconda-style" endoscopes, but I am not convinced at present that it can replace biopsy. A follow-up biopsy gives an indicator of progress. I offer my patients a repeat biopsy after two years gluten-free and perhaps surprisingly most take up the offer and are keen to hear how things have improved. Ive increased the biopsy interval from one to two years because only 40% of people had complete recovery after 12 months gluten-free5. EmA and TTGA disappearance is only a marker of how successful gluten exclusion has been and is not a reliable indicator of bowel recovery. Does persisting villous atrophy matter if the patient is doing well on a gluten-free diet? Intuitively, one might like to keep a closer eye on the patient with persistently flat biopsies, who could be at greater risk of complications in the future6. The endoscopy not only allows examination and biopsy of the duodenum but also a look at the esophagus and stomach. Sad fact of the ageing process is that you start to collect diseases like trading cards, and just because youre celiac doesnt mean you cant have something else. Its important to have a good look for bleeding lesions in the upper gut even if the blood work for a seventy year old with anemia says celiac (and check out the colon too, but thats a topic for another day). On the other hand, we recognize that biopsies are not always the final arbiter in diagnosis. While the jury is still out on what a TTGA positive, biopsy negative result means with regard to gluten sensitivity, there is plenty of evidence that a positive EmA generally does mean that biopsy abnormalities will follow: My own follow-up of EmA positive, biopsy negative patients indicates that they will develop abnormal histology if not treated7. So it makes sense to start EmA positive people on gluten-free without waiting for significant bowel damage—and as already stated, even a normal baseline biopsy will provide a reference for any problems that might arise in the future.
    Sometimes I meet a patient with bad gut symptoms but completely normal blood work up and biopsies and when all else fails I will run a trial of gluten-free. It often works, particularly if there is a family history of celiac. But then again, if it doesnt, we have a baseline normal biopsy to say there is no need to persevere.
    I guess in the future diagnosis of gluten sensitivity will rely on totting up various factors, none individually essential: blood tests, biopsies, family history, genetic testing for the HLA celiac genes. Some researchers are making a case for dropping the biopsy requirement if the antibody blood work checks out in children8, for whom (and for the parents) endoscopy and biopsy is a major issue. In adults however it is quick, straightforward and safe and will remain a key part of my celiac workup.
    William Dickey is a gastroenterologist at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry, Northern Ireland, with over 400 celiac patients attending his clinics. His interest in celiac disease goes back some fourteen years and he has published extensively on the subject. He is an associate member of Coeliac UKs Medical Advisory Council.
    References:
    Dickey W, McMillan SA, Hughes DF. Sensitivity of serum tissue transglutaminase antibodies for endomysial antibody positive and negative coeliac disease. Scand J Gastroenterol 2001; 36: 511-4. Wahab PJ, Crusius JBA, Meijer JWR, Mulder CJJ. Gluten challenge in borderline gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Am J Gastroenterol 2001; 96: 1464-69. Di Tola M, Sabbatella L, Anania MC, Viscido A, Caprilli R, Pica R, Paoluzi P, Picarelli A. Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies in inflammatory bowel disease: new evidence. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2004;42(10):1092-7. Oxentenko AS, Grisolano SW, Murray JA, Burgart LJ, Dierkhising RA, Alexander JA. The insensitivity of endoscopic markers in celiac disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2002 Apr;97(4):933-8. Dickey W, Hughes DF, McMillan SA. Disappearance of endomysial antibodies in treated celiac disease does not indicate histological recovery. Am J Gastroenterol 2000; 95: 712-4. Meijer JWR, Wahab PJ, Mulder CJJ. Histologic follow-up of people with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet: slow and incomplete recovery. Am J Clin Pathol 118(3):459-63, 2002 Sep. Dickey W, Hughes DF, McMillan SA. Patients with serum IgA endomysial antibodies and intact duodenal villi: clinical characteristics and management options. Scand J Gastroenterol 2005: in press Barker CC, Mitton C, Jevon G, Mock T.Can tissue transglutaminase antibody titers replace small-bowel biopsy to diagnose celiac disease in select pediatric populations? Pediatrics. 2005 May;115(5):1341-6  

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    Celiac.com 09/29/2006 - Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing pharmaceutical products for the treatment of celiac sprue, today announced the closing of a $21 million Series A financing. Sofinnova Ventures led the investment round with strong support from Prospect Venture Partners and InterWest Partners. Cargill Ventures and Flagship Ventures also participated in the financing. "This financing brings together a premier group of investors committed to advancing the companys lead product candidate ALV001 into human clinical and safety trials," said Stanford Professor Chaitan Khosla, Ph.D., who co-founded the company. "Celiac sprue is a serious yet common immune disease that is triggered by gluten, a component of cereal grains found in most foods sold in the U.S. While under-diagnosed, as many as one in one hundred individuals suffer from celiac sprue, yet there is no drug therapy available. Alvines mission is to provide innovative drug therapies for this disease and to change the lives of its many patients," he continued.
    "Sofinnova has known Chaitan since the early 90s when we worked together on behalf of Kosan Biosciences. Were thrilled to be working with him again on his current venture," commented Sofinnova Ventures General Partner Nicola Campbell, Ph.D. "Alvines lead products will be beneficial to the celiac market for the treatment of a neglected patient population. ALV001 has proven to be uniquely safe for patients with celiac sprue, an actuality that the management team and investors alike are proud of."
    Joining Khosla in this venture are Alvine co-founders Blair Stewart, President and Kevin Kaster, Vice President of Corporate Development.
    Alvines platform is based on over six years of research, and an extensive intellectual property portfolio licensed from Stanford University and acquired from the Celiac Sprue Research Foundation.
    The Alvine Board of Directors consists of: Nicola Campbell, Ph.D., General Partner, Sofinnova Ventures; Ilan Zipkin, Ph.D., Partner, Prospect Venture Partners; Nina Kjellson, Partner, InterWest Partners; and Chaitan Khosla, Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor in the School of Engineering; Professor of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, and Biochemistry, by courtesy, of Stanford University.
    About Alvine:
    Alvine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a Palo Alto-based biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing therapeutics for the treatment of Celiac sprue. Alvines lead molecule, ALV001, is a protease designed to be consumed with food to detoxify the gluten that triggers the autoimmune response in celiac patients. Celiac sprue is believed to affect as many as two million people in the United States alone, many of whom have suffered the symptoms of the disease but have not yet been diagnosed.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 10/24/2012 - Doctors can face challenges when attempting to diagnose celiac disease in patients who have already begun a gluten-free diet, and/or when the results of tests are inconsistent.
    To better understand this problem, a group of researchers set out to assess the benefits of an in vitro gliadin challenge.
    The research team included Raffaella Tortora, MD, Ilaria Russo, PhD, Giovanni D. De Palma, MD, Alessandro Luciani, PhD, Antonio Rispo, MD, Fabiana Zingone, MD, Paola Iovino, MD, Pietro Capone, MD and Carolina Ciacci, MD.
    The study cohort included 57 patients without celiac disease, 166 patients with untreated celiac disease, 55 patients with celiac disease on a gluten-free diet, and 59 patients with challenging diagnosis.
    The team provided all patients with endoscopy for collection of duodenal samples, which served for the diagnosis of celiac disease and for the in vitro evaluation of the gliadin-induced mucosal expression of seven inflammatory markers: PY99, ICAM-1 (intercellular cell adhesion molecule), HLA-DR, CD3, CD25, CD69, and transglutaminase 2 IgA.
    Diagnostic work-up for celiac disease included the search of specific serum antibodies. Researchers asked patients in the challenging diagnosis group to stop gluten-free diet to facilitate the search for these antibodies under untreated conditions.
    They used the area under the receptor-operated curve (ROC) for statistical analyses on accuracy.
    For patients with and without celiac disease (not including those on a gluten-free diet) HLA-DR offered the best accuracy for diagnosing celiac disease (area under ROC = 0.99).
    Combining the data from the HLA-DR with data of other markers did not increase test accuracy.
    The team found similar results in the 39 patients of the difficult diagnosis group undergoing the search celiac disease-speciï¬c antibodies under untreated conditions.
    In vitro testing of mucosal HLA-DR to gliadin is an accurate tool for the diagnosing celiac disease, and also works in patients who are hard to diagnose.
    Source:
    Am J Gastroenterol 2012; 107:111–117; doi:10.1038/ajg.2011.311; published online 27 September 2011

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 10/23/2013 - Celiac disease remains seriously under diagnosed in adults and, in many places, often takes years and even decades to diagnose.
    A team of researchers recently evaluated the usefulness of an on-site rapid fingertip whole blood point-of-care test (POCT) that would help primary workers to spot patients who might benefit from further diagnostic tests for celiac disease.
    The research team included Alina Popp, Mariana Jinga, Ciprian Jurcut, Vasile Balaban, Catalina Bardas, Kaija Laurila, Florina Vasilescu, Adina Ene, Ioana Anca and Markku Mäki. They are affiliated with the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila,” the Institute for Mother and Child Care “Alfred Rusescu,” Central University Emergency Military Hospital “Dr. Carol Davila,” Str. Mircea Vulcanescu, in Bucharest, Romania and with theTampere Center for Child Health Research, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, in Tampere, Finland.
    Because celiac disease often runs in families, the team tested 148 healthy relatives of 70 Romanian index cases with biopsy-proven celiac disease, for a total of 87% of all first-degree family members, with a median age 36 years, for the presence of circulating autoantibodies.
    In addition to using the POCT to measures blood erythrocyte self-TG2-autoantibody complexes on site, the team took blood samples for later evaluation of serum IgA-class endomysial antibodies (EMA).
    The then tested all EMA-positive samples for transglutaminase 2 antibodies (TG2-IgA). They conducted blind analysis of all serological parameters in a centralized laboratory with no knowledge of the on site POCT result. The team recommended endoscopic small intestinal biopsies for all POCT- or EMA-test positive subjects.
    Overall, 12 of 148 (8%) first-degree relatives showed positive results for the POCT, and all twelve tested serum EMA-positive. Only one other test subject showed a positive EMA test result.
    All remaining 135 healthy first-degree relatives showed negative results for both POCT and EMA.
    Four subjects who tested positive for both POCT and EMA were negative for TG2-IgA. Ten out of thirteen of the antibody-positive subjects consented to endoscopy.
    In all, eight out of nine first-degree relatives with celiac-type mucosal lesions of grade Marsh 2 (n = 3) or Marsh 3 (n = 6) showed positive results with the POCT.
    The three POCT-positive subjects refused endoscopy tested positive for both EMA and TG2-IgA.
    The fingertip whole blood rapid POCT could be a simple and cheap way to spot biomarkers and promote further testing for faster diagnosis of celiac disease.
    The team is calling for further studies in adult case-finding in specialized outpatient clinics and in primary care.
    Source:
    BMC Gastroenterology 2013, 13:115. doi:10.1186/1471-230X-13-115

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/26/2018 - Emily Dickson is one of Canada’s top athletes. As a world-class competitor in the biathlon, the event that combines cross-country skiing with shooting marksmanship, Emily Dickson was familiar with a demanding routine of training and competition. After discovering she had celiac disease, Dickson is using her diagnosis and gluten-free diet a fuel to help her get her mojo back.
    Just a few years ago, Dickson dominated her peers nationally and won a gold medal at Canada Games for both pursuit and team relay. She also won silver in the sprint and bronze in the individual race. But just as she was set to reach her peak, Dickson found herself in an agonizing battle. She was suffering a mysterious loss of strength and endurance, which itself caused huge anxiety for Dickson. As a result of these physical and mental pressures, Dickson slipped from her perch as one of Canada's most promising young biathletes.
    Eventually, in September 2016, she was diagnosed with celiac disease. Before the diagnosis, Dickson said, she had “a lot of fatigue, I just felt tired in training all the time and I wasn't responding to my training and I wasn't recovering well and I had a few things going on, but nothing that pointed to celiac.”
    It took a little over a year for Dickson to eliminate gluten, and begin to heal her body. She still hasn’t fully recovered, which makes competing more of a challenge, but, she says improving steadily, and expects to be fully recovered in the next few months. Dickson’s diagnosis was prompted when her older sister Kate tested positive for celiac, which carries a hereditary component. "Once we figured out it was celiac and we looked at all the symptoms it all made sense,” said Dickson.
    Dickson’s own positive test proved to be both a revelation and a catalyst for her own goals as an athlete. Armed with there new diagnosis, a gluten-free diet, and a body that is steadily healing, Dickson is looking to reap the benefits of improved strength, recovery and endurance to ramp up her training and competition results.
    Keep your eyes open for the 20-year-old native of Burns Lake, British Columbia. Next season, she will be competing internationally, making a big jump to the senior ranks, and hopefully a regular next on the IBU Cup tour.
    Read more at princegeorgecitizen.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/25/2018 - A team of Yale University researchers discovered that bacteria in the small intestine can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response. In this case, they looked at Enterococcus gallinarum, which can travel beyond the gut to the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver. The research could be helpful for treating type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease.
    In autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. Autoimmune disease affects nearly 24 million people in the United States. 
    In their study, a team of Yale University researchers discovered that bacteria in the small intestine can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response. In this case, they looked at Enterococcus gallinarum, which can travel beyond the gut to the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver. They found that E. gallinarum triggered an autoimmune response in the mice when it traveled beyond the gut.
    They also found that the response can be countered by using antibiotics or vaccines to suppress the autoimmune reaction and prevent the bacterium from growing. The researchers were able to duplicate this mechanism using cultured human liver cells, and they also found the bacteria E. gallinarum in the livers of people with autoimmune disease.
    The team found that administering an antibiotic or vaccine to target E. gallinarum suppressed the autoimmune reaction in the mice and prevented the bacterium from growing. "When we blocked the pathway leading to inflammation," says senior study author Martin Kriegel, "we could reverse the effect of this bug on autoimmunity."
    Team research team plans to further investigate the biological mechanisms that are associated with E. gallinarum, along with the potential implications for systemic lupus and autoimmune liver disease.
    This study indicates that gut bacteria may be the key to treating chronic autoimmune conditions such as systemic lupus and autoimmune liver disease. Numerous autoimmune conditions have been linked to gut bacteria.
    Read the full study in Science.

    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. 
    That’s where the story takes a dangerous turn….about 3:15am. I awoke to the TV blaring loudly, along with the lights shining brightly. Our power was back on! I proceeded to walk throughout the house turning everything off at exactly the same time our neighbor, who was told to evacuate our street, saw me through our window, assuming I knew that our hillside was ablaze with flames. Flames that were shooting 50 feet into the air. I went back to bed and fell fast asleep. The fire department was assured we had left because our house was dark and quiet again. Two hours had passed.  I suddenly awoke to screams coming from a family member yelling, “fire, fire, fire”! Flames were shooting straight up into the sky, just blocks from our house. We lived on a private drive with only one way in and one way out.  The entrance to our street was full of smoke and the fire fighters were doing their best to save our neighbors homes. We literally had enough time to grab our dogs, pile into the car, and speed to safety. As we were coming down our street, fire trucks passed us with sirens blaring, and I wondered if I would ever see my house and our possessions ever again. Where do we go? Who do we turn to? Are shelters a safe option? 
    When our daughter was almost three years old, we left the West Coast and relocated to Northern Illinois. A place where severe weather is a common occurrence. Since the age of two, I noticed that my daughter appeared gaunt, had an incredibly distended belly, along with gas, stomach pain, low weight, slow growth, unusual looking stool, and a dislike for pizza, hotdog buns, crackers, Toast, etc. The phone call from our doctor overwhelmed me.  She was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I broke down into tears sobbing. What am I going to feed my child? Gluten is everywhere.
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    Now we never leave home without our Epipens and our gluten free food supplies. We analyze every food label. We are hyper vigilant about cross contamination. We are constantly looking for welts and praying for no stomach pain. We are always prepared and on guard. It's just what we do now. Anything to protect our child, our love...like so many other parents out there have to do every moment of ever day!  
    Then, my second brush with a natural disaster happened, without any notice, leaving us once again scrambling to find a safe place to shelter. It was a warm and muggy summer morning, and my husband was away on a business trip leaving my young daughter and me to enjoy our summer day. Our Severe Weather Alert Radio was going off, again, as I continued getting our daughter ready for gymnastics.  Having gotten used to the (what seemed to be daily) “Severe Thunderstorm warning,” I didn’t pay much attention to it. I continued downstairs with my daughter and our dog, when I caught a glimpse out the window of an incredibly black looking cloud. By the time I got downstairs, I saw the cover to our grill literally shoot straight up into the air. Because we didn’t have a fenced in yard, I quickly ran outside and chased the cover, when subsequently, I saw my neighbor’s lawn furniture blow pass me. I quickly realized I made a big mistake going outside. As I ran back inside, I heard debris hitting the front of our home.  Our dog was the first one to the basement door! As we sat huddled in the dark corner of our basement, I was once again thinking where are we going to go if our house is destroyed. I was not prepared, and I should have been. I should have learned my lesson the first time. Once the storm passed, we quickly realized we were without power and most of our trees were destroyed. We were lucky that our house had minimal damage, but that wasn’t true for most of the area surrounding us.  We were without power for five days. We lost most of our food - our gluten free food.
    That is when I knew we had to be prepared. No more winging it. We couldn’t take a chance like that ever again. We were “lucky” one too many times. We were very fortunate that we did not lose our home to the Los Angeles wildfire, and only had minimal damage from the severe storm which hit our home in Illinois.
      
    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.
    The team enrolled fifty adults with symptoms and indications of celiac disease in a prospective cohort without regard to the final diagnosis.  At baseline, all individuals underwent cognitive functional and psychological evaluation. The team then compared celiac disease patients with subjects without celiac disease, and with healthy controls matched by sex, age, and education.
    Celiac disease patients had similar cognitive performance and anxiety, but no significant differences in depression scores compared with disease controls.
    A total of thirty-three subjects were diagnosed with celiac disease. Compared with the 26 healthy control subjects, the 17 celiac disease subjects, and the 17 disease control subjects, who mostly had irritable bowel syndrome, showed impaired cognitive performance (P=0.02 and P=0.04, respectively), functional impairment (P<0.01), and higher depression (P<0.01). 
    From their data, the team noted that any abnormal cognitive functions they saw in adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease did not seem not to be a result of the disease itself. 
    Their results indicate that cognitive dysfunction in celiac patients could be related to long-term symptoms from chronic disease, in general.
    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.