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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/07/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    THE STANDARD DEFINITION OF CELIAC DISEASE


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    The following excerpt was taken from the November 24, 1996 edition of the The Sprue-nik Press, which is published by the Tri-County Celiac Sprue Support Group (TCCSSG), a local chapter of CSA/USA located in southeast Michigan.

    Dr. Joseph Murray, of the Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, is a gastroenterologist who specializes in treating Celiac disease. Dr. Murray gave us the standard definition of celiac disease: celiac disease is a permanent intolerance to gluten that results in damage to the intestine and is reversible with avoidance of dietary gluten. There are some important parts in this definition:

    Permanent: The effects of celiac disease may change from time to time. You may be sicker at one phase of your life than at another. For example, you may be sicker at age two, may seem to get better during the teenage years, may be sick again in your 20s (but with different symptoms), and then present with bone problems when you are in your 50s. So there may be different phases, but it is a PERMANENT intolerance. You do NOT outgrow it; you do not go through phases where you dont have it anymore. (That used to be what was thought and TAUGHT in medical schools.).

    Damage to the intestine: There is definitely intestinal damage; without it you cannot define . For some people the damage is severe, for others it is not so severe. It is the cases which are not so severe that can be difficult to diagnose. If the damage is mild then the person interpreting the biopsy might not even think of celiac disease as being a possible cause of the damage.

    Reversible: The damage should be reversible. Dr. Murray says there are about 5% of people with what he believes is celiac disease in whom at one point in their lives the damage becomes irreversible. In these cases there is intestinal damage that does not completely recover. It may partially heal, but not completely. One can infer that they have the same condition as celiacs that do recover, based on their history. There may be something different about that group of patients in their immune systems that makes them different, but that is an area that is still being actively researched.


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    Celiac.com 11/08/2005 - York Nutritional Laboratories has introduced to the US a simple, unique and revolutionary finger-stick rapid test kit designed to detect the antibodies associated with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is a gluten intolerance enteropathy caused by a permanent intolerance to gluten and specifically to its protein fragment known as gliadin. The ingestion of this protein in people with genetic predisposition induces a severe compromise to the intestinal mucosa that is historically characterized by one hyperplasia of cryptas with total or subtotal atrophy of the intestinal microvilli.
    Though the definitive diagnosis of the celiac disease is based in characteristic histological changes observed in intestinal biopsies, the serological tests, such as the detection of antibodies anti-gliadins, anti-tTG and anti-endomysium, represent methods of analyses cheaper and less invasive to the detection of the disease.
    According to John Kernohan, Director of York Nutritional Laboratories, This new rapid test is a great improvement over our original cdSCAN, which we introduced back in 2002. Individuals now have a even quicker, more convenient and reliable means to determine if Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance is the culprit behind their ill-health.
    The new and improved cdSCAN is able to analyze a tiny sample of whole blood, serum or plasma for IgA/IgG/IgM antibodies against human Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) and IgA antibodies against gliadin. The kit can be utilized in either the comfort of ones own home or at a doctors office, and the results are available in approximately 10 minutes.
    In addition to the approximate 1 million Americans suffering from classical Celiac Disease, there are an equal number of individuals with silent or latent Celiac Disease who are unaware of their condition because they do not have the signs and symptoms typically associated with celiac disease. These individuals run the risk of developing full-blown celiac disease later in life and complications
    such as bowel cancer, infertility and autoimmune diseases, making proper and early diagnosis very important.
    Information about the cdSCAN is available from York Nutritional Laboratories, Inc. Please contact John Kernohan at (888) 751-3388.

    Roy Jamron

    Celiac.com 11/07/2006 – We should be hearing more about this in the news soon. A confocal laser endomicroscopy device developed by Optiscan, an Australian company, permits endoscopists to make an accurate real-time diagnosis of celiac disease, bypassing the need to take and prepare and evaluate biopsy specimens in a laboratory. This technique would allow the endoscopist to view and evaluate as many samples as needed to make a correct diagnosis and immediately give the results to the patient. This should reduce diagnostic errors. A paper on Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy in the diagnosis of Celiac disease by R. Leong et al. will be presented in Adelaide, Australia this Saturday, Oct. 14. Australian Gastroenterology Week (AGW) 2006
    Hosted by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA)
    Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia
    11-14th October 2006.
    To be presented Oct. 14, 2006:
    Confocal Laser Endomicroscopy in the diagnosis of Celiac disease R Leong
    Optiscans unique and patented technology has miniaturized the microscopes scanning head, so that it is now so small it can fit inside the body. Once the miniaturized scanner is integrated into an endoscope to create an endomicroscope, doctors can for the first time safely and instantly get high quality images of tissue at a cellular level from their patients. This gives doctors new levels of information providing a highly magnified view of living tissue that is entirely consistent with the macroscopic views that they are used to seeing from their endoscopes. This breakthrough technology creates a vast array of new applications, both medical and industrial. Optiscans primary focus is in the medical arena, where it can provide a virtual biopsy, potentially revolutionizing current pathology and histology practices.
    About Optiscan
    http://www.optiscan.com.au/about/about_02.asp
    Sample Images
    http://www.optiscan.com.au/Technology/Images_01.asp

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/12/2009 - The latest antihuman tissue transglutaminase (tTG) IgA tests are reported to spot celiac disease with nearly 100% sensitivity and specificity. Also, a new generation of deamidated gliadin peptide (α-DGP) antibody tests is alleged to have sensitivity levels on par with the tTG IgA tests. However, in actual practice, sensitivity and specificity for these tests are often lower than claimed for trial conditions.
    A team of Columbia University researchers recently evaluated sensitivities and specificities of four commercial IgA tTG kits, along with three commercial deamidated gliadin peptide (α-DGP) kits. The team evaluated the results for four tTG IgA assays: A—Inova (Hu red blood cell); B—Binding site (rHu Ag); C—Eurospital (rHu Ag), D—Immco (rHu Ag) and three Inova α-DGP assays, E—α-DGP-IgA, F—α-DGP-IgG, and G—α-DGP-IgA+G.
    The research team was made up of Afzal J. Naiyer, MD; Lincoln Hernandez, MD; Edward J. Ciaccio, PhD; Konstantinos Papadakis, MD; John S. Manavalan, MD; Govind Bhagat, MD; Peter H. R. Green, MD, all associated with the Department of Medicine and Pathology, Columbia University, New York, NY.
    The team used blood samples from four different groups of celiac disease patients and controls: Group 1 consisting of 28 patients with active celiac disease; Group 2 consisting of 54 celiac patients following a gluten-free diet; Group 3 consisting of 40 healthy controls; Group 4 consisting of 57 disease controls—17 with Crohn's disease, and 40 with chronic hepatitis. In each case, the researchers used the manufacturer's own cut-off values. They found that sensitivities and specificities of different kits ranged from 71.4% to 96.4% and 87.5% to 100%, respectively.
    Compared with disease controls, sensitivity for Group 1 stayed the same, while specificity fell. All tests showed higher sensitivities for higher patient villous atrophy. The study showed that overall sensitivity was 90% or less, which is below figures reported in the literature.
    Recombinant and red blood cell antigen-based tTG assays performed similarly, while the α-DGP tests showed lower values. The bottom line was that a number of factors can influence the sensitivity and specificity for these test, and that doctors should keep these facts in mind when evaluating patients.
    Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: Volume 43 (3) March 2009, pp 225-232


    Destiny Stone
    Celiac.com 07/02/2010 - Serological screening of healthy volunteers from around the world estimates that the prevalence for celiac disease is approximately 0.5%- 1% of the total population. However, a recent meta-analysis denotes that the actual ratio of known or undiagnosed celiac cases is closer to 1 in 7 people. Due to knowledge of celiac, acute clinical suspicion, and increased endoscopy accessibility some areas have reported celiac prevalence as high as 5.2%; suggesting that there is a considerable gap in effectively detecting new cases of celiac disease.
    Researchers further investigated the statistics on celiac disease prevalence by evaluating the incidence of celiac disease among “adult out-patients biopsied during upper endoscopy with typical and atypical symptoms”. One hundred and fifty out-patients including 94 women and 56 men with a median age of 45, were enrolled for the study between January 2007 and December 2008.
    There is no current standard classification for endoscopic lesions found from celiac disease. As such, this study used a method of classification where-as patients were labeled as; normal, mild, moderate, or severe. To detect villous atrophy, biopsy's were  taken from patients that were only presenting endoscopic appearances, which are indicative of celiac disease. Results which had t-TGA levels greater than 24 U/mL were considered positive for celiac disease. Patients were also positively diagnosed as celiac if they exhibited some degree of histological abnormality.
    Of the hundred and fifty subjects studied, twelve were diagnosed positively for celiac disease, and nine of them were women. The most commonly exhibited gastrointestinal pathology diagnosed in the study,  was gatroduodenitis peptic ulcer.  All of the subjects that had biopsy proven t-TGA, had positive antibodies, and the values of t-TGA increased depending on the intensity of the mucosal lesions. Additionally, all subjects were assessed for the existence of gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms.
    Typical gastrointestinal symptoms of celiac include diarrhea, anemia and weight loss, as evident in 58.32% of the subjects studied, while  atypical symptoms were present in 25% of the test subjects.
    41.66% of the subjects had iron deficiency anemia(IDA), 8.33% had osteopenia, 16.66% had hypocalcaemiaia and hypomagnesaemia. Additionally, extra-intestinal symptoms associated with gastrointestinal manifestations were found in 16.66% of the subjects that had astenia, and in 41.55% of the subjects with weight loss.
    Almost every celiac case observed demonstrated symptoms that progressively increased in severity.  No differences were observed among patients in the control group, and in the celiac patients with  regard to gastrointestinal problems and discomforts. However, IDA was observed most frequently in patients with celiac disease than in the control group.
    All patients that were diagnosed were recommended to strictly adhere to a gluten-free diet. One person refused to comply with the diet, but the other 90% followed the diet for one year. Of the patients following a gluten-free diet, a total histological response was observed. Severity of mucosal lesions decreased in 70% of the subjects, and all subjects were asymptomatic after one year on a gluten-free diet. The final incidence of celiac disease in the study was 6%.
    Screening studies such as these, demonstrate that the prevalence of celiac disease is increasing. When duodenal biopsy was preformed in patients during routine upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, the  incidence of celiac disease was observed at rates as high as 12%. Additionally, when clinical presentations of symptoms like diarrhea, anemia, and weight loss are used as screening criteria for celiac, increased rates of celiac disease diagnosis' were evident.
    Strict adherence to a completely gluten-free diet is still the only cure for celiac disease. Increased doctor and patient awareness of celiac, as well as an increase in celiac screening (especially for patients with typical celiac symptoms or atypical symptoms untreated by standard methods)  is still needed to avoid more cases of undiagnosed celiac disease, and to eliminate unnecessary suffering for those misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
    Source:

    Journal of Experimental Medical & Surgical Research, Year XVII · Nr.1/2010 · Pag.23 -27

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    Connie Sarros
    Celiac.com 04/21/2018 - Dear Friends and Readers,
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    Celiac.com 04/20/2018 - A digital media company and a label data company are teaming up to help major manufacturers target, reach and convert their desired shoppers based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free diet. The deal could bring synergy in emerging markets such as the gluten-free and allergen-free markets, which represent major growth sectors in the global food industry. 
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    Source:
    fdfworld.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/19/2018 - Previous genome and linkage studies indicate the existence of a new disease triggering mechanism that involves amino acid metabolism and nutrient sensing signaling pathways. In an effort to determine if amino acids might play a role in the development of celiac disease, a team of researchers recently set out to investigate if plasma amino acid levels differed among children with celiac disease compared with a control group.
     
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    First, the team used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to analyze amino acid levels in fasting plasma samples from 141 children with celiac disease and 129 non-celiac disease controls. They then crafted a general linear model using age and experimental effects as covariates to compare amino acid levels between children with celiac disease and non-celiac control subjects.
    Compared with the control group, seven out of twenty-three children with celiac disease showed elevated levels of the the following amino acids: tryptophan; taurine; glutamic acid; proline; ornithine; alanine; and methionine.
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    This study shows that amino acids can influence inflammation and may play a role in the development of celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS One. 2018; 13(3): e0193764. doi: & 10.1371/journal.pone.0193764

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/18/2018 - To the relief of many bewildered passengers and crew, no more comfort turkeys, geese, possums or other questionable pets will be flying on Delta or United without meeting the airlines' strict new requirements for service animals.
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    Now, to be honest, some of those animals in question do perform a genuine service for those who need emotional support dogs, like veterans with PTSD.
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    cnbc.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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