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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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    MOST CELIAC PATIENTS IMPROVE ON A LONG-TERM GLUTEN-FREE DIET


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 08/22/2016 - Many doctors hear from celiac patients who suffer from persistent symptoms despite a long-term gluten-free diet. A research team recently set out to investigate the prevalence and severity of these symptoms in patients with variable duration of a gluten-free diet.


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    The research team included Pilvi Laurikka, Teea Salmi, Pekka Collin, Heini Huhtala, Markku Mäki, Katri Kaukinen, and Kalle Kurppa. They are variously affiliated with the School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere 33014, Finland, the Department of Internal Medicine, the Department of Dermatology, the Department of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Tract Surgery, Tampere University Hospital, University of Tampere, Tampere 33014, Finland, and the Tampere School of Health Sciences, at the University of Tampere in Tampere 33014, Finland, the Centre for Child Health Research at the University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere 33014, Finland.

    Altogether, the team classified 856 patients into three groups: 128 untreated patients, 93 on a short-term gluten-free diet of 1–2 years, and 635 patients on a long-term gluten-free diet of 3 years or longer. They conducted analyses of clinical and histological data and dietary adherence. They also included a control group of 166 healthy subjects.

    The team evaluated symptoms according to the validated GSRS questionnaire. They compared severity of symptoms against severity in cases of peptic ulcer, reflux disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

    Altogether, 93% of the short-term and 94% of the long-term treated patients had a strict gluten-free diet and recovered mucosa. Untreated patients had more diarrhea, indigestion and abdominal pain than those on a gluten-free diet and controls.

    Their results showed no differences in symptoms between the short- and long-term gluten-free diet groups, though both showed poorer GSRS total score than control subjects, with p = 0.03 and p = 0.05, respectively. Patients treated 1–2 years had more diarrhea (p = 0.03) and those treated >10 years had more cases of reflux (p = 0.04) than control subjects.

    Meanwhile, long-term treated celiac patients showed relatively mild symptoms compared with other gastrointestinal diseases.

    Based on these results, most celiac patients showed a good response to gluten-free diet, which continued in long-term follow-up, although not all patients see their health return to that of non-celiac individuals.

    Source:


    Image Caption: Most celiac patients improve on a gluten-free diet. Photo: CC--Leonel Silva
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    admin
    Dr. Peter Green is a gastroenterologist and the director of the GI Endoscopy Unit at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City. He has a large celiac patient base. On September 29th, Dr. Green spoke to the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group and presented an excellent review of the medical care an adult Celiac patient should receive. What follows is a summary of Dr. Greens presentation, compiled by Sue Goldstein, a past president of the Westchester group.
    Initial Assessment
    Dr. Green sees a lot of patients who, either through their own frustration or because of physician advice, have started a gluten-free (gluten-free) diet without obtaining a biopsy-proven diagnosis of celiac disease (celiac disease). However, the need for a biopsy to establish a diagnosis of celiac disease must be emphasized. celiac disease is a lifelong illness with serious potential implications. In addition, sensitivity to gluten doesnt go away, and a radical lifestyle change is involved. You also need to be certain of the diagnosis because celiac patients families should be screened. The initial biopsy is also needed to serve as a baseline because one doesnt know what the future may involve.
    Basic blood work is also included in the initial assessment. Such things as anemia and liver function need to be looked for. But its very important to go further than that, and knowledge of the physiology of the small intestine should lead a physician to measure those nutrients that could be malabsorbed. celiac disease involves the small intestine, where iron, folic acid, calcium, fat soluble vitamins (K, A, D, and E) and zinc are absorbed. These nutrients should be measured in the initial assessment and also during the course of the illness. Physicians will see patients who present with malabsorption of just one of these nutrients. If they are aware of the consequences of all these nutrient deficiencies, it will help them consider celiac disease as a possible diagnosis.
    The patient should also have the celiac antibodies blood testing, but the diagnosis is still established on the biopsy pathology. In Dr. Greens experience, about 30% of celiacs have negative antibodies at diagnosis, so positive antibodies are not required to make the diagnosis. Antibodies testing often helps establish the need for a biopsy, but they also have great value in establishing a baseline so that an assessment can be made on how the patient is doing later on. All the antibodies should normalize, in time, when gluten is eliminated from the diet.
    What about the patient who seeks a diagnosis, but has already eliminated gluten from the diet? It is very difficult for many patients to go back on a gluten-containing diet to secure a biopsy-proven diagnosis. This can often take three to six months or longer. Columbia-Presbyterian has been talking about setting up alternative means of securing a diagnosis, such as a rectal challenge. The physician can take a biopsy of rectal tissue, and then instill gliadin extract into the rectum and do a repeat biopsy a certain number of hours afterward to demonstrate an inflammatory response similar to that in the small bowel. However, interpreting the results of the gluten challenge would require a pathologist who is very experienced, and sophisticated immunology on the cells of the rectal biopsy may be needed.
    Follow-up Care
    Soon after diagnosis and adhering to a gluten-free diet, patients will often report an increased feeling of well-being. How well they feel--and how quickly--will also depend on what the manifestations of their disease were. For example, if the patient was iron-deficient, it will take time for the iron stores to be restored. An assessment of vitamin and mineral levels should be part of the follow-up care. Specific deficiencies need to be addressed, treated, and monitored. Patients have been seen who have been ingesting too much of the fat-soluble vitamins, with resulting problems such as liver disease (from vitamin A toxicity), and hypercalcemia (from vitamin D toxicity) which can cause confusion, constipation, and kidney problems. Certain vitamins and minerals may need to be administered, but the patient should be under a physicians guidance as to how much should be taken.
    After a diagnosis of celiac disease, a bone mineral density test should be performed to assess the condition of the bones. Reports have shown that between 50-100% of people at initial diagnosis of celiac disease will have osteopenia or osteoporosis. Ostopenia is thinner bones, usually less than 2 standard deviations from normal. Osteoporosis involves an even greater deviation from normal.. In Dr. Greens experience, nearly 100% of the celiac patients at diagnosis will have osteoporosis. Surveys of celiac patients have shown an increased incidence of fractures prior to diagnosis and after diagnosis. If the bone mineral density is low, the patient should be referred to a bone mineral expert for assessment and specific individual treatment. For example, calcium and vitamin D needs will be addressed and monitored, and exercise and hormone replacement (in post-menopausal women) will be considered.
    At diagnosis, patients should get a Pneumovax, because it is very common for celiacs to have poor splenic function, which puts them at risk of developing certain bacterial infections such as pneumoccal pneumonia and meningitis.
    Since there is a genetic predisposition to celiac disease, another important issue in the follow-up is screening family members for celiac disease. Children and other first-degree relatives should have their antibodies status measured. About 10-15% of first-degree relatives have positive antibodies, and the bulk of the people with positive antibodies will have the disease, even though 50% of those people will be asymptomatic, even with a flat biopsy.
    What annual follow-up care should the celiac patient be getting? The most important thing is a good physical examination. Blood work, x-rays, CAT scans, mammograms and PSA tests, while valuable, do not replace a physical examination. The physical exam should include a breast exam for women, prostate exam for men, and a rectal exam for everyone. Blood work should include measurements of folic acid, calcium, and iron, and antibodies testing. Bone mineral density testing should be repeated annually for those with abnormal results, and every several years for those with normal results. Finally, patients with celiac disease should have at least one follow-up biopsy to confirm response--normalization of the biopsy sample. Patients who are non-responders, or whose clinical situation is somewhat confusing, may need more repeated biopsies at intervals.
    Non-responders
    What about the non-responders or people who relapse? The first thing is to check the diet with antibodies testing. People may be ingesting gluten, such as in medications, and not be aware of it. They may be getting gluten from licking stamps or envelopes. They may have misinformation from food labels or manufacturers.
    However, the antibodies can normalize and the biopsy still look quite flat, so once again, the antibodies have only a limited value--but they are still important to measure. It is also important to check the original biopsy to make sure of the diagnosis. Not all pathologists are experienced enough to properly diagnose celiac disease. Pathology departments, by law, have to keep the biopsies for a lengthy period of time--some keep them for 50 years. So it is important for the physician to review the biopsy sample with a pathologist who understands the spectrum of celiac disease. The pathologist needs to know, for example, how to identify latent celiac disease and different subtle aspects of the biopsy, such as increased intraepithelial lymphocytes.
    A problem that comes up in non-responders is other food sensitivities. Its very rare for people with celiac disease to also have sensitivities to other foods that result in the abnormal biopsy. There are, however, reports of ingestion of soy protein or egg or some kind of meats that cause the biopsy not to normalize.
    There are other conditions that can co-exist with celiac disease and confuse physicians. For example, pancreatic insufficiency can cause diarrhea and steatorrhea (malabsorption of fat), and bacterial overgrowth can affect absorption of nutrients. Patients may have colonic pathology. Having one disease doesnt mean you cant have another disease, and other conditions need to be investigated in the celiac disease patient who is not doing well.
    When there is no improvement in the biopsies, patients remain at the risk of developing or maintaining bone disease and vitamin deficiencies, and they are at a higher risk for malignancy. Patients who are refractory may need other therapies such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressent drugs such as cyclosporin. One doesnt engage in these therapies lightly (for example, steroids will thin the bones); being closely evaluated while on these drugs is important.
    Prognosis for the Celiac Patient
    The studies that have indicated increased mortality in celiac disease are from other countries where people have different smoking and dietary habits. It is hard to extrapolate these studies to our patient population.
    Dr. Green believes existing studies indicate that the mortality rate among adult celiacs is about two to three times that of the general population, and the increased mortality is found mainly in the first five years after diagnosis. After that, the mortality rate approaches that of the normal population. That tends to suggest that it is the continued ingestion of gluten that is responsible for the increased mortality. This is especially so in regard to malignancies, where the risk of diagnosis of malignancy such as lymphoma is usually highest in the first year after diagnosis, and then decreases in incidence downward until it equals that of the normal population after about five years. There is certainly the suggestion that adhering to a gluten-free diet reduces the risk of developing a malignancy.
    A Final Word--Looking For Celiac Disease
    Traditionally, the incidence of celiac disease in this country, based upon epidemiological work, suggests that celiac disease occurs in about 1 in 4,600 people. Certainly its much more common than that. Serology testing of blood donors by Dr. Fasano suggests the same prevalence as in European countries, about 1 in 300 people. Dr. Green, who does a lot of endoscopies, has found an incidence of celiac disease in about 1 in 280 patients who were having endoscopies for reasons other than suspicion of celiac disease. It is important, therefore, for the gastroenterologist to have a higher suspicion for the possibility of celiac disease, and for physicians to screen for celiac disease, particularly among their patients who have associated diseases such as Insulin Dependent Diabetes, Sjogrens, and Autoimmune Thyroid Disease.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/24/2014 - Following a strict gluten-free diet is the only way to treat celiac disease. However, researchers have been lacking clear agreement on how and when to assess gluten-free dietary adherence in celiac patients or how to determine its effectiveness on villous atrophy.
    To address this reality, a team of researches conducted a prospective study to determine patient adherence to a gluten-free diet, and its effect on histological recovery after 1-year of gluten-free diet.
    The research team included G. Galli, G. Esposito, E. Lahner, E. Pilozzi, V. D. Corleto, E. Di Giulio, M. A. Aloe Spiriti, and B. Annibale. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Digestive and Liver Disease, the Department of Haematology, the Department of Pathology, and the Department of Digestive Endoscopy at Sant'Andrea Hospital Sapienza University Rome in Rome, Italy, and with the Centro Ricerche S. Pietro, Ospedale S. Pietro in Rome, Italy.
    Between 2009 and 2012, the researchers enrolled 65 consecutive newly-diagnosed adult patients (median age 38 years, 18–70) with biopsy-proven atrophic celiac disease. The researchers assessed patients after one year of gluten-free diet, using duodenal histology, serological assays, symptom reports and a dietary interview based on a validated questionnaire.
    They defined complete histological recovery as the absence of villous atrophy and ≤30/100 intraepithelial lymphocytes. The team found that 81.5% of patients showed adequate gluten-free diet adherence (ADA), whereas 18.5% had inadequate adherence (IADA).
    Overall, 66% of ADA patients achieved complete histological recovery, but no IADA patients recovered (P < 0.00001).
    Interestingly, ADA patients who achieved complete histological recovery showed about the same antibody seroconversion and symptoms as those who achieved partial histological recovery with P = 0.309 and P = 0.197, respectively.
    Multivariate analysis showed that, for ADA patients with incomplete histological recovery, Marsh 3C was still a risk factor (OR 8.74, 95% CI: 1.87–40.83).
    This study shows that 66% of adult celiac patients who successfully follow a gluten-free diet can make a complete histological recovery after 1-year. However, patients with severe histological damage at diagnosis who successfully follow a gluten-free diet remain at risk for incomplete histological recovery 1 year later.
    Lastly, patients who do not follow a gluten-free diet have no hope of making a full histological recovery.
    For clinicians and doctors, this data should serve as a guideline for determining gluten-free diet adherence in celiac patients, and determining the level of patient recovery. For celiac patients, the data should serve to demonstrate the importance of following a strict gluten-free diet.
    Source:
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2014; 40(6):639-647.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/15/2015 - Current celiac disease call for a follow-up biopsy taken 1 year after diagnosis to monitor gut recovery. Many celiac patients show incomplete gut recovery at that time, but there’s not much research to help doctors figure out how significant this might be.
    A team of researchers recently investigated associated factors and the significance of imperfect gut recovery in patients in whom the follow-up had been completed. The research team included Henna Pekki, Kalle Kurppa, Markku Mäki, Heini Huhtala, Harri Sievänen, Kaija Laurila, Pekka Collin and Katri Kaukinen.
    They are variously affiliated with the Medical School and the School of Health Sciences at the University of Tampere, the Tampere Center for Child Health Research at the University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital in Tampere, Finland, the UKK Institute inTampere, Finland, the Department of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Tract Surgery, and the Department of Internal Medicine, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
    For their study, the team split 263 biopsy-proven celiac patients into two groups: one with histological recovery, and the other with incomplete recovery, after one year on gluten-free diet. The team measured serology, laboratory values, bone mineral density, and various clinical variables at diagnosis and after one year.
    They used validated questionnaires to assess gastrointestinal symptoms and quality of life, and also gathered further long-term follow-up data on mortality, malignancies, and other severe complications.
    The results showed that the incomplete recovery group had more severe mucosal damage (P=0.003), higher antibody values (P=0.017), and more signs of malabsorption at diagnosis (P<0.001).
    The data showed no difference in gender, symptoms or quality of life, family history of celiac disease, or co-morbidities.
    Follow-up showed a difference in antibodies (P=0.018) and femoral T-scores (P=0.024).
    Histologically recovered patients showed better gluten-free dietary adherence, although both groups reported close adherence to a gluten-free diet (97% for recovered group, versus 87% for the incomplete group (P<0.001).
    Interestingly, there was no difference in long-term outcomes between groups. Although, patients with more severe celiac disease in terms of histology, serology, and signs of malabsorption were more likely to show histological non-response.
    Patients who closely follow a gluten-free diet, incomplete villous recovery after 1 year does not affect the clinical response or long-term prognosis.

    Source:
    The American Journal of Gastroenterology , (2 June 2015). doi:10.1038/ajg.2015.155

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/25/2016 - Celiac disease is one of the most common immune-mediated diseases. Often, a gluten-free diet does not fully control celiac symptoms and disease activity.
    Even though no new therapies have been approved, a growing effort, coupled with a rapidly expanding knowledge of the regulatory pathway could soon lead to new breakthroughs.
    A team of researchers recently reviewed the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and current treatment paradigm for celiac disease. The researchers were M Wungjiranirun, CP Kelly, and DA Leffler, both of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Celiac Center of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
    They also reviewed the major types of therapies being proposed for celiac treatment, and expounded broadly upon what is known, and what can be predicted concerning the regulatory pathway for approval of a new celiac disease treatment. In the near future, increasingly numerous and diverse therapy options will enter clinical trials. The desired result will be the first approved agents targeting celiac disease treatment outside of a gluten-free diet.
    The team notes that, though things like biopsies and blood tests will always be important in therapeutic clinical trials, there is not currently enough evidence to link them with improved patient outcomes, which is required as a baseline for drug approval. This means that patient-reported outcomes will likely be primary end points in Phase III celiac disease trials for some time to come.
    Source:
    Am J Gastroenterol. 2016 Jun;111(6):779-86. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2016.105. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

  • Recent Articles

    Connie Sarros
    Celiac.com 04/21/2018 - Dear Friends and Readers,
    I have been writing articles for Scott Adams since the 2002 Summer Issue of the Scott-Free Press. The Scott-Free Press evolved into the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. I felt honored when Scott asked me ten years ago to contribute to his quarterly journal and it's been a privilege to write articles for his publication ever since.
    Due to personal health reasons and restrictions, I find that I need to retire. My husband and I can no longer travel the country speaking at conferences and to support groups (which we dearly loved to do) nor can I commit to writing more books, articles, or menus. Consequently, I will no longer be contributing articles to the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. 
    My following books will still be available at Amazon.com:
    Gluten-free Cooking for Dummies Student's Vegetarian Cookbook for Dummies Wheat-free Gluten-free Dessert Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Reduced Calorie Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults (revised version) My first book was published in 1996. My journey since then has been incredible. I have met so many in the celiac community and I feel blessed to be able to call you friends. Many of you have told me that I helped to change your life – let me assure you that your kind words, your phone calls, your thoughtful notes, and your feedback throughout the years have had a vital impact on my life, too. Thank you for all of your support through these years.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/20/2018 - A digital media company and a label data company are teaming up to help major manufacturers target, reach and convert their desired shoppers based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free diet. The deal could bring synergy in emerging markets such as the gluten-free and allergen-free markets, which represent major growth sectors in the global food industry. 
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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.
     
    The research team included Åsa Torinsson Naluai, Ladan Saadat Vafa, Audur H. Gudjonsdottir, Henrik Arnell, Lars Browaldh, and Daniel Agardh. They are variously affiliated with the Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Karolinska University Hospital and Division of Pediatrics, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institute, Sodersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Diabetes & Celiac Disease Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden; and with the Nathan S Kline Institute in the U.S.A.
    First, the team used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to analyze amino acid levels in fasting plasma samples from 141 children with celiac disease and 129 non-celiac disease controls. They then crafted a general linear model using age and experimental effects as covariates to compare amino acid levels between children with celiac disease and non-celiac control subjects.
    Compared with the control group, seven out of twenty-three children with celiac disease showed elevated levels of the the following amino acids: tryptophan; taurine; glutamic acid; proline; ornithine; alanine; and methionine.
    The significance of the individual amino acids do not survive multiple correction, however, multivariate analyses of the amino acid profile showed significantly altered amino acid levels in children with celiac disease overall and after correction for age, sex and experimental effects.
    This study shows that amino acids can influence inflammation and may play a role in the development of celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS One. 2018; 13(3): e0193764. doi: & 10.1371/journal.pone.0193764

    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.
    If you’ve flown anywhere lately, you may have seen them. People flying with their designated “emotional support” animals. We’re not talking genuine service animals, like seeing eye dogs, or hearing ear dogs, or even the Belgian Malinois that alerts its owner when there is gluten in food that may trigger her celiac disease.
    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.
    However, many of these animals are not service animals at all. Many of these animals perform no actual service to their owners, and are nothing more than thinly disguised pets. Many lack proper training, and some have caused serious problems for the airlines and for other passengers.
    Now the major airlines are taking note and introducing stringent requirements for service animals.
    Delta was the first to strike. As reported by the New York Times on January 19: “Effective March 1, Delta, the second largest US airline by passenger traffic, said it will require passengers seeking to fly with pets to present additional documents outlining the passenger’s need for the animal and proof of its training and vaccinations, 48 hours prior to the flight.… This comes in response to what the carrier said was a 150 percent increase in service and support animals — pets, often dogs, that accompany people with disabilities — carried onboard since 2015.… Delta said that it flies some 700 service animals a day. Among them, customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders, and other unusual pets.”
    Fresh from an unsavory incident with an “emotional support” peacock incident, United Airlines has followed Delta’s lead and set stricter rules for emotional support animals. United’s rules also took effect March 1, 2018.
    So, 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 and emotional support animals.
    Source:
    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