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    Testing for Celiac Disease, Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and Other Adverse Reactions to Foods by Alcat Food Allergy Testing


    Celiac.com Sponsor: Banner


    • The Alcat Test offered by Cell Science Systems, Corp., measures the response of innate immune cells following exposure to foods and other substances.


    Testing for Celiac Disease, Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and Other Adverse Reactions to Foods by Alcat Food Allergy Testing

    Celiac.com 08/01/2018 - Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by destruction of intestinal villi, followed by malabsorption and greater risk of developing other autoimmune disorders, such as type 1 diabetes.  It can be triggered in genetically susceptible people by gluten.  The test for the genetic risk for celiac has high negative predictive value; meaning, if you do not have the genes, you cannot get the disorder.  


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    However, if you do have the genes, you may, depending on other factors, principal among them being your gut microbiota, and you do consume gluten, you may develop celiac disease.

    In either circumstance, you may have other health issues, Chrohn’s disease, IBS, UC, fatigue, and/or many other inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, brought on by consuming gluten; or, any other foods, herbs, or chemicals, that you are sensitive to.

    Despite all the noise out there about tests for food sensitivities, there is only one test that has been clinically and technically validated at a major institution through a randomized controlled, double blinded trial, and that is the Alcat test, available from Cell Science Systems, which has also been recognized as, “Company of the Year for Food Intolerance Testing – N. America” by the international consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan.
    The Alcat Test® can test for almost five hundred individual items, including foods, additives, functional foods and herbs, molds, common drugs, and others.  You can customize a test according to your needs and budget.    CSS also offers nutrition, dietary and lifestyle counseling through its sister company, PreviMedica.

    For the month of August, Cell Science is offering a free celiac gene risk assessment with the ordering of any Alcat test.

    Log on to CellScienceSystems.com; or wellio.co, or call 1-800-Get-tested for more information or to speak with a counselor. 

    For more info visit their site.

     

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    Scott Adams
    Introduction
    Through his writings, we know that Hippocrates, the father of medicine, had already recognized the presence of allergic reactions in people as early as ancient times. However, the term allergy is a relatively new one, as compared to many other commonly used medical terms. In 1906, Viennese pediatrician Baron Clemens von Pirquet used the term for the first time to describe an altered response of his patients bodies. Von Pirquet believed that this altered reaction manifested itself in changes of the immune system, effected by external influences on the body, such as: food intake, the air breathed or direct skin contact. The term allergen (the substance responsible for the altered reaction) was born. At that point in time, however, von Pirquet had no means of scientifically proving that these immunological changes actually occurred in the body. It was not until the mid-1920s, that a second significant event occurred.
    Researchers found that, by injecting a minute quantity of purified allergen under the skin, certain individuals would develop a clear skin response; a welt, with or without itching and redness, could be provoked. This positive skin test for allergies would show itself most prominently in patients with hay fever, asthma, chronic rhinitis, hives and eczema. The prick test became a method of demonstrating the involvement of the immune system in allergic reactions. However, the precise biological reason for the reaction continued to remain a mystery.
    It was not until the Sixties, when an important discovery occurred which provided long-awaited scientific support for the classical allergy theory and removed any doubts about the relationship of the immune system with allergies. This breakthrough came about with the scientific discovery of immunoglobulin E (IgE) by a Japanese couple named Ishizaka.
    Classical Allergic Reaction
    The following are the chain of events which happen in allergic reactions:
    An allergen must be present in the body. This allergen is the substance which causes us to have an abnormal immunological response. Allergens tend to be protein molecules. Interestingly enough, the immune system only detects particles of a certain size as potential troublemakers and protein molecules are just the right size. In a small number of cases, the body actually responds to molecules other than proteins. These molecules, which are generally much smaller, are called haptens. By combining with protein molecules, haptens form larger complexes which can then be detected by the immune system. The allergen is detected by the B cells. These are specialized immune cells, capable of producing antibodies. Just like allergens, antibodies are protein molecules, which have the capacity to neutralize allergens. Every B cell produces its own, specific antibody, depending on the type of intruder it needs to respond to. It is easy to understand why the body must have a ready pool of millions of antibodies, in order to combat these numerous offenders. There are five main categories of antibodies (IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD and IgE) which the body releases under different circumstances (for instance to fight off various infections, etc.). In the case of allergies, the body produces the antibody immunoglobulin E (IgE), first discovered by the Ishizakas. Usually, antibodies will bind directly to the appropriate damaging substance and neutralize it. However, IgE deviates from this common path. It first attaches one of its legs to one of the bodys numerous mast cells. The other leg is used to hold on to the offending allergen. This action signals the mast cells to begin disintegrating, thereby releasing histamine. Histamine is a chemical substance responsible for a great number of complaints which may arise during allergic reactions. It causes muscle cramps and an inflammation-like process with redness and swelling of mucous membranes.
    Allergic reactions can occur under a variety of circumstances. For instance, inhaling certain substances, such as grass pollen, house dust, etc., may cause an allergic response. However, the consumption of certain foods may do the same. Allergies typically bring on complaints very rapidly upon contact with the allergen. Complaints may vary from a runny nose, sinusitis, earache or runny eyes to itching of the skin, eczema and shortness of breath.

    Intolerance
    Conventional medicine can easily diagnose and treat allergies for foods or inhalants. Here, the so-called RAST test plays a very important role, because this test can demonstrate the presence of IgE.
    However, demonstrating the presence of intolerance is more difficult. In this situation, similar to the case of classical allergies, the body responds abnormally and, in addition, the immune system does not produce IgE. It quite often takes much longer for complaints to come on, thereby masking the possible link between the offensive substance and the complaints themselves.
    These are only a few of the reasons why food intolerance is considered a fairly controversial concept in conventional medicine. Intolerance can be responsible for a wide variety of complaints which, at first glance, seem to lack a plausible explanation. Intolerance can manifest themselves as the following:
    Gastrointestinal complaints: stomach ache, irritable bowel, Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis Skin complaints: itching, eczema, hives, acne (in adults) Joint and muscle complaints: ranging from atypical pains to rheumatoid arthritis Headache and migraine Chronic fatigue Asthma, chronic rhinitis or sinusitis Pre-menstrual syndrome Hypoglycemia Depression, anxiety Sleeping disorders
    Diagnosing Intolerance
    It is impossible to accurately demonstrate intolerance through conventional testing methods.
    The Amsterdam Clinic currently uses the following test, which is very reliable.
    Another useful test is the IgG(4) antibody test. Here, the presence of IgG(4) antibodies is determined. These antibodies are the slowly occurring variety, which do not appear in the blood until 24 to 48 hours after exposure to an offending food or substance. The reliability of this test varies between 80 and 90%.
    Treatment
    Diet
    In the treatment of inhalant allergies (such as asthma, hay fever) and food allergies and intolerance, avoidance (elimination) of allergens plays an extremely important role. In the case of food sensitivities, either the cytotoxic test or IgG(4) test can help determine reactions to specific foods. Based on the test results, an elimination/rotation diet can be specifically tailored.
    Foods causing strong reactions in these tests, should (temporarily) be excluded from the diet. More moderate reactions allow for rotation of certain food items in the diet. These may be eaten once every four days. Especially during the first week(s) of the diet, withdrawal symptoms, similar to complaints stemming from the cessation of coffee, tobacco or alcohol consumption, may occur. The body seems to crave offending food items. Generally, these withdrawal symptoms disappear after a couple of weeks. Concurrently, those complaints relating to food sensitivity also diminish.
    Using this dietary approach, the reaction to food allergens may decrease in the course of time. After a three month moratorium, reintroduction of forbidden food items can be attempted, one at a time. In this way, food items still causing reactions can be isolated more easily. Often, at least part of existing intolerance completely disappear after an elimination/rotation diet.
    With the treatment for inhalant allergies, elimination is also the first step. It is obvious that patients having an allergy for cats or dogs, should avoid any contact with these pets. The situation becomes more difficult when dealing with allergies to grass or tree pollen, since total elimination is basically impossible. The same goes for house dust mite allergy. The house dust mite lives in mattresses, pillows, carpeting, drapes, upholstery, etc. Through mite-killing pesticides, special mattress and pillow covers, non-carpeted floors, etc. reasonable results can be obtained.
    Medication
    Medicines for inhalant allergies, such as antihistamines (Triludan), corticosteroids (Prednisone, Pulmicort, Becotide), cromoglycates (Lomudal, Lomusol), and airway dilating medication (Ventolin, Berotec, Atrovent) do suppress symptoms, however, they do not cure the allergy! In the realm of conventional medicine, effective medications for food allergy and intolerance do not exist at all.
    Desensitisation
    Enzyme-potentiated desensitisation (EPD) and the provocation/neutralization method are very effective treatments for food allergy/intolerance and inhalant allergy problems. These methods tackle allergy problems at the root.
    During EPD treatment, a small quantity of a food or inhalant allergen mixture is injected intradermally into the skin, in conjunction with the enzyme beta-glucuronidase. This combination causes the body to gradually adjust its exaggerated responses to food and inhalant allergens. In this way, the immune system is readjusted and reset. Initially, the injections have to be given once every two months. Gradually, however, the intervals between injections become longer and the injections can often be discontinued after a time. According to conservative estimates, at least 80% of those patients treated with EPD show considerable improvement in the course of time. Provocation/neutralization can be used both diagnostically and therapeutically. Here, separate extracts of food or inhalants, suspected as possibly offending, are injected intradermally. This causes a welt to appear in the skin. After 10 minutes, the size and nature (firmness, color, etc.) of the welt are evaluated. A positive welt will generally bring on symptoms (provocation). Depending on the size and nature of the welt, as well as, the presence of symptoms, varying concentrations are injected, until a dose is found which does not cause any welt changes or symptoms. This is the neutralizing dose. Injections with the proper neutralizing dose will bring on immediate protection against the symptoms caused by the offending food and/or inhalant. Copyright © 1996 the Amsterdam Klikiek
    For further information please contact:
    Also in THE NETHERLANDS:
    Amsterdam Kliniek
    Reigersbos 100
    1107 ES Amsterdam Z.O.
    Telephone 31 (0)20 697 53 61
    Telefax 31 (0)20 697 53 67
    Lydia S. Boeken M.D. London/Amsterdam

    Scott Adams
    The following was a post from Merete Askim regarding the avoidance of the contamination of foods during the manufacturing process. If you have any questions regarding it, direct them to him at: Merete.Askim@INF.HIST.NO.
    My name is Merete Askim, and I am a College Lecturer at the Department of Food Science, Soer-Tronedelag College, Trondheim, Norway. In my teaching in nutrition and food chemistry, I am very interested in food allergy and intolerance. My students get jobs as food technologists, so it is important for them to be aware of food allergy and intolerance.
    I have invented a new concept which I call ALLERGY-HYGIENICS.
    This combines both the aspects of avoiding contamination by:
    Harmful Bacteria Ingredients Not Meant to be Part of the Food in Question A traditional concept in industrial food production is called HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Points), which is concerned primarily with bacterial contamination. My new concept ALLERGY-HYGIENIC improves upon HACCP, by adding the concept of consideration of allergic and intolerant ingredients, either directly through insufficient consideration of the impact of an ingredient on the population, or inadvertently through contamination by ingredients not meant to be part of the food in question.
    We teach the students to start the analysis of food production with the least complex product, and end with the most complex, to have knowledge of every ingredient, down to the smallest, including the food-additives.
    For example, some firms use vacuum tubes to deliver ingredients from storage facilities to their production machinery. If a gluten free product is being made, and the tube used to deliver rice flour was previously used to deliver wheat flour, there is likely cross-contamination which cannot be removed by simply cleaning the final production machinery. The tube itself would have to be cleaned out, or the facility would have to be designed so that gluten free flours are never transported in tubes which at other times contain gluten.
    Another example is when a dairy produces both "strawberry-yogurt" and "raspberry -yogurt" on the same day, the ALLERGY-HYGIENIC concept is to avoid any strawberry contamination in the raspberry product, or vice versa.
    Our goal is that all products will eventually have ALLERGY-HYGIENIC qualities!
    But we know this takes time and can be expensive in some occasions. It is a new concept in the traditional way of hygienic thinking. Even with ALLERGY-HYGIENICS, we can not guarantee no contamination, but we are attentive, and take our precautions.
    At our Department of Food Science, Trondheim, Norway, want this new concept ALLERGY-HYGIENIC to catch-on all over the world, and become common knowledge. So please tell others, and if you dont mind, remember that it was created here.
    When you are in contact with the food-industry, you might ask them:
    Is your production in accordance with ALLERGY-HYGIENIC principles? Have you taken ALLERGY-HYGIENIC considerations in your production? If you find this concept useful, please let me know by private email. I would also be interested in your experiences as Celiacs with locating cross-contamination in foods. By cataloging your real-life experiences in the field, I can help my students and their companies determine likely problematic areas in food production.
    Merete Askim: Tel (work): 47 73 91 96 25
    N-7004 Trondheim, Norway

    Jefferson Adams
    Food Allergy, Intolerance Market to Hit $26 Billion by 2017
    Celiac.com 09/01/2011 - The global market for food allergy and intolerance products will surpass $26 billion by 2017, according to the most recent projections from companiesandmarkets.com.
    The retail growth in foods free of gluten, wheat, lactose, cow's milk, nuts, egg, soy and ominous additives has been driven in part by increased diagnosis of digestive health conditions, growing interest for gluten-free diets, better label regulations, and tastier products.
    The United States is by far biggest market for food allergy and intolerance products. In the U.S., an estimated 10% of the population have difficulties digesting gluten.
    In addition to their popularity with celiac-disease sufferers, gluten-free foods also appeal to a wide proportion of the general population, partly because of growing concerns related wheat consumption, and to symptoms associated with celiac disease.
    The sector is also benefiting from numerous celebrities who have touted gluten-free and wheat-free diets as apart of a weight-loss and personal fitness routine.
    Others are swayed by claims that going gluten-free can help treat disorders such as autism, chronic fatigue, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder, multiple sclerosis, migraine and fertility problems.
    At least partly in response to that fact, market for gluten-free products began to explode in 2010, with savory snacks, energy bars, baking products, chocolates, and cookies leading the way among new gluten-free products.
    One result is that consumers now have a variety of options to choose from in the baked products category, including baking mixes, breads, bagels, muffins, entrees, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, baking mixes, pastas, pizza, cereals, snack foods and soups. This, in addition to a number of new gluten-free grains, starches, flours and seeds.
    Online sites that specialize in delivering gluten-free and other specialty foods for for those with food allergies, such as The Gluten-free Mall have added upwards of a hundred new products and twenty new vendors a year, and expect those numbers to continue, according to its founder and CEO, Scott Adams.
    The report includes comprehensive marketplace information, including analysis of key players, products, and strategic activities, trends, product launches, innovation, and regulatory issues, along with historic and forecast data covering 2003-2017.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/08/2013 - In an article for Fox News, Hans von Spakovsky, a senior fellow at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, ridicules the idea that the Department of Justice (DoJ) should use its weight to force colleges and universities to accommodate students with food allergies under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    At issue is a settlement the DoJ obtained with Lesley University in Massachusetts, which had allegedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not adequately accommodating students with food allergies.
    Under the settlement agreement with the DoJ, Lesley University will pay $50,000, offer meals that do not contain “egg, wheat, shellfish, fish, soy, peanut, tree-nut products, and other potential allergens," prepare the food in a dedicated area, and to allow students to pre-order their special meals, among other requirements.
    In the view of von Spakovsky, the agreement amounts to "extortion" by the the DoJ. He calls the "idea that this is a federal issue, or that the Justice Department should burn its resources investigating food preparation in university dining halls…a complete absurdity."
    He goes onto call the DOJ's efforts at Lesley a "dish-hunt [which] exemplifies mindless mission creep and the bloated expansion of the federal nanny state."
    What do you think? Do you have children or loved ones with celiac disease, especially of college age? Should celiac disease be considered a disability? Do they deserve gluten-free food options at school? Should the government pressure schools that either can't or won't act on their own? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
    Click here to read Hans von Spakovsky's full article, ridiculing efforts by the federal government to use the Americans with Disabilities Act to pressure colleges to accommodate students with food allergies.

  • Recent Articles

    Alexander R. Shikhman, MD, PhD, FACR
    The Connection between Gluten Intolerance and Sjogren’s Syndrome
    Celiac.com 08/17/2018 - Mucosal dryness is among the top non-gastrointestinal complaints of patients with gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
    Prolonged eye dryness, itching and chronic inflammation of the eye lids (blepharitis), mouth dryness, excessive thirst, frequent yeast infections, skin dryness and vaginal dryness in women may represent clinical symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome. Named after Swedish ophthalmologist Henrik Sjögren, Sjogren’s syndrome is one the most common (and one of the most commonly underdiagnosed) rheumatic/autoimmune diseases. The disease most frequently affects women (10 women for every man) and usually appears in women around and after menopause. However, the disease can affect either gender at any age.
    In addition to mucosal and skin dryness, Sjogren’s syndrome can cause joint pain and stiffness, damage to peripheral nerves leading to numbness and tingling of fingers and toes, fatigue, brain fog, inflammation of blood vessels, hair loss, poor food digestion due to pancreatic damage and various problems with the cardiac muscle and its conduction system causing arrythmia and myocarditis. Patients suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome quite frequently deal with recurring yeast infections, chronic periodontal disease, recurring canker sores and poor dental health.
    The diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome is based on:
    Demonstration of mucosal dryness upon physical examination Specific blood tests (positive anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La antibodies, elevated levels of serum immunoglobulin G) Ultrasound imaging of salivary glands On rare occasions, a diagnosis of Sjogren’s syndrome requires confirmation through a small salivary gland biopsy or special nuclear medicine studies.
    It is well documented that patients with gluten intolerance and celiac disease have an increased risk of Sjogren’s syndrome. Similarly, patients with Sjogren’s syndrome are characterized by the increased prevalence of gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
    The connection between Sjogren’s syndrome and gluten intolerance is not a coincidental one: there are well-studied molecular mechanisms explaining this link. In the late 1980s/early 1990s genetic studies in Sjogren’s patients demonstrated an increased presence of the class II major histocompatibility complex protein HLA DQ2. Furthermore, HLA DQ2 positivity was found to be associated with increased titers of Sjogren’s specific anti-SSA/Ro and anti-SSB/La antibodies. The link between gluten and Sjogren’s syndrome became obvious in the mid to late 1990s when it was discovered that HLA-DQ2 binds to deamidated gluten peptides and presents them to mucosal CD4+ T cells thus initiating a chain of events eventually leading to autoimmune responses.
    The second set of data came from the discovery of BM180 protein. This protein regulates tear secretion in the lacrimal acinar cells. Suprisingly, amino acid sequence of BM180 has a similarity with alpha-gliadin and, therefore, can attract inflammatory cells activated by gluten thus contributing to the development of eye dryness.
    The actual prevalence of gluten intolerance in Sjogren’s patients based on published data varies from 20% to 40% depending on the criteria used to define gluten intolerance. The data from our clinic (Institute for Specialized Medicine) indicate that gluten intolerance can affect almost half of patients with Sjogren’s syndrome. Additionally, our data show that one third of patients with gluten intolerance have evidence of mucosal dryness and Sjogren’s syndrome.
    The frequency of documented celiac disease in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome is in the vicinity of 5%.
    The following is a patient case history from our clinic:
    A 28 year old woman was seen in our clinic due to her complaints of long-standing irritable bowel syndrome and recent onset of eye dryness. Her initial presentation included abdominal pain, bloating and irregular bowel movements. She was seen by several gastroenterologists and underwent several upper endoscopies and colonoscopies with mucosal biopsies which were non-diagnostic. Her lab test results showed positive IgG anti-gliadin antibodies and she was told that “this is a common finding among healthy people, and is not indicative of any illnesses.” She was seen by her ophthalmologist and prescribed with contact lenses which she could not wear due to significant eye discomfort and irritation. Further eye examination showed that she had diminished tear production and was referred to our clinic to rule out Sjogren’s syndrome. Upon physical examination in our clinic the patient not only demonstrated profound eye dryness but also showed evidence of dry mouth, fissured tongue and patchy areas of thrush as well as very dry skin. A sonographic evaluation of her major salivary glands was suspicious for moderately advanced Sjogren’s syndrome. Her laboratory test results showed: positive anti-SSA/Ro antibodies, elevated serum immunoglobulin G, low neutrophil count as well as low levels of vitamin D and ferritin (a serum marker of iron storage state). Also, the patient was found to have positive serum IgG and salivary IgA anti-gliadin antibodies as well as positive HLA DQ2 (a molecular marker associated with gluten intolerance).
    Based on a combination of clinical history, physical findings and laboratory test results, the patient was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and Sjogren’s syndrome. In addition to the aforementioned tests, the patient underwent food intolerance testing based on serum IgG4 antibodies which showed not only gluten but also cow’s casein intolerance. Her treatment options included a traditional route of therapy based on drugs or an integrative approach based on dietary modifications and food supplements. She opted for the integrative approach and started a gluten-free and dairy-free diet as well as iron glycinate, vitamin D, specific probiotics and digestive enzymes.
    After the first month on the diet and supplements, she reported a remarkable improvement of her irritable bowel symptoms and in three months, she started noticing an improvement of the dryness. Laboratory tests performed six months after initiation of the therapy showed normalization of the IgG level, disappearance of anti-SSA/Ro antibodies and a slightly suppressed neutrophil count. Through following the prescribed diet and supplements she is now symptom free.
    Why do we need to treat Sjogren’s syndrome? Left untreated, Sjogren’s syndrome can cause debilitating dryness affecting gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Clinically, this manifests as difficulty in swallowing solid foods, heartburn, malabsorption of nutrients and minerals, bloating, weight loss, chronic sinus infections and prolonged dry cough. Sjogren’s syndrome also significantly increases the risk for malignancies affecting lymphatic nodules, known as lymphomas.
    Therapy for Sjogren’s syndrome is based on the treatment of mucosal dryness and the autoimmune component of the disease. In addition, patients affected by Sjogren’s syndrome need to have regular screenings for malignancies (specifically lymphomas) and premalignant conditions.
    Traditional therapy for Sjogren’s syndrome (treatment of dryness):
    Cyclosporin (brand name Restasis) eye drops and artificial tears for dry eyes. Numoisyn lozenges and liquid, as well as Caphosol for mouth dryness and mucositis. Cevimeline (brand name Evoxac) and pilocarpine (brand name Salagen) for systemic dryness therapy. Treatment of autoimmune disturbances:
    Hydroxychloroquin (brand name Plaquenil). Leflunomide (brand name Arava). Severe autoimmune conditions associated with Sjogren’s syndrome are treated with the biologic drug rituximab (brand name Rituxan). Integrative therapy for Sjogren’s syndrome. Ear acupuncture (auricular therapy) and body acupuncture to stimulate tear and saliva production. Elimination diet based on individual food-intolerance profiles. Oral probiotics (for example, BLIS K12) and intestinal probiotics. Digestive enzymes. Fish and krill oils. Black currant seed oil. Cordyceps sinensis in combination with wormwood extract to treat the autoimmune component of Sjogren’s syndrome. Zinc and elderberry lozenges. N-acetyl-L-cysteine and glutathione. Our extensive clinical experience demonstrate that early cases of Sjogren’s syndrome can be completely reversed (by both clinical and laboratory criteria) by the strict gluten-free and elimination diet. The advanced cases cannot be reversed; however, even in advanced cases the gluten-free and elimination diet can slow the progression of the disease.
    If you’re concerned that dryness may represent Sjogren’s syndrome, see a rheumatologist for further evaluation and management of your condition.
    References:
    Alvarez-Celorio MD, Angeles-Angeles A, Kraus A. Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome and Celiac Disease: Causal Association or Serendipity? J Clin Rheumatol. 2000 Aug;6(4):194-7. Asrani AC, Lumsden AJ, Kumar R, Laurie GW. Gene cloning of BM180, a lacrimal gland enriched basement membrane protein with a role in stimulated secretion. Adv Exp Med Biol. 1998;438:49-54. Feuerstein J. Reversal of premature ovarian failure in a patient with Sjögren syndrome using an elimination diet protocol. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):807-9. Iltanen S, Collin P, Korpela M, Holm K, Partanen J, Polvi A, Mäki M. Celiac disease and markers of celiac disease latency in patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol. 1999 Apr;94(4):1042-6. Lemon S, Imbesi S., Shikhman A.R. Salivary gland imaging in Sjogren’s syndrome. Future Rheumatology, 2007 2(1):83-92. Roblin X, Helluwaert F, Bonaz B. Celiac disease must be evaluated in patients with Sjögren syndrome. Arch Intern Med. 2004 Nov 22;164(21):2387. Teppo AM, Maury CP. Antibodies to gliadin, gluten and reticulin glycoprotein in rheumatic diseases: elevated levels in Sjögren’s syndrome. Clin Exp Immunol. 1984 Jul;57(1):73-8.

    Jefferson Adams
    Can a Gluten-Free Diet Normalize Vitamin D Levels for Celiac Patients?
    Celiac.com 08/16/2018 - What is the significance of vitamin D serum levels in adult celiac patients? A pair of researchers recently set out to assess the value and significance of 25(OH) and 1,25(OH) vitamin D serum levels in adult celiac patients through a comprehensive review of medical literature.
    Researchers included F Zingone and C Ciacci are affiliated with the Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; and the Celiac Center, AOU San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi di Aragona, University of Salerno, Department of Medicine and Surgery, Salerno, Italy. 
    Within the wide spectrum of symptoms and alteration of systems that characterizes celiac disease, several studies indicate a low-level of vitamin D, therefore recent guidelines suggest its evaluation at the time of diagnosis. This review examines the data from existing studies in which vitamin D has been assessed in celiac patients. 
    Our review indicates that most of the studies on vitamin D in adult celiac disease report a 25 (OH) vitamin D deficiency at diagnosis that disappears when the patient goes on a gluten-free diet, independently of any supplementation. Instead, the researchers found that levels of calcitriol, the active 1,25 (OH) form of vitamin D, fell within the normal range at the time of celiac diagnosis. 
    Basically, their study strongly suggests that people with celiac disease can recover normal vitamin D levels through a gluten-free diet, without requiring any supplementation.
    Source:
    Dig Liver Dis. 2018 Aug;50(8):757-760. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2018.04.005. Epub 2018 Apr 13.  

    Jefferson Adams
    Could Gluten-Free Food Be Hurting Your Dog?
    Celiac.com 08/15/2018 - Grain-free food has been linked to heart disease in dogs. A canine cardiovascular disease that has historically been seen in just a few breeds is becoming more common in other breeds, and one possible culprit is grain-free dog food. 
    The disease in question is called canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and often results in congestive heart failure. DCM is historically common in large dogs such as Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards and Doberman Pinschers, though it is also affects some Cocker Spaniels.  Numerous cases of DCM have been reported in smaller dogs, whose primary source of nutrition was food containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients. These reported atypical DCM cases included Golden and Labrador Retrievers, a Whippet, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds. 
    As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, along with a group of veterinary diagnostic laboratories, is investigating the possible link between DCM and pet foods containing seeds or potatoes as main ingredients. The good news is that in cases where the dog suffers no genetic component, and the disease is caught early, simple veterinary treatment and dietary change may improve heart function.
    According to Nutritional Outlook, an industry publication for makers of dietary supplements and healthy foods and beverages, there is a growing market for “free from” foods for dogs, especially gluten-free and grain-free formulations. In 2017, about one in five dog foods launched was gluten-free. So, do dogs really need to eat grain-free or gluten-free food? Probably not, according to PetMD, which notes that many pet owners are simply projecting their own food biases when choosing dog food.
    Genetically, dogs are well adapted to easily digest grains and other carbohydrates. Also, beef and dairy remain the most common allergens for dogs, so even dogs with allergies are unlikely to need to need grain-free food. 
    So, the take away here seems to be that most dogs don’t need grain-free or gluten-free food, and that it might actually be bad for the dog, not good, as the owner might imagine.
    Stay tuned for more on the FDA’s investigation and any findings they make.
    Read more at Bizjournals.com
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Did You Miss the Gluten-Free Fireworks This Past Fourth of July?
    Celiac.com 08/14/2018 - Occasionally, Celiac.com learns of an amusing gluten-free story after the fact. Such is the case of the “Gluten-Free Fireworks.” 
    We recently learned about a funny little event that happened leading up to Fourth of July celebrations in the town of Springdale in Northwest Arkansas. It seems that a sign advertising "Gluten Free Fireworks" popped up near a fireworks stand on interstate 49 in Springdale. 
    In case you missed the recent dose of Fourth of July humor, in an effort to attract customers and provide a bit of holiday levity, Pinnacle Fireworks put up a sign advertising "gluten-free fireworks.” 
    The small company is owned by Adam Keeley and his father. "A lot of the people that come in want to crack a joke right along with you," Keeley said. "Every now and then, you will get someone that comes in and says so fireworks are supposed to be gluten-free right? Have I been buying fireworks that have gluten? So then I say no, no they are gluten-free. It's just a little fun."
    Keeley said that their stand saw a steady flow of customers in the week leading up to the Fourth. In addition to selling “gluten-free” fireworks, each fireworks package sold by Pinnacle features a QR code. The code can be scanned with a smartphone. The link leads to a video showing what the fireworks look like.
    We at Celiac.com hope you and your family had a safe, enjoyable, and, yes, gluten-free Fourth of July. Stay tuned for more on gluten-free fireworks and other zany, tongue-in-cheek stories.
    Read more at kark.com
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Stress-Related Disorders Associated with Higher Risk for Autoimmune Disease
    Celiac.com 08/13/2018 - It’s not uncommon for people to have psychiatric reactions to stressful life events, and these reactions may trigger some immune dysfunction. Researchers don’t yet know whether such reactions increase overall risk of autoimmune disease.
    Are psychiatric reactions induced by trauma or other life stressors associated with subsequent risk of autoimmune disease? Are stress-related disorders significantly associated with risk of subsequent autoimmune disease?
    A team of researchers recently set out to determine whether there is an association between stress-related disorders and subsequent autoimmune disease. The research team included Huan Song, MD, PhD; Fang Fang, MD, PhD; Gunnar Tomasson, MD, PhD; Filip K. Arnberg, PhD; David Mataix-Cols, PhD; Lorena Fernández de la Cruz, PhD; Catarina Almqvist, MD, PhD; Katja Fall, MD, PhD; Unnur A. Valdimarsdóttir, PhD.
    They are variously affiliated with the Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Centre for Rheumatology Research, University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland; the National Centre for Disaster Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; the Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; the Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden; the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
    The team conducted a Swedish register-based retrospective cohort study that included 106, 464 patients with stress-related disorders, 1,064 ,640 matched unexposed individuals, and 126 ,652 full siblings to determine whether a clinical diagnosis of stress-related disorders was significantly associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease.
    The team identified stress-related disorder and autoimmune diseases using the National Patient Register. They used Cox model to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs of 41 autoimmune diseases beyond 1 year after the diagnosis of stress-related disorders, controlling for multiple risk factors.
    The data showed that being diagnosed with a stress-related disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress reaction, adjustment disorder, and other stress reactions, was significantly associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease, compared with matched unexposed individuals. The team is calling for further studies to better understand the associations and the underlying factors.
    Source:
    JAMA. 2018;319(23):2388-2400. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7028