Celiac.com 04/09/2020 - Anyone with celiac disease knows how hard it can be to follow a gluten-free diet. Some studies have shown that even celiacs who strive to stay gluten-free are commonly exposed to gluten. How common is gluten-exposure in celiacs who are following a gluten-free diet? A new study takes a deeper look at real world gluten exposure in celiac patients following a gluten-free diet.
To do so, the research team set out to measure levels of gluten immunogenic peptides (GIP) in fecal and urine samples from celiac patients on a gluten-free diet.
The team conducted a prospective study of 53 celiac adults in Argentina who had followed a gluten-free diet for more than two years, and an average of eight years.
The team used a celiac symptom index questionnaire to assess celiac-related symptoms for each patient at the beginning of the study. Patients in the study collected stool each Friday and Saturday and urine samples each Sunday for one month. The team used a commercial ELISA to measure gluten immunogenic peptides in stool and point-of-care tests to measure gluten immunogenic peptides in urine samples.
Among other revelations, the results showed that nearly 40% of stool and urine samples were positive for gluten immunogenic peptides. Nearly 90% patients had at least one fecal or urine sample that was positive for gluten immunogenic peptides (median, 3 excretions). Nearly 70% of urine samples were positive for gluten immunogenic peptides at least once.
Positive gluten immunogenic peptides samples correlated with blood levels of deamidated gliadin peptide IgA, but not with levels of tissue transglutaminase. Interestingly, symptomatic patients had more weeks with detectable gluten immunogenic peptides in stool than patients without symptoms.
Patients with celiac disease on a long-term gluten-free diet are still frequently exposed to gluten. Tests to measure gluten immunogenic peptides in stool and urine could help dietitians ensure gluten-free diet compliance. In their celiac patients.
In this real world study, nearly nine out of ten celiacs who are following a gluten-free diet tested positive for gluten exposure at least once in this study, and nearly two out of five urine tests was positive for gluten exposure. Moreover, these exposures may not have symptoms. This is pretty alarming news, to be honest. People with celiac disease need to avoid gluten, and they need a reliable way to check and see if they need to adjust their diet.
Do you have celiac disease? Are you on a gluten-free diet? Do you think you get exposed to gluten regularly? Do you think that regular testing might help you to avoid gluten? Comment below.
Read more in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology