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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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    KEEPING YOUR INFANT HEALTHY COULD PREVENT CELIAC DISEASE


    Dr. Vikki Petersen D.C, C.C.N


    • Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Spring 2013 Issue


    Celiac.com 05/25/2017 - No parent likes to see their child ill. This is most especially true of a newborn. The baby feels sick, perhaps has a fever, and often all they do is cry, look miserable and no one gets any sleep. So while we can all agree that it's no fun, could keeping your baby healthy actually prevent a lifetime of celiac disease?


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    The answer is quite possibly 'yes' based on a recent study published in BioMed Central Pediatrics. The title of the study is: "Early infections are associated with increased risk for celiac disease: an incident case-referent study". [A case referent study is simply one where people with the disease to be studied are identified and compared to people in a control group who do not have that disease but are similar in other respects.]

    Specifically, the authors concentrated on the 'epidemic' of celiac disease present in Swedish children under two. Their goal was to discover any potential risk or protectant factors that could influence the expression of celiac disease.

    Nine hundred and forty five children participated in this study, 373 of whom had celiac disease, with the remainder making up the control group. All of those with the disease were diagnosed with it prior to their second birthday.

    The scientists discovered that if a child had 3 or more infections, regardless of type, during the first 6 months of life, their risk for contracting celiac disease was significantly increased. This risk remained stable after adjusting for variances in infants' feeding and socioeconomic status.

    Additionally, the risk of celiac disease was further increased if, in addition to the infections, the infants were introduced to gluten in large amounts, compared to small or medium amounts, after breastfeeding was discontinued. The authors concluded that there was actually a synergistic effect between early infections and daily gluten intake. That effect was more pronounced when the infants who were ingesting gluten, did so after breastfeeding was discontinued.

    So what is our take-away from this study? As a parent of a newborn, one certainly can control whether the infant is breastfed, and the benefits of doing so compared to any available formula seem irrefutable. Therefore, even if a mother is having some trouble nursing or with her milk production, it is well worth the effort to overcome whatever obstacles are present so her infant receives the benefits of nursing for at least 6 months. Personally I encourage a year, but 6 months would be the absolute minimum.

    Controlling whether or not your child becomes ill is certainly more difficult than ensuring he or she is breastfed, but I would like to share an interesting correlation that we see here at the clinic. Breastfed babies seem, on the whole, to be much healthier than formula fed babies. There is certainly considerable support in the research to support our clinical experience. You may have more control than you would imagine, simply by ensuring that your infant is nursed for as long as possible.

    The only further dietary recommendation I would suggest is that the infant's mother get checked for gluten intolerance during pregnancy or as soon as possible, and if she has any genetic markers for either celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, she should avoid all gluten (and dairy products) during the nursing months – both have been shown to lower the immune system.

    Finally, from a lifestyle viewpoint, it would perhaps be prudent to make the first 6 months or so of life as stress-free as possible. I know that some infants gain a passport and international travel experience well before their first birthday due to relatives in foreign lands or from out of state. While all families are excited to greet a new infant into the family, consider having the infant stay at home while others make the journey to meet him or her. This might very well prove to have long-term benefits for the child's health.

    I hope that you found this helpful. Unfortunately, celiac disease, much like so many other autoimmune diseases we are trying to avoid, continues to increase in frequency. Anything we can do to reduce the numbers of people suffering is well worth it.

    If you have any questions, comments, or would like to improve your health. Please contact me – call 408-733-0400.

    We are here to help!

    Reference:

    • BioMed Central Pediatrics. 2012 Dec 19;12(1):194. Early infections are associated with increased risk for celiac disease: an incident case-referent study. Myléus A, et al.

    Image Caption: Image: CC--Jamie Beverly
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    Guest Pam Newbury

    Posted

    The study's conclusion, "having repeated infectious episodes early in life increases the risk for later celiac disease", is NOT the same as saying that preventing infections in the first six months can prevent celiac disease. An association between infections and celiac disease does not prove causality. I suspect it is far more likely that the study results indicate that the infants who had several early infections had them because they already were starting to develop celiac disease. This is borne out by the study's note about the synergistic effects of infants being introduced to dietary gluten in large amounts and cessation of breastfeeding. Add it up: large amounts of gluten fed to a baby plus several "infectious episodes" equals a baby with celiac disease who is sick because their immune system is compromised by being fed gluten. That said, I agree with the recommendations to avoid stressing the baby, exclusive breastfeeding for at least a year, and avoiding travel. I also agree that the mother of a child who has a parent or close relative with celiac disease should not eat gluten while nursing. Additionally, when gluten is introduced to the child's diet, parents should be observant to any changes in the infant's health, including any increase in "infectious episodes." I disagree strongly with the author's conclusion that preventing infections can prevent celiac disease. (Note: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I'm basing my conclusions on my own personal observations of my two children with celiac disease, my 27 years of experience with celiac disease in my family, and my understanding of association and causality in medical research.)

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    Guest Anonymous

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    The study's conclusion, "having repeated infectious episodes early in life increases the risk for later celiac disease", is NOT the same as saying that preventing infections in the first six months can prevent celiac disease. An association between infections and celiac disease does not prove causality. I suspect it is far more likely that the study results indicate that the infants who had several early infections had them because they already were starting to develop celiac disease. This is borne out by the study's note about the synergistic effects of infants being introduced to dietary gluten in large amounts and cessation of breastfeeding. Add it up: large amounts of gluten fed to a baby plus several "infectious episodes" equals a baby with celiac disease who is sick because their immune system is compromised by being fed gluten. That said, I agree with the recommendations to avoid stressing the baby, exclusive breastfeeding for at least a year, and avoiding travel. I also agree that the mother of a child who has a parent or close relative with celiac disease should not eat gluten while nursing. Additionally, when gluten is introduced to the child's diet, parents should be observant to any changes in the infant's health, including any increase in "infectious episodes." I disagree strongly with the author's conclusion that preventing infections can prevent celiac disease. (Note: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. I'm basing my conclusions on my own personal observations of my two children with celiac disease, my 27 years of experience with celiac disease in my family, and my understanding of association and causality in medical research.)

    No, I don't think this is true as you cannot develop celiac disease until you have had gluten introduced into the diet. This typically occurs at or around the age of 6 months, and so infections prior to this age could not occur due to starting to develop celiac disease. This is one of the reasons that breast feeding is thought to be protective, as it has also been shown to decrease the incidence of infections during the early infancy period. My issue with the article is saying that nursing moms should be "screened for gluten intolerance" and if they have any genetic markers for it they should avoid gluten and dairy. This is not supported by any evidence. There are no markers for gluten intolerance outside of those for celiac disease, meaning we cannot screen for a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Furthermore, if you do carry one of the genetic markers for celiac, as 30-40% of the population does, this does not mean you will definitely go on to develop celiac, which only 1% of the population does. There is therefore no need to avoid gluten or dairy (I'm not sure why this got thrown in there), and there is no data to say that either of these lowers your immune system.

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    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    Celiac.com 07/19/2016 - We know that celiac disease afflicts almost 1% of the general population (1). We also know that about 12% of the general population has non-celiac gluten sensitivity, as indicated by elevated IgG class anti-gliadin antibodies in their blood (2). Although elevated antibodies identified by this test are often dismissed as "non-specific", they are clear evidence that the immune system is mounting a reaction against the most common food in our western diet. It is also true that many people who produce these antibodies and have then excluded gluten from their diets have also experienced improved health. Unfortunately, most of the individuals who have elevated IgG anti-gliadin antibodies and might benefit from avoiding gluten do not know that they are gluten sensitive and/or have celiac disease. Thus, we really don't know how many, or which, school children should be avoiding gluten to optimize their academic potential as they work their way through the education system.
    Approaching this issue from a different angle, we know that between 10% and 15% of the U.S. population has dyslexia (3). About 60% of those with ADHD have dyslexia (3). If we calculate the prevalence of ADHD, at 8.8% of the population (4), then just the ADHD component, it should give us 5.28% of the population with dyslexia. But we can't tell how much overlap there is between this group and the group that constitutes between 10% and 15% of the population that are reported as having dyslexia. These disabilities have been given considerable attention and have been studied for some time, yet we really know little about their causes, except in cases of traumatic brain injury.
    However, there is a startling study, reported in The Times ten years ago, from the Nunnykirk School in Northumberland, U.K. (5). The astounding results of this study continue to cry out for further research and possible replication. After 6 months on a gluten-free diet, testing showed that 11 of the 12 (92%) live-in students had improved their reading and comprehension at more than twice the rate at which regular students are expected to improve. Among the 22 students living in the community and attending this special school for dyslexic students during the day, 17 of them (77%) showed similar improvements (5). To put these results in perspective, special needs teachers are often very proud when they can help students achieve at rates similar to regular students. Doubling the rates of improvement is an astonishingly positive result! And a few of these students leaped ahead at six times the rate of normal students! The numbers of students involved in this study are too small to allow us to extrapolate to other dyslexic populations. And, given that the research was done in the United Kingdom, where definitions of learning disabilities, and other factors may be dissimilar, and that the work was reported in a newspaper instead of a peer reviewed journal, and the startlingly positive nature of these results, we really need further, carefully designed studies to explore this phenomenon.
    The Nunnykirk findings are consistent with the extensive brain and neurological research that has been done at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital at the University of Sheffield, over the last two decades, by Marios Hadjivassiliou and his colleagues. They have found that a strict gluten-free diet can often relieve central and peripheral neurological symptoms.
    Further, many prominent researchers who work with children and adults who have dyslexia characterize it as a neurobiological condition, and can demonstrate, with MRI, altered brain function in dyslexia (8). It is also clear that many cases of dyslexia are at least partly genetically conferred (8, 9). Neither are learning disabilities limited to dyslexia. Although some practitioners lump two or more learning disabilities together, the literature distinguishes between dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysphasia/aphasia, auditory processing disorders, visual processing disorders, etc. Some such practitioners not only differentiate between types of learning disabilities, they also differentiate between sub-types of disabilities. For instance, motor dysgraphia (where fine motor speed is impaired), dyslexic dysgraphia (where normal fine motor speed allows them to draw or copy but impairs spontaneous writing) and spatial dysgraphia (where handwriting is illegible due to distortion) can each be identified based on symptoms (10). Similar sub-types are seen in other learning disabilities.
    But what if the findings at Nunnykirk School are broadly applicable to all of these types of learning problems? Or perhaps further research can tell us which types and sub-types of learning disabilities can often be alleviated by a gluten-free diet.
    My own professional observations suggest that the number of students helped by a gluten-free diet would be similar to the proportions seen at Nunnykirk School. I have also observed that as the strictness of the diet increases, so does the number of students who improve. However, the diagnosing professionals are becoming reluctant to differentiate, even between general types of learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. As teachers, we were told that a child had learning disabilities and then, if not specified in the documents we were given, we had to figure out exactly what type of disability they had, then devise or research effective ways of teaching these students. I have done a little of both, but my experience is that this choice varies from one teacher to the next, and one situation to the next. Unfortunately, depending on the individual teacher's workload, teaching background, and personal biases, these children can sometimes be neglected or under-served, a choice that is often dictated by excessive workloads and demands on teachers' time to perform other tasks, especially extensive reporting and supervising sports and other extra-curricular activities.
    Please recall the overlap between dyslexia and ADHD mentioned earlier (3), and consider that there are ten reports of connections between attention deficit disorders and celiac disease published in the peer reviewed medical literature. Now, please recall that about 60% of these ADHD children will have dyslexia (3). Since the current, and past issues, of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, require that ADHD and learning disorders each be differentiated from any medical condition that might be causing the same symptoms and be alleviated by resolution of the medical condition in question. On that basis alone, almost every child being considered for a diagnosis of learning disorders or ADHD should be thoroughly tested for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
    Yet, I would be very surprised to learn that this is commonly being done. Thus, we have a situation in which we are forced to rely upon a study conducted by a group of teachers, in cooperation with parents and students, that was published in The Times (5) and we must take action on our own because, as yet, celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are not yet being differentiated from ADHD and/or learning disabilities. The really tragic part of this story is that a gluten-free diet, if started early enough, can reduce or completely eliminate all of these problems with learning disabilities and attention deficits, when gluten is the underlying problem.
    If you or your spouse are gluten sensitive, or have celiac disease, do you also have children who struggle in school? Based on the data from Nunnykirk School, current blood tests are probably not sufficient to rule out those who would benefit from a gluten-free diet. For the moment, you may need to institute a trial of a gluten-free diet, as mentioned above, while we await further research in this area. But wouldn't it be valuable for succeeding generations to know, or have a pretty clear idea whether the diet could help? And with what types and/or sub-types of learning disorders? That's where more research could really help. We already know that there is an association between gluten sensitivity and seizure disorders, ataxia and cerebellar degeneration, neuropathy (damage to peripheral nervous system), schizophrenia, depression, migraine, anxiety disorders, autism, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune neuromuscular disease), and white matter lesions in the brain (11). It should not be surprising if gluten underlies many or most cases of learning disorders and attention deficits. And if research can tell us which cases would be most likely to benefit from the diet, that will be a huge step forward for parents, students, teachers, and government agencies that provide funding for the education of those who are afflicted with these ailments.
    In the meantime, we only have the information that we have. So, despite its many weaknesses, the Nunnykirk investigation of dyslexic children argues for experimental implementation, on a trial basis. I would suggest at least a six-months-long period of strict gluten avoidance to determine whether it will help individuals who suffer from dyslexia and/or other learning disabilities.
    Sources:
    1. Fasano A, Berti I, Gerarduzzi T, Not T, Colletti RB, Drago S, Elitsur Y, Green PH, Guandalini S, Hill ID, Pietzak M, Ventura A, Thorpe M, Kryszak D, Fornaroli F, Wasserman SS, Murray JA, Horvath K. Prevalence of celiac disease in at-risk and not-at-risk groups in the United States: a large multicenter study. Arch Intern Med. 2003 Feb 10;163(3):286-92.
    2. Hadjivassiliou M, Grünewald R A, Davies-Jones G A B. Gluten sensitivity as a neurological illness. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2002;72:560-563.
    3. Dyslexia Research Institute http://www.dyslexia-add.org/
    4. National Resource Center on ADHD http://www.help4adhd.org/about/statistics
    5. Blair http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/article1924736.ece
    6. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.
    7. Aziz I, Hadjivassiliou M. Coeliac disease: noncoeliac gluten sensitivity--food for thought. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Jul;11(7):398-9.
    8. Shaywitz SE, Shaywitz BA. The Neurobiology of Reading and Dyslexia. Focus on Basics - Connecting Research & Practice, Volume 5,A: Aug. 2001. http://www.ncsall.net/index.html@id=278.html
    9. Eicher JD, Powers NR, Miller LL, Mueller KL, Mascheretti S, Marino C, Willcutt EG, DeFries JC, Olson RK, Smith SD, Pennington BF, Tomblin JB, Ring SM, Gruen JR. Characterization of the DYX2 locus on chromosome 6p22 with reading disability, language impairment, and IQ. Hum Genet. 2014 Jul;133(7):869-81.
    10. About Education http://specialed.about.com/od/readingliteracy/a/Dyslexia-And-Dysgraphia.htm
    11. Jackson JR, Eaton WW, Cascella NG, Fasano A, Kelly DL.Neurologic and psychiatric manifestations of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Psychiatr Q. 2012 Mar;83(1):91-102.
    12. Diaconu G, Burlea M, Grigore I, Anton DT, Trandafir LM. Celiac disease with neurologic manifestations in children. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2013 Jan-Mar;117(1):88-94. PubMed PMID: 24505898.
    13. Niederhofer H. Association of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and celiac disease: a brief report. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2011;13(3). pii: PCC.10br01104PMCID: PMC3184556.
    14. Niederhofer H, Pittschieler K. A preliminary investigation of ADHD symptoms in persons with celiac disease. J Atten Disord. 2006 Nov;10(2):200-4.
    15. Zelnik N, Pacht A, Obeid R, Lerner A. Range of neurologic disorders in patients with celiac disease. Pediatrics. 2004 Jun;113(6):1672-6.
    16. Kozłowska ZE. [Evaluation of mental status of children with malabsorption syndrome after long-term treatment with gluten-free diet (preliminary report)]. Psychiatr Pol. 1991 Mar-Apr;25(2):130-4. Polish.
    17. Diaconu G, Burlea M, Grigore I, Anton DT, Trandafir LM. Celiac disease with neurologic manifestations in children. Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2013 Jan-Mar;117(1):88-94. PubMed PMID: 24505898.
    18. Niederhofer H. Association of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and celiac disease: a brief report. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2011;13(3). pii: PCC.10br01104. PMCID: PMC3184556.
    19. Niederhofer H, Pittschieler K. A preliminary investigation of ADHD symptoms in persons with celiac disease. J Atten Disord. 2006 Nov;10(2):200-4.
    20. 4: Zelnik N, Pacht A, Obeid R, Lerner A. Range of neurologic disorders in patients with celiac disease. Pediatrics. 2004 Jun;113(6):1672-6.
    21. Kozłowska ZE. [Evaluation of mental status of children with malabsorption syndrome after long-term treatment with gluten-free diet (preliminary report)]. Psychiatr Pol. 1991 Mar-Apr;25(2):130-4. Polish.

    Nicole Vela
    Celiac.com 08/02/2016 - One thing I have noticed since becoming a parent is how every place we go there are treats and candy. Even cashiers hand out candy at the checkout. Food is everywhere. Our kids are constantly being bombarded with sugary baked goods and salty snacks.
    Wow, how times have changed! When I was a kid, and yes, my saying that makes me sound ancient, but it was only the 80's...back then we were sent outside in the morning and all of the neighborhood kids convened in someone's backyard. We went home for lunch and moms certainly did not hand out treats, especially not butterfly shaped waffles or any of the other Pinterest-inspired foods out there. We considered ourselves pretty lucky if someone had Freeze Pops in their house. If you are raising a child gluten-free, you know how much of a challenge it is that everything revolves around food.
    The diagnosis of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a huge eye opener for many. I think one of the hardest things for a family starting a gluten-free diet is how different our diet is from the way most people cook and eat. Since the 1950's we have morphed from TV dinners to buying entire meals from the grocery store deli, and our breads, cakes, and rolls from the bakery. And we've moved from a dinner out being a rare treat to the drive-thru being the norm for many families. Some parents never learned how to cook themselves, so it can be quite a shock to go from a world of just picking up dinner at the drive-thru or the deli, to a world of cooking from scratch at home. I know. I was a processed foods kid, and now I am definitely a "semi-homemade" cook.
    Going gluten-free can be overwhelming at first. It will get easier. Here are a few tips and resources for raising a gluten-free child.
    Take advantage of the internet and your smart phone. I love subscribing to digital gluten-free magazines, finding new recipes and reading books from my Kindle App. Make grocery shopping easy by using The Gluten-Free Grocery Guide by Triumph Dining (1). They have produced an app that tells you which foods are gluten-free at the grocery store. The app features popular brands and even includes store brands. They have done the research for you by calling brands and manufacturers to create this resource. I know how hard it is getting through the grocery store with kids in tow. It needs to be as easy as possible!
    Know that you are not alone. There are many other parents facing the same obstacles as you. Surround yourself with support. R.O.C.K, Raising Our Celiac Kids (2) is a support group that can help you with the challenges ahead. Two other support groups you may look into are The Gluten Intolerance Group (3) and Celiac Sprue Association (4), while these are not groups for kids, they still provide valuable help and information.
    Talk to family and friends about the seriousness of your child's needs. A lot of people don't understand how celiac disease or gluten sensitivity effects someone. Educate them. Make it clear that foods can't just be given to your kid, even a food that one may think of as gluten-free. Tell them about hidden sources of gluten. Let them know why a gluten-free menu at a restaurant may not actually be gluten-free. If your child spends a lot of time with a relative go over items in their home, like their toaster, that may be sources of cross contamination.
    Teach your child the effects of cheating on their diet can do. Short term and long term. There are going to be many times of temptation. They are eventually going to be teenagers and have their own transportation and money. They need to be able to make smart choices as young adults.
    Be prepared for class parties and classmates' birthdays. I suggest making it easier for yourself by giving a good supply of treats to your kid's teacher and having a good store of treats at home. Some yummy pre-packaged treats are Jelly Belly Snack Packs, Enjoy Life Cookies, and Lucy's Cookies. These are great choices for multiple food sensitivities. I also recommend packing snacks for around town, play dates, and after school activities. Having healthy gluten-free snacks on hand is important for when there may not be any allergy-friendly snacks available.
    I try to stick to as many natural foods as possible, but occasionally, I like a treat or an easy meal. Thanks to the huge growth in gluten-free consumers there are a ton of food choices available. Gluten-free pizza, mac 'n' cheese, chicken tenders, cookies, pasta, even gluten-free toaster pastries. If you live in a rural area, with stores that don't carry a lot of gluten-free items, take advantage of online shopping. I like the ease of shopping from Amazon, Vitacost and The Gluten-Free Mall. As a busy mom I love that I can get items delivered to my door.
    Get your kids in the kitchen. Teaching your kids to cook is an invaluable resource that will serve them life-long. Learning how to make a meal from whole natural foods can be fun and it teaches them how to eat a healthy diet. You can do this yourself or there are a lot of kids' cooking programs at local culinary centers, grocery stores, and community centers.
    Kids will adapt and adjust. If they are older and have been eating gluten-containing foods their whole lives, it will be more difficult because their palates have been formed. Try to ease the transition by having them go grocery shopping with you so they can learn what is still available to them, and then do something fun like chocolate gluten-free waffles. Or pick up some gluten-free ice cream cones and ice cream. Let them know they don't have to give up everything. Having a positive attitude is essential. Children will model what you show them.
    References:
    http://www.triumphdining.com/glutenfree/apps.php https://www.celiac.com/articles/563/1/ROCK-Raising-Our-Celiac-Kids---National-Celiac-Disease-Support-Group/Page1.html https://www.gluten.net/gluten-intolerance-group-branch-offices/ 4.http://www.csaceliacs.info/find.jsp

    Kay A. Chick, Ed.D.
    Celiac.com 11/15/2016 - Do you know someone who has lived with celiac disease for over eighty years? Someone who lived on nothing but mashed bananas for a year? Someone who continued to eat gluten for over 30 years because doctors didn't know how to treat a celiac diagnosis? Someone who experienced serious physical, emotional, and family challenges as a result? Well, I met such an individual at the International Celiac Symposium in Chicago in the fall of 2013. Clara (a pseudonym) attended my poster session, The Educational, Social, and Family Challenges of Children with Celiac Disease: What Parents Should Know. As she stood before my poster with tears in her eyes she began to say, "This is me. This is me." Through a brief conversation then, and several lengthy telephone interviews that followed, she shared her incredible story with me and gave me permission to share it with you.
    Clara was born in 1933 on a citrus ranch in California and was the youngest of five children. She was very sick as a baby with what her family thought was a "terrible case of the flu." She lost muscle tone, had wrinkly skin, and some mornings she didn't move or even open her eyelids without the help of her mother. She looked malnourished and had a distended stomach. When she was two, her parents took her to Dr. Victor E. Stork, but he was not sure what the problem might be. A few weeks later, the doctor attended a conference where he described Clara's symptoms. He learned of another child with similar symptoms who had been diagnosed with celiac disease and fed nothing but mashed bananas. After Dr. Stork informed Clara's parents, Clara's father purchased a big hook and drove to the Long Beach docks to buy bananas. He hung bunches of bananas on their back porch to ripen and she was fed nothing but mashed bananas for over a year. What started as half a teaspoon at a time quickly grew until she was eating many bananas each day. This part of Clara's story greatly intrigued me, as I had just read the research of Sidney Haas. In the 1920s Hass successfully treated eight children who were "anorexic" from celiac disease with the banana diet while untreated children did not survive (Guandalini, 2007).
    Growing up, Clara was a happy child but had no appetite and didn't enjoy food. She was very small for her age and, at times, was made to stay at the dinner table until she ate everything on her plate. Clara's mother, a practical nurse, thought she might be allergic to fat. The family kept a quarter of a beef in a freezer locker 25 miles away and her mother scraped the fat off the beef before giving it to Clara. She was also made to finish her breakfast, typically oatmeal, toast, and orange juice, before going to school in the morning. Clara routinely had vomiting and diarrhea each morning, and didn't understand why this didn't happen to other children. She missed school often because she had abdominal discomfort and was weak. Clara hid in the girls' restroom during recess and physical education so she wouldn't have to participate. Since she was unsuccessful at athletics she found it easier to sit on a toilet with her feet pulled up so no one would see her.
    Clara continued to miss a great deal of school but was required to do her school work at home. During second grade she worked ahead, completing both second and third grade work. Consequently, she was allowed to skip third grade, which only accentuated her small size. When she entered high school people thought she was in third or fourth grade. After entering puberty at age 14 she finally acquired an appetite and began to grow much taller. At this point in her life, Clara decided that she would never be sick again. She graduated from high school in 1950, after acting in dramatic productions, serving as president of the Girls' League, and planning the ten year class reunion.
    Clara married at age twenty, between her junior and senior years in college. She had few symptoms during this time and was hired as a kindergarten teacher. Her husband was drafted and she taught in several different places on the west coast while he was in the service. During this time, Clara had a baby girl followed by two miscarriages. Three weeks after the birth of their second child Clara became very ill and lost her hair. They had no insurance and she lost a dramatic amount of weight. She weighed only 80 pounds and her husband had to carry her from the bed to the couch. The vomiting and diarrhea got worse and her mother had to take care of her babies. She was on heavy doses of medication and her doctors thought her gastrointestinal problems "were all in her head."
    Clara's speech became "jumbled" and she was not making sense. Her doctor sent her to a psychiatrist who placed her in a "sanitarium." She was hospitalized for several months where she felt very isolated and alone. Her relatives weren't told where she was and her father would not allow her mother to visit her. At the sanitarium Clara received shock treatments every three days, ten in all. Her sister offered her son's college fund to pay the sanitarium bill so that Clara would be allowed to leave.
    When Clara returned home she found she had lost much of her memory. She didn't remember how to hold a knife and her daughter, who was three, taught her how to tie her shoes. She was on sedatives and slept much of the time. She does not know how she took care of her children during this time. Clara and her husband had little money, so she took in ironing and taught preschool. It took them twelve years to pay off the hospital bills.
    It was fifteen years after this experience, and two babies later, that Clara finally got treatment for her celiac disease. She was hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center for a month while more tests and an intestinal biopsy were completed. It was 1972, and she was now 39 years old. The gastroenterologist finally confirmed the diagnosis of celiac disease and told her that she would never be able to eat pie, bread, or cake ever again. Clara was so thrilled that it was "just food" that would make a difference and not cancer. The doctor told her that there was no reason why she was still alive. Within two months she was noticing a difference and had gained weight. Clara was able to go back to teaching part-time and started teaching full-time in 1981.
    After her celiac diagnosis Clara did her best to avoid grains completely. One doctor told her to eat wheat germ, a product she clearly was correct in avoiding. In the 1970s she tried to make bread with rice, but her attempts were very unsuccessful. Clara started a support group in 1984 which was part of the Celiac Sprue Association. Little by little the group started receiving information on eating gluten-free, as many of these foods were readily available in Europe. By 1988 there were some gluten-free foods available in California. Clara experimented with cooking and breads and tested recipes for Carol Fenster's cookbooks. Her household today is totally gluten-free, with the exception of a loaf of bread for her husband. She and her husband traveled extensively after their retirement, visiting every state except Hawaii, along with the Caribbean and Australia.
    As far as lessons learned, Clara believes that people should listen to each other. She says, "If a person says, I feel horrible, someone should listen. The medical profession didn't listen to me. They said it was all in my head. If they had listened I could have been helped." It is unfortunate that her doctors didn't listen, as Clara could have been diagnosed much sooner. Willem-Karel Dicke first published an article on the importance of a gluten-free diet for the treatment of celiac disease in 1941 (Berge-Henegouwen & Mulder, 1993).
    Since my own celiac diagnosis came within two months of the onset of symptoms, I marvel at how someone could live for 39 years while still eating gluten. I think about the lessons to be learned from Clara's story. I consider the advancements that have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease and the ease with which I'm able to eat gluten-free. And I send a reminder of the importance of early detection and the physical and emotional consequences that individuals like Clara face when a celiac diagnosis is delayed.
    References:
    Guandalini, S. (2007). A brief history of celiac disease. Impact, 7, (3), 1-2. Van Berge-Henegouwen, G. P., & Mulder, C.J. (1993). Pioneer in the gluten-free diet: Willem-Karel Dicke 1905-1962, over 50 year of gluten-free diet. Gut, 34, 1473-1475.

    Lisa Cantkier
    Celiac.com 03/08/2017 - With summer coming soon, many parents want their child to experience summer camp. If your child has gluten intolerance (and/or other special dietary needs) the summer camp anticipation and experience itself can be anxiety provoking for you, and for your child. As a parent, it is normal to have concerns about sending your child to camp, of course, particularly when the camp is providing meals. Here are some simple tips to help you advocate for your gluten intolerant child, and keep him/her safe at camp this summer. Not only should parents be their child's advocate - parents also need to teach their child how to be a well educated self advocate. Many of these tips are also applicable to school settings, birthday parties and other social gatherings.
    Prior to each camp session, schedule a meeting with your child's supervising camp staff to discuss your child's dietary needs. Be very clear about what your child can and can't tolerate, as well as the short-term and long-term consequences of consumption of those foods. Bring copies of helpful facts and information, and even myths to educate the staff. You can also bring helpful books and/or videos to share. Any notes from your child's health professionals may be helpful as well. Let the staff know you mean business and you take your child's needs very seriously. Your child should never be turned away from a camp due to their dietary needs. That would be a conflict of the Human Rights Code!
    Request that your child's camp staff post an educational fact sheet in the camp office, staffroom, and main rooms in the camp building about his/her dietary needs and condition (e.g., celiac disease), as well as a list of foods that your child must avoid.
    Get a medical alert bracelet for your child, and list your child's condition(s) (e.g.,. celiac disease), as well as your child's dietary needs clearly (e.g., gluten intolerant). Allerbling.com is a great resource and they offer fun colors and patterns.
    Ask the camp staff if you can come into the camp one day and have a discussion with the campers about your child's condition/food intolerance. You can even find out if you can bring in props, such as products your child is and is not allowed. You might want to bring in a short video about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
    Find out if there will be birthdays being celebrated at camp, and then contact the parents of the birthday child the week before, and again the day before the birthday party to inform and remind them about your child's food intolerance. You could also offer to bring treats that your child is allowed.
    Send some "back up" snacks and treats for your child for camp staff to store, even if it's a package of cookies, or a cupcake – just in case there are celebrations or times when treats are given out that your child cannot have.
    Teach your child about his/her food intolerance, and teach your child to share the information with others. It is a good idea for your child to learn how to self-advocate at a young age. If your child is very young, you can teach through the use of puppets. Research shows that young children learn very well through the use of puppets.
    Many non-profit associations offer camps, support groups and educational programs for children. Gather information from trusted organizations such as the Canadian Celiac Association or the Celiac Sprue Association.
    Be positive – learn to look on the bright side, and teach your child to do so as well. There are many advantages to living gluten-free. Keeping positive and demonstrating strength will make your child stronger and better able to cope. Remind your child regularly that their differences are what make them special!

  • Recent Articles

    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. 
    Under the deal, personalized digital media company Catalina will be joining forces with Label Insight. Catalina uses consumer purchases data to target shoppers on a personal base, while Label Insight works with major companies like Kellogg, Betty Crocker, and Pepsi to provide insight on food label data to government, retailers, manufacturers and app developers.
    "Brands with very specific product benefits, gluten-free for example, require precise targeting to efficiently reach and convert their desired shoppers,” says Todd Morris, President of Catalina's Go-to-Market organization, adding that “Catalina offers the only purchase-based targeting solution with this capability.” 
    Label Insight’s clients include food and beverage giants such as Unilever, Ben & Jerry's, Lipton and Hellman’s. Label Insight technology has helped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) build the sector’s very first scientifically accurate database of food ingredients, health attributes and claims.
    Morris says the joint partnership will allow Catalina to “enhance our dataset and further increase our ability to target shoppers who are currently buying - or have shown intent to buy - in these emerging categories,” including gluten-free, allergen-free, and other free-from foods.
    The deal will likely make for easier, more precise targeting of goods to consumers, and thus provide benefits for manufacturers and retailers looking to better serve their retail food customers, especially in specialty areas like gluten-free and allergen-free foods.
    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

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/17/2018 - Could the holy grail of gluten-free food lie in special strains of wheat that lack “bad glutens” that trigger the celiac disease, but include the “good glutens” that make bread and other products chewy, spongey and delicious? Such products would include all of the good things about wheat, but none of the bad things that might trigger celiac disease.
    A team of researchers in Spain is creating strains of wheat that lack the “bad glutens” that trigger the autoimmune disorder celiac disease. The team, based at the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture in Cordoba, Spain, is making use of the new and highly effective CRISPR gene editing to eliminate the majority of the gliadins in wheat.
    Gliadins are the gluten proteins that trigger the majority of symptoms for people with celiac disease.
    As part of their efforts, the team has conducted a small study on 20 people with “gluten sensitivity.” That study showed that test subjects can tolerate bread made with this special wheat, says team member Francisco Barro. However, the team has yet to publish the results.
    Clearly, more comprehensive testing would be needed to determine if such a product is safely tolerated by people with celiac disease. Still, with these efforts, along with efforts to develop vaccines, enzymes, and other treatments making steady progress, we are living in exciting times for people with celiac disease.
    It is entirely conceivable that in the not-so-distant future we will see safe, viable treatments for celiac disease that do not require a strict gluten-free diet.
    Read more at Digitaltrends.com , and at Newscientist.com