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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Why Do So Many Women Get Celiac Disease?

      The combination of two X chromosomes potentially leaves women at greater risk for autoimmune diseases; while Y and X combination leaves men more susceptible to immunodeficiencies.


    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 2.0--joannapoe

    Celiac.com 07/12/2019 - In Italy, where gluten-rich pasta and pizza are king, the Italian Ministry of Health has presented its annual report on celiac disease to parliament. Celiac disease is a lifelong autoimmune condition in which people suffer an adverse reaction to gluten in wheat, rye or barley. The report contains some interesting details, especially in comparison to years past.

    The 2017 report showed that women account for 145,759 of the 206,561 total cases of celiac disease, while men account for just 60,802 cases. So, what explains the difference? Why do women account for two out of three cases of celiac disease in Italy, and in many other places?

    The government suggests that women may be more susceptible than men to the disease due to biological differences between the two sexes.

    Overall, researchers estimate that about one in 100 people have the condition. Common symptoms include stomach cramps, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea and vomiting, though more and more people was being diagnosed with few or no classical symptoms.

    Research has shown that the female immune response is more developed and aggressive than the male immune response. The Italian researchers suggest that the vigilance of the female immune system might be related to women's biological role as child-bearers. The idea being that women developed a quicker and more robust response to infectious agents as a means to cope with post-natal infections, according to study authors, Simona de Stefano from the Ministry of Health, and Marco Silano from the National Institute of Health.

    There is some research data that shows estrogen, the main female hormone, can play an active role against viruses, while testosterone, the main male hormone, can help to suppress inflammatory responses, the authors added.

    There is also some evidence that variations in X and Y chromosomes may play a role. The combination of two X chromosomes potentially leaves women at greater risk for autoimmune diseases; while Y and X combination leaves men more susceptible to immunodeficiencies.

    So, for now, according to the Italian Ministry of Health, the answer to the question of why women get celiac disease more often than men seems to be that women's immune systems leave them more genetically susceptible to celiac disease than men. 

    "Women, who have more reactive immune systems than men, are more susceptible to coeliac disease," according to the Italian Ministry of Health. If, on the one hand, an immune system is so reactive and aggressive against infections, according to some scholars [it] can also more easily, and perhaps incorrectly modify itself in response to the infection," write the authors. This could result in excessive activation, which, over time, could lead to the development of autoimmune diseases, such as celiac disease, added de Stefano and Silano. 

    Read more at Foodnavigator.com


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    Terribly written and effectively says nothing. For example: 

    Quote

    Research has shown that the female immune response in women is more developed and aggressive than in men.  (Emphasis my own.)

    Really? "Female immune response" is more aggressive and developed than in men?  (You don't say?! Or do men also have a "female immune response"???  Your editors clearly are not paying attention to the way cultural biases translate from one language to another.  This undermines the credibility of your work, while (possibly) also revealing the underlying gender bias in the heart of your reporting. 

    Either fix this article and REPOST IT so everyone is aware of what you mean, or (next time) don't post it at all. 

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    7 hours ago, sc'Que? said:

    Terribly written and effectively says nothing. For example: 

    Really? "Female immune response" is more aggressive and developed than in men?  (You don't say?! Or do men also have a "female immune response"???  Your editors clearly are not paying attention to the way cultural biases translate from one language to another.  This undermines the credibility of your work, while (possibly) also revealing the underlying gender bias in the heart of your reporting. 

    Either fix this article and REPOST IT so everyone is aware of what you mean, or (next time) don't post it at all. 

    Geez, why so angry? I think we get the gist of this article without being offended or dissecting it for gender bias intent. 

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    We've clarified the sentence that seemed to trigger @sc'Que?, and no cultural (or gender) bias was intended. We're just summarizing the findings of this scientific publication. Thank you for pointing this out, as that sentence was a bit confusing. 😅

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    Guest Gluten-Free

    Posted

    10 hours ago, sc'Que? said:

    Terribly written and effectively says nothing. For example: 

    Really? "Female immune response" is more aggressive and developed than in men?  (You don't say?! Or do men also have a "female immune response"???  Your editors clearly are not paying attention to the way cultural biases translate from one language to another.  This undermines the credibility of your work, while (possibly) also revealing the underlying gender bias in the heart of your reporting. 

    Either fix this article and REPOST IT so everyone is aware of what you mean, or (next time) don't post it at all. 

    I believe the author/editor is simply guilty of missing the fact that stating, "the female immune response in women is more developed..." is redundant.   Accusing them of "gender bias" over what clearly appears to be an oversight of redundancy within a sentence is a little extreme, don't you think?

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    Either way, it's bad editing... on top of bad writing. This article went through a minimum of two different layers in the journalist paradigm and both/all failed to articulate the facts properly. Sorry, but that is BAD JOURNALISM. Celiac-dot-com need to be held to a HIGHER STANDARD than this... nonsense. 

    Edited by sc'Que?
    editing for grammar, punctation and clarity--unlike the editorial staff of late.

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    @Scott Adams, I am not quibbling about facts. I am suggesting that holding Celiac-dot-com to a higher journalistic standard will make you more legible... while also providing better journalistic integrity.  

    @Guest Gluten-Free, when we link articles like this to other educated folks and there is clearly a lack of editing standards, the content is de-valued for readers outside the Celiac-spectrum, undermining our overall goal of legitimacy.  We're not talking about a simple misspelling here. 

    Always aspire to greater.... 

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    Here's something to contemplate. Maybe women are more open to accepting that they might have Celiac. This could skew the statistics. Men seem to think that they are too mocho to have an allergy or sensitivity. I am a man, and I am not that way, but I think men are like that much more than women.

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    I am a male who has gluten intolerance (to the point of thyroid & gut destruction), but not celiac.  I don't see that there is a benefit to knowing that women are more vulnerable to celiac, than men.  The goal of medical care should be that *every* doctor understands which symptoms could be related to celiac or gluten intolerance, and administers the appropriate tests (e.g. TTG) to every patient who has those symptoms.  I have not been impressed in the past, with the quality of writing from Jefferson Davis, and here we have an example which appears to raise the issue of Cultural Deafness.  Perhaps @ScottAdams should review Davis' articles thoroughly, before publication?

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    Jefferson Davis? Talk about glaring errors. As for the value of studying the difference between men and women with respect to celiac disease, clearly if women get celiac disease at twice the rate of men, there might be a significant difference in immune response, or other factors that could be very helpful in understanding the disease. This study, and its conclusions, however, really don't do much but speculate. Further study is needed.

    On 7/24/2019 at 5:32 PM, Rakdan said:

    Here's something to contemplate. Maybe women are more open to accepting that they might have Celiac. This could skew the statistics. Men seem to think that they are too mocho to have an allergy or sensitivity. I am a man, and I am not that way, but I think men are like that much more than women.

    In Italy, men and women are tested at about the same rates. The difference is likely not due to acceptance, but an actual biological disparity.

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    On 7/23/2019 at 12:53 AM, sc'Que? said:

    Terribly written and effectively says nothing. For example: 

    Really? "Female immune response" is more aggressive and developed than in men?  (You don't say?! Or do men also have a "female immune response"???  Your editors clearly are not paying attention to the way cultural biases translate from one language to another.  This undermines the credibility of your work, while (possibly) also revealing the underlying gender bias in the heart of your reporting. 

    Either fix this article and REPOST IT so everyone is aware of what you mean, or (next time) don't post it at all. 

    Thanks for pointing out the grammatical oversight. The sentence has been corrected to read as intended: "Research has shown that the female immune response is more developed and aggressive than the male immune response."

     

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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