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Poles Finding More Celiac Disease, Less Symptoms

Celiac.com 04/02/2009 - A recent study finds rates of celiac disease in Polish children are four times higher than estimated, and are only slightly lower than those of other northern European populations—at about 1 in 124 persons. Moreover, they found that symptoms in those diagnosed were typically absent, minimal or vague.

To date, the only epidemiological studies of celiac disease undertaken in Poland had been carried out within limited areas and involved mainly symptomatic patients or high-risk groups. Until now, celiac was thought to affect about 1 in 400 children in the country. A team of researchers based in Poland recently set out to determine actual rates of celiac disease among Polish children.

The research team was made up of Anna B. Szaflarska-Poplawska, Monika Parzecka, Lucyna Muller, Waldemar Placek. The team enrolled 3235 local children aged 12 to 15 years from the city of Bydgoszcz, and conducted screens for antiendomysial antibodies IgA endomysium (EmA) and IgG EmA. Patients with positive  IgA EmA and/or IgG EmA results were offered a small-bowel biopsy.

They found that 25 children showed positive IgA EmA and/or IgG EmA results (0.8%). 11 children elected to undergo biopsy. 7 showed histological features of celiac disease of either Marsh stage III-B or III-C, 4 children showed normal histology, while 14 children opted to skip the small-bowel biopsy.

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As is common with celiac disease, more girls than boys were affected (P<0.0001), while 2 of the 7 children with celiac disease showed no symptoms, and the other 5 presented only vague or mild symptoms.

Original national estimates put the incidence of celiac disease among children in Poland at1 in 404, while the team’s serologic sampling shows that to be nearly four times higher at 1 in 124.

The authors note that these updated figures are slightly lower than those of other countries, and that symptoms were generally absent, or vague and unclear symptoms course, despite the presence of advanced lesions in the small bowel. Overall, though, it seems that the rates found in Poland match rates in North America, which all hover at about 1% of the population.

Of particular interest is the rise of asymptomatic, or vaguely symptomatic instances of the disease, in which damage is occurring, but no outward signs are present.

Medical Science Monitor 2009.

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1 Response:

 
Sharon
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said this on
11 Jun 2012 5:30:52 PM PDT
Recently, I went back to the celiac.com "archives" and read this piece. Being of Polish descent, I found this intriguing, as my symptoms were there for decades but were insidious and subtle; they moved from system to system, yet never incapacitated me as I stayed of strong mind and will. As I grew older, it was easy for doctors to blame my issues on my weight, peri-menopause and menopause, then simply aging. Even the doctor who diagnosed me wanted to put me on an anti-depressant a few years before my diagnosis, only to discover I had one of the lowest Vitamin D levels she had ever seen. I am in my mid-fifties, and while I am one of those obese celiac disease folks and I still have weight to get off (it quickly stabilized on the gluten-free diet), I feel and look ten years younger! If I could only get my stubborn relatives of Italian (another big ethnic group with celiac disease) and Polish descent to listen and get tested, or at least go gluten-free to see if their symptoms and disorders (similar to what I suffered) lessen.




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Hello I was diagnosed Dec 15 of last year and went totally gluten-free the next day. I actually got worse before I got better - it's a steep learning curve - but now, 4 1/2 months later I'm finally seeing improvement. Hang in there.

Called my GI doctor today to make sure he is going to look at my small intestine and do biopsy for Celiac for my EGD and he is. Thanks for the tip everyone about have to start eating gluten again. The office told me to break my gluten free diet and start eating gluten everyday until my EGD. Here's to being miserable again for a few weeks ???

I can completely relate! The horrible mental effects that I have been living with for years is the absolute worst side effect of eating gluten, HANDS DOWN. Worse than the endless tummy aches, worse than the constant diarrhea, worse than the week long migraines, worse than the daily fatigue and body pain.... I honestly though there was something seriously wrong with me and hated my life because of how I felt mentally. I always felt like I was drowning, not in control of my thoughts, trapped in some unexplained misery. My head was always so cloudy, and I was mad because I always felt so slow and stupid. I would feel so lethargic and sad and empty while at the same time be raging inside, wanting to rip out of my own skin. I was mean, terrible, would snap at the people closest to me for no good reason and just felt like I hated everyone and everything. Think of how crappy you feel when you have a terrible cold and flu - I felt that crappy, but mentally. Some days were really bad, some were mild. I always thought it was because I was getting a migraine, or because I had a migraine, or because I had just overcome a migraine, because I didn't sleep well, because....always a random reason to justify why we have all these weird unrelated symptoms before we get diagnosed. I'm happy to say that I have been gluten-free for about 2 months now and though I am not symptom free, the first thing that improved was my mood. I no longer feel foggy and miserable. For the first time in years, my head is clear, I can actually think, and I feel positive and like I am in control of what's going on in my head. I don't hate the world. I don't spend every day bawled up on the corner of the couch depressed and angry. The release of these horrible symptoms is enough to never make me want to cheat, no matter what I have to miss out on. So insane how a little minuscule amount of a stupid protein can wreck such havoc.

I wanted to collect some of the info on NCGI in one place so that visitors who test negative but may still have an issue with gluten can be directed there. I'll add to this post as I find new links, but feel free to add or contribute anything you think may be of use! Matt --- Useful links: An overview from Alessio Fasano, one of the world's leading researchers on celiac and gluten sensitivity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvfTV57iPUY Umberto Volta, another leading researcher in the field gives some of the latest findings about NCGI: Presentation slides from Dr Volta's visit to Coeliac UK - NCGS about halfway through A scholarly overview from celiac disease magazine: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Knut_Lundin/publication/232528784_Non-celiac_Gluten_Sensitivity/links/09e415098bbe37c05b000000.pdf A good overview from a sceptical but fair perspective: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/a-balanced-look-at-gluten-sensitivity/ Another overview: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-2/ University of Chicago's excellent celiac site's take: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/category/faq-non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity/ A compelling account in the British Medical Journal from an NCGI patient: http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e7982 Here's some positive news about a potential new test: http://www.medicaldaily.com/non-celiac-gluten-insensitivity-blood-test-392850 NCGI in children: NCGI and auto immune study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26026392 Also consider: Fodmaps: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/dns/projects/fodmaps/faq.aspx This Monash study: http://fodmapmonash.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/the-truth-behind-non-celiac-gluten.html suggested some who think they're reacting to gluten should actually be reducing fodmaps Sibo: http://www.webmd.boots.com/digestive-disorders/small-intestinal-bacteria-sibo

I was just diagnosed in March and I totally feel you. I'm having a hard enough time with determining which lip glosses are safe, let alone all my face products etc. I feel like this 'grey area' is the biggest annoyance with Celiac. So many foods/cosmetics I thought were safe after reading the ingredient list are actually not safe at all! One website says it's safe, one says its not. All these unfamiliar ingredients and even after googling term after term still so many grey areas!! I'm sure in time it gets easier and second nature and you learn by trial and error but holy this constant uncertainty is super annoying haha.