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Celiac Disease Link to Autoimmune Disease


Celiac.com 06/28/2010 - Studies on the genetic links to celiac disease are leading to more research which may lead to new and more effective ways to treat the disease, an exciting  prospect for celiacs who may want to enjoy some gluten now and then.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, the source of this being gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, affecting about 1% of the population and 300 million Americans. The disease attacks the villi,the finger-like structure which line the small intestine, leading to stomach troubles and malabsorption of nutrients. Left untreated, it can cause severe health conditions and complications such as anemia, osteoporosis, miscarriage, and even cancer.

David van Heel, a gastrointestinal genetics professor at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, headed a group of researchers from around the world who studied the genetic maps of more than 9,400 celiacs.

British researchers have found what they term “substantial” evidence that the genes which are connected with celiac disease are also linked to other autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. As a result, scientists are able to understand how the genetic risk factors for the disease operate—by changing the number of immune system genes that cells make. Furthermore, it is now understood that there are “hundreds” of genetic risk factors, which means that scientists should be able to “have a good guess at nearly half of the genetic risk at present," van Heel wrote in the Nature Genetics journal in his published study.

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Why is that only 3% of celiac Americans have been properly diagnosed? It’s likely that they or their doctors haven’t even heard of the disease. Research on celiac disease in the U.S. depends completely on the generosity of benefactors for its funding. Without charitable donations, there would be no way to continue this research and the efforts to raise awareness. Out of the estimated fifty autoimmune diseases that have been discovered by doctors, it is the only one for which research isn’t supported by the U.S. government.

I spent years running in circles with doctors who had no clue as to the cause of my painful symptoms, which finally drove me to research my symptoms on my own. I’m grateful lto have been properly diagnosed, but managing the gluten-free diet can be a challenge. The prospect of a pill to offset genetic factors will appeal to many celiacs like myself. Although the treatment for celiac disease is simple, it calls for a lot of work and can be disheartening at times, requiring a total lifestyle change and a lot of home cooking.

With this genetic research in the area of celiac disease, we can look forward to more research, more awareness, and perhaps another treatment option. Meanwhile, it’s  best to keep doing our parts to raise awareness and funds for research.

Source: Reuters

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1 Response:

 
Tom Sweeney
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 Dec 2013 3:29:45 AM PDT
I am not a doctor, but I am 70 years old and just recently I discovered that gluten has caused
me many of health problems over the years. I was diagnosed at age 66 with (AS) Ankylosing Spondylitis after I had a flare up and was very sick. I then began to read about my AS condition
and realized I had symptoms of AS around my early twenties. I then found my brothers and sisters had autoimmune diseases also. After reading about gluten I came to the conclusion that there is a link between autoimmune diseases and gluten. It seems to me that gluten starts the process of our immune system going haywire and our immune system causes more fighting due to gluten which now causes other autoimmune diseases. Why I don't know? But I would like to help if I can be of any assistance as a gluten suffer.




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Hi Jmg, Thanks for the upbeat reply and all the info! I'm gonna chase this up and either rule it in or rule or out. Unfortunately I've missed the boat as far as adding the celiac panels to blood test goes this time round as it's scheduled for early this Tue however! I have just gone and splashed out on the biocard home-test... I'm thinking trying it out will be beneficial either way as extra ammo before docs appointment. Have you - or anyone else - much experience on the accuracy of such a test? My understanding is that they have generally good reviews but not sure I'm convinced. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/540961 Jen

We've done bloodwork again, not everything is back yet, but so far all except for that same one are normal.

Since my new diet change due to the UC and complete keto I feel great so much energy and a clear mind. I started working on a new business idea, I have always dreamed of the culinary arts and doing a full on kitchen or restaurant. But made due to the cottage home bakery and selling Artisan Almond butters and baked goods at the farmers markets. I wish to expand to full on kitchen, I have a bunch of savory breads and dishes down now, and have a full on menu list with rotating cuisines for a food truck down. I have been planning out designs and what kind it will be for about a month and am actively seeking investors and have a potential one lined up. I have also worked out the truck design and gotten a builder lined up if I can get the funding. The base idea of the truck is Paleo and grain free. No Gluten, Corn, Dairy, Peanuts, Soy, or grains period. I have sources down for all ingredients and a menu consisting of grain free nut based foods of toasted sandwiches, pizza, Stir Fries, and noodle dishes. I have it planned out pretty well am still need a few things. I have been spending my days working out options, going over how I will handle different situations, looking at permits fees cost and always looking for a partner to help out with it lol. Sorta fun and exciting, I never thought with these allergies and this disease I could work in the food industry, I threw this idea under the table years ago, but now I see it can be done if I manage it and use a completely dedicated food truck. While still expensive it brings down the cost of a brick and mortar building and allows me to go to venues where I can sell best like events, etc. I looked over the local food truck booking companies for the DFW area and there are no Dedicated gluten-free trucks, so I have a good market potential. Partnering with them will allow me to advertise and get bookings locally to and they help manage fees and permits.......soo much potential I keep praying it all works out. I even have plans to run a local soup kitchen out of it with donation from farmers market on Sundays help the community.

I was wondering if anyone could assist me in sore throat remedies. Cough drops? Teas? I am gargling with salt water but wanted something else. Anything gluten free obviously. Thanks.

Over the last 1.5 years I have had a rash that will not go away. The rash is around the neck, hairline on the front of my head, the back of my scalp, elbows, knees, shins, parts of my ankle, and buttock. The rash seem to get very itchy during the evening. I did have a skin biopsy completed and blood tests last year and they came back negative. I was on oral steroids when I had the test would this possible skew the results? Also its seems the body parts that are exposed to the sun seem to have the rash. Some Pictures http://s1084.photobucket.com/user/Richard_Brandys/library/