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Duodenal Histology in Patients with Celiac Disease after Treatment with a Gluten-free Diet

Celiac.com 2/13/2003 - This new study emphasizes the importance of following a strict gluten-free diet, and getting regular follow-up biopsies after your diagnosis. It also speaks to the need to discover whether or not you may have additional food intolerance, such as to cows milk (casein), soy, corn, etc., as some of these can also cause intestinal damage similar to that of celiac disease. -Scott Adams


Lee SK, Lo W, Memeo L, Rotterdam H, Green PH.
Gastrointest Endosc 2003 Feb;57(2):187-91

Current affiliations: Department of Surgical Pathology and Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York.

BACKGROUND: The diagnosis of celiac disease requires characteristic histopathological changes in an intestinal biopsy with clinical improvement in response to a gluten-free diet. Endoscopy with procurement of biopsy specimens is often performed to document response to the diet, but there are little data on the appearance of treated celiac disease. This study examined the endoscopic and histopathological appearance of the duodenum of patients with celiac disease whose diet was gluten-free.

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METHODS: A cohort of 39 adult patients (mean age 52 years, range 20-74 years) with biopsy-proven celiac disease was retrospectively reviewed. All had responded clinically to a gluten-free diet that they had maintained for a mean of 8.5 years (range 1-45 years). The endoscopic and histopathological appearances of the duodenal mucosa were reviewed. Blinded review of the diagnostic (initial) and post-treatment biopsy specimens was also performed to assess response of individual patients to the diet.

RESULTS: The endoscopic appearance was normal in 23%, reduced duodenal folds were present in 46%, scalloping of folds in 33%, mucosal fissures in 44%, and nodularity in 33%. There was more than 1 abnormality present in 46%. Histology was normal in only 21%. The remainder had villous atrophy (69% partial, 10% total). Paired (diagnostic and follow-up) biopsy specimens were reviewed blindly for 12 patients. The mean (SD) intraepithelial lymphocyte count fell from 61 (22) to 38 (17) (normal <30 per 100 epithelial cells) and the crypt-to-villous ratio improved although it did not normalize.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite a good clinical response, abnormal endoscopic and histopathological appearances persist in the majority of patients with celiac disease treated with a gluten-free diet.

PMID: 12556782

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Hi! My daughter is 19 was diagnosed at age 16. It took about 12-18 month s for her to fully heal from the damage and feel "normal" again. Also because of the damage done she had reactions to dairy, so you may want to try no or minimum dairy until youre fully healed. Just a suggestion. Hope you start feeling well soon!

Hi yall! New to this blog, but really glad it exists because I have lots of questions. First off, I'm Allie! I'm 17 and newly diagnosed Celiac after about 3 years of searching for answers. I initially went gluten-free on the recommendation of a friend, I felt better in about a month and then my pediatric gastroenterologist had me do the gluten challenge, and my symptoms were the worst they have ever been, and ones I barely noticed before became very present. I did the biopsy and was diagnosed, it's been about 2 weeks and my symptoms are still pretty bad, although my diet has no known sources of gluten or cross contamination. Wondering if anyone has any input on healing post gluten challenge, any tips or how long it took for you would be quite helpful! Thanks

Might want to look into a keto diet, I have UC on top of celiacs and keto is working great Yeah I have major nerve and brain issues with gluten, gluten ataxia with nerve issues and brain issues. Seems to cause my body to attack my brain and nerve system. My brain stumbles fogs, and starts looping, the confusion causes me to become really irritable, I call it going Mr Hyde. Like my mind will start looping constantly on thoughts and not move driving me literally mad, or it used to. Now days it is primary the numbness anger but the gut issues and sometimes random motor loss limit me motionless to the floor now days for the duration of the major anger effects. Used to be a lot more mental then painful gut. I did a mental trauma post on it on while back where I came out about all my mental issues with gluten.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.

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.