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One Percent of Italian Schoolchildren have Celiac Disease

Arch Dis Child 2004;89:499-501,512-515.

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Celiac.com 09/12/2004 – According to a recent study by Italian researchers, about 1% of Italian schoolchildren have celiac disease. The scientists screened blood samples taken from 3,188 schoolchildren aged 6 to 12 years for the presence of tissue Transglutaminase (tTG). The results showed that 33 tested positive for tTG, and of those 30 were verified by follow-up biopsies, and 3 refused biopsies but also tested positive for celiac disease-related antibodies and celiac disease-associated HLA DQ2-8. Out of the 33 who tested positive only 12 had symptoms.

The researchers believe that the subsequent treatment of these children will likely help them to avoid future autoimmune disorders associated with untreated celiac disease. They also believe that because tTG screening is less expensive and more accurate than other forms of celiac disease screening, it should be used in the future for all mass-screening programs. They conclude that future mass screening programs deserve careful consideration.

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So just to clarify had not consumed any gluten for about 4 days before testing. I was assured by my allergist that it wouldn't affect the test. But what was alarming was that she retested my food allergies (my most recent reaction was two weeks ago) and every food allergy I have came back negative. I don't understand how that is possible. These food allergies developed when I was 20 and I am almost 24 now.

Thanks! You too! I have learned from this experience to take charge of my own health. It's nice at least that we can try the gluten-free treatment without a firm diagnosis or a doctor confirming the disease. I've also felt some of the gluten withdrawal symptoms, and my stomach pain ebbs and flows, but I'm determined to stick with the gluten-free diet to see what a difference it makes. Gemini, thank you! This was really validating and useful for me to hear. I've felt so confused through this process and just want some answers. If the biopsy results do come back negative, I'm going to follow your advice and do the gluten-free diet with repeat blood testing after a while. If they come back positive, well, then I'll have my answer. I'm supposed to get them back next week.

I have celiac and eosinaphalic esophagitis. I was put on a steroid inhaler recently. I use it like an inhaler but swallow the air instead of breathing it in. You may want to look into EOE and it's relationship to celiac. Just a thought. My swallowing and celiac seem to be related.

You have eat gluten every single day until after testing. And the celiac blood test is supposed to be done as well.

If I was the big guy, there's no way I would have to wait 3 and a half weeks for a test lol. My GI doc never recommended the antibody test. He said doing it with the scope was the only sure way to know. Does anybody know if I should eat a little gluten the day before my test to see if I will get an accurate enough test? Or will it not matter, once the damage is done it's done?