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Diana Gitig Ph.D.

Diana received her B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, and then a Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Genetics from Cornell. Now she is a freelance science writer and editor in White Plains, New York.  Her son was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006, at the age of five, and she has been keeping her family healthy by feeding them gluten free treats ever since.

 Articles by this Author

Photo: CC - timbrauhn
anti-tTg levels at least 5x the upper limit of normal are sufficient to diagnose celiac even in adults; a biopsy is unnecessary.

Photo: CC - Ed Yourdon
Women with unexplained infertility are at increased risk for having undiagnosed celiac. A gluten free diet might alleviate their infertility.

Photo: CC - JudeanPeoplesFront
Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms are more severe in people upon diagnosis with celiac disease than in healthy controls, but are alleviated by assumption of a gluten free diet.

Photo: CC - sebastianjt
There is conflicting data regarding whether a GFD can improve he bone health of celiacs. An Argentinian study finds that men are at increased risk of peripheral fractures before being diagnosed with celiac, and the risk is abrogated upon assumption of a GFD.

Photo: CC- Spirit-Fire
Villous atrophy may be present only in the duodenal bulb, so a biopsy of this region should always be including when diagnosing celiac disease.

A British study reports that 40% of celiacs are unhappy on the gluten free diet and would welcome treatment options, but do not use alternative therapies more than the control population.

Is celiac disease associated with infertility? Although some reports suggest that as much of 8% of women with unexplained infertility have celiac disease, others found no correlation between the two conditions. And there is little hard evidence that celiac disease is an actual cause of infertility.

Gluten Intolerance as a separate entity from celiac disease has been viewed with skepticism by the scientific community, since there was no discernible explanation for it. Yet most researchers and clinicians now admit that it seems to be real.

Adherence to biopsy guidelines recommended by the AGA in 2006 - that at least four samples be submitted - doubles the probability of a celiac diagnosis.

The interplay among the different immune cells mediating intestinal inflammation in celiac disease is complicated indeed. A subset of T regulatory (Treg) cells that express the Foxp3 protein are present in higher numbers in the intestines of patients with active celiac disease than in healthy controls.

The more severe form of Refractory Celiac Disease, RCDII, might be more common in Europe than in the US.

Romanian researchers suggest that the absence of HLA DQ2 and DQ8 haplotypes should not be used to rule out a diagnosis of celiac disease.

Photo courtesy of Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
A new vaccine for celiac disease repeated exposure to toxic peptides to induce T cell tolerance of dietary gluten.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is based on a clinical description only; there are no pathophysiological pathways definitively associated with it. It is characterized as gastrointestinal symptoms with no discernable cause.

New research indicates DHA could help treat celiacs.
Enterocytes in celiac patients produce the proinflammatory molecule arachidonic acid upon exposure to gluten; DHA, a long chain fatty acid, can suppress this effect.

New study on asthma, heart disease and celiac disease.
Population based studies in Sweden claim that celiacs have increased risk of heart disease and asthma.

New study indicates that the type of oats matters for celiacs.
The safety of oats for patients with celiac disease depends on the variety of oat - some are more toxic than others. The method used to assess this can be applied to other foods to determine their toxicity as well.

New study in AJG indicates new genetic factors influence CD.
Although the HLA-DQ locus is clearly the strongest genetic factor influencing the development of celiac disease, it is certainly possible that other genes play supporting roles. Identifying these genes could help shed light on why certain genetically susceptible individuals develop celiac while others can happily (and healthily) eat gluten.

Study on quality of life in celiacs with IBD and acid reflux.

A cross sectional study in the UK reports that celiac and IBD patients have more severe reflux and irritable bowel syndrome, and therefore lower Quality of Life, than healthy controls.