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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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The journey of the gastronome

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Not the missing link... the genetic link that predisposes someone to Celiac Disease.

And just for the record, I had to actually do some research before writing this. Eeek! But that's ok, I've learned my one new thing for today.

So here's what I know so far: I have double copies of the HLA DQA1*05-DQB1*0201 gene. To those of you who know what that means, I am totally impressed. To those who don't, it means a lot. Mostly, that I carry two copies of the genes that put someone at risk for Celiac Disease (thanks Mom and Dad!) and am therefore at a 31x higher risk than the general population.

Translation please! Ok... so HLA stands for Human Leukocyte Antigens. These antigens are found on the surface of pretty much every cell in the body, but particularly on lymphocytes, which are the white blood cells of the immune system. HLA antigens do a very important work- they roam through the immune system and determine if other cells are "self" or "nonself". They are found on inflammatory cells throughout the lining of the intestine as a part of its constant seek and find.

Since we have two parents, we inherit two slightly different versions of these proteins. And they determine what sort of reaction we have to different foreign substances. So enter the Celiac/genetic link. These antigens are also believed to be a part in the development of genetically predisposed diseases, such as diabetes, and my good friend Celiac Disease.

Which brings up back around to the DQ genes. They encode particular HLA proteins that are on the cell surface. These genes are referred to as HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8. The DQ2 or DQ8 proteins on the surface of lymphocytes have a groove that interacts with and binds to the gliadin fragment (the toxic portion of gluten). So to put it very simply, the immune cells are genetically geared to react to gluten.

The interesting part of this all is that somewhere around 30% of the population carries the genes. But not all of these people will have Celiac, they're merely predisposed. It's amazing what the study of genetics has taught us.


Well, today is the day that I started officially blogging. It's kind of strange putting yourself out there like that...

My hope is that one day I'll be able to put all of my knowledge to work for those who don't have the resources to find out how to live better. This includes Celiac, but certainly is not limited to it. I mean, any sort of GI disorder, in my opinion, is awful to live with, but can often be assuaged with food additions or restrictions.

And I LOVE to eat!! So, between my knowledge is power meets serious foods addiction, we come up somewhere in the middle with a powerful food addiction.

So, if you have a comment, feel free to check out my website, and post away.

Until next time...