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Found 6 results

  1. Hi everyone! I just joined. I'm in the process of being diagnosed and after my last test I will be on the gluten-free diet/lifestyle. My question or my appeal for advice is that I will be traveling for business not even a month into my new lifestyle change and I'm afraid that going away on business will make what is already a hard task (finding things to eat that are safe/allowed) will be even harder. Does anyone have any suggestions for flying/traveling gluten free? I figured I can bring some snacks for the plane they are offering food service. I also notified the hosts of the conference and they are aware of my special dietary needs for the few meals they will be providing. What do people suggest? I just read that carrying a card with what I'm "allergic" to is helpful (different forum). I feel like when I ask people about food prep and other things they look at me like I've grown two heads even if they are like ... ah, yeah gluten free. Thanks in advance!
  2. This article originally appeared in the Summer 2002 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free newsletter. On June 2, 2002, hundreds of researchers traveled from all over the world to Paris, France, in order to hear the latest scientific reports on celiac disease research and to present results from their own investigations. Over the course of three days, scientists presented dozens of reports, and displayed over a hundred posters covering all aspects of celiac disease, from laboratory research on the microbiologic aspects of the disease, to quality of life issues in patients who are on the gluten-free diet. There were so many exciting reports presented at the conference, and the following describes the research findings from these new reports concerning the screening and clinical presentation of celiac disease, osteoporosis and osteopathy and neurological conditions. SCREENING ISSUES IN CELIAC DISEASE In order to understand how best to screen populations for celiac disease, it is important to know how celiac disease affects a portion of the population, and how it compares to similar populations in other countries. Mayo Clinic Retrospective Study Dr. Joseph Murray from the Mayo Clinic conducted a retrospective study on the population of people living in Olmsted County, Minnesota. This county has kept medical records on all of its residents for over 100 years. Dr. Murray looked at the medical records to determine which residents were diagnosed with celiac disease from 1950 to 2001. He found 82 cases of celiac disease, with 58 in females and 24 in males. The average age of diagnosis was 45. Pediatric diagnoses of celiac disease during this time period were extremely rare. Dr. Murray found that while the diagnosis rate of dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) remained constant over the 51 year period, the diagnosis rate of celiac disease increased from 0.8 to 9.4 per 100,000 people. He also noted that over time, adults with celiac disease were less likely to present diarrhea and weight loss as symptoms. Encouragingly, he determined that the average life expectancy for a diagnosed celiac in this community was no less than that of the normal population, despite the fact that celiac disease was often diagnosed later in life. What does this mean? The celiac disease diagnosis rate in this county is much lower than the actual incidence rates that have been reported in other studies; however, that rate has greatly increased over the past 51 years. It is also noteworthy that so few children were diagnosed with celiac disease. The analysis highlights interesting and useful information about the presentation of celiac disease in adults, and about the potential life expectancy for people with celiac disease who are diagnosed later in life. United States and Europe Compared Dr. Carlo Catassi of Ancona, Italy is currently a visiting researcher at the University of Maryland Celiac Research Center. He presented an analysis of the similarities and differences between the clinical presentations of celiac disease in the United States and Europe. Dr. Catassi established that the prevalence of celiac disease in the U.S. and Europe are the same and range between 0.5 to 1.0 percent of the general population. The prevalence in at-risk populations is much higher, ranging between 5 and 10 percent, and the prevalence in people with Type 1 Diabetes is approximately 5 percent in both the U.S. and Europe. He found that the typical (symptomatic) cases of celiac disease were less common in the U.S., and that the latent (asymptomatic) cases were much more common. Dr. Catassi stated that these differences could be due to genetic factors (for example, there are more Asians in the United States than in Europe), but are more likely due to environmental factors. He noted that infants born in the U.S. are often breastfed longer than their European counterparts. There is also a lower gluten intake in the first months of life for infants in the U.S. The timing of the introduction of cereals could help explain why many American children have somewhat milder symptoms and a more unusual presentation of the disease. What does this mean? Dr. Catassis analysis underscores the need to better educate physicians in the U.S. so that they learn to see typically atypical signs of celiac disease in children and adults. He also reinforced the importance of breastfeeding as a protective factor for children with a genetic predisposition to celiac disease, which could also improve the outlook for European children in the future. United States Prevalence Research Dr. Alessio Fasano presented a poster which outlined his recent findings that are a follow-up to his now famous 1996 blood screening study. The original study found that 1 in 250 Americans had celiac disease. It was performed using anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA), and when a blood sample tested AGA positive it was confirmed using anti-endomysial (EMA) antibody testing. Now that human tissue transglutaminase (tTG) testing is available, Dr. Fasano and his colleagues wanted to see if the results of their original study would be different using the tTG test. He and his colleagues tested the negative samples in the original study, and found 10 more positives using the tTG test. Two of these samples were confirmed positive when checked using the AGA antibody test. Dr. Fasano concluded that the original (1996) prevalence estimate of 1 in 250 understated the true prevalence rate, which could actually be greater than 1 in 200 Americans. Dr. Michelle Pietzak, a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of California at Los Angeles, also presented a poster which described the prevalence of celiac disease in Southern California. In a study of 1,094 participants, Dr. Pietzak found that 8% of Hispanics tested positive for celiac disease. The most common symptoms presented by subjects in her study included abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, joint pain and chronic fatigue. What does this mean? It is important to understand that the foundation of all U.S. prevalence research on celiac disease began with the blood donor study performed by Dr. Fasano in 1996. His newly revised findings, which have been supported by at least one other major study, show that the prevalence of celiac disease in the U.S. population is much higher than originally believed, and that it could be greater than 1 in 200 people. Additionally, the California study is one of the first to establish a celiac disease prevalence figure for the Hispanic population in the U.S., and if the 8 percent figure is supported by further research it would indicate that celiac disease significantly affects Hispanic Americans. OSTEOPOROSIS AND OSTEOPATHY Dr. Julio Bai of Argentina presented important information on a condition that affects many people with celiac disease, and one that is often overlooked by physicians—osteoporosis or osteopathy (its milder form). Both children and adults with celiac disease can have low bone mineral density, and its method of treatment can have important consequences. Dr. Bai treats adults with bone loss, and has studied the nature of fractures and bone health in adults with celiac disease. In a case-control study of 78 celiac disease patients, Dr. Bai found that symptomatic patients were more likely to experience bone fractures than the normal population. Interestingly, he also found that patients with latent (asymptomatic) celiac disease had lower fracture rates than those with symptoms, and that the rate was equal to that of the normal population. None of the patients, however, experienced a fracture of the more serious type—in the hip, spine or shoulder, and the fractures tended to occur in their arms, legs, hands and feet. The doctor also discussed preliminary evidence which showed that most women with osteopathy and celiac disease who go on a gluten free diet will experience an improvement in bone density, while many men do not. There was, however, no difference found between the fracture rates of men and women. Dr. Bai also found that nutritional and metabolic deficiencies in patients with celiac disease and osteopathy might also contribute to fractures by weakening the muscles that surround essential bones. He added that immunological factors could also enhance or inhibit bone rebuilding, and that there is a bone-specific tissue transglutaminase (tTG) that plays a role in this process. What does this mean? It was certainly good news to hear that most people with low bone density due to celiac disease can reverse the damaging process, and if celiac-related fractures do occur they tend to be of the less serious type. Additionally, it was interesting to learn just how important a role muscle health plays in preventing celiac-related fractures. Osteopathy in Children Dr. Mora, an Italian researcher, presented data on osteopathy in children with celiac disease. His results indicate that a gluten-free diet can improve bone mass, and the effect is maintained even after 10 years. He also added that a gluten-free diet improved the overall bone metabolism of the children, and that the diet alone could cure their osteopathy. Osteopenia and Osteoporosis: Conditions Related to Celiac Disease In a chart prepared by Dr. David Sanders of the United Kingdom, data on 674 patients, 243 with osteoporosis and 431 with osteopenia, were presented. He found 10 cases of celiac disease among a mostly female population that had an average age of 53. In all ten cases, patients either had a history of iron-deficient anemia or gastrointestinal symptoms. He concluded that all patients with osteopenia or osteoporosis and a history of anemia or gastrointestinal symptoms should be screened for celiac disease. What does this mean? Dr. Sanders has identified a subset of people with osteoporosis and osteopenia that should be screened for celiac disease—those who have been anemic or have gastrointestinal symptoms. This helps physicians know when to refer patients for celiac disease screening. NEUROLOGICAL SYMPTOMS Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou of the United Kingdom presented data on neurological symptoms and gluten sensitivity. In an eight-year study, Dr. Hadjivassiliou screened people who had neurological symptoms of unknown origin using the anti-gliadin antibody (AGA) test. He found that 57 percent of these patients had antibodies present in their blood, compared to 12 percent of healthy controls or 5 percent of patients with a neurological condition of known origin. From this group, he studied 158 patients with gluten sensitivity and neurological conditions of unknown origin (only 33 percent of these patients had any gastrointestinal symptoms). The most common neurological conditions in this group were ataxia, peripheral neuropathies, myopathy, and encephalopathy (very severe headache). Less common were stiff person syndrome, myelopathy and neuromyotonia. He noted that ataxia is not a result of vitamin deficiencies, but is instead an immune-mediated condition. Patients with ataxia have unique antibodies that are not found in patients with celiac disease. Dr. Hadjivassiliou felt that up to 30 percent of idiopathic neuropathies could be gluten-related, and that there is preliminary evidence which indicates that a gluten-free diet is helpful in cases of neuropathy and ataxia. What does this mean? It is interesting to note that Dr. Hadjivassiliou has studied gluten sensitivity and not celiac disease. The test used in this study is not specific enough to identify people who were likely to have celiac disease. However, his finding that the gluten-free diet may be helpful in people with certain types of neuropathy and ataxia opens the door for further research on these conditions in people with celiac disease.
  3. The following report comes to us from The Sprue-Nik Press, which is published by the Tri-County Celiac Sprue Support Group, a chapter of CSA/USA, Inc. serving southeastern Michigan (Volume 7, Number 5 July/August 1998 Dermatitis Herpetiformis). Dr. Kim Alexander Papp is a consultant at St. Marys, Grand River, and Listowel Memorial Hospitals. He is also President of Probity Medical Research Inc. The first mention of Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) in the literature was in 1884 in Dhring. The connection to wheat was made in Dreke, Holland in 1941. It is an uncommon, but not rare, disease that affects males twice as often as females. It is found in 10% of first degree relatives. There is a genetic association; 90% of DH patients have HLA-B8 vs. only 15% of the general population. HLA-DRw4 and HLA-DQw2 are also associated with some DH patients. DH normally is found on elbows, knees, shoulders, buttocks, sacrum, posterior scalp, and face. While it is unusual, it can also show upon the hands or inside the mouth. It presents as clear blisters that itch very badly. [One patient described the itch ...like rolling in poison ivy naked with a severe sunburn, then wrapping yourself in a wool blanket filled with ants and fleas.-ed] The original diagnosis of DH was done by giving Dapsone, a leprosy drug, and noting any improvement. Today, the gold standard for diagnosing DH is a skin biopsy with immunofluorescence. (A plain skin biopsy is not sufficient.) Most DH patients also have villi damage in the small intestine and lymphocyte infiltration of the intestinal wall, and IgA/IgG antigliadin antibodies in the bloodstream. However, there is really no need to perform a small bowel biopsy or test for blood serum antibodies; the skin biopsy with immunofluorescence provides a definitive diagnosis. Dr. Papp indicated that about half of his patients are diagnosed after having their symptoms recognized and pointed out to them by other DH patients. DH is not an allergic reaction; a different mechanism is involved. It is caused by antibodies to the gluten found in wheat, rye, and barley. The causes of DH flares include large quantities of iodides (some iodine is needed in the diet), kelp, shellfish, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (such as aspirin), gluten, stress, and some cleansers. What else looks like DH? DH can be misdiagnosed as psoriasis, or the patient may have both conditions. Linear IgA disease--the immunofluorescence pattern is different, but it looks and feels the same as DH to the patient. Allergic contact reactions. DH is treated by adherence to a gluten-free (gluten-free) diet. The skin lesions can be treated with either a sulfone (Dapsone) or sulfonamide(Sulfapyradine) drug. In about 85% of the cases, at least a year on a strict gluten-free diet is needed before DH is resolved. In rare cases DH lesions clear up after only a few weeks on the gluten-free diet. Dapsone can have side effects, though these are not common. It can alter blood chemistry, causing anemia. Those of Mediterranean or African ancestry can have sudden red blood cell count drops [known asG6PD Deficiency--Dr. Alexander]. Other complications include tingling fingers and neurological problems. Ideally, if the patient is on medication there would be monthly lab tests to monitor the dosage and effect on the patient. This almost never happens. The gluten-free diet takes a long time to bring DH under control because it requires time to clear the IgA and IgG from the blood. So even if one is on a gluten-free diet and/or taking Dapsone, technically one has DH. Like an alcoholic, one always has the disease. Dr. Papp concluded his presentation by answering a few questions from the audience: Q: How soon after ingesting gluten or iodine will a flare occur? A: It varies tremendously. With iodine, it usually takes several days of consumption before a flare occurs. Q: What effect does stress have on a DH patient? A: It intensifies any symptoms the patient is experiencing. Q: What effect does iodine on the skin have? A: It really has no effect; it doesnt penetrate enough. Iodine must be consumed to cause a DH flare. Q: After several years on a gluten-free diet with no flares, is iodine still a problem? A: No.
  4. Celiac.com 07/02/2002 (Summary prepared 06/05/2002) - I'm here at the 10th International Celiac Disease Research Conference, in Paris, and three days of intense meetings and reports have just concluded. I didn't want to wait to share with you some of the most interesting and exciting developments in celiac disease--so I'm in a cyber cafe in Paris sending this e-mail. First of all, many of you know that there are two main types of medical research--work that is done in a laboratory, with test tubes and equipment, and research that is done using human participants, called clinical research. There were many presentations on laboratory research at this meeting, which is a subject that tends to be pretty complicated (for me at least!). Laboratory Research Presentations: Many of the presentations on this area of research were focused on answering the following question, so neatly outlined by Dr. Fasano: How do environmental factors (like gluten) reach the immune system (which is primed by genetic predisposition) to cause a response (the development of disease)? The wall of the intestine is designed to prevent this from happening, he said. There are many theories as to why this occurs. Some theorized that gluten actually penetrates epithelial cells (they are the ones that line the intestine) and come out the other side. Other researchers showed evidence that the bonds between epithelial cells break down and opens a pathway for gluten to enter the intestine. Interestingly, another researcher, Dr. Bana Jabri from Princeton has focused her research on the role of immune killer cells that are activated in celiac disease, and gliadin does not have to be present for them to react and create celiac disease! Several researchers discussed the toxic areas of the gliadin protein, and how they are activated in the presence of immune molecules like IL 15. One interesting but complicated note--in a study of numerous patients (using biopsy samples) all of the intestinal samples recognized different toxic fragments of gluten--meaning that there are dozens of ways that celiac disease can develop at the cellular level. These researchers are studying the earliest events in the body that may lead to celiac disease. It is hoped that if we can better explain the series of events (like a row of dominos that fall, one at a time) we can develop treatments to stop these events and prevent celiac disease. Did you know there was more than one kind of tTG (tissue Transglutaminase)?...I didn't! There is an epidermal transglutaminase that is present in dermatitis herpetiformis...this difference may indicate why people with DH are much more sensitive to gluten than those with celiac disease. Clinical Research and Screening Studies: Dr. Joe Murray presented a retrospective analysis of the incidence of celiac disease in the county that includes Rochester, Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic. In his analysis, which goes back decades, he found that the average age of diagnosis is 45-64, and the incidence of celiac disease was more common in women by 3 to 1. He found that celiac disease was more common in this county than ulcerative colitis and more common than Type1 diabetes. Dr. Carlo Catassi, currently in residence at the Center for Celiac Disease Research in Baltimore but native to Italy, presented an overview of the differences between celiacs in the United States and Europe. Some interesting and not surprising information--Europeans are diagnosed younger as adults (34 years of age) when compared to Americans. In Europe, children are diagnosed on average by the age of 4, while many American children are school-age by the time they reach a diagnosis. Surprisingly, Catassi reported that US celiacs tend to have more diarrhea than their European counterparts. Catassi also reported that Europeans have more atypical forms of celiac disease than Americans. He presented the celiac disease screening prevalence figures for the US: 2,121,212 people are projected to have celiac disease in America. There are 140 unknown celiacs for every diagnosed celiac in the US. Dr. Michele Pietzak, in California, did a prevalence study of at-risk conditions in children and found that 14% of children with iron-deficiency anemia had celiac disease. A group in Salt Lake found that 10% of children with Downs Syndrome had celiac disease, and the Childrens Hospital of Milwaukee found that 7% of children with type 1 diabetes have celiac disease. This is a strong case for screening all children with these conditions. Speaking in reference to children, Dr. Catassi said that weaning practices in the US and other countries are having a bigger role in the development of celiac disease than previously thought. Osteopathy: a South American researcher has looked at the issue of fractures in people with silent celiac disease as compared to people with symptomatic celiac disease. He found that people who had symptomatic celiac disease were more likely to suffer fractures than those with silent celiac disease. In all cases, the fractures were less severe in nature. More confirmation with regard to bone mass deficiency in children-the gluten-free diet alone will repair the deficit, and there is generally no need for other medical interventions. Another area of research concerned gluten-related ataxia (a complicated condition that I dont fully know how to describe, but includes muscle weakness and confusion). Overall, it was reported that 6-10% of celiac patients may develop neurological problems (of which gluten-related ataxia is only one). This is another case where celiacs with ataxia may produce different antibodies (like in DH) which lead to the development of ataxia. Most importantly, ataxia does not develop as a result of a nutrient deficiency. There was a great deal of information presented about autoimmune disorders, and I want to make sure I get it right, so Ill summarize that section more in detail (along with other topics) when I return to the office. However, one interesting item related to children with celiac disease and their risk for developing autoimmune disorders was presented: In a study of 74 children diagnosed with celiac disease before the age of 5, Italian researchers found that after 10 years, their risk of developing autoimmune disorders was no greater than that of the general population. Yet another reason for early intervention! Another important area of research presented was in the area of refractory sprue and the development of lymphomas. Im also going to give this area a bit more thought before I post anything, but I will reassure everyone that the risk of lymphomas is very rare. One more thing: I apologize for the incompleteness of my e-mail if any researcher or physician finds that I have not best described their work--I'm summarizing my notes after a very long three days of meetings and my brain cells may be a bit dysfunctional. I will clarify any information and send abstracts to anyone who would like them, just send me your snail mail address. Au Revoir!
  5. Dr. Kelly, who is a refractory sprue specialist, had interesting insights into Celiac Disease. He first described once having a patient say to him that eating at a restaurant or food take out is the gastronomic equivalent of promiscuous and unprotected sex because (you) dont know where food has been, who else its been with, and what you might get from it. Dr. Kelly explained that his job when seeing a patient with possible Refractory Sprue is to first confirm that the patient really has Celiac Disease and is adhering to a gluten-free (gluten-free) diet. He explained that some patients would rather prefer an iron shot than adhere to a gluten-free diet and that sensitivities vary which removes another drive to say gluten-free; however, if symptomatic, he has found that the patient has the motivation to adhere. Hes even had to recruit and train dieticians to take an interest in Celiac Disease. He said that Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy is driven by activated lamina propria T-cells to whom gliadin is being presented through their T-cell receptors. In Refractory Sprue, he said that the cells are evident at intraepithelial lymphocytes rather than lamina propria lymphocytes and they no longer require gluten in order to be driven. So, theyre on auto-pilot. He emphasized that this is a rare disease and advised that doctors get a competent dietician to help patient adhere to diet. If the concern is that the patient is adhering but is not responding, Dr. Kelly advised doctors to think of other disorders masquerading as Celiac Disease, especially if patient is IgA, EmA (anti-endomysial) negative or if not HLA DQ2 or DQ8 (common Celiac genes) positive. He added that not every flat mucosa consistent with Celiac Sprue is Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy but that there can be a differential diagnosis such as cow protein intolerance. He said that there are unusual immunologic disorders that can be mistaken for sprue or refractory sprue. He said that doctors should consider these if the patient was not IgA endomysial or human tTg (transglutaminase) antibody positive at diagnosis. He explained that the positive predictive value of those tests are so strong that really its in some ways has a higher positive predictive value than even biopsy that you dont get very, very if any false positives at least by the immunofluorescence assay. So, if theyre negative at diagnosis considering other possibilities and this is one instance where HLA typing actually may be clinically useful if you have a patient you think has Celiac Sprue but isnt behaving or responding as you would expect with a gluten free diet and you ask do they really have Sprue. If they are HLA DQ2/DQ8 negative, then the likelihood of them having gluten sensitive disease is much, much lower. He said that serology (blood tests) were helpful but not be relied upon. He said that IG antibody levels against gliadin, or tissue transglutaminase tend to drop fairly quickly usually within 2 to 3 months provided they (patient) were positive to begin with. ...The IgG takes much longer so it tends to be less useful and of course, if they are IgA deficient, they wont be IgA positive to begin with and you cant use then. Even if their antibody levels are high to begin with, and remain high, that to me means that theyre still exposed to the antigen and they still have T-cells. Their lamina propia T-cells are still being driven by the antigen. But if theyre negative, Im afraid that its not particularly sensitive and low levels of gluten exposure may result in symptoms and poor response would not necessarily be identifiable by antibody.... Dr. Kelly said that patients with subtle manifestations of Celiac Sprue who have been previously diagnosed with irritable bowel or host of other disorders are now being more frequently seen. He said that there has been a lot of discussion in the past year about Celiac Sprue being misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Dr. Kelly also described the circumstance that patients with Celiac Sprue show improvement both serologically (blood) and histologically (biopsy) but their symptoms persist. He said that doctors need to be aware that just because a patient has gluten sensitive enteropathy doesnt mean they cant get another gastrointestinal disorder. He gave examples such as microscopic colitis and what he called a classical association, hyperthyroidism, or something else which could also cause diarrhea and weight loss. Dr. MacDonald, a celiac specialist, discussed new insights into the pathogenesis of Celiac Disease. Dr. MacDonald discussed primarily the role that other factors besides the DQ2 (gene) molecule, control the T-cells in the gut mucosa which produce the lesion or flat mucosa. In the genesis of the lesion, he explained how the T-cell immune response in the gut wall results in a gut shape of tall villi and short crypts which results in an increase in mucosa volume with flat mucosa and an increase in mucosa thickness. My husband, a PhD immunologist, interpreted this for me; He said that imagine the villi are the hill and the crypts are the valley. The valley is where things grow. The oldest cells are at the tip of the hill and as cells mature, they get transported up the hill. As damage occurs, the hill gets chopped down, valleys get deeper making more area for cells to replicate. Dr. MacDonald assumed that because the epithelium is turning over so fast in Celiac Disease that the lamina propria, the shape of the gut itself would be turning over, but actually the data says otherwise. The flat mucosa isnt turning over at all, ... a rather stable shape, its not really dynamic, its remodeled. He said that putting Celiacs on a gluten free diet may take them a long time to get better, because it takes a long time for this to go back because this is actually stable, its remodeled.... Dr. MacDonald explained that gliadin peptides associate with DQ2 and DQ8 molecules putting themselves into the grooves to be seen by T cells. However, he gave an instance where a particular gliadin peptide doesnt fit well into the pockets of DQ2 to be seen by T cells. Tissue Transglutaminase or Ttg deamidates (removes chemical groups on certain amino acids and allows peptide to bind to DQ2) this peptide in terms of glutamine into glutamic acid, gives a negative charge, fits very well into pocket, and binding increases 100 fold. Tightness of the binding ... controls the specificity and strength of the T-cell response. Dr. MacDonald also described the case of a woman with cancer who was treated with interferon. He said that she had the endomysial antibodies, was DQ2 positive, and had Celiac Disease; however, he cited that the reason why the Celiac Disease was not found earlier was that interferon alpha/gamma used to treat the cancer may have precipitated clinical Celiac Disease. He added that her son was later diagnosed with Celiac Disease as well. It was also eluded to that a viral infection like a gastrointestinal flu would stimulate or produce interferon alpha. Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research at the Univ. of Maryland also explained that its not just the gluten antigen and genes (i.e., HLA DQ2 or DQ8) but an added element like that alluded to by Dr. MacDonald such as a viral infection which can result in Celiac Disease. Dr. Fasano described a study performed on North African children who were thought to have symptoms resembling infectious disease with symptoms like anemia and diarrhea were found to have Celiac Disease at the rate of 1 in 18. He said because they have a high consumption of grains and seem to carry a high frequency of the genetic elements, he felt that non-profit organizations may intervene to help institute a gluten-free diet in this Celiac population. Dr. Fasano mentioned a study performed in Southern California which found Celiac Disease in 2 to 4% of people with symptoms or associated diseases and 5% in family members of Celiacs. Dr. Fasano stated that the overall prevalence is 1 in 266 which he said on a global scale, by far this is the most frequently genetic disease of human kind. Fasano said that in the 1970s, it was thought Celiac Disease was confined to the pediatric population but that since 1998 there has been a surge in adult versus child cases. He believes that the disease may have been overlooked in adults because adults have more atypical symptoms like anemia, osteoporosis, abortion that would NOT see a Gastroenterologist but would see an internist, reproductive OBGyn, endocrinologist, etc. Dr. Fasano said that if the iceberg idea is diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal symptoms, you will surely crash into the iceberg, but he proposed, what about the people who have joint pain, constipation, fatigue, and so on. He said that if you are willing to see the monument of the problems, you have to get down under the water because in the vast majority of cases, Celiacs will not see a Gastroenterologist and that doctors must be aware of those under the water. Dr. Fasano during the question and answer session listened to a doctor in the audience describe a patient with diarrhea and schizophrenia whose diarrhea and schizophrenia resolved when put on a gluten-free diet. The doctor didnt know what to do with the patient but explained that the patients background, being of Irish descent, gave him a red flag into the possibility of Celiac Disease. Dr. Fasano in response described how there can be a change in behavior such as attention deficit disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. He described a theory that the epitopes of gluten could cross the intestinal barrier, cut into the bloodstream, and cross the blood brain barrier. He believes that there is a clear association between Celiac Disease and change in behavior.
  6. From an oral report by Dr. Murray; transcribed for the list by Ann Whelan, editor of the bi-monthly newsletter Gluten-Free Living. To subscribe, write to P.O. Box 105, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706. Dr. Joseph Murray, one of the leading USA physicians in the diagnosis of celiac disease (celiac disease) and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Dr. Murray (murray.joseph@mayo.edu) of the Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, is a gastroenterologist who specializes in treating Celiac disease: THE DAILY REPORT: The big story today from Finland is oats. There were two talks and several posters presented about the topic. In the first talk, Dr. Risto Julkunen spoke about the Finnish five-year follow-up study in which oats were given to a population of well-controlled celiacs. They ingested an average of 34 grams, which is slightly over one ounce, daily for up to five years. The oats used in the study were specially grown and tested to be free of wheat, barley and rye. The researchers claim there was no difference in those allowed the oats and those who were not. There was a second study presented from Dublin, and reported by Dr. Conleth Feighery. This 12-week study looked at a small group of patients with healed celiac disease to start with, who were given 50 grams of oats a day. Again, the oats were carefully screened and tested to make sure there was no contamination. After 12 weeks, no effect was seen on biopsy or through antibody tests. The researchers also took 2 of the 12 participants and did what they called a micro challenge of 500 milligrams of gluten a day. Both patients got reactions, so the researchers felt that at least two of the participants were sensitive celiacs -- and they still did not respond to the oats. A poster from Italy showed biopsies taken from celiacs that had been studied in the culture plate in the presence of oats, which did show some effect on the biopsies. In other words, tissue from biopsies from patients with treated celiac disease were put in a plate and grown in the presence of oat protein, and the oat protein had an effect on the biopsies. This sounded odd, so I made sure Id really understood what Joe reported and paraphrased: In other words, theyre seeing no reaction from oats within the body in some studies but this one showed a reaction outside the body? Yes, Joe said, this of course is puzzling. Continuing on the oats issue, a series of short studies from several places also showed what the Finns had shown in the body, i.e., no problem in the short term. This is Joes summary on Oats: Over the short term, in well-controlled, healed celiacs who are compliant in every other way, it may be safe for them to take oats that have been tested to be free of contamination of other grains. He also mentioned that there were a few studies showing that contamination of commercial oats may be common in several European countries. (NOTE: I went to Digestive Disease Week in May, where I met several Irish doctors who have studied oats. I would describe their strong beliefs about oats as very adamant. They are adamant in believing that uncontaminated oats are safe for people with Celiac Disease. If all of this oats talk pans out as being acceptably correct to gluten-sensitive individuals in this country, that would seem to be pretty good news. Then, the next big challenge would be to figure out how gluten-sensitive people are going to get access to contamination-free oats. I, for one, will be all ears.).
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