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Celiac.com 08/11/2010 - New studies from the United States, Europe and other Countries around the world indicate that the commonness of celiac disease has dramatically increased in the last decade, possibly as much as four-times the amount seen in the 1950's. Most current studies show that celiac disease is prevalent in at least 1% of the general population. To determine when the prevalence of celiac disease started to increase, researchers at the Mayo Clinic analyzed blood samples stored from Air Force recruits taken in the early 1950's, and compared them with blood samples from this decade. Expecting to see at least 1% of the samples come up positive for gluten antibodies, they were surprised to find the numbers were much smaller than anticipated. The results of these studies suggest that until the 1950's, celiac disease was extremely rare. From these findings, researchers determined that celiac disease is about 4 times more prevalent now, than it was in the 1950's, suggesting an environmental change to the grains happened in the 1950's. While there are many documented statistics on diagnosed celiacs, there is new research revolving around “latent celiac disease”, or gluten sensitivity. According to a study by Dr. Ludvigsson's team and as outlined in the Journal of the American Medical Association, latent celiac disease is defined by someone who has a "normal small intestinal mucosa but positive celiac disease serology," and is estimated to be prevalent in at least 1 in 1,000 people worldwide. According to Dr. Ludvigsson's team mortality rates are higher for those with celiac disease and latent celiac disease than it is in the general population. Ten out of 1,000 people with celiac disease will die in a years time, compared to approximately 7 in 1,000 people without the disease. Although, Dr. Ludvigsson emphasizes that while mortality and increased risk for other disorders are raised for those with celiac and latent celiac disease, "the absolute risk increase is very small." Unfortunately, celiac disease often goes undetected. In most countries at least 2/3 of people with celiac disease are undiagnosed. The reason for the high number of undiagnosed celiac's is because celiac symptoms vary widely from each other and can present in several ways. They can be asymptomatic (without symptoms), or classic symptomatic celiac (diarrhea, weight loss, failure to thrive, malabsorbtion, etc.), or non-traditional (osteoporosis, malignancy, depression etc.), making it difficult to accurately diagnose celiac disease. Many autoimmune disorders, specifically, autoimmune liver disease, thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, and Addison's disease can be an indicator of celiac disease, and according to Dr. Ludvigsson, doctors should be evaluating patients for celiac disease for a variety of symptoms and disorders. There are alternative treatment strategies for gluten sensitivities currently underway, but to date a gluten-free diet is the only effective treatment for celiac disease. As such, Dr. Ludvigsson urges health practitioners to emphasize to their patients the importance of strict adherence to the gluten-free diet. Dr. Ludvigsson also stresses the significance of medical follow-up for celiac patients. Source: MedScape Today
HI! Earlier this year my sister was diagnosed with Celiac after she presented with fairly typical symptoms (daily diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain). After her diagnoses I asked to be tested as well. I just found out today my blood test was positive and my physician told me that given my family history and the blood test she did not think a endoscopy/biopsy was necessary. However she didn't seem too knowledgeable about the condition because she said I would "probably benefit from going on a gluten free diet" whereas my research seems to indicate if you have Celiac, going gluten free is not optional. I do have some atypical symptoms including missed menstruation (previously attributed to PCOS, although I am second guessing that diagnoses), constipation, occasional (but more than normal) abdominal pain (mild-moderate). Bottom line: my parents think I should get the endoscopy like my sister did to confirm. Do you think this is necessary/advisable? thanks!
Lancet 2002;359:945-946. Celiac.com 04/12/2002 - According to a report published in the March 16th issue of The Lancet, a new anti-transglutaminase antibody test developed by Dr. Luis Sorell and colleagues from the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in Havana, Cuba can accurately diagnose people with celiac disease in less than 10 minutes. The assay consists of a nitrocellulose strip that is placed in serum or plasma specimens, and it detects both IgA and IgG antibodies to transglutaminase, which prevents misdiagnosis of patients who have IgA deficiency, a trait that is frequently seen in people with celiac disease. If two dots appear it indicates a positive result. To determine the assays accuracy Dr. Sorell and colleagues evaluated 50 patients with untreated celiac disease along with 40 patients who had other gastrointestinal disorders. The results showed that the assay was 100% accurate, all of the patients with diagnosed celiac disease tested positive, and all of the patients with other disorders tested negative. Ultimately the assay could be used for an inexpensive mass-screening program for celiac disease.
The following list was taken from the Fall, 1996 Celiac Disease Foundation Newsletter. Anemia IBS Psychological stress, nerves, imagination Diarrhea IBD Diabetes Spastic Colon Ulcers Virus (Viral Gastroenteritis) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Weight-loss Allergies Amoeba, Parasites, Infection Gallbladder Disease Thyroid Disease Cancer, Lymphoma, Digestive Colitis Cystic Fibrosis Lactose Intolerance Reflux Data from an on-going Celiac Disease Foundation study of 600 Biopsy-proven celiacs.