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Scott Adams posted an article in Dermatitis Herpetiformis: Skin Condition Associated with Celiac DiseaseThe following was written by Dr. Joseph Murray, one of the leading USA physicians in the diagnosis of celiac disease (celiac disease) and dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Dr. Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, is a gastroenterologist who specializes in treating Celiac disease: In response to your questions about DH, The following represents my views about this curious and very itchy condition. In general DH is a severely itchy skin condition that often starts abruptly, affecting the elbows knees buttocks and scalp and the back. It usually starts as little bumps that can become tiny blisters and then are usually scratched off. It can occur in one spot only but usually occurs in many different areas. The condition is related to the deposit under the skin of IgA deposits. These occur in response to the ingestion of gluten in the diet. However, once deposited there, they are only slowly cleared by the body even when the individual is gluten free. While most individuals with DH do not have obvious GI symptoms almost all have some damage in their intestine. They the potential for all of the nutritional complications of celiac disease. The diagnosis is made by taking a skin biopsy and performing immunoflorescence studies on it (a specialized type of stain in major laboratories) The test is usually reliable but it takes a significant dedication to detect early cases where there is a short history of rash rather than years or months of rash. It is unusual to develop DH after the start of a GFD for celiac disease. About 5 % of celiac disease patients will develop DH usually in the first 6-12 months. This probably reflects the long lasting nature of the deposits under the skin. Treatment for DH is twofold. (1) Remove the cause: gluten. (2) Suppress the skin response with drugs such as Dapsone or some other sulphones. The latter is the most common treatment used as it is rapidly relieves the itch. However there are some side effects associated with these medications and they need to be taken under medical monitoring with blood tests to detect side effects. It is my practice that DH should be treated with a gluten-free diet for life and use of drugs to get immediate relief in the short term. It is usually possible to get patient off the Dapsone after several months of a strict gluten-free diet. The most common complication of DH is scarring which usually fades with time. Occasionally there can be secondary infection from scratching. There is probably a slightly increased chance of malignancy in those with DH who are not on a gluten-free diet. Several physical triggers are known to set off an attack of DH, especially exposure to iodides and bromides which are contained in household cleaners. A very good reference for DH is available from the GIG in Washington.
The following is excerpted from an article that was published in the American Celiac Society newsletter by Joseph A. Murray, MD of the Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN, who is a gastroenterologist who specializes in treating Celiac disease
Scott Adams posted an article in Celiac Disease Diagnosis, Testing & TreatmentThose patients for whom there is a high suspicion for celiac disease should have a small bowel biopsy which can be obtained by an experienced endoscopist in the distal duodendum. The best noninvasive tests available for screening for asymptomatic celiac disease are the specific serological tests. These are of several varieties: the anti-gliadin, anti-endomysial, or anti-reticulin antibodies. Our experience and the literature support the use as of endomysial antibody test as the single most specific and probably most sensitive for celiac disease. This test has now become available in specialty laboratories as well as in a small number of academic institutions. All of the tests should be done with the subjects on a normal gluten containing diet. A combination of endomysial and gliadin testing would seem to be the most sensitive as a screening method. A positive test is not, however, considered to be diagnostic and would usually require a small bowel biopsy for confirmation. A trial of dietary exclusion of gluten is *not* recommended as a diagnostic test without a prior abnormal biopsy. Because the body will recover when one goes gluten-free, the tests will then come up negative. Without a definitive test one may then stray from the diet, as one will feel well and was never sure that they had it in the first place. As for the two tests: The biopsy will look for flattened villi on the intestinal wall. After one goes gluten-free they will grow back. The blood antibodies are formed as a bodys reaction to the presence of the gluten. If no gluten, then no antibodies are present.
Scott Adams posted an article in Oats and Celiac Disease: Are They Gluten-Free?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 (email@example.com) 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.).
This is not Medical advice: The biopsy determination of celiac disease requires demonstration of the abnormalities in the proximal small intestine. It is not possible to get such a biopsy going through the anus. The colonoscope does not reach that far. The biopsy instrument must go through the mouth. This is usually achieved with a upper endoscopy (AKA gastroscopy, EGD) A colonoscopy is frequently preformed for the investigation of diarrhea but does not and can not detect celiac disease. Joseph A. Murray, MD.