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Celiac.com 06/12/2014 - Here are five things people with celiac disease need regular folks to know about celiac disease: We are NOT on a Fad Diet—Celiac disease is not some vague, make-believe condition. Celiac disease is a potentially serious immune disorder that, if left untreated, can lead to a very deadly types of stomach, intestinal, and other cancers. Just because a bunch of people seem to think that gluten is the new high fructose corn syrup, doesn’t mean that I’m one of them. Remember, for people with celiac disease, gluten is no joke, and avoiding gluten is the only way to stay healthy. We Won’t Be Getting Over It—Currently, there is no cure for celiac disease, and the only treatment is a gluten-free diet. That’s the only way to avoid the gut damage, lower risks for other types of auto-immune conditions, and minimize the risk of various types of cancer associated with celiac disease. Celiac Disease is a Serious Condition—Since the effects of untreated celiac disease unfold slowly over time, it’s tempting for some people to look at celiac disease as a minor inconvenience. However, it’s important to understand that celiac disease is a potentially serious autoimmune disorder that, if left untreated, can leave people susceptible to other autoimmune conditions, and to deadly types of stomach, intestinal, and other cancers. A ‘Little Gluten’ Might Hurt Me—There’s no such thing as ‘a little gluten’ to people with celiac disease. Gut damage happens with as little as 20 parts of gluten per million. That is a microscopic amount. A 'gluten-free' diet means no gluten. Period. When in Doubt, Ask—If you’re not sure if I can safely eat a certain ingredient, or a certain food, just ask. Figuring out what is or is not gluten-free can be tricky, even for me. So, it's best to ask if you're not positive. Can you think of others?
Celiac.com 06/08/2012 - In a new study, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) addressed whether the genetic risk of the most common medical conditions, including celiac disease, stems from many rare mutations that each confer a high degree of risk in various people, or from common differences throughout the genome that modestly influence risk. They used data and new analysis tools to assess new methods to better understand gene mutations for celiac and three other diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction (heart attack); and type 2 diabetes. The researchers developed a new statistical method that used what is called "polygenic risk score analysis," to estimate the heritable genetic markers of these diseases that is explained by common differences across the genome. The method makes use of data from earlier genome-wide association studies, or GWAS, an approach used to scan DNA samples for common genetic markers seen throughout the population—called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms). For rheumatoid arthritis, the team used computer simulations to show that the underlying genetic risk is largely due to many common alleles rather than rare mutations. They observed similar results for celiac disease (43 percent), myocardial infarction (48 percent) and type 2 diabetes (49 percent). "What is remarkable," says senior author Robert Plenge, MD, PhD, BWH director of Genetics and Genomics in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, "is that our statistical model was broadly applicable to several common diseases, not just rheumatoid arthritis...Our study provides a clear strategy for discovering additional risk alleles for these and likely many other common diseases." According to the researchers, these methods can be applied to other genome-wide datasets (e.g., GWAS or whole genome sequencing) to estimate the degree to which there is a genetic component. Source: Nature Genetics 44, 483–489 (2012) doi:10.1038/ng.2232