September 13, 2016 is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. As it’s approaching next week, we present our top stories discussing various aspects of celiac disease, including inflammatory bowel disease, migraines, gluten sensitivity, gluten-free diet, and liver disease. September 13 was chosen as celiac awareness day because that is the birthday of Samuel Gee who was the first doctor to describe celiac disease and the first to show the link between celiac disease and diet.
Celiac disease is a condition in which a person cannot consume gluten as it causes negative side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. Furthermore, the more gluten a celiac patient consumes the more damage occurs to the intestines, potentially leading to malnutrition.
Research suggests that people with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to suffer from migraine headaches.
A migraine is a severe headache that can start with sensory warning signs like flashing lights, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, as well as sensitivity to sound and light. These headaches come with extreme pain and can last for several hours or even several days.
For many years, medical scientists in Europe have believed there is a connection between the digestive tract and the brain. However, this is the first time American researchers have linked celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease with migraines.
Researchers at the Neurological Institute at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City took a detailed history of over 700 people and used a four-page questionnaire to determine if the participants had any problems with their digestive tract, with celiac disease, and with migraine headaches. They also looked at lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, coffee habits, and wheat consumption. Continue reading…
A new study has found that people can be sensitive to gluten even without having celiac disease. Gluten induces certain changes in their bodies different from the ones characteristic of celiac disease, although there may be some symptom overlap.
Senior researcher Armin Alaedini said, “We don’t know what is triggering this response, but this study is the first to show that there are clear biological changes in these individuals. Based on our findings, we hope there would be greater recognition of this condition. This is a real condition. There are individuals who may not have celiac disease or wheat allergy, but still have a sensitivity to wheat.”
The reason for the non-celiac wheat sensitivity, it turns out, is a weakened intestinal barrier, which triggers an immune response after gluten consumption. Continue reading…
Including quinoa in the gluten-free diet does not exacerbate celiac disease. Quinoa has been generally recommended as a healthy grain for celiac patients because it does not contain gluten, but in-vitro data has shown that quinoa storage proteins may stimulate innate and adaptive immune responses in celiac patients.
Researchers at the Department of Gastroenterology, King’s College London, U.K., aimed to evaluate the in-vivo effects of quinoa intake in adult celiac patients. The results have shown quinoa is well tolerated and safe to consume for those suffering from gluten sensitivity.
The study tracked 19 celiac patients who consumed 50 grams of quinoa a day for six weeks. Researchers evaluated diet, serology, and gastrointestinal parameters, as well as detailed histological assessments of ten of the patients before and after quinoa consumption. Full blood count, along with liver and renal profile were used to monitor their health status. Iron, vitamin B12, serum folate, and lipid profile were also used to determine any effects of quinoa on the gluten-free diet in these celiac patients. Continue reading…
Celiac disease has been found to be associated with coexisting liver disease. Previous studies have shown that celiac patients often have elevated levels of liver enzymes, which typically get back to normal once a gluten-free regimen is implemented. In the new study, the researchers set out to explore the cause and prevalence of altered liver function in celiac patients up to one year after eliminating gluten from their menus.
The researchers analyzed liver function prior to and after dietary changes in 245 untreated celiac patients. They found that 43 patients had elevated values of one or both aminotransferases, important indicators of liver damage. Forty one patients had a mild elevation, and the remaining two had higher aminotransferase elevations.
After a year of going gluten-free, elevated levels normalized in 39 of the patients. The remaining four had either hepatitis C or primary biliary cirrhosis.
Based on their findings, the researchers stressed the importance of a timely celiac disease diagnosis and treatment (namely, strict adherence to a gluten-free diet) for reducing the risk of liver complications. Continue reading…
Celiac disease patients show immune response to oats due to a protein that is similar to gluten. Melbourne researchers have identified the key components in oats that may trigger an immune response in celiac patients, potentially leading to testing for oats toxicity in the future.
Oats contain proteins known as avenins, which are similar to gluten. In Australia, oats are excluded from a gluten-free diet, but elsewhere in the world, they are deemed safe to eat.
The 10-year study revealed that oat consumption triggered an immune response in eight percent of the 73 participants who had celiac disease.
Researcher Dr. Melinda Hardy said, “The significance of previous studies performed in test tubes was unclear. By studying people with celiac disease who had eaten oats, we were able to undertake a detailed profile of the resultant immune response in their blood stream. Our study was able to establish the parts of oat avenins that cause an immune response in people with celiac disease.” Continue reading…