Navigation Links
GI Condition Once Thought Rare is Common in U.S.

One in 133 people suffer from celiac disease

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dorothy Carpenter had stomach problems her entire life. Eating as much as a bite of bread or pasta could lead to terrible pain.

Her illness went undiagnosed for years until a University of Michigan Health System physician recognized it as celiac disease. By then her long-standing condition had become an intestinal mass, a cancer that forced doctors to remove part of her small intestine.

"I've been in this body 65 years and I know what's normal for it and something's radically wrong here," Carpenter recalls telling William D. Chey, M.D., director of the Gastrointestinal Physiology Laboratory at the University of Michigan Health System. "He listened."

Celiac disease, a condition characterized by severe, chronic inflammation of the small intestine, develops from exposure to a dietary protein called gluten. Gluten is most commonly found in grains including wheat, rye and barley.

Carpenter's cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, developed as a result of her undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease, Chey told her.

Treatment involved removing 48 inches of her small intestine and a small mass, and undergoing chemotherapy. It's been five years since she was diagnosed and treated and she feels great, says Carpenter, 70.

She has also had to change her lifestyle - maintaining a gluten-free diet.

"Living a gluten-free life, it's what you make of it," Carpenter says. "You have to make up your mind that these are things I have to do if I want to live."

Since she was diagnosed, she's noticed stores have gotten better about stocking gluten-free products and labeling foods properly. "It's getting better all the time," she says.

Awareness and proper diagnosis of celiac disease have improved dramatically in the last decade, says Chey.

"When I was a medical student many years ago, we were taught that celiac disease occurred or could be found in approximately one in 500 to 1,000 individuals within the United States," he notes.

Data from within the last five years, however, show celiac disease is significantly more prevalent than previously thought. It can be identified in up to one in 133 individuals within the United States, Chey says.

People who suffer from celiac seem to have a genetic predisposition and the disease can remain latent or asymptomatic for a long time until it becomes unmasked or more clinically apparent through laboratory studies or symptoms, Chey says.

Diseases like diabetes mellitus, auto immune thyroiditis, premature bone loss or iron deficiency anemia have all been associated with celiac disease, Chey adds.

"If you are affected by any of those conditions you should be tested," Chey says.

Celiac can present itself in a variety of ways, such as abnormal laboratory values like low blood counts or abnormal thyroid function, malnutrition, weight loss or a life-threatening disease.

The more common way for it to present itself is with vague GI symptoms, such as bloating, excessive gas, loose stools or abdominal cramping.

Symptoms can be similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome, and new IBS guidelines by the American College of Gastroenterology recommend that newly diagnosed IBS patients get screened for celiac disease.

Chey warns that individuals with very long-standing, untreated celiac disease have an increased risk for developing cancer, primarily of the GI tract but others as well.

Screening is done through a blood test. Therapy consists of instituting a restricted diet devoid of gluten, which tends to inflame the small intestine and lead to more serious problems.

"The key takeaway is that celiac is more common than previously thought, that there are tests available to diagnose the condition and that treatment is highly effective and relies upon a diet rather than drugs," says Chey.

For more information, visit these Web sites:

Celiac Disease

UMHS Gastroenterology

SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Adverse housing conditions contribute to diabetes risk
2. Preparation for Natural Disasters Critical for People With Diabetes, Chronic Medical Conditions
3. Philadelphia Flyers to Use VivoChampionTrainer(TM) System to Condition and Strengthen Players
4. National Quality Forum Issues First Consensus Standards for the Treatment of Substance Use Conditions
5. New study suggests cause of debilitating skin condition
6. People With Chronic Conditions Experience Additional Benefits of Cost Savings by Wearing a Medical ID
7. AmerisourceBergen Workers Rally For Better Working Conditions
8. Painful condition affecting kidney failure patients increases risk of death
9. Study Highlights Impact of Chronic Conditions on Working America
10. Use of Technology to Document Comorbid Conditions May Improve Reimbursement, Increase Documentation Accuracy Study Confirms
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... OK (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... On ... International training center for the Narconon network, announced the release of a new cutting ... 1966 the Narconon organization has been working with drug- and alcohol-addicted individuals with the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of ... Cozy Products explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite ... business model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Beddit® has launched a new ... systems. The new app features a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep quality on ... slept. The SleepScore is created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, I saw a passenger in ... there had to be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them from bad ... individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, it ensures ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for advancing care ... disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special recognition throughout ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ) ... Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" report to ... announced the addition of the "Self Administration ... offering. --> Research and Markets ( ... "Self Administration of High Viscosity Drugs" ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... total global healthcare industry is expected to grow at a ... has the highest projected growth at 12.7%, and ... ), is second with growth projected at 11.5%. ... In 2013-2014, total government funded healthcare was nearly 68%. Federal ... in 2013-2014. In real terms, out of pocket expenditure increased ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 On ... first federal bellwether trial against Wright Medical Technology, ... to their Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant device, awarded ... Following a two week trial and three days ... metal-on-metal hip device was defectively designed and unreasonably ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: