Celiac Research News Update – October 19, 2012

October 19, 2012

Celiac Research News Update – October 19, 2012


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Summaries of important celiac research published in October 2012.

The following research summaries have been provided by NFCA volunteer Sam Master, a second year medical student at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, School of Osteopathic Medicine.

Coeliac disease – women’s experiences in everyday life. Journal of Clinical Nursing. Oct 8 2012. Jacobsson LR, Hallert C, Milberg A, Friedrichsen M.

Living with celiac disease can be very difficult. Strictly adhering to a gluten-free diet can be seen as a burden on daily activities and potential unique aspects in the experiences of men versus women are often ignored when analyzing the extent of this problem. This is especially interesting because studies showed that twice as many females are diagnosed with celiac disease as men. These statistics led a group of researchers in Sweden to research the female perspective of living with the disease. Through tape-recorded interviews, it was found that the 15 women in the study who had previously been diagnosed with celiac disease constantly “strived towards a normalized lifeworld.” The study highlighted three necessary steps to appropriately cope with the disease: being secure, being in control, and being seen and included. There are a broad range of resources available to help make these steps and they should be sought out by both patient and physician. The study also noted that by understanding these perspectives, nurses can play a key role in helping women adopt appropriate coping strategies.

The prevalence of celiac disease in the United States. American Journal of Gastroenterology. October 2012. Rubio-Tapia A, Ludvigsson JF, Brantner TL, Murray JA, Everhart JE.

Celiac disease is a vastly under-diagnosed disease, yet it has been difficult thus far to estimate the nationwide prevalence. This study included almost 8,000 participants of the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2009-2010, sampled appropriate blood tests for celiac disease, and obtained information about prior diagnosis or use of a gluten-free diet. The data showed that 1 in 141 people in the US have celiac disease, however, most were undiagnosed. Additionally, 1% of non-Hispanic whites were found to have the disease, while it was rare among minority groups. Lastly, it was discovered that most people following a gluten-free diet, in fact, did not have celiac disease.

Diagnostic yield of capsule endoscopy in refractory celiac disease. American Journal of Gastroenterology. October 2012.
Barret M, Malamut G, Rahmi G, Samaha E, Edery J, Verkarre V, Macintyre E, Lenain E, Chatellier G, Cerf-Bensussan N. Cellier C.

Upper endoscopies/enteroscopies have been used to assess celiac disease, but capsule endoscopies, where a small pill-shaped camera is swallowed, are becoming a widely spread practice as well. The capsule endoscopy provides a better, more thorough picture of the intestinal wall compared to traditional endoscopy. According to this study, which looked at close to 50 capsule endoscopies in patients both with and without celiac disease, the improved picture was more effective in diagnosing patients with symptomatic and refractory celiac disease (in which symptoms and small intestinal inflammation persist despite following a gluten-free diet). In addition, the study found that capsule endoscopy may be helpful for early detection of overt lymphoma, which is a life-threatening condition associated with undiagnosed celiac disease.