For many people with celiac disease, gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea take center stage. But for a subset of people with celiac disease, eating or coming into contact with gluten results in a vicious skin rash, either as the only symptom or as a complement to the more typical ones. This rash, known as dermatitis herpetiformis, or DH, typically presents as a series of small raised red lesions that are either solid or filled with fluid. They often show up on the elbows, forearms, scalp, knees, buttocks and even the face. They’re usually bilaterally symmetrical, meaning they appear on both sides of the body at the same time, and they are intensely itchy.
Why are milk-allergic kids at risk for growth problems? Dairy constitutes a large part of the American diet, contributing calories and nutrients. In addition, children with milk allergy are more likely to have eczema and asthma, which may contribute negatively to growth rates, Keet noted, adding that additional study is needed. In the meantime, pediatricians and allergists should advise their patients about eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet and monitor their growth over time.
People who suffer from hay fever (allergic rhinitis caused by pollen) can experience OAS when their immune system mistakes proteins in certain fruits or vegetables for the proteins found in their problem pollen. For example, when someone like Combs with a birch pollen allergy bites into an apple, the same IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibody that recognizes the birch pollen protein also recognizes a similar protein in the apple, prompting an allergic immune response, explains allergist Philip C. Halverson, MD, FAAAAI, of Allergy & Asthma Specialists in Minneapolis.
Stefano Guandalini, MD, is an internationally recognized expert on celiac disease who has greatly influenced the way the condition is diagnosed and treated. He founded the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center in 2001, where he’s served as medical director, as well as section chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Chicago Medicine. He recently transitioned from these positions to the role of professor emeritus.
Allergist Scott Commins, MD, PhD, is one of the nation’s leading experts on the alpha-gal allergy, an allergy to mammal meat induced by a tick bite. A member of the University of Virginia’s research team that discovered alpha-gal allergy about ten years ago, Commins now heads the laboratory that studies the allergy at the University of North Carolina. He also serves as Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology and has a clinical practice that specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with the alpha-gal allergy.
There’s ample scientific evidence that untreated celiac disease, characterized by inflammation and nutrient deficiencies, can lead to infertility. There can be issues during pregnancy, too. If a woman with untreated celiac does conceive, the fetus potentially could be at risk: An Italian study published in 2010 demonstrated that anti-transglutaminase (anti-tTG) antibodies in the blood—a hallmark of untreated celiac disease—can interfere with the function of the placenta, possibly leading to early loss of the pregnancy.
A new study found that food allergies are on the rise in adults as well as children. The increase is seen across all ethnic groups. About half of all food-allergic adults reported they developed one or more food allergies after age 18. Shellfish is the most common food allergy in adults, affecting an estimated 3.6 percent of adults in the United States. This is a 44 percent increase in prevalence from the rate recorded in 2004. The study also found that nut allergy in adults (now about 1.8 percent) has risen 260 percent since a 2008 estimate.
A case recently published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports described a dramatic and surprising presentation of celiac disease. A 3-year-old Albanian girl came to a clinic with carpal spasms (involuntary muscle contractions) and paresthesia (numbness and tingling) in her hands. A physical exam revealed no other symptoms but a blood test showed the child had severe calcium depletion. A screening for celiac disease was conducted (among other tests) with positive results; the diagnosis was confirmed with a duodenal biopsy.
In proper balance, bacteria in the colon prevent illness, regulate food absorption and digestion and play a role in many body functions. But when bacteria invade and take over the small intestine, they can cause digestive problems (like gas, abdominal bloating, stomach pain), nutrient malabsorption, food sensitivities and more.
Last November, Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment and director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, gave the keynote address at the Institute for Integrative Health’s In Good Health Wellness Expo in Baltimore. Associate editor Jules Shepard was there. In her interview with Dr. Fasano, he expands upon his presentation and discusses factors related to the development of celiac disease and other autoimmune conditions.