When a person is first diagnosed with celiac disease, nutritional deficiencies are common due to characteristic malabsorption. Many patients have reduced levels of iron, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc or magnesium, according to a 2013 article in the Annals of Medicine.
It’s not uncommon for celiac disease to develop in older patients and it’s important to make the diagnosis, says a group of researchers in Finland and the U.K. In a new study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, these researchers report that celiac disease is now being diagnosed more frequently in seniors. About a quarter of all celiac diagnoses are now made at the age of 60 and over. A fifth are made at 65 and older. And about 4 percent of new celiacs are diagnosed at age 80 and above.
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.
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.
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.
Restaurant staff have been hearing a lot more about gluten lately, so most are familiar with gluten-free customers. Some (or many) of these diners are gluten-free by choice, not medical necessity. Diners in the latter group—like you and me—need to ask questions. We need to be taken seriously. We actually get sick and have long-term repercussions if we eat gluten or our food gets contaminated. So it’s on us to express that clearly and accurately to the people who handle our food. Maybe if you look at these conversations as a public service rather than something just for you, you’ll feel better about asking questions.
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.
Miller and his mother didn’t know what was wrong, nor did his primary care doctor. A year earlier, Miller had been diagnosed with celiac disease, so at first he assumed his symptoms were related to that. But even on a gluten-free diet, his fatigue continued to worsen. Eventually, he ended up in the emergency room of a university hospital center where he was promptly admitted.