Mayo Research Suggests Celiac Disease More Common

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(Editor’s Note: The author of the article reprinted below may have meant celiac disease when he wrote “gluten allergies.”)

Mayo research suggests gluten allergies more common
by Sea Stachura, Minnesota Public Radio
July 1, 2009

Rochester, Minn. — Celiac disease — an allergic reaction to gluten – is four times more common today than it was 50 years ago, according to research conducted at the Mayo Clinic.

Mayo gastroenterologist Joseph Murray says one in 100 people now have the disease.

He says doctors had thought the marked increase was a result of better screening, but the research suggests that celiac disease is truly becoming more common, paralleling other diseases like type one diabetes or allergies.

Murray says that suggests this could be an autoimmune response, or it could be that something has changed about gluten.

“When it’s not busy fighting infections in our environment it’s up to no good and turns on ourselves or create autoimmunity. That’s one theory,” he said. “Celiac disease is unusual in that we know the environmental trigger for the disease. You have to eat gluten, the protein from wheat, barley or rye to get the disease. So another possibility is that something changed about gluten.”

People with untreated celiac disease are also four times more likely to die earlier than people without the disease. Murray says people of all ages can develop the disease.

Source: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/06/30/mayo_gluten_allergies/


About John Libonati

John Libonati

2 comments

  1. The study was on Celiac Disease and not gluetn allergy. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder and is not the same as a “gluten allergy”. Celiac disease involes the body attacking its own intestinal lining. A true allergy does not involve the body attacking its own tissue.

    • John Libonati

      You are absolutely correct, Todd. This article was reprinted. The more we can inform our local news reporters, the better. Too many confuse celiac disease with being an allergy when it is actually an autoimmune disorder.

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