Archive for November, 2009

 


This article focuses on the two main antibody blood tests for celiac disease. It will tell you what each test looks for and what the results mean.

The two blood tests recommended when testing for celiac disease are the AGA-IgA test for gliadin (wheat proteins) as well as the tTG-IgA test for tissue transglutaminase.

Recent research indicates the blood tests most doctors are using, tTG & EMA, are not as reliable as first thought. Young children, elderly, smokers, the very ill and the not very ill can be missed. EMA, or endomysial antibodies has fallen out of favor so they will not be discussed.

Preparation for Testing

Make sure when being tested that you are on a gluten-containing diet, because the antibodies the tests look for would disappear if you are were gluten-free. Once you go gluten-free, future testing is unreliable.

AGA – The Test for Gluten Sensitivity

The AGA-IgA has fallen out of favor for CELIAC DISEASE, but it tests whether an immune reaction against GLUTEN (gliadin) is present in the system – it detects a GLUTEN SENSITIVITY reaction. You can have gluten sensitivity without developing the lesion that is characteristic of celiac disease. That is, you can have gluten sensitivity without celiac disease.

tTG – The Test for Celiac Disease

tTG tests for tissue transglutaminase antibodies, or antibodies against your own tissues. The tTG blood test does NOT tell you if you have celiac disease per se. It tells you the likelihood that villous atrophy will be discovered if an endoscopy with biopsy is performed. The higher the number, the more likely you have enough damage that one of the samples would show villous atrophy.

One thing to consider is that you have over 20 feet of small intestine. Biopsy samples are tiny and only about 5 are taken. How much damage is required before a positive biopsy sample is found?

Also, you can also have the beginning stages of celiac disease and the test results will be "negative" now, but if you were tested at a later date they could rise, making you positive. That is, the levels of antibodies now may not indicate probable intestinal damage enough to be found on endoscopy with biopsy. But they can rise over time – one month, six months, a year.

In one study we reviewed while creating the medical manual, Recognizing Celiac Disease, of the children who tested positive in the study, 40% had tested negative 5 years previously.

No test is 100% accurate. Determining celiac disease is still a judgment call. Even if the tests come back negative, try a strict 100% gluten free diet to see if symptoms improve. If they do, ask your doctor to take multiple vitamin and mineral levels to determine whether deficiencies exist.

Page 30 in Recognizing Celiac Disease lists the vitamins and minerals the NIH recommends checking: vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, folic acid and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous.

The symptom charts in the book list which deficiencies cause which symptoms so you can determine which nutrient levels to test and give your doctor reasons to test for them. (Doctors will not take nutrient levels unless there is a reason to take them.) Correct the nutrient deficiencies and you will correct the symptoms in many cases.

A diagnosis is just a diagnosis. Good health is the most important thing.

For more information on the tests click here.

For more information on Recognizing Celiac Disease click here.

-------------------- Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA President-elect, Celiac Sprue Association (CSA). Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com. Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease. John can be reached at john.libonati@glutenfreeworks.com.


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If you are making gluten-free pumpkin pies and other sweet treats this Thanksgiving, make sure to check out the Nestle gluten-free product list before baking this year (revised August 2009).

The following items are gluten-free and will be helpful for baking this holiday season, especially when making pumpkin pies.

LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin LIBBY’S® Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Morsels NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunks NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Milk Chocolate Morsels NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Premier White Morsels NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Morsels NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter Swirled Morsels NESTLÉ TOLL HOUSE Semi-Sweet Chocolate & Premier White Swirled Morsels NESTLÉ CARNATION® Evaporated Milk NESTLÉ CARNATION® Low Fat Evaporated Milk NESTLÉ CARNATION® Fat Free Evaporated Milk NESTLÉ CARNATION® Sweetened Condensed Milk NESTLÉ CARNATION® Instant Nonfat Dry Milk

PUMPKIN_TARLETTry these 100 calorie pumpkin pie tartlets from the Nestle USA website. (more…)

Trish Deitemeyer

Target Offers Gluten Free Groceries

November 16th, 2009 by Trish Deitemeyer

Deitemeyer_Trish_Philadelphia_PA

targetdogIt’s not often you can walk into and store and walk out with batteries, cute socks, mascara and gluten-free donuts, but that’s exactly what I did last week at the Target in Plymouth Meeting (2250 Chemical Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA). Their newly expanded grocery department has a great selection of GF products, some old favorites and some I’d never heard of before. (more…)

John Libonati

Hyperthyroidism, Celiac Disease and the Gluten Connection

November 16th, 2009 by John Libonati

 

Graves-Proptosis_and_lid_retraction_from_Graves_Disease-wikimedia[1]Hyperthyroidism is a common condition worldwide. It occurs in 1-2 per cent of the population with greater incidence in iodine-deficient regions and is 10 times more common in women than men between the ages of 20 and 40 years.(1)

Hyperthyroidism is estimated to affect about 3 million people in the United States. The disease affects more women than men, breaking down to about 2% of women and .2% of men. As many as 15 percent of cases of hyperthyroidism occur in patients older than 60 years.(2)

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can significantly accelerate your body's metabolism, causing sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability.(3) (more…)

John Libonati

Celiac Disease Physician Education Program Goes Nationwide

November 11th, 2009 by John Libonati

Libonati_John_Philadelphia_PA

The Celiac Sprue Association - USA (CSA) recently ran the article below in Lifeline, CSA's quarterly newsletter. The CSA-PEP refers to the CSA Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Physician Education Program.

CSA-PEP Goes Nationwide: Buffalo Physician Praises PEP

Lifeline_CSA-PEP_3rd_Quarter_2009_250x319Thanks to CSA members, CSA-PEP is now available in many doctors' offices across the United States.

Mary Alice Kelly, MD, Buffalo, wrote recently to CSA.

"I have had so many eye opening moments going through the Recognizing Celiac Disease manual. It is so comprehensive, and I give kudos to the monumental task of putting this into a readable text. Lots of patients flash through my mind as I review co-morbid conditions.

There is more than enough material in this CSA-PEP packet to make a physician aware.

I think once you diagnose one or two patients, you include celiac disease in your differential diagnosis. Our problem as physicians is limited office time with patients, so the more organized material I have to offer, the better for them. Comparing your packets to the first homemade packets from the offices of dietitians is a world of difference."

Read the full article here.

About the CSA Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity Physician Education Program (CSA-PEP):

The CSA-PEP was created to increase diagnosis and improve treatment while increasing celiac disease awareness in the medical community and the public. It will provide 60,800 doctors and 10,000 medical students with information and resources that will aid them in identifying, diagnosing and treating people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

To find out more about the CSA-PEP and get involved, visit their website here.

recognizing_celiac_disease_website_cover_132x162 Recognizing Celiac Disease is the definitive guide to understanding, diagnosing and managing celiac disease. It is a reader-friendly, celiac disease reference manual written for both medical professionals and the general public.

For more information visit, www.recognizingceliacdisease.com. ------------------- Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA President-elect, Celiac Sprue Association (CSA). Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com. Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease. John can be reached at john.libonati@glutenfreeworks.com.

John Libonati

Celiac Disease Events in Cleveland: Nov. 15 & Dec. 6

November 11th, 2009 by John Libonati

Libonati_John_Philadelphia_PA

Here are two fun upcoming events in Cleveland Ohio...sent in by Cindy Koller-Kass, President of the Celiac Sprue Association Chapter #50.

Greater Cleveland Celiac Association CSA Chapter #50 Meeting this Sunday, November 15, 2009 -

Parma Community Hospital at 2 PM in the Nelson Auditorium 7007 Powers Blvd (off Ridge Rd ) Parma. If you need specific directions--Please go to http://tinyurl.com/2e9emh

Bring your questions.

Topic: How to deal with family gatherings this Holiday Season

Come hungry! We will have a pre-Thanksgiving potluck and a Pie Baking Contest Pre-Thanksgiving Potluck ... (more…)

Amy Fothergill

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna Recipe

November 11th, 2009 by Amy Fothergill

Not only is this meal easy, it's delicious and gluten free. Surprise your family one night by having them walk in the house to the smell of lasagna, coming from the slow cooker!

lasagna_slowcookerThis dish can be ready in less than 3 hours. If you will be gone most of the day, make sure to set the slow cooker to Low.

Gluten Free Slow Cooker Lasagna

Ingredients: (more…)

Why do gluten-free food prices fluctuate so much?

November 11th, 2009 by Tiffany Janes

Janes_Tiffany_Atlanta_GA

If you read my pages on Examiner.com regularly, you might have noticed that I do not include prices on many products that I review. While I'd be happy to list prices for everything if my audience was limited to Atlanta, over 95% of my readers don't even live in Georgia. About 2% don't live in the U.S.

There is another reason I don't like listing prices on my reviews though, besides the fact that most people reading them don't live anywhere near Atlanta. Prices on gluten-free products fluctuate greatly depending on where they are sold. Atlanta has the largest gluten-free community in the Southeast. The panhandle of Florida might have the smallest. It is common for patients down there to come to Atlanta to see Dr. Cynthia Rudert because many doctors down there don't know much about celiac disease. (more…)

Honkanen_AuraLee_Seattle_WA

Coconut water is becoming a fast-growing favorite beverage. Local grocery stores see it flying off the shelves. Have you tried it yet? It has a fresh, light taste and is a good source of electrolytes. Once just a Brazilian drink, it is now becoming a wide spread favorite right here in the U.S. Brazilians call it "agua de coco" and they consider it a nutritious, yummy staple.

Coconut water is the clear liquid inside a young, green coconut. One serving is higher in potassium than a banana and it is much healthier than sports drinks yet still high in electrolytes. Coconut water is gluten-free, fat free and has no added sugar. It started out being sold only in specialty and natural food stores but since it has been such a success, it is now sold in grocery stores around the United States.

Is this another trendy marketing boom, like bottled water was? (more…)

John Libonati

Celiac Disease Alert: Six Ways Gluten Can Kill You

November 4th, 2009 by John Libonati

"I only cheat once in awhile. You know, like twice a week..."

Photo: Suite101.com

If you have celiac disease, you damage your body EVERY TIME you ingest gluten. That may sound bad, but it gets worse.

You can DIE from celiac disease in a variety of ways. None of them are fun. Some take longer than others. Some may not kill you per say, but rather they may stop you from enjoying life, make you suffer from chronic pain or limit your potential.

Celiac disease is a deadly serious condition caused by eating what is essentially a poison to susceptible people - gluten proteins in wheat, barley, rye and oats.

Here are just 6 examples how celiac disease from gluten ingestion can kill you: (more…)