Posts Tagged ‘Celiac disease’

 

John Libonati

Yes, You Can Die From Celiac Disease

March 10th, 2008 by John Libonati


You can definitely die from celiac disease, in a variety of ways:

1. Dehydration – Extreme damage to the intestinal lining can lead to death through dehydration.  In this case, the lining that is supposed to hold water in your body no longer functions.  The gut actually pulls water from your body.

2. Malignancies – Malabsorption of nutrients or consistent damage to cellular structures leads to cancers: lymphoma, leukemia, intestinal, esophageal, etc.

3. Pregnancy complications – Nutrient deficiencies can lead to cardiomyopathy in the mother or birth defects in the fetus from folic acid deficiency, protein deficiency, etc.

4. Immunodeficiency – A weakened immune system can allow common illnesses to become deadly – the flu for example.  Other illnesses normally fought off, are not.

5. Autoimmune diseases – Celiac disease, if not diagnosed and treated early, causes the body to react to other things in the body.  As the body tries to unsuccessfully attack and remove gluten (because the person keeps eating it), the immune system stays on a heightened alert and starts attacking other things.

6. Malnutrition – Any health problem that comes from malnutrition of any one or more nutrient that can lead to death can be caused by celiac disease.

Here are just 6 examples of how celiac disease can kill you.  It is a deadly serious condition caused by eating what is essentially a poison to susceptible people – people with celiac disease.

The gluten-free diet is the elimination of gluten from the diet.  That is only the first step.  The next step is determining any health problems that have arisen and treating them.  The final step is ongoing identification of health problems that arise in the future to determine how to treat yourself.

-John Libonati

John Libonati is Vice President and co-Founder of Gluten Free Works, Inc. He can be reached at john.libonati@glutenfreeworks.com.


Contact: Sally Webster
s.webster@qmul.ac.uk
44-207-882-5404
Queen Mary, University of London

Scientists who last year identified a new genetic risk factor for coeliac disease, have, following continued research, discovered an additional seven gene regions implicated in causing the condition. The team, lead by David van Heel, Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, have further demonstrated that of the nine coeliac gene regions now know, four of these are also predisposing factors for type 1 diabetes. Their research sheds light not only on the nature of coeliac disease, but on the common origins of both diseases. It is published online today (2 March 2008) in Nature Genetics.

Professor van Heel and his team, including collaborators from Ireland, the Netherlands, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, first performed a genome wide association study in coeliac disease. Genetic markers across the genome were compared in coeliac disease subjects versus healthy controls. They then assessed around 1,000 of the strongest markers in a further ~ 5,000 samples. Their results identified seven new risk regions, six of which harbour important genes critical in the control of immune responses, highlighting their significance in the development of the disease.

Coeliac disease is common in the West, afflicting around 1 per cent of the population. It is an immune-mediated disease, triggered by intolerance to gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye containing foods), that prevents normal digestion and absorption of nutrients. If undetected it can lead to a number of often severe problems among them anaemia, poor bone health, fatigue and weight loss. Currently only a restricted diet can diminish symptoms.

Professor van Heel said: “So far our findings explain nearly half of the heritability of coeliac disease – now studies with many more samples from individuals with coeliac disease are needed to identify the precise causal genetic variants from each region, and understand how these influence biological processes.”

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The research was funded by Coeliac UK and The Wellcome Trust. Coeliac disease case studies are available for interview from Coeliac UK upon request.

The paper, ‘Newly identified genetic risk variant for celiac disease related to the immune response’ is published online, on 2 March 2008, in Nature Genetics.

For case studies contact:
Kate Newman
Press Office
Coeliac UK
Tel: 020 8399 7478
Mobile: 07952 071014

Notes to editors:

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry offers international levels of excellence in research and teaching while serving a population of unrivalled diversity amongst which cases of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, TB, oral disease and cancers are prevalent, within east London and the wider Thames Gateway. Through partnership with our linked trusts, notably Barts and The London NHS Trust, and our associated University Hospital trusts – Homerton, Newham, Whipps Cross and Queen’s – the School’s research and teaching is informed by an exceptionally wide ranging and stimulating clinical environment.

At the heart of the School’s mission lies world class research, the result of a focused programme of recruitment of leading research groups from the UK and abroad and a £100 million investment in state-of-the-art facilities. Research is focused on translational research, cancer, cardiology, clinical pharmacology, inflammation, infectious diseases, stem cells, dermatology, gastroenterology, haematology, diabetes, neuroscience, surgery and dentistry.

The School is nationally and internationally recognised for research in these areas, reflected in the £40 million it attracts annually in research income. Its fundamental mission, with its partner NHS Trusts, and other partner organisations such as CRUK, is to ensure that that the best possible clinical service is underpinned by the very latest developments in scientific and clinical teaching, training and research.

Websites
www.coeliac.org.uk
www.coeliac.co.uk/about_us/press_office/writing_about_coeliac_disease/118.asp
http://www.wellcome.ac.uk
http://www.icms.qmul.ac.uk/
http://www.icms.qmul.ac.uk/Profiles/Gastro/van%20Heel%20David.htm
http://www.nature.com/ng/index.html

Acid reflux affects millions of people every day.

Heartburn is the major symptom of acid in the esophagus, characterized by burning discomfort behind the breastbone (sternum). Findings in gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)  include esophagitis (reflux esophagitis) — inflammatory changes in the esophageal lining (mucosa) —, strictures, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), and chronic chest pain. Patients may have only one of those symptoms. Typical GERD symptoms include cough, hoarseness, voice changes, chronic ear ache, burning chest pains, nausea or sinusitis. GERD complications include stricture formation, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal spasms, esophageal ulcers, and possibly even lead to esophageal cancer, especially in adults over 60 years old.

Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Patients with heartburn symptoms more than once a week are at risk of developing GERD. A hiatal hernia is usually asymptomatic, but the presence of a hiatal hernia is a risk factor for developing GERD.

Here is some interesting information about acid reflux drugs. In 2006, over 100 million prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors (acid reflux drugs) were filled at a cost of $13.6 billion.  It is true that acid reflux drugs definitely help in the short term.  They reduce acid.

Unfortunately, the more powerful acid blockers (omeprazole, esomeprezole) can interfere with calcium adsorption and can aggravate preexisting hypocalcaemia and hypomagnesemia which are more common in celiac disease. [1]

They can also cause problems for people with cirrhosis. Use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in patients with cirrhosis was associated with a risk of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis and Clostridium difficile-associated disease, according to two retrospective studies. [2]

Finally, long term use can also lead to Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency is already a common deficiency among people with celiac disease. The medications work by blocking acid secretion from the parietal cells of the stomach, but these cells also make a substance called intrinsic factor, which is critical for vitamin B12 absorption. Because proton-pump inhibitors such as Prilosec also reduce intrinsic factor secretion, long-term use can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency. [3] 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is serious because it can lead to neurologic disorders. The neurologic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include numbness and tingling of the arms and, more commonly, the legs, difficulty walking, memory loss, disorientation, and dementia with or without mood changes. Although the progression of neurologic complications is generally gradual, such symptoms are not always reversible with treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency, especially if they have been present for a long time. [4]  

Here are some things what work well for acid reflux and won’t destroy your health:

Dietary Changes:

1) Maintain a 100% strict gluten-free diet.  The immune reaction to gluten starts in the mouth and works all the way through the gastrointestinal tract, so avoid it. 

2) Doctors also now suggest that heartburn sufferers keep a daily food diary, so they are better able to see what food triggers are present in their day-to-day life. Once a list of common triggers have been found, begin eliminating foods one by one. Common heartburn triggers include chocolate, fried and fatty foods, and spices.  [5]

3) While suffering heartburn, you’re advised to refrain from consuming alcohol, caffeine, over-the-counter pain relievers, and other stimulants, which change the acidity of the stomach, and irritate the lining of the stomach further. [5]

4) Decrease sugar intake.  Sugar causes acid reflux in some individuals. [5]5) Increase fiber. Consuming more fiber nutrient foods is another natural way to alleviate future suffering. Bulk foods help to absorb excess acid and gas, and allow your body to rid itself of toxins more quickly. For those who respond poorly to high fiber vegetables, fiber pills and beverages are an easy alternative. [5]

6) Drink more water. The more water you drink, the less likely you are to suffer the pains of heartburn. Drinking at least 8-glasses of water each day will rid the body of toxins and allow your body to expel acid naturally.

Remedies:

Here are some quick home remedies that can help. 

1) Baking soda – take a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and mix with 4 oz. of water.  Drink it.  Baking soda is a base and counteracts the acid almost immediately.  It also has another benefit in that it cuts the reaction of the gluten proteins that cause the reflux in the first place. (If you accidentally ingested gluten.) It works quickly and is about as cheap a remedy as you’ll find.

2) Alka Seltzer Gold – this is gluten-free and works quickly. 

3) Apple cider vinegar – this remedy was suggested Alisa Weeks,  a member of the Knoxville Celiac Support Group. “We use the apple cider vinegar with great success. We take about a teaspoonful with some juice.”

4) Food enzymes – which help to speed the digestive process often eliminate heartburn altogether. Papaya enzymes are sold in chewable capsule form, and are taken immediately following a meal with a full glass of water. Both ginger and digestive enzymes are not medically proven to help with symptoms. [5]

Sources:

[1] Robb-Nicholson C (2007). “By the way, doctor. I heard that taking a proton-pump inhibitor could cause hip fractures. I’ve been taking 20 mg of Prilosec every day for a year. Should I be concerned?”. Harvard women’s health watch 14 (7): 8. PMID 17396273.

[2] Bajaj JS, et al “Proton Pump Inhibitor Use is Associated with a High Risk of Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis” Abstract 740 presented Nov. 4.

[3] http://www.everydayhealth.com/publicsite/index.aspx?puid=f0ed5fe5-034e-4196-997b-f976c293a99c&p=1

[4] http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminB12/

[5] http://heartburn.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=heartburn&cdn=health&tm=12&gps=89_111_1020_570&f=00&su=p284.8.150.ip_&tt=14&bt=0&bts=0&zu=http%3A//nhnh.essortment.com/heartburnhomer_rwel.htm