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Author Archives: Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN

Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN is CEO and co-Founder of Gluten Free Works, Inc. and Glutenfreeworks.com. She is the author and publisher of the highly recommended celiac disease reference guide, Recognizing Celiac Disease.

Ataxia, Gluten

What Is Gluten Ataxia? Gluten ataxia is a degeneration of the cerebellum (lower brain) caused by an immune reaction to gluten that is characterized by positive anti-gliadin antibodies, motor abnormalities including upper or lower limb ataxia, gait ataxia, and dysarthria ...

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Ataxia, Gait

What Is Gait Ataxia? Gait ataxia is a cerebellar (lower brain) disorder characterized by defective muscular coordination of skeletal muscles used for locomotion (walking). Q: What is defective muscle coordination for walking? A: The cerebellum does not initiate movements but ...

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Hypokalemic Rhabdomyolysis in Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis

What Is Hypokalemic Rhabdomyolysis? Hypokalemic rhabdomyolysis is an acute and sometimes fatal disease due to its rapid progression of muscle destruction when untreated. It is characterized by the accumulation of by-products of skeletal muscle destruction in the renal (kidney) tubules ...

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Hyposplenism

What Is Hyposplenism? Hyposplenism is the condition resulting from having lost spleen tissue, called atrophy of the spleen. Spleen atrophy impairs splenic functions or activities because there are insufficient tissues to do the work required. Q: What splenic functions are ...

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Lymphadenopathy

What Is Lymphadenopathy? Lymphadenopathy is an alteration of lymph nodes that is characterized by enlargement of lymph nodes greater than 1.5 cm caused by proliferation (increased production) of lymphocytes within the node. Q: What are lymph nodes? A: Lymph nodes ...

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Lymphomas, Extraintestinal

What Are Extraintestinal Lymphomas? Extraintestinal lymphomas (non-Hodgkin’s) are malignancies that arise in peripheral lymphatic tissue outside the intestinal tract from B-cell and T-cell lymphocytes. Q: What is peripheral lymphatic tissue? A: Peripheral lymphatic tissue includes lymph vessels, lymph, lymph nodes, and ...

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Celiac Disease, Refractory

What Is Refractory Celiac Disease? Refractory celiac disease, formerly called refractory sprue, is a severe complication characterized by persistence of symptoms and intestinal inflammation despite gluten free diet after 12 months.1 Refractory celiac disease appears in two forms, ulcerative jejunitis (RCD ...

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Lymphoma, B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s

What Is B-Cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma? Bcell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a malignant, monoclonal (arising from a single cell) proliferation of lymphocytes that is preceded by lymphadenopathy and characterized by varying, less predictable spread than Hodgkin’s disease. Lymphadenopathy is enlargement of lymph ...

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Itchy (Pruritic) Skin  

What Is Pruritic Skin? Pruritic skin is a symptom of a primary disease that may involve only the skin or a systemic disorder with other features and is characterized by chronic itching. Q: What part of skin is affected by ...

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Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris

What Is Pityriasis Rubra Pilaris? Pityriasis rubra pilaris (PRP) is a chronic generalized exfoliative dermatitis (sloughing skin) characterized by erythema (redness), scaling, dilated plugged hair follicles, and keratoderma (thickened skin) of the hands and feet that is often associated with ...

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Melanoma

What Is Melanoma? Melanoma is a cutaneous malignancy with rapid invasion and metastasis to other parts of the body. Melanoma is characterized by growth from melanocytes appearing as a new mole or enlarging from an exisiting mole, changing shape, size ...

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Ichthyosis, Acquired  

What Is Acquired Ichthyosis? Acquired ichthyosis is an uncommon, nonhereditary cutaneous disorder characterized by dry, rough skin with prominent symmetrical scaling that involves significant portions of the body. Most microscopic studies of acquired ichthyosis exhibit hyperkeratosis (thickened skin) with a ...

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Hangnail

What Is Hangnail? Hangnail is a broken strip of epidermis (piece of skin) at root or lateral (side) edge of fingernail or toenail that causes sharp pain. A hangnail develops because the skin around the nail is unhealthy due to ...

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Follicular Hyperkeratosis (goose flesh or corkscrew hair)

What Is Follicular Hyperkeratosis? Follicular hyperkeratosis is an abnormal skin condition characterized by disordered overgrowth of the horny layer of the epidermis with horny plugs filling the openings of hair follicles. The plugs look like bumps in hair follicles. Follicular ...

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Erythema Nodosum 

What Is Erythema Nodosum? Erythema nodosum is an inflammatory disorder involving the deep dermis layer of skin and subcutaneous fat septa that underlies the skin. It is characterized by eruptions of recurrent or persistent multiple painful, red nodules under the skin that ...

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