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2015dec_logoGuidelines for diagnosing coeliac disease are rapidly evolving, as sensitive and specific laboratory assays are now available as part of the coeliac disease diagnostic algorithm. Though biopsy is still recommended as a gold standard by many gastroenterologists1, biopsies may still be inconclusive.2 Therefore, in many cases it may be possible to diagnose coeliac easily and quickly via a few essential blood tests. These include immunoglobulins produced against tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and deamidated gliadin peptide (DGP).

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2015dec_logo2000 years ago on the coast of Tuscany, an eighteen year old girl died and her entombed body was carefully adorned with bronze and gold jewelry. She was one of the first known sufferers of coeliac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by ingestion of gluten. In spite of a healthy diet of fish, meat and vegetables—which researchers determined by analyzing isotopes in her skeleton—she was only four feet seven inches tall, and many of her bones were eroded at the tips. DNA analysis revealed she carried two copies of a gene commonly found in sufferers of coeliac, and her skeletal abnormalities indicated the kind of severe malnutrition that can accompany the condition. “She probably didn’t understand that she had this disease,” Gabriele Scorrano told Nature News magazine in 2014. Scorrano is the biological anthropologist at the University of Rome who published a study on the Italian woman’s remains.1,2

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cnsnddt-journal-coverA paper published in the journal CNS Neurology Disorders Drug Targets highlights some of the areas of dysfunction liked to adverse exposure to gluten and subsequent effects on functionality.[1]

The non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder which is very common world-wide.

The human gut harbours microbiota which has a wide variety of microbial organisms; they are mainly symbiotic and important for well-being. However, “dysbiosis” – i.e. an alteration in normal commensal gut microbiome with an increase in pathogenic microbes, impacts homeostasis/health.

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s13379569Dec 2013 saw a paper published in Interdisciplinary Toxicology that explored the notion that the popular herbicide called Roundup may have a relational link to its increased use.[1] In addition a number of other complex and distressing health conditions have been are increasingly attributed to this chemical.

Glyphosate was not originally designed as a herbicide. Patented by the Stauffer Chemical Company in 1964, it was introduced as a chelating agent. It avidly binds to metals. Glyphosate was first used as a descaling agent to clean out mineral deposits from the pipes in boilers and other hot water systems.

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journal.jpgIt has been proposed that risk for developing the autoimmune condition coeliac disease (CD) may be linked to the time that the infant is weaned to consume gluten containing foods. However, the timing of gluten introduction into an infant’s diet does not appear to influence a child’s subsequent risk of developing CD investigators report in an article published online January 19 in Pediatrics.[1] The new finding, from a multinational prospective birth cohort study, challenges some current ideas on how best to prevent the onset of the autoimmune disorder.

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A recently published paper in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice[1] discussed the results from an Australian group exploring the global trend in self-diagnosis of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). We are all aware that the possibility that gluten and or related compounds may relate with our gastrointestinal tract and associated immune cells in a detrimental manner leading to a wide range of symptoms. Well we are not alone and many people are making the leap to exclude gluten without any formal diagnosis or even careful work up – so what some may say, well the Australian group suggest this may come with unanticipated risks.

Gluten Sensitivity: Real or Not

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 by
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…..Is the title to the BMJ’s Editor’s Choice article this week (Dec 12th 2012) and whilst we in the Nutritional Therapy world find the concept that physicians still deny the empirical evidence of people recovering post gluten and often lactose excluding diets as NOT being indicative of there being a problem, Fiona Godlee does recognise a problem exists.[1]

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Coeliac disease (CD) is a permanent intolerance to gluten found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten induces an autoimmune reaction in the small intestinal mucosa resulting in inflammation, villous atrophy and malabsorption. The only effective treatment is a gluten-free diet, which usually leads to healing of the intestinal mucosa and recovery from signs and symptoms.[1]