Celiac Disease Rates

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Rates of celiac disease are four times higher today than they were just 50 years ago, according to the results of a study by Mayo Clinic researchers. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the studys findings in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Celiac disease is four times more common in the United States today than it was 50 years ago.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder treated by banning wheat and other grains containing gluten from the diet. Even with increased awareness the disease remains underdiagnosed.

A study by Mayo Clinic researchers also linked undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease with an increased risk for earlier death.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in both children and adults. When people with celiac disease eat foods that contain gluten, an inflammatory reaction occurs that can damage the small intestine and inhibit the absorption of nutrients.

Gluten is present in all types of wheat, rye and barley. Completely eliminating these foods from the diet for life is the only known treatment.

Researchers estimate that the disease affects one in 100 people in this country but many are unaware that they have it.

The good news about celiac, which makes it unique among autoimmune disorders, is that it is completely reversible once you begin a gluten-free diet.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.