Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2015

Keywords

presenting symptoms, medically unexplained conditions, chronic fatigue, autoimmune thyroiditis

Abstract

Wheat consumption is increasing worldwide and also increasing is the frequency of celiac disease (CeD), a pathological response to wheat protein (gluten) in genetically susceptible individuals. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is another, less studied wheat-induced pathology. The treatment for both is a gluten-free diet (GFD). More individuals choose the diet than predicted by the epidemiological 1-2% prevalence. A preliminary survey by questionnaire asked members and attendees of the local gluten information group (GIG) meetings and functions about their diagnostic experiences and symptom levels in order understand the increased demand for gluten-free foods. Same-aged and -sex friends participated as a comparative “control”. Mixed methods were used including content analyses of prose narratives and independent and paired t tests of symptom levels measured with Likert scales. This convenience sample, surveyed in 2011-2012, is mostly female (54 F, 5 M) with an average age of 54.6 ± 2.0 years. Most participants consulted medical professionals with mean time to diagnosis of 7 years determined mostly from “classic” presenting symptoms. Negative biopsies or blood tests and atypical symptoms that overlap other conditions delayed diagnosis. There were 43 and 16 participants with CeD and NCGS, respectively differing little in symptom levels. Self-diagnosis and use of naturopaths account for some of the “excess” individuals. General practitioners should be encouraged to get additional nutrition training and to discuss with patients dietary choices that support wellness and minimize the risk for pathological immune responses. Patients with CeD particularly need support and follow-up in the transition to a GFD.

Publication Title

International Journal of Celiac Disease

Volume

3

Issue

18

First Page

17

Last Page

24

DOI

10.12691/ijcd-3-1-7

Required Publisher's Statement

© Science and Education Publishing

Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Gluten free diet; Gluten free foods; Celiac disease--Diagnosis; Autoimmune thyroiditis--Diagnosis; Food allergy

Genre/Form

articles

Type

Text

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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