The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Mosher, M. J. (Anthropologist)

Second Advisor

Stevenson, Joan C.

Third Advisor

Everson, Phillip Mark


Celiac Disease (CD), gluten allergy (GA), and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) represent a highly varied disease grouping that affects individuals to varying degrees in response to the ingestion of certain cereal proteins (wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats). Generally, epidemiologic data on food allergy and intolerance is severely lacking; given current trends of under-diagnosis, prevalence of overt CD alone is estimated at 1-2% of European populations. There is a large and growing body of scientific literature that ascribes the complexity of various gluten-sensitive symptomology to multiple developmental pathways. This complexity translates largely in to delayed clinical diagnosis by medical professionals. Furthermore, public awareness of glutenaverse reactions as a serious medical condition remains low; there likely exists a sizable amount of the population that displays symptoms but does not pursue a gluten free diet due to a lack of knowledge. These delayed diagnoses result in an extremely decreased quality of life for those affected and for those with undiagnosed CD, there exists an increased risk for the development of refractory celiac with fatal Tcell lymphoma. The goal here is two-fold: (1) to conduct an epidemiologic pilot survey geared toward the characterization of contemporary paths to diagnosis of a small sample of individuals with CD, NCGS and GA and (2) to use the results of this survey to make suggestions for decreasing time to diagnosis for this widespread contemporary health issue.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Digestive organs--Diseases--Diagnosis; Celiac disease--Diagnosis; Malabsorption syndromes--Diagnosis




masters theses




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 thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Included in

Anthropology Commons