Monday, March 28, 2011

Celiac Disease in Northern India More Common Than Previously Believed

There is a great misconception that the incidence of celiac disease varies from one ethnic group to another, being highest in the Irish. The truth is the incidence seems to be constant between races, about 1% of the population. In my opinion celiac disease is one manifestation of gluten sensitivity and some professionals believe the incidence for gluten sensitivity is around 1 in 20.

Here is a report that shows the incidence of celiac disease in northern India is near 1%. That means that celiac disease is more common than is recognized in India, and that rates are about the same as in other parts of the world, not lower, as conventional wisdom has held.

More evidence that physicians and health care professionals and the general population need to be more suspicious that health issues may be caused by gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

Jefferson  Adams, over at reports:
The research team set out to accurately estimate the prevalence of celiac disease in a specific Indian community. The team gathered data using a structured questionnaire administered via door-to-door visits. The questionnaire provided socio-demographic data and basic screening for features of celiac disease, such as chronic or recurrent diarrhea, and Anemia.

For children, the questionnaire included additional factors, namely short stature (linear height below 5th percentile for age) and failure to thrive/gain weight. All test subjects with positive blood screens and 10% of screen negative individuals were called for anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody blood tests.

All those with positive blood tests were invited to undergo endoscopic biopsy. The team diagnosed celiac disease on the basis of a positive blood screens, the presence of villous atrophy and/or response to gluten free diet.The team contacted 12,573 people in all. A total of 10,488 (83.4%) (50.6% male) agreed to participate. Screening showed 5,622 (53.6%) positive results. Of those who screened positive, 2167 (38.5%) submitted to anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody blood tests. The team also tested 712 (14%) subjects who had tested negative.

The data showed an overall sero-prevalence of celiac disease was 1.44% (95% conīŦdence interval [CI] 1.22 1.69) and the overall prevalence of celiac disease was 1.04% (95% CI 0.85 1.25).

Read more here at

Monday, March 7, 2011

Pneumococcal vaccine indicated if a person is celiac/gluten sensitive

A gluten free diet alone does not seem to change the rate of death in those diagnosed with celiac disease according to a report by UK researchers in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

In the last ten years there has been an increase in the numbers of people being diagnosed with celiac disease. Intuitively, one would expect this increase in diagnosis to be followed by a decrease in celiac-related deaths. The idea being that earlier diagnosis means earlier treatment with gluten-free diet, and, ideally, less associated conditions and deaths. But according to this study, there has been no change in the mortality rate.

Jeffery Adams of reported that researcher Dr. Matthew J. Grainge, of the University of Nottingham, told Reuters Health that his team "found that people with celiac disease have a 37% increase in all-cause mortality compared with the general population."

The study published at Am J Gastroenterol; January 18, 2011.revealed a significantly increased all-cause standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of 1.37. This was higher for men (SMR, 1.86) than for women (SMR, 1.10). Study subjects had higher rates of death from cancer (SMR, 1.61) digestive (SMR, 2.19) and respiratory diseases (SMR, 1.57) compared to the general population. In all, there were 21 deaths from respiratory diseases, 11 of those from pneumonia.

According to the research team, this data supports current guidelines recommending pneumococcal vaccination for people with celiac disease.

In conclusion, the researchers note that the results may offer doctors "an opportunity to reduce mortality following pneumococcal infection by increasing the uptake of vaccination against this pathogen as vaccination rates are currently well below 50%."

I believe the problem lies in thinking that celiac disease is a gastroenterologic disorder more like a food allergy like being allergic to carrots.

In fact celiac/gluten sensitivity is an autoimme connective tissue disorder based on genetics and those with the genetics have tissues that have peptides in their structure that look like wheat. If one becomes allergic to wheat then the antibodies may attack the connective tissues. One is immunocompromised.

I treat people with celiac/gluten sensitivity with a grain free diet and a programme to identify already damaged connective tissues, damaged genetics such as MTHFR, hormone inbalances, infections, heavy metal toxicity and pre-cancers. And treat accordingly.

More research is necessary to determine if pneumococcal vaccination will, in fact lower the death persons with celiac disease. Other research with Hepatitis B vaccine has shown not all celiacs respond favourably to vaccination.

But in the mean time, it is an option while one works on strengthening the immune system.

Warning Signs of Celiac Disease

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can mimic many different diseases and, I have discovered through fifteen years of researching and managing patients, it is best to test everyone. In Japan and Italy they test all children before the age of 6 because they are aware of the high morbidity and mortality that comes with undiagnosed celiac/gluten sensitivity.

On Hartke is online I found an informative article on the warning signs of celiac disease and a video interview of  Dr. Peter Jo that's well worth watching. Dr. Peter Jo is a Reston, Virginia based chiropractor and certified nutritionist who is knowlegeable on the subject.

Read more about what he has to say about celiac disease, testing, the in's and out's and more at his blog.

I repeat myself when I say that  I use Dr. Kenneth Fine's lab called for testing.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Favourite Chocolate Cake recipe from Elana's Pantry

Here is my favourite Chocolate Cake recipe from Elana's Pantry called New German Chocolate cake.

The recipe fits the "Specific Carbohydrate diet"," GAPS "diet and the "Paleo" diet. She says it's a little complicated but you can make it in stages: make the cake the day before, make the icing an hour before you plan on serving it as it has to cool and thicken. If you are serving it for dessert at a dinner party, cool the icing just before serving the main course. It should be ready just when you're ready for dessert. I iced the cake infront of everyone after the main course, just before I served it. Everyone needs a little entertainment.

Just a final note: I never use agave because it is almost 100% fructose, instead I use honey and I adjust the amount by using 3/4 of what is asked for in the recipe.

To your health
Dr. Barbara

german chocolate cake coconut pecan filling chocolate frosting