Incidence of Celiac Disease – An Overview


incidence of celiac diseas

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease of the small intestines. It can be genetic or may be due to diet. There is no cure for it. What we do know is that it can cause major problems for people who have it, including extreme symptoms like weight loss, diarrhea, and malnutrition.

Celiac disease has been known to occur in numerous populations. The current study indicates that in today’s world, the incidence of this disorder was much higher among children and women than among men, suggesting that there may be a genetic component in its occurrence. Overall, the incidence of this disease was approximately one in every hundred, compared to approximately one in each hundred thousand, suggesting a very high prevalence. The screening studies conducted by the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) estimate that approximately one percent of children in the United States are affected by this disease.

Incidence Of Celiac Disease

A close up of a piece of bread

The screening tests used by the NIDDK included a fasting lipid profile, duodenal biopsy, and serum antibody levels. A physical examination was also conducted to determine the presence of chronic inflammation in the small intestine and liver. A screening procedure using a screening questionnaire is usually performed on a routine basis to screen for the disease. The questionnaire is usually based on symptoms and history of past illnesses and includes questions regarding the patient’s preferences regarding gluten, barley, wheat, and rye. If any changes are detected, the physician can make the necessary diagnosis.

Since the symptoms are very similar to those of other diseases, biopsies and blood samples are usually taken to obtain a more conclusive diagnosis. There is a slight possibility of intestinal adhesion in celiac diseases, although this has not been proven conclusively. The diagnosis can only be established if microscopic analysis of blood samples shows abnormalities in terms of villi type and gluten immunotoxicity. The most commonly diagnosed is a serological acute seropositivity to gluten, followed by a series of non-serious antigens that may also be relevant. This makes the process of diagnosis relatively lengthy.

A Much Ado

A piece of food

Diagnosis is confirmed by biopsies and blood samples obtained in the biopsy process. When the disease is suspected, the physician will usually order a series of tests to rule out any other diseases. The first of these tests is a neurological examination that is done using a sensitive stool test. Serous leukocyte (HL) levels can be determined as positive if the patient exhibits high cell count and severe villous atrophy, indicative of functional gluten sensitivity.

Because the disease is known to affect the small intestine, abnormal function of the small intestine may be another cause for the symptoms. Abnormal small bowel movements with constipation and diarrhea are common symptoms. Abnormal blood chemistry parameters, including proteinuria, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), and eukaryotic enzyme levels are also indicative of the disease. The physician may perform further screening exams after obtaining the first laboratory confirmation of the disease.

The incidence of celiac disease has been increasing steadily over the past several decades. The main contributing factor to this increase is the development and spread of genetically modified foods, which are becoming increasingly popular in North America and Western Europe. These foods are not affected by the proteins gluten but contain them.

Bottom Line

Genetic studies have shown that individuals that have higher frequencies of genetic abnormalities are more likely to develop this condition, compared with individuals with lower rates. This study indicates an increasing incidence in northern America, particularly in Canada, the USA, and the United Kingdom. Other studies have indicated an increased incidence of this condition among Indian, Chinese, and Mexican American individuals. Studies of twins have indicated an increased risk of this condition among monozygotic (identical) twins.

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