“Gluten-Related Disorders” (Part 2)

Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity NCGS -Focused discussion in Section III
  • No biologically measurable response has been found – these are people with normal celiac serology (neg ttg/ema) and normal biopsies.
  • Specific discussions regarding autism and schizophrenia.  On page 44, authors note that a 2008 Cochrane review concluded the evidence for a gluten-free diet for autism was poor.  In 2012, a two-stage RCT (Whiteley et al) of gluten-free casein-free diet reported significant group improvements after 8 and 12 months on diet. Thus, diet may be helpful.
  • Other chapters allude to NCGS as well.  Page 124: “There are no epidemiologic studies assessing the prevalence of NCGS. Bizzaro et al estimated that for every one person with CD, there are at least six to seven with gluten sensitivity.”
Wheat Allergy -Section IV
  • Forms include oral food allergy, “wheat-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis,” and Baker’s asthma (aerosolized exposure).
  • Skin prick tests or RAST’s are notorious for providing a high rate of false-positive results.  Low rate of false negative results, though, are noted.

Treatment -Section VI:

  • This section provides a number of tables to assist with diet and hidden sources of gluten.
  • GFD may lead to specific nutrient deficiencies: fiber, iron, folate, niacin, zinc, vitamins B12, A, D, E, and K; also, GFD may be higher in fat.

Psychological Aspects -Section VII:

 “The family has to buy gluten-free foods and all members have to learn how to avoid contaminating gluten-free foods, dishes, toasters, and so on.” Parents have to read all food labels and prepare special meals while attending social events.
A nice sample letter is included on page 129 –should make a good EPIC smartphrase.
Difficult Cases -Section VIII:
  • Labs to check in sick CD patient (Table 2 -page 133).
  • Causes of Nonresponse to GFD: poor compliance, accidental ingestions, nonceliac disease causing symptoms.
  • While some of the authors state that true refractory disease is “rare in adults,extremely rare in children,” in other parts of the book it is noted that complete histologic response is not seen in all patients (some with apparently good adherence).

IgA deficiency (page 139).

  • 85-90% of IgA deficient patients have no clinical symptoms.  Occurs in about 1 in 300.  For those with symptoms, manifestations could include sinopulmonary disease, allergy/atopy, autoimmune diseases, giardiasis/infections, and transfusion reactions (against IgA) (see Table 8 on page 143).
  • Transiently low IgA is common in children <4 years.
  • For IgA deficient patients, risk of CD is 10-20 times general population.
  • In true deficiency, level is typically <7 mg/dL.  More often, there is a partial deficiency which is ‘almost always asymptomatic.’  In partial IgA deficiency, IgA assays identify about 90% of CD cases.
Also, in the difficult cases section an algorithm for follow-up of newly diagnosed CD is presented and discussed (page 154).  Recommendations include nutritional counseling, resource identification, family screening, and celiac education.  Consider checking iron status, vitamin D, folate, zinc, copper and DEXA.  Recommends followup serology 6 months following diagnosis and if normal, then on a yearly basis.
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Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) and specific medical management interventions should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  Application of the information in a particular situation remains the professional responsibility of the practitioner.