September 28th, 2010
01:42 PM ET

Celiac disease cases doubled every 15 years in study group

The rate of celiac disease is growing and the onset of gluten intolerance can occur in older people, a study in the Annals of Medicine found.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, triggered by eating the protein gluten, which is found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye.  People with celiac disease cannot tolerate foods containing gluten and can experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage and other complications.

Researchers from the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and their colleagues found that the incidence of celiac disease has doubled every 15 years since 1974 in a population sample.

Blood samples from more than 3,500 adults showed that the number of people with blood markers for celiac disease rose from one in 501 in 1974 to one in 219 in 1989, according to the study.

The study detected a rising prevalence in celiac disease as the study participants aged - and two of them developed celiac disease in their late 60s.

"We provide evidence that [celiac disease] autoimmunity may develop at any age, even in the elderly," the authors concluded. "The sharp increase of CD prevalence observed in the US between the time window investigated in this study (1974 – 1989) and current time was apparently related to an increasing number of subjects that, in their adulthood, lost the immunological tolerance to gluten. The reasons for these changes are not clear but should be investigated among the many environmental factors favoring CD."

The findings challenge the frequently held notion that the disorder develops during childhood. “This increase was due to an increasing number of subjects that lost the immunological tolerance to gluten in their adulthood,” researchers wrote.  The cause remains unclear.

The rate of the autoimmune disorder in the United States was estimated in a 2003 study to be  one in 133.

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Diana

    I think one of the reasons for the increase in CD is the over-diagnosis of this disease. I have first hand experience with this. I recently went for an endoscopy and the top of my small intestines appeared reddened. My doctor took a small biopsy and the pathologist who looked at it said that it has the markings of Celiac. This completely shocked me as my diet contains a lot of gluten and I have never had any problems with it. My doctor said he agreed with me and said to disregard the findings since I didn't have any other symptoms. I could have easily been diagnosed with a disease I never had.

    I think that doctors err too much on the side of caution to a fault. They are so afraid of being sued that they will diagnose a patient when there is only a small sign of the disease. I don't doubt that CD is becoming more prevalent, just not at the rate they believe. I think it has to do with our over-sterilized lifestyles, but I won't get into that.

    September 28, 2010 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Will

      You are wrong. If the villi of your intestines are comprimised then your food absorption is reduced. Depending on the severity and the progression rate over your lifetime it will affect you. Diagnosis is not descrete. They are shades of gray to every disorder.

      September 29, 2010 at 00:19 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      If your small intestine had the marking of celiac disease, then you have celiac disease. Some people with celiac have intense symptoms and some have very vague symptoms. Celiac is an autoimmune disease, so it can affect your whole body and not just your gut. Some people don't realize they were sick until they are healthy. My daughter has celiac and it was a fluke that we found out. We all thought she was healthy and thriving. But now that she eats gluten free and takes care of her celiac, it is clear that she was actually sick and is now thriving and full of energy.

      September 29, 2010 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • emaegf

      Diana you and many others have silent Celiac. Just because you don't have symptoms doesn't mean you don't have the disease. The biopsy proved that. But if you want real proof you can see and feel the cancers you can develop by not following the treatment for a disease you have tested positive for will show you the truth.

      September 29, 2010 at 02:55 | Report abuse |
    • Heidi

      Wheat and gluten aggravate all autoimmune diseases, not just celiac disease. I think doctors are forgetting that autoimmune diseases are all connected and are irritated by similar things. Your entire system is disrupted when you eat wheat or gluten, even if you are the average person. I have hashimoto's thyroid disease and improved a great deal when I went gluten free. I have been tested numerous times, but I don't have celiac disease. My digestive system works much better as a result of my lifestyle change. I also know someone with Lupus who is gluten free and has been off medication since 2000. Check out the book Dangerous Grains James Braly and see what I am talking about.

      September 29, 2010 at 07:00 | Report abuse |
    • rbnlegend

      Why would your doctor send you for an endoscopy if you had no symptoms? People don't get a suite of medical instruments run down their throat for fun. If the biopsy showed celiac, then your body is reacting to gluten in an unhealthy way. You may not be aware of symptoms, they may not be pervasive or life effecting, but something is happening. For now it may be tolerable, but at some point, I would bet that will change.

      Over diagnosis is the last thing I would say about celiac. My wife had to wait 12 miserable years before a doctor figured out that she needed to be tested for it. The average is about ten years, with symptoms, for adults. Many people who are finding out they have it, had doctors who absoloutely refused to test them for celiac prior to finding a new doctor who would have the test done. It is under diagnosed, not over diagnosed.

      September 29, 2010 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Overdiagnosis? I disagree – more than likely UNDERdiagnosis. I lived with this problem for EIGHT YEARS before a doctor finally figured it out, and I am grateful.

      September 29, 2010 at 21:08 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      The problem is not over diagnose, the problem is doctors like yours. The endoscopy is the GOLD STANDARD. If it shows Celiac, then you have it! You have SILENT celiac, just like my husband. He had absolutly NO symptoms...however his intestines was RED and the villi on the intestine were damaged. Celiac is very real and it is a DISEASE. You may feel fine, but you are risking many more serious illnesses (diabetes, stomach cancer) and even death. Why were you even getting an edoscopy in the first place? The reason Celiac is more diagnosed is because there is more AWARENESS of it!!

      September 30, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
    • Kelli

      Wow Diana -Your doctor was negligent in his handling of your situation. I agree with all that have responded to your comment, if your gut showed damage and the lab said it's Celiac, it's Celiac. Silent Celiac disease is the most dangerous form of it, because people continue on blissfully ignorant of the damage that gluten is causing in the body.

      Like so many others – I was sick for 10+ years before getting diagnosed. It's not over-diagnosis, it's just a raised awareness AND the terrible state of the foods that are availabe for consumption today.

      You should strongly rethink the path you've chosen with this issue and get a second opinion.

      October 6, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
    • Doctor

      Reply to Diana . . .

      It would be unwise to disregard a gastroenterologist's diagnosis of celiac disease; primary care physicians too frequently downplay celiac disease diagnoses because of the wide variance in symptoms (from zero discernable symptoms to multiple significant health threatening conditions). It would be smart for you to seek a second opinion and/or obtain a genetic test for the markers of celiac disease. Silent celiac disease–displaying no clear symptoms–is now the most common form of the disease.

      October 12, 2010 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
  2. OKWA

    @Diana: In the interest of clarity, if a person is getting an endoscopy to determine if they have Celiac Disease, the doctor performing the procedure and analyzing the results must be a Gastrointerologist. And, the finding of CD is not determined based on "reddening" of the small intestines. Rather, an upper endoscopy with biopsy from at least 4-8 samples should be taken in order to see if the intestinal villi are atrophied - and therefore no longer effectively absorbing nutrients. If the villi are atrophied, then the patient has Celiac Disease. Some people with Celiac Disease do not have classic GI symptoms. However, if you are diagnosed by endoscopy with Celiac Disease, then you are not absorbing nutrients into your body and are at higher risk for all sorts of different health problems.

    September 28, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      An enteroscopy is the Gold Standard with biopsy into the small inestine to determine CD ONLY and GLIADIN is the protien, not gluten, that does the damage. Both the CNN news article and the posts are wrong. Sorry.

      September 28, 2010 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
    • Emma

      @ Greg. Gliadin is a component of the larger protein gluten. When the whole protein gluten is broken down in the intestine this results in the prolamins gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is the actual component of gluten that causes an autoimmune reaction in those with CD, but in the food labeling industry the larger protein is the one referred to; gluten.

      September 28, 2010 at 19:46 | Report abuse |
  3. No Bread

    The Pathologist is dumb. The only way it can be diagnosed is through a blood test.

    September 28, 2010 at 16:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Meg

      No Bread, Blood test only indicate markers, it is just the 1st step in the diagnosis. And why we are just now figuring out why there are so many CD patients is because we are just now becoming educated and have better testing methods. CD has been out there all along, just know figuring out that it is more than just a stomach issue.

      AND better labs, labs that know what they are doing is critical.

      September 28, 2010 at 19:01 | Report abuse |
    • No Bread

      Hi Meg: I think part of the problem here in the US is that it is not a standard test when you go with sever symptoms to the hospital. My doctor couldn't figure out anything. I spent a week in the hospital and did every test known to man, insurance paid out $42,000 in charges and the docs still didn't know what was wrong. I figure it out myself. The blood test was the only confirmation I could get. It's a standard test in Europe if you go with GI issues. Needs to be a standard test here too.

      September 28, 2010 at 21:12 | Report abuse |
    • rbnlegend

      The blood test is a useful diagnostic, and should be done before more invasive testing, but it is not considered to be definitive, although many doctors now say that blood test and symptom relief when glutens are removed from the diet should be considered conclusive.

      September 29, 2010 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • Kelli

      No Bread and Meg – it depends what blood test you are talking about. Meg there is actually blood testing that will confirm that you have the genetic markers for the disease. But, No Bread, the standard blood test that's done just provides an indication. Agreed that endoscopy and biopsy are the only true determinants.

      October 6, 2010 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
  4. rstar

    Some of the most annoying people are the ones with celiac disease. They CANT eat virtually anything on the menu, and demand why they cant they have it their way. For example, I am a wedding planner, the biggest complainers and eating disorders turned out to be someone with celiac. Cant have cake, cant have spice, cant have vegetables, dont want something that doesnt even pertain to celiac. Usually they have a serious eating disorder which they mask behind a disease.
    I try my best to understand the disease but they is no knowing i would have to deal with a unruly guest, 100% of them have celiac.

    September 28, 2010 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mary

      Your comment is pretty insensitive. It's pretty clear you have no idea what people with celiac disease go through.

      Gluten, unfortunately, appears in many foods and prepared dishes. For example, soy sauce might seem pretty innocuous but one of its ingredients is wheat. Soy sauce appears EVERYWHERE in Asian dishes.

      I think you need to educate yourself on why celiac disease sufferers have a right to be picky and paranoid.

      September 28, 2010 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
    • Wowhead

      I have a friend who has celiac disease. Guess what happens when she consumes gluten? An intense migraine that renders her unable to nearly move due to the intense pain. At that point, she must inject herself with vicodin, and stay in bed the next two days trying to recover from the gluten consumption.

      September 28, 2010 at 18:17 | Report abuse |
    • Jaime

      How many wedding planners interact with the guests before the weddings? And if it's the bridal party that's the complainers, well that's your job to deal with bridezilla. If you don't like it, do something else.

      I have 2 friends with CD and 1 with just the allergy to gluten. We get together regularly, and they insist that we don't cater to them, though of course we do, why would we leave them out? We'll still have some things they can't eat, but they understand.

      For regular meals, it's not that hard to have part of it be gluten free. I'd say your menu is pretty narrow if you don't have gluten free options. It's really not that hard. Expand your horizons and serve something other than pasta. I know it's easy for large groups, but you're in the customer service industry. Complain less and try a little harder. Yep, cake would be difficult though not impossible, some spices do use flour to keep them loose, but if you're using gluten in your veggies, that's your own fault. How hard is it to have them prepared differently?

      September 28, 2010 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
    • James I. Mealy

      While I have a lot of sympathy for those who really have this disease or some other debilitating hypersensitivity, it seems that there are way too many people who are allergic to everything. II get the impression that quite a few of these supposedly hypersensitive people are actually just hypochondriacs. Maybe they are depressed. Whatever the cause of their suffering, it does no service to people who have real dietary life threatening problems. It is very similar to Muchausen's where people are seeking attention and sympathy by fabricating diseases and self inflicted injuries.

      September 28, 2010 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • TheCrux

      It is very hard to deal with celiac disease.

      My three year old son was recently diagnozed with celiac. He hadn't grown for more than a year and tested fine for human growth hormone. It is difficult to control your diet to this degree, but if he doesn't, he will have no qualiity of life; or worse.

      So Mr. Planner, you may want to to temper your dispain. If you think its hard to deal with, imagine living with it.

      The good news is my son grew more than three inches since starting his new controlled diet.

      September 28, 2010 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • Meg

      rstar – The only fair thing to say to you is " I hope someday you find out you have CD" And I feel really sorry for anyone that has to work with you or ever hires you.

      September 28, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      rstar you are an insensitive idiot. Although rare, if untreated the chronic inflammation associated with celiac disease can lead to small bowel lymphoma (that's cancer to a wedding planner like you). I am a family physician who was recently diagnosed myself two years ago and I've been to several weddings since my diagnosis and never once has anyone made me feel unwelcome for asking about ingredients.

      Maybe I'll see you at a wedding someday you tool – you're a pathetic moron and you must be "planning" some pretty lame weddings if you can't make special food accomodations for those in need.

      September 28, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
    • No Bread

      Oh, you are so mean. So much for customer service. We are not annoying people. I am actually very considerate. I don't go to dinner at anyone's house because I don't want to bother them. Clearly you can't handle your work, which is even more annoying.

      September 28, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      I was diagnosed when I was 28 years old. I then had two major surguries to remove damaged intestine that had occured. So if someone like myself asks you if something on the menu contains gluten, they may be trying to avoid serious health problems. Afterwards, I was told that if I hadn't been in good shape otherwise, I probably would have died. Inconvience for you is not quite the same as life threatening for me. You really shouldn't be in the food service industry if you don't care about your customers.

      September 28, 2010 at 21:33 | Report abuse |
    • Meg

      As someone with celiacs who is on the other end of this, you are the people that make it worse for us. We are the ones that know what we can and cannot eat, put us in touch with your chef and let us handle it from there. Your lack of knowledge about food allergies make us unable to trust you with any food choices.

      You are probably a bad wedding planner if this is how you feel about your clients. Anyone in their right mind would not choose you if they knew how little you cared about your clients and their guests, this is your job isn't it?

      You try going anywhere, being hungry, and not being able to eat anything, see how you like it. Don't hate us because we like to plan ahead and look out for our own wellbeing since we all know we can't count on you.

      PS. Get a new job, you are lousy at yours

      September 28, 2010 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
    • Dadofaceliacchild

      rstar...you sick unsensitive twisted neanderthal. I have a daughter that was ill for 7 years before we knew what was wrong with her. I find your comments antagonistic and inflammatory. If you know as little about this disease as it appears, I strongly suggest you keep your self-centered comments to yourself. Moron.

      September 29, 2010 at 02:21 | Report abuse |
    • rbnlegend

      If you can't be bothered to deal with people who have special dietary needs, you need to find a different line of work. You "feel" like it's a "hassle" not to feed people toxins? Too bed, that's your job, that's what you are paid for.

      Either you have been misinformed, you are making stuff up, or your customers are lumping a bunch of problems under one label. Celiacs can have vegetables and spices. Gluten free cake is a pain, unless the bride is the celiac, get some GF cupcakes for guests who have that problem and you are done. If that's too much work, you would hate to find out what a real job is like.

      September 29, 2010 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
    • ms yellarose

      rstar, you apparently have no idea celiac disease is. Try a little sensitivity. If you've never suffered like one of us "annoying people", how can you judge?

      September 29, 2010 at 14:43 | Report abuse |
    • ms yellarose

      Apparently rstar, you have no idea how serious celiac disease is. Try exercising a little sensitivity or choose another profession that does not involve food or catering.

      September 29, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • Wheatfreefreak

      Wow, if thats your attitude then you clearly have no business in the service industry. Many people with gluten allergies, like me, actually go out of their way NOT to cause others inconvenience. At my wedding, all the guests enjoyed a regular cake, while a good friend of mine happily volunteered to make me my own little GF cake on the side. I am always quietly excluding myself from work pizza parties, or dinner parties with friends specifically because I don't want to inconvenience others. Of course there are fussy celilacs in the world, just as there are fussy vegetarians, or anyone else with a restrictive diet, but to categorize ALL with a particular restriction as difficult is ignorant drivel. And don't forget, with CD we're not talking about an arbitrary choice of diet. We're talking about a SEVERE and debilitating reaction in some cases. For me, it usually means a full day on the toilet with explosive diarrhea and intestinal cramps that feel like I'm being stabbed by the pitchfork of Satan. Do you suppose if you had that reaction from eating just a single bite of something, you might want to make sure it was allergen free? Maybe? Do you think? Yeah, pretty sure you would. Would you tell someone they were fussy for wanting to be double sure their parachute was packed properly? Dealing with diet restrictions is just the reality of your business. Either deal with it gracefully, or find a different business.

      September 30, 2010 at 15:46 | Report abuse |
    • K

      Hey rstar, if you feel so strongly about it, how about you post the name of your business and location so everyone will know, and can tell their friends and family that if they have any diet restrictions, you don't want their business. In fact, I'd personally be glad to post this info to Angies List for you. That should really reduce all those "annoying" customers for you.

      September 30, 2010 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      You should really find a new career. Celiac Disease is a DISEASE!!!! Get it! People can DIE if they over consume gluten. We're not talking an allergy. Your job as a "wedding planner" is to assist the client, not make them sick. Your just a plain lazy idiot! I hope you get CD and see how you enjoy living with it. It's not a FAD!

      September 30, 2010 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
  5. James I. Mealy

    This article fails to give any useful information about Celiac Disease. First, not everyone has the potential to develop CD. CD has become the new lactose intolerance. The truth is that there is a narrow range of HLA markers (sort of like blood types) that can make a person POTENTIALLY susceptible to CD. The first process in diagnosing CD is testing for those markers. Is that the blood test that they are referring too? IF YOU DON"T HAVE THESE GENETICALLY INHERITED MARKERS, THE LIKELIHOOD THAT YOU HAVE CD IS CLOSE TO ZERO. There is a growing perception that gluten is something that is fundamentally bad. It's not. CD merely reflects the fact that the eating of grains occurred recently. The human gut developed long before it had a chance to adapt to gluten. There is an unfortunate and fortuitous link between these HLA markers and CD. I suspect that the increase in CD rates is more due to more reporting and false diagnoses.

    September 28, 2010 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Bread

      Wrong, wrong, wrong. If you don't know anything about it, why are you mouthing off? Educate yourself instead of embarrassing yourself, fool.

      September 28, 2010 at 21:22 | Report abuse |
    • hound

      No Bread, your comments = fail. James's position accurately reflects a theory that is gaining momentum, and is at least being considered more and more often in clinical research. Just yelling "you're wrong and I'm right so there", and calling people names doesn't help the conversation in the slightest, and marginalizes your position by making you look childish. At least post something thought-worthy, would you please?

      September 29, 2010 at 04:45 | Report abuse |
  6. Fourjoys

    The pathologist is not dumb and you are misinformed. One of my children was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease. The initial test was a blood test but that hardly finalizes things. An endoscope was required to confirm. After her scope, her GI doctor actually told me he thought, based on what he saw that the biopsy would come back negative. A few days later he called to say he was wrong and the biopsy confirmed Celiac.

    I have no facts to base the rest of this one, it is strictly opinion but I feel like your doctor did you a disservice to just toss a sign like that out. Odds are you don't have it but if there is a sign or symptom and they already had a sample why not check it?

    September 28, 2010 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Bread

      Fourjoys – I am not wrong. The endoscope does not confirm it. I went through the entire process. The endoscope came up with nothing for me, except what they thought was crohns disease All the while I was dieing because I couldn't hold anything down. When I asked the GI at the hospital to perform a test for CD, they said it was screaming positive and were rather embarrassed that they couldn't figure it out. I am certainly not uninformed on this issue, I have been living a very healthy life for the past three years gluten free. I started to feel better within a week of adjusting to my new diet.

      September 28, 2010 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
  7. Fourjoys


    I can see how that would be annoying. I mean what are these people thinking. They actually think the fact that if they eat a speck of gluten they could spend hours in pain and be unable to leave the restroom should effect you at all? Someone needs to set them straight. I mean it could take you an entire 10 minutes to call a bakery or food service to order something gluten free for a JOB you are being PAID to do. How dare they were about the long term effects like intestinal cancer, infertility, loss of bone density, etc. They really should have thought less about their HEALTH and more about how your day might be effected. Oops sorry....my sarcasm is showing.

    September 28, 2010 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Steven Noah

    As one who has known about his celiac disease for over thirty years I am very pleased that physicians in the US are becoming aware of the disease. For years there has been little understanding of the condition in this country. The unpleasant side effects of the disease are very real, as are the long term health risks. It is very nice to have, at long last, the gluten free foods that are now available. Most do not realize how many regularly used food items, including salad dressings, sauces and even many types of institutional mashed potatoes include some wheat. Please understand that those of us who have celiac are not being difficult but rather have genuine health needs and concerns.

    September 28, 2010 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. m

    As a very young child(before I can remember) I was taken to Dr. Charles Haas and my mother was told I had celiac. So did my brother and my cousins on my mother's side. I have distinct memories of my mother shoving bananas down my throat. After months of this treatment we were deemed cured.

    I don't know what we had but I now know celiac isn't cured or outgrown.

    But I do wonder what we had.

    September 28, 2010 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Bread

      You actually can out grow it if you had it at a very young age! I know two people who had it when they were babies until about 8 years old. It's completely gone. I believe that the risk is pretty high for it to return when they are older, if under very stressful situations. Can you believe that smoking masks it! How weird but true.

      September 28, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
  10. HlthNut

    Get a 2nd or even 3rd opinion and don't be afraid to do some research on your own.

    September 28, 2010 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. linda d

    over use of antibotics...antibotics in food...food colorings..chemicals on our food...in our food...too much sugar...corn syrup
    it goes on and on...it makes sense that our bodies can't tolerate all of this.
    i have a children with allergeries to corn (all products of corn) soy (all products with soy) wheat (all products made with wheat)
    glycerien (all makeups etc, soap, toothpaste it goes on and on)...she does not yet have celiac disease but honestly it makes me wonder...on her diet...all is well...off the diet...nothing is well..

    September 28, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rbnlegend

      Allergies and celiac are different issues. You can be allergic to wheat or gluten, and not be celiac. You still don't want to consume wheat if you have the allergy, but it is a different health problem.

      September 29, 2010 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
  12. victorB

    Another indication humans are going backwards. What happened to survival of the fittest or natural selection?

    September 28, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James I. Mealy

      Human beings are not part of the evolutionary process any more. We are domesticated animals.

      September 28, 2010 at 18:50 | Report abuse |
    • James I. Mealy

      I would also comment that there is no forwards or backwards in evolution. It's just a bunch of stuff that happened. From our viewpoint it might seem that evolution culminated when it produced humans but that is just the weirdness of self observation. Everything is not about you. It just feels that way.

      September 28, 2010 at 18:53 | Report abuse |
  13. Tia

    What happened to survival of the fittest or natural selection? We were never meant to eat overly processed wheat with added gluten and chemicals all day and all night. We have far too few foods in our diet, and I mean REAL foods. Millet, Quinoa, Red Quinoa, Buckwheat (really a legume), brown, red, black and wild Rices, Amaranth . . . all these non-gluten whole grains can be enjoyed in rotation.

    September 28, 2010 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • James I. Mealy

      Processed or unprocessed, the recent invention of wheat farming has a lot to do with the inability of some individuals to deal with gluten. I am not so sure that processing is the primary bad guy here. However your thoughts about variety probably have a lot more to do with the apparent rise in dietary related disease. One of the examples I use to illustrate the problem is soy bean oil. Because the pricing of food is so competitive, invariably we get soybean oil in preprocessed foods. Why? Because it is the cheapest oil, probably because of some perverse subsidy. There probably isn't anything fundamentally wrong with soybean oil but if that is the only oil that you get it could be a problem. Oils appear to be involved in all sorts of complex chemical pathways, things that happen the liver.

      September 28, 2010 at 19:02 | Report abuse |
  14. Carol

    As parent of a child who is affected with this this horrible condition. I am the first person to make sure my child is in a safe situation. If I go to a reserant I have a list of questions if the server doesn't have the right answers I ask for the manager. My child has a right to have a normal childhood just like anyone else. We recently went to Disney it was the first 5 stress free days in the past 4 years. Why because they understand that we don't have a eating disorder, we are not trying to be difficult we are parents who want to protect our child. My son when exposed to gulten will cry in pain for hours which is followed by uncontrollable vomiting. So wedding planner person remember next time you have a person who has a condition like this they want to remember the wedding for all the wonder weddings are the comming together of two people in love. They do not want to remember the trip to the emergency room.

    September 28, 2010 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rbnlegend

      Yup. And if the wedding planner, or the caterer, is careless about the menu and serves glutens to someone with celiac, it's very clear. That person's wedding memory will include the fact that they got poisoned by the food. A happy customer tells a friend, an unhappy customer tells everyone they can. McDonalds glutened my wife last weekend, lumps of biscuit in the scrambled eggs. You can be sure, that guest who spent the night dealing with the GI issues from sloppy food handling will eventually tell the bride, and when a friend asks for a reccomendation for a wedding planner, she won't say "he saved time and hassle" she will remember, "the food made my friend sick". You can't sneak by and be lazy about this issue, people who have this problem all talk to each other, all the time. We have message boards, and we spread information around like you wouldn't believe. A new GF menu on monday will mean a lot of new customers by friday. Treat someone's gluten concerns in a rude way, or contaminate their food, and you will be losing customers just as fast. We talk.

      September 29, 2010 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
  15. Hugh

    I developed mine in my late 30's — just months after surgery during which I received propofol, antibiotics, and various other drugs I probably didn't need. Our doctors are giving us this disease. They're wrecking our digestive systems with these drugs. If left untreated, these conditions lead to cancer.

    September 28, 2010 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Liam S.

    CNN's title is incorrect grammar "Celiac disease cases doubles" correct me if I am wrong but I think it should be Celiac disease cases double.

    September 28, 2010 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. c. j.

    It's not just the Doctors giving us things we don't need. It is the FDA allowing stuff in our food that we don't need. Get rid of the crap, and you will see a remarkable change for the better in the population. Even our children will be far better off. We are getting a cocktail of crap in our food, drugs, and environment.

    September 28, 2010 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • No Bread

      Well said C.J. I think that is very true. If we all ate fresh real food, we would never know that we had it. The good news is, there is not medication for it. It simply corrects with diet. I know the University of Maryland Medical center is developing a pill for it. Why they heck would anyone take a pill....just stick to your diet.

      September 28, 2010 at 21:40 | Report abuse |
  18. Tom R.

    For more info about gluten intolerance and diet and lifestyle modifications, I recommend checking out robbwolf.com

    September 28, 2010 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. anton

    I have CD. Complications from CD have been fatal to family membes. Frankly, CNN ought to eliminate reader posts to medical stories because they seem to propagate misinformation. Simply put, it's an autoimmuine disease triggered by eating certain foods. There are also genetic benefits, but they are complicated and not easy to explain in a news story. The best part of CD? It opened my eyes to how many kind and helpful people there are.

    September 29, 2010 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jeannine

    It's very difficult for someone who can eat literally anything to understand those of us with diet restrictions...Trust me this is NOT by choice. We are not fussy eaters, we just want to live healthy,painfree lives. After two scopes and multiple other tests, it was a holistic nutritionist who hit the nail on the head the first time I met her. Within 2 weeks of cutting out the gluten, I felt like a new person. Within 6 months I had reclaimed my health. Gluten is an all or nothing diet restriction. A little bit WILL make your life miserable. It's hard some days not to break down and cry at events, parties and the even grocery aisle because you are limited to what you can eat. Oh how I wish I could eat anything on the table. I'm also allergic to dairy,Pork and a handful of other foods. Diabetes forces me to eat a lo-carb diet if I want to avoid medication in the future. I'm not being difficult when ordering food, I just want to enjoy the entire evening. Personally I would like to be in control of the insensitive wedding planner's diet for a week and deny them nearly everything in the buffet lines, most the aisles at the grocery, and the majority of menu choices. After a week of non-processed foods, vegetables and simple grilled meats/fish you would then truly have something to whine about. (What a minute, isn't that a healthy diet?) Should insensitive wedding planner suddenly developed CD, I wish her well eating the batter fried food, pasta, pizza, pretzels, bread and cakes, or drink grain alcohol or beer – consider yourself lucky to throw it up, rather than suffer the pain of gluten passing through every inch of your digestive track. oh yea....better hope there isn't a line at the restroom.

    September 29, 2010 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Trish

    I am one of those with Celiac and I have learned to eat whatever I want (healthy foods typically). There is no sense in limiting everything you eat because of the gluten in it. I don't and my GI doc is ok with this becuase I know what I'm doing after 32 years of living with it. I stay small, but am healthy. I do have chronic diarrhea, but no matter what I do I have it, gluten free or not. So I eat lots of fiber and use my food pyramid and deal with it as long as my weight stays healthy. I eat wheat products and lots of fruit and veggies...everything you aren't "supposed" to eat. But you know, it hasn't killed me yet, and like I said, I'm doing just fine. I've had my bloodtests which led to the endoscopy.
    I think people are making way to big a deal of this disease now...its almost like the new fad. Have Celiac. I am also 8 months pregnant, something you supposedly can't do having Celiac and I did it just fine. Bottom line, Docs don't know much about this disease yet, and life is to short to worry to death about it.. If you are remaining healthy and you are with the proper MD, then live your life. Eat off the menu, and don't make others confrom to you. You will survive as you did years before you got "diagnosed".

    September 29, 2010 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rbnlegend

      If it works for you, that's great. Long term? It's doing damage and it adds up. If the runs are your only symptom, count yourself lucky. My wife has chronic inflamation, which results in muscle pain, neuro symptoms, weight gain, joint pain, vitamin deficiencies, sleep problems, and more. All of which can be attributed to celiac.

      Since getting diagnosed, she has actually expanded her diet options. She used to be a picky eater, but because we had to try new things with her, she has been experiencing health benefits as she tries new food. Positive feedback is effectrive, and now she is eating a wider variety of foods. Celiac doesn't actually take any foods off the table, they just have to be prepared differently. We thought mac and cheese was gone, but no, rice pasta makes for fine macaroni. Cinnamon raisen toast, turns out there is a gluten free version. Ok, the GF bagels still turn out dissapointing, but they are there. Steak and a baked potato are GF, and no one ever complained about a diet that includes a steak and a baked potato.

      September 29, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Hope you're around long enough to enjoy your babies life as you are slowly killing yourself.
      Oh yeah, and will you test your baby and if he/she has Celiac Disease too, just keep feeding him/her poison too?

      October 1, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
  22. Roger

    Could this potential increase in CD cases be caused by the inceased introduction of genetically modified grains/foods into the food chain?

    September 29, 2010 at 06:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Herbert Smith

    Helminthic therapy is a viable option to treat Celiac disease. It significantly decreases the immune response to gluten. A lot of research can be found here: opensourcehelminththerapy (dot) org

    September 29, 2010 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Jorge

    A plethora of digestive and metabolic disorders has arisen or increased in the last 3 decades, is it a coincidence that the proliferation of genetically engineered, manufactured and "processed" foods has matched this timeline? Food industry spokespersons and politicians claim that these methods are aimed at allowing the food and farming industry to keep up with increasing demand, in the meantime I keep driving past acres and acres of "gentleman farms" benefitting from entitlements brought about by the Aggie lobbyists in D.C. and being paid not to grow...

    September 29, 2010 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. jane

    Diane, Just because you feel good doesn't mean you don't have Celiac. It in many cases such as mine don't become a problem until a latter age. My Celiac didn't show up or bother me until i was 58 years old. The one thing i would suggest is, if you have been found to have Celiac at least cut back on foods that contain flour wheat or gluten.It can only help you.

    September 29, 2010 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rbnlegend

      Cutting back doesn't really help. It's all or nothing. If you have enough to trigger the autoimmune reaction, then the reaction happens, and it doesn't matter if you have a little or a lot of the gluten, the reaction is the same. You can't cheat and have a little bit and make up for it later. One good bad crumb, and that's that, wait till it passes through your system and your immune system calms down again.

      September 29, 2010 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
  26. Sunny B

    I wonder if CD is actually becoming more common or if increased awareness simply equals increased diagnosis? It would be interesting to see how many people are tested, found to not have CD and then develop it later in life. Overall, good article, thank you.

    September 29, 2010 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sonia

      I know all of you are trying to do the right thing .but the gletun part of it doesn't have to be the enemy .I have Crohn's disease and now consider myself cured. I just eat REAL food .not preservatives, no additvies, basically no packaged or canned food, all organic, absolutely no milk because it's meant for a baby cow ( look at john mcdougall on the perils of dairy for starters) and no meat because that is meant for carnivores with short digestive tracts short and sweet but it helps!

      December 21, 2012 at 05:43 | Report abuse |
  27. Christine

    My husband is gluten intolerant and lactose intolerant. It is a very hard thing to live with. I see what he goes through and all the limitations on what cannot eat. His brother is the same way. Seems it can run in families I read. I also read that in Europe they don't add as much gluten to their foods as we do over here. I was wondering if their statistics are the same as in this country???? My daughter works with a woman whose daughter died of Celiac Disease in her early thirties. Seems she did not take care of it. HOW SAD....

    September 29, 2010 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Bugz

    It's so nice to finally see an article about Celiac Disease on a national news source. I've been diagnosed by my neurologist who thought it was bizarre that the Chicken Pox virus would attack my vestibular nerve and cause horrible vertigo. Lo and behold after a talk about my heritage, family history and two blood tests, he found I had CD. I had been previously diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and never could control the symptoms until I stopped eating gluten.

    My only wish is that gluten free food would not cost twice as much as regular food yet get half as much product. I'd just like a cookie once in a while. Hopefully not from that very unpleasant caterer in the previous post way above.

    September 29, 2010 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. MOMof3

    My daughter was almost 15 months old when she began to experience chronic diahrea and major fussiness. Actually, it wasn't fusiness, it was pure bawling. This occurred mostly all day, everyday. For three months, I was told she had a "virus." She began to lose weight...at 15 months old! She was definitely "failure to thrive." Three trips to the doctor, 1 stool study, bloodwork, and 1 cat scan later, the doctor told me he believed my daughter had Celiac Disease. An endoscpoy was the final diagnosis for her. She is now 3 y/o and even asks me if she can eat something before putting it in her mouth. She wants to know if it will hurt her belly. Having a toddler with this disease is sometimes difficult...especially during parties, special events, and eating out. You also have to consider any cross-contamination when preparing foods. We have learned to make adjustments with her. I usually ensure she has whatever everyone else is having, just gluten free!

    September 29, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Van der vart

    Vicodin is a drug widely used in hospitals and that this proved that it is good to control chronic pain, but as stated in findrxonline, has side effects that can be dangerous if not taken in an appropriate manner.

    October 2, 2010 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Kim

    My mother suffered with "IBS" for nearly 5 yrs before diagnosis. Even then, an endoscopy was performed begrudgingly, as in "I know you don't have this, but..". By that time, she had been hospitalized 3 times for dehydration, lost over 35 pounds, had to undergo 2 yrs of Forteo injections (for osteoporosis as a complication of CD) at great expense and with no improvement. She continued to struggle, eliminating lipstick, many medications (especially capsule form), and buying separate kitchen appliances (i.e. – toaster). We all learned to prepare GF food. Despite her rigid adherence, her villi were so damaged that she enjoyed few symptom-free days. Her immune system was so destroyed that she died from a nodule on her lung that should have allowed her to live at least 5 more years.

    October 6, 2010 at 13:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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