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Gluten-free diet benefits patients suspected of celiac disease

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

Individuals who have received a positive celiac disease test may feel confused about their treatment options. Relatively little is known about the elusive autoimmune disorder, which can make living with the condition that much more difficult.

However, a new study has found that a gluten-free diet may be the best approach not only for patients who have received a definite positive celiac disease test, but also those who have been diagnosed as potential celiac disease patients.

Previously, doctors would approach the situation more cautiously, holding off recommending a gluten-free diet until a definite diagnosis is made. However, the new study from the University of Florence in Italy found that patients who have only been designated as potential celiac disease carriers have many of the same metabolic characteristics as individuals with the full-blown disease.

Ivano Bertini, who led the study, said that starting a gluten-free diet in the early stages of the disease may help patients avoid a worsening of the conditions later in their lives.

"Our results demonstrate that metabolic alterations may precede the development of small intestinal villous atrophy and provide a further rationale for early institution of gluten-free diet in patients with potential celiac disease, as recently suggested by prospective clinical studies," he said.

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