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Individuals who suspect that they may have a negative reaction to gluten-containing foods may benefit from a lab test for celiac disease. However, diagnosis is only one step to caring for this condition. Regular follow-up exams are also important.
Despite that fact, new research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that medical professionals need to be more vigilant about these evaluations.
"Doctors and patients need to be aware of the need for medical follow-up of celiac disease. This is a chronic disease with the possibility of long-term complications," said researcher Joseph Murray, M.D., A.G.A.F.
This conclusion is based on a study of 122 celiac disease patients. Doctors reviewed their medical data in order to figure out who received medical follow-up between six months and five years after diagnosis.
Out of 113 patients who were followed for more than four years, 35 percent underwent monitoring that was compliant with the guidelines of the American Gastroenterological Association.
Although a gluten-free diet helps to prevent the symptoms of celiac disease, regular follow-up is necessary to monitor the illness. This also underscores the importance of a lab test to detect celiac disease antibodies.
More than 2 million Americans have celiac disease, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
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