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Many with celiac disease go undiagnosed due to lack of testing

Category: Autoimmune Diseases

Individuals who frequently experience upset stomachs after eating starchy foods may want to consider celiac disease (CD) testing. These early symptoms may indicate a larger problem, which is becoming increasingly common in the U.S.

In fact, a recent study found that many seniors who have CD are unaware of their condition, and that failure to adjust their diet could lead to many serious health problems.

CD is defined by an inability to digest proteins found in wheat, rye and barely. Individuals who consume products made from these ingredients may experience significant damage to their small intestine.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota recently collected tissue samples from nearly 17,000 local residents and tested them for celiac disease. They found that nearly 1 percent of the population had undiagnosed CD.

"As advances are made in testing for CD, based on the results of this study it is not clear that a net benefit for detection of undiagnosed CD or at least CD that remains truly asymptomatic has been proven," said Jonathan Godfrey, who led the study.

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