Number of people suffering from Celiac Disease is increasing - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/5/09

Number of people suffering from Celiac Disease is increasing

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By Cassie Hataway | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A study published in the Journal Gastroenterology, finds that the number of people suffering from Celiac Disease is increasing. Celiac Disease causes damage to the intestines when a patient digests gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye, and causes symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal pains, and weight loss. 

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic say the disease is four times more common now than it was in the 1950's. They say about 1 in 100 people are suffering from symptoms from the disease today.  In fact, they estimate that for every person diagnosed with Celiac Disease there are about 30 individuals who have the disease and don't know it. Doctors are puzzled because the reason for the increase is unclear. 

The study also found that among those whose Celiac Disease is not diagnosed there is a higher mortality rate. This is a good reason to get checked out if you suffer unexplained diarrhea, abdominal pains, and weight loss.

This study suggests patients have blood screenings to find Celiac Disease, which if found early can ultimately save lives.

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