ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac Disease (CeD) is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten causes damage in the small intestine called villous atrophy. Villi are microscopic, finger-like tentacles that line the wall of the small intestine.  In people with Celiac Disease, eating gluten causes an autoimmune reaction which erodes away the villi leaving a flat surface. 
Over time, this reaction damages the small intestine's lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients. This damage to the intestine often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating, and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.
Symptoms of Celiac Disease can be different in children and adults and vary from person to person.  The most common signs and symptoms for adults are diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. Adults may also experience bloating and gas, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and vomiting. Other symptoms may include:

  • Anemia or unexplained iron-deficiency 
  • Headaches, seizures, or migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Bone, joint pain, or arthritis
  • Damage to dental enamel
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Loss of bone density (osteoporosis) or softening of bone (osteomalacia)
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands and feet
  • Itchy, blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis )

HOW IS CELIAC DISEASE DIAGNOSED?

A biopsy of the small intestine is the only way to diagnose Celiac Disease.  Before a biopsy is performed, doctors will do blood tests to test for specific antibodies in the blood. Elevated levels of certain antibody proteins indicate an immune reaction to gluten. If these tests are positive, your doctor may order an endoscopy to view your small intestine and to take a small tissue sample (biopsy) to analyze for damage to the villi.

HOW IS CELIAC DISEASE TREATED?

Celiac Disease is a chronic autoimmune disease. Chronic means that it is long-lasting or persistent.  Currently, there is no cure for Celiac Disease.  
Following a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet is the only way to manage Celiac Disease.   A gluten-free diet helps heal damage to the small intestine, causing symptoms to resolve.  Following a gluten-free diet also helps prevent future complications.
In addition to wheat, foods that contain gluten include:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Malt
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt (a form of wheat)
  • Triticale

CAN CELIAC DISEASE BE CURED?

There is no cure for Celiac Disease.
Celiac Disease is a chronic autoimmune disease. 
Following a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet is the only way to manage Celiac Disease.   A gluten-free diet helps heal damage to the small intestine, causing symptoms to resolve. Following a gluten-free diet also helps prevent future complications.

CAN I TAKE PART?

In order to qualify for the CeD-LA-3001 study, certain criteria must be met. Some of the basic criteria are listed below.

  • Are 18 years old or older
  • Were diagnosed with Celiac Disease more than 6 months ago
  • Are actively experiencing symptoms related to Celiac Disease
  • Have been on a gluten-free diet for at least 6 months

Other criteria must be met to participate. A study doctor will need to perform various health tests and examinations to confirm if you are able to participate in the CeD-LA-3001 study.
There is no cost to you to participate in this study. Health insurance is not required to participate.