Diagnosing extraintestinal celiac disease
Video report of the presentation given by Dr. Julio C. Bai, Buenos Aires, at the Falk Symposium 193 "Celiac disease and other small bowel disorders", September 5 - 6, 2014 in Amsterdam.
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Alongside the fact that the disease often has a subclinical course, one of the main reasons why celiac disease is regularly diagnosed so late is the manifestation of extraintestinal symptom. These symptoms include refractory anaemia, reflux disease, skin conditions like dermatitis herpetiformis and psoriasis, osteopenia and osteoporosis as well as recurrent mouth ulcers, neurological symptoms and a low body weight.
Celiac disease is strongly associated with autoimmune diseases. There is a very clear link with dermatitis herpetiformis, an autoimmune disease that causes wheals and blisters. A gluten-free diet will usually clear up the extraintestinal symptoms associated with celiac disease. Within just a few weeks, sufferers can expect to see an improvement in reflux symptoms, psychological abnormalities and gluten ataxia as well as a reduced risk of fractures caused by osteoporosis.Neurological symptoms and osteoporosis, however, take a very long time to improve. Realistically, sufferers will only see progress after following a strict gluten-free diet for some years.