Nearly twenty million people contend that they regularly experience distress after eating products that contain gluten, and a third of American adults say that they are trying to eliminate it from their diets. One study that tracks American restaurant trends found that customers ordered more than two hundred million dishes last year that were gluten- or wheat-free. The syndrome has even acquired a name: non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
In an effort to prevent celiac disease in newborns with a family history, pediatricians have been advising mothers to introduce gluten-filled foods between 4 and 7 months of age before the immune system fully developed. But that advice is likely to change based on two new studies that find this tactic doesn’t work to prevent the condition when gluten triggers immune cells to attack the intestine.
In the studies published last Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, babies under 1 year of age who were at high risk of celiac disease were either randomly fed gluten or didn’t get the wheat protein until they were slightly older. Both studies reached similar conclusions: The timing of gluten introduction didn’t make a difference whether the children developed the condition a few years later. Breast-feeding didn’t provide any protective benefits, the researchers found.
Last Christmas Eve, Dawn Scheu set a bag of groceries on the floor of the kitchen in her Gregory home and got busy putting them away.
Her dog immediately started pawing at the back of her legs.
“Willow, quit,” Scheu admonished the German shorthaired pointer. From the other room, her husband yelled: “Is she indicating?”
Scheu froze. Is that what was going on? Was her service dog warning her that something in her grocery bag contained gluten?
Most people consider cheese to be a safe choice for someone on a gluten-free diet. However, people who are sensitive to gluten or who have celiac disease still need to be careful because not all brands and varieties of cheese are safe. It is important to understand that gluten can still be an issue with this dairy product.
WHEN Andre H. Lagrange, a neurologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, saw the ominous white spots on the patient’s brain scan, he considered infection or lymphoma, a type of cancer. But tests ruled out both. Meanwhile, anti-epilepsy drugs failed to halt the man’s seizures. Stumped, Dr. Lagrange turned to something the mother of the 30-year-old man kept repeating. The fits coincided, she insisted, with spells of constipation and diarrhea.That, along with an odd rash, prompted Dr. Lagrange to think beyond the brain. Antibody tests, followed by an intestinal biopsy, indicated celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the gut triggered by the gluten proteins in wheat and other grains. Once on a gluten-free diet, the man’s seizures stopped; those brain lesions gradually disappeared.
If your child has Celiac disease, it can be a real challenge to make sure he’s eating healthy and following a gluten-free diet, especially when you’re not with him. Yet experts agree that if you educate and empower kids with the right tools early on, it will be easier for them to manage the disease throughout their lives.
Here are 8 ways to help your child cope.
One aspect that is often missing from food competitions on television is the requirement to make meals for people on restricted diets. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities are often ignored by these shows. However, a contestant on “Top Chef” may change this with his commitment to cooking dairy-free and gluten-free dishes.
The new season of “Top Chef” focuses on Boston, and 12 eager contestants are ready to walk away with the prizes. One of them hopes his healthy dishes will be enough to destroy the competition. Gregory Gourdet shares that he does not plan to change his style while cooking on the television show.
Two studies give disappointing news for parents looking for a way to prevent celiac disease in babies at higher risk for it because of family history. Neither breast-feeding nor timing the start of gluten-containing foods makes a difference in whether a child develops the problem, researchers found.There is no early window of opportunity to help sensitize a baby to gluten, and delaying its start until 1 year of age just briefly postpones the onset of symptoms, the studies found.
It is not celiac disease, a far less common autoimmune condition that can destroy the small intestine. Indeed, no one has conclusively identified a physical explanation for gluten sensitivity and its array of symptoms.
Recent studies have strongly suggested that many, and possibly most, people who react badly to gluten may have a more challenging problem: sensitivity to a long list of foods containing certain carbohydrates.
A small preliminary study achieved big results, reducing symptoms of Celiac disease — the autoimmune disorder that requires a gluten-free diet — by infecting participants with hookworms.
“By the end of the trial, with worms onboard, the trial subjects were eating the equivalent of a medium-sized bowl of spaghetti, with no ill effects,” says Paul Giacomin, an immunologist at James Cook University (JCU) in Australia. “That’s a meal that would usually trigger a debilitating inflammatory response, leaving a celiac patient suffering symptoms like diarrhea, cramps and vomiting.”