Celiac disease is common but mostly goes undiagnosed, say Canadian nutrition researchers who studied the blood work of nearly 3,000 people.
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease in which people are unable to fully digest certain proteins from wheat. The partially digested products that remain trigger inflammation and can damage the lining of the small intestine.
The vast majority of people who may have the disease don’t even know it.
Ahmed El-Sohemy, a professor of nutritional science at the University of Toronto said, “The prevalence of it being undiagnosed is incredibly high: 90 per cent.”
There are two antibody tests to measure markers in the blood to evaluate someone for celiac disease. For those with celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune reaction in the small intestine that, over time, causes signs of damage that can be measured in the blood. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, anemia and weight loss can result.