Study: Celiac Disease Has Become More Common

Celiac disease has become more common, study says Scientists have found evidence that celiac disease, a painful digestive system disorder, is more than four times more common today than it was in the 1950s.

Celiac disease results from intolerance to gluten and manifests itself through chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and fatigue.

It also leads to vitamin deficiency which may cause hyperhomocysteinemia, or high levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that has been linked to cardiovascular disease.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Mayo Clinic, also found those who did not know they had celiac disease were nearly four times more likely than celiac-free individuals to have died during the 45 years of follow-up.

“Something has changed in our environment to make it much more common,” says Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist who led the study.

“Until recently, the standard approach to finding celiac disease has been to wait for people to complain of symptoms and to come to the doctor … [now] we may need to consider looking for celiac disease in the general population, more like we do in testing for cholesterol or blood pressure,” he adds.

For those searching for an optimal diet, health practitioners have recommended the alkaline diet, which is rich in citrus fruits, vegetables, tubers, nuts and legumes and helps promote bone health into old age.