Monday, July 16, 2012

Gluten Free Tidbets

Childhood Vaccines Do Not Seem to Trigger Celiac Disease In Babies
A surge in celiac disease cases among babies and toddlers in Sweden does not seem related to childhood vaccinations, a new study finds. The study appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics last month.

Particular gene variants may make people susceptible to celiac disease. But researchers are still studying the environmental factors that influence whether certain people develop the disorder, while others do not.

Between 1984 and 1996, Sweden saw an "epidemic" of celiac disease among children younger than two - a sudden four-fold increase in the normal rate of the disorder. Overall, celiac disease is thought to affect about one percent of the population.

The Swedish epidemic ended just as abruptly. And since then, researchers have been trying to figure out why. In theory, infant vaccines could play a role in celiac disease. Since they stimulate the immune system, it's possible that in certain children, vaccines could trigger an abnormal response to gluten. But that's just a theory. And the new study, reported in the journal Pediatrics, doesn't bear it out.

Researchers found that changes in Sweden's national vaccine program did not correlate with the timing of the celiac disease epidemic. In fact, the introduction of pertussis vaccination (against whooping cough) corresponded to a decline in celiac.

"This was a nice study, a very careful study," said Dr. Joseph A. Murray, who directs the celiac disease program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and was not involved in the research.

"It goes a long way toward showing that vaccinations do not explain the celiac epidemic in Sweden," Murray told Reuters Health.

So what does explain it?

Based on past studies, changes in infant nutrition may partly account for it, said Dr. Anna Myleus, who led the study. Understanding what caused Sweden's spike in early celiac disease - and the drop-off a decade later - could help with celiac prevention in general, Myleus told Reuters Health in an email.

The findings are based on information from Sweden's national register on childhood celiac cases. The researchers also compared 392 babies with celiac disease against 623 celiac-free babies the same age, living in the same area of Sweden.

Source: Amy Norton. Reuters Health   2012-06-26T19:13:20

Are Migraines More Likely if You Have Celiac Disease?

If you have celiac disease or irritable bowel disease, and also suffers from migraines, you might be part of a growing group of people who suffer migraine headaches along with their celiac disease or irritable bowel condition.

A recent study found that people who are sensitive to gluten have higher rates of migraine headaches. The study was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held in April. A research team led by Alexandra Dimitrova, M.D., from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, conducted a survey of 502 individuals. The survey group included 188 people with celiac disease, 111 with IBD, 25 with gluten sensitivity, and 178 controls.

The results indicated that 30 percent of people with celiac disease, 56 percent of those with gluten sensitivity, 23 percent of those with IBD, and 14 percent of control patients reported chronic headache.

"Our findings suggest that migraine is a common neurologic manifestation in celiac disease, GS, and IBD," the authors write. "Future interventional studies should screen migraine patients for celiac disease, particularly those with treatment-resistant headaches."

-Beth Hillson Weekly Newsletter, July 4, 2012