Rsearch recently released by the University of Copenhagen shows that celiac disease (CD) is signicantly under-diagnosed in adults and can lead to major health complications.
The study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, supports previous research indicating that symptom-based diagnosis alone may be inadequate. The Danish researchers performed serological testing on adults from the Danish general population and estimated that prevalence of CD in Denmark was actually 10 times higher than previously reported. These adults were effectively living with “silent CD,” according to Thermo Fischer Scientitic.
“Other reasons for underdiagnosis could be low awareness of CD or the lack of consensus regarding serological testing in primary healthcare,” said Prof. Allan Linneberg, one of the study authors. “This is the well-known iceberg metaphor where classic symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea are more likely to be diagnosed, but the majority of CD patients remain undiagnosed below the waterline. “If this phenomenon holds true elsewhere in the world, this would have major implications on the way CD is diagnosed and treated.”
Studies have shown that patients with CD have an increased risk of other autoimmune diseases and gastrointestinal cancer. “An early diagnosis of CD is important, since untreated CD may cause micronutrient deficiencies and complications such as osteoporosis, anemia, growth retardation, infertility, and neurological disorders,” the study authors reported.
Diagnosing CD is difficult because many of its symptoms are similar to other diseases. In fact, newer guidelines regard non-gastrointestinal symptoms such as fatigue, iron deficiency and anemia as possible indicators of the disease, notes Thermo Fis
Source: Thermo Fischer Scientitic.