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What Triggers Celiac Disease?

Dr. Cynthia Rudert, Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance expert answers your questions on celiac (Dr. Rudert will be answering celiac questions LIVE at coming Celiac event in Atlanta on September 20th! More details soon!):

What triggers Celiac Disease?

Dr. Rudert answers:

There are many triggers for celiac disease in genetically predisposed individuals. Celiac may be triggered at any age once gluten is introduced into the diet. Common triggers for celiac include infections, antibiotics, surgery, pregnancy and stress. Individuals with other autoimmune diseases are at increased risk for celiac. Patients with Type 1 diabetes are one group at increased risk with 8% having celiac, compared with approximately 1% of the general population.

If I have celiac do I have to give up all grains or just wheat?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Celiacs cannot eat wheat, rye or barley. Other grains are generally well tolerated unless they are cross contaminated. In my practice I have a few patients who are intolerant to other grains, however, they are in the minority.

If I have celiac is it better to go grain free completely or just gluten free?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Celiac patients need to strictly adhere to a gluten free diet. Other grains are generally well tolerated unless there is cross contamination. In my practice if patients have continued symptoms I explore about a dozen or more other possibilities and often I have patients keep a detailed diet diary with symptoms.

If I have the gene for celiac should I go gluten free to prevent celiac?

Dr. Rudert answers:

Forty percent of the US population has one or both celiac genes and approximately 1% develop celiac. If an individual never ate wheat they would never develop celiac. No one with expertise in celiac is recommending that all genetically positive individuals follow a gluten free diet. A "pearl to remember" is 8% of the population has gluten sensitivity/intolerance and they may be genetically positive or negative. I have many gluten sensitive patients in my practice that are genetically negative. I also do not recommend genetic testing for everyone.

ATLANTA CELIAC EVENT COMING SOON!: Dr Rudert will be speaking Saturday, September 20th, 2014, to the Gluten Intolerance Group of Atlanta (GIG) : Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance: Your Questions Answered! Location to be announced and is open to the public

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