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January 2010 - News
CD MEDICS and Coeliac UK hosted an exhibition stand at Gastro 2009 in London's ExCel centre which ran from 22 - 25 November. The presence provided a great forum for discussion with clinicians from around the world and allowed a variety of patient groups to continue with their campaign to raise awareness of coeliac disease.
GASTRO 2009 Public Affairs Committee in collaboration with the National Association for Colitis and Crohn's Disease (NACC), Coeliac UK and the GUT Trust organised a GASTRO 2009 Public Information Event. Members of the public were invited to attend a public information event at GASTRO 2009 which offered the opportunity to hear from world renowned experts on the latest medical opinion and research, diagnosis and management and how to live with, and take control of, chronic gut conditions. Over 350 people attended the afternoon sessions chaired by medical broadcaster and journalist, Dr. Mark Porter.
World renowned experts, together with patients, discussed the following topics:
* Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Coeliac Disease
* The latest medical opinion and research
* Primary care diagnosis and management
* Living with and taking control of chronic gut conditions
Professor Chris Mulder (European Society for the Study of Coeliac Disease and Honorary member of the South African Gastroenterology Society) conducted the coeliac disease session which was then followed by audience and panel discussion.
CD-MEDICS sponsored a coeliac disease seminar attended by over 45 people. Dr David Sanders from Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield spoke on the clinician perspective and Carolyn May, Member of Coeliac UK, addressed the patient viewpoint.
The entire conference was a great opportunity for discussion with healthcare professionals and renowned gastroenterologists from all over the world. Nearly 11,000 delegates attended an array of varied and interesting presentations and seminars for the benefit of the public and professionals.
Association of National European and Mediterranean Societies of Gastroenterology announces Dr. David Sanders as a 'Rising Star 2010'
The ASNEMGE Rising Star initiative is part of the annual UEGW since 2003. Its aims are to promote and support the clinical and scientific activity in each of the National Societies and to give young researchers a durable platform on the international stage.
ASNEMGE & UEGF have selected following Rising Stars 2010:
* Tom Luedde, Germany
* Wouter de Jonge, The Netherlands
* Stefan Fichtner-Feigl, Germany
* David S Sanders, United Kingdom (CD MEDICS supported speaker and member of Coeliac UK Health Advisory Council)
* Jonas Ludvigsson, Sweden
* Alexander Arlt, Germany
* Simon Leedham, United Kingdom
* Dan Turner, Israel
The Rising Stars 2010 will be invited to give a talk at UEGW Barcelona 2010, and to participate in the ASNEMGE/AGE Exchange Programme.
NEWS FROM ACM - Coeliac Society of Madrid
Fibromyalgy and gluten-free diet
Dr. Carlos Isasi, a Rheumatologist working at Puerta de Hierro Hospital in Madrid (Spain), is studying the effects of the gluten-free diet in people suffering from fibromyalgy (FM) in collaboration with the Madrid Coeliac Association (ACM). The clinical features of fibromyalgy frequently overlap with some clinical manifestations of coeliac disease (CD), and many patients show a mild enteropathy and negative serology when tested for CD-specific antibodies. The aim of the study is to investigate the usefulness of the gluten-free diet in patients suffering from fibromyalgy and affected by a suspected but not confirmed coeliac disease. 68 FM patients were initially enrolled in the study, all of them showing negative levels of tTG autoantibodies and lacking villous atrophy in the small intestinal biopsy. The preliminary results were presented during the XIIIth Annual Meeting of the Madrid Society of Rheumatology, celebrated last December 2009 in Madrid. 18 out of 68 (26%) patients experienced a relevant clinical improvement after following a strict gluten-free diet. Moreover, 42% of patients had improved when treatment had been followed for 4 months or longer. Dr. Isasi's hypothesis is that some FM patients might be suffering from a "subclinical" coeliac disease characterized by mild enteropathy and absence of CD-specific serum antibodies, so a gluten-free diet would improve notoriously their health and quality of life.
Prevalence of coeliac disease in children from Madrid area
The prevalence of coeliac disease (CD) was studied by screening among students aged 6-18 in Madrid during 2008. The current diagnostic strategy, based on serology testing of tTG autoantibodies and biopsy, was used. The results were presented during the Course "Early Diagnosis and Follow-up of Coeliac Disease", hold in Madrid on 20th November 2009. 2,919 children were randomly selected, among which 13 (0.45%) were coeliacs previously diagnosed. After the screening, 24 new cases were detected, showing that about 2 out of 3 coeliacs were undiagnosed before the study. Thus, the prevalence of CD in the studied group of students from Madrid is around 1.27%, that is, 1 every 79 children.
Persistence of high levels of antibodies is frequently due to an inappropriate gluten-free diet
The Dietetics Service of Madrid Coeliac Association, headed by Blanca Esteban, has been revising the diet of coeliac patients whose symptoms and/or high antibody levels were persistent despite the gluten-free diet since 2003. The results where shown in the 3rd International Immunonutrition Workshop, celebrated in Platja D'Aro - Girona (Spain) in October 2009. A total of 307 coeliacs' diet was analyzed, predominantly women's (66%) and children's (75%). The main causes of gluten consumption found were: i) absence of certification in special foodstuffs for coeliacs; ii) foodstuffs made of rice or corn that do not meet the dietary needs of coeliacs; iii) organic or biological foodstuffs made of corn or rice in which the absence of gluten was not certified; iv) baby food made of corn or rice not specific for coeliacs; v) foods lacking gluten according to their labels; vi) foodstuffs removed from the gluten-free foods and drinks directory; and vii) accidental consumption of gluten-containing products. All these cases were recommended to follow a much stricter gluten-free diet, reducing the consumption of manufactured foodstuffs and eliminating the incorrect foodstuffs from the diet. Antibody levels turned negative in a time between 3 and 12 months after the dietary changes were made in most patients. Interestingly, most adults failed to follow a correct gluten-free diet when eating outside home, while consumption of gluten in children frequently occurred at home.
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