Celiac Disease Foundation Releases Celiac Symptoms Checklist

– Checklist identifies nearly 100 symptoms of celiac disease, promoting more accurate doctor-patient communication and diagnosis –

– Checklist can be found at celiac.org/symptoms —

Woodland Hills, CA; February 18, 2014 — Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) today released an interactive checklist to help individuals and families accurately define and report their symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to their doctor or other health care practitioner.  This checklist not only will help individuals have more clear conversations with their healthcare providers, it will help more people with celiac disease get the proper diagnosis. This free checklist, developed with the CDF Medical Advisory Board, can be accessed at celiac.org/symptoms.

“Undiagnosed celiac disease can lead to a lifetime of illness, including a four-fold risk of developing lymphoma,” said Marilyn G. Geller, CEO of the Celiac Disease Foundation.  “While there is no cure for celiac disease, early diagnosis is crucial.  There is much that can be done to treat and help manage celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet and routine medical follow up can improve symptoms and help prevent related medical conditions and diseases while also enhancing the patient’s quality of life. We hope by using this checklist to understand and report symptoms to their physicians, patients will be diagnosed and treated in a timely manner and minimize further serious systemic diseases and damage.”

“The most significant problem in celiac disease is the inadequate rate of diagnosis.  While the situation has improved, with only 15% of people with celiac disease diagnosed currently in the United States, we have a great deal of work to do,” said Daniel Leffler, M.D., M.S., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and CDF Medical Advisory Board member. “Tools like the CDF Symptom Checklist are an important piece of the effort to educate patients and providers and increase testing for celiac disease in the United States.”

As part of Celiac Disease Foundation’s commitment to drive early diagnosis of celiac disease, the checklist is integrated with the organization’s Healthcare Practitioner Directory. The Directory is the nation’s most comprehensive online directory for patients to find reliable information on healthcare practitioners familiar with diagnosing and treating celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders. Upon checklist completion, individuals may enter their  ZIP code to view a list of practitioners in their local area with whom they can review checklist results to determine if they are a candidate for a celiac disease panel blood test or other diagnostic measures.

About Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder characterized by an inability to consume gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, without damage to the small intestine. Affecting 1 in 100 people worldwide, celiac disease can develop at any age. More than 3 million Americans are known to have celiac disease, with an estimated 2.5 million Americans currently undiagnosed and at risk for serious health complications including lymphoma, intestinal cancers, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy and migraines, and short stature. Celiac disease is not curable; however, it is treatable, and can be managed though strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.

The public is encouraged to visit the CDF Symptoms and Conditions Checklist at celiac.org/symptoms and the CDF Healthcare Practitioner Directory at celiac.org/directory.

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About Celiac Disease Foundation: Founded in 1990, Celiac Disease Foundation drives early diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease through advocacy, education and advancing research to improve the quality of life for all people with celiac disease and gluten-related disorders.  For more information about Celiac Disease Foundation or to support the work it does, please visit celiac.org