At the Celiac Disease Foundation’s 2021 Patient Education & Advocacy Summit, Jocelyn Silvester, MD, PhD, Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School Pediatric Instructor, and a recipient of the Foundation’s Young Investigator Award, made a presentation that asked: “Is Celiac Disease a Solved Problem?” This presentation summarized brilliantly why millions of celiac disease patients urgently need an alternative to the gluten-free diet to improve their health and the quality of their lives.
In the presentation, Dr. Silvester shared the results of several important studies, two of which I am highlighting in this email:
- Dr. Silvester’s team at the Harvard Celiac Research Program collected stool, urine, and samples of foods eaten from 21 participants over a 10-day period. 12 of the 18 celiac disease patients had exposure to gluten over the 10-day period even though they were trying to adhere to a gluten-free diet. Only once did a celiac disease patient experience symptoms after consuming gluten, yet 10 of the 18 had persistent villous atrophy when biopsied.
- Another study looked at intestinal biopsies of patients to assess how long it took for their villi to heal after they were diagnosed with celiac disease and began a gluten-free diet. After 5 years, one-third of patients biopsied still did not have a healthy intestine, and the older the patient was when diagnosed, the longer it took the villi to heal when on a gluten-free diet.
View 2021 Patient Education & Advocacy Summit Presentations here.
We are determined to use every resource at our disposal, including strategic funding of research and advocacy, to help discover and bring to the celiac disease patient community therapeutic alternatives to the gluten-free diet. And this is why we need your help.
Please make a generous tax-deductible contribution to the Celiac Disease Foundation today. We will immediately put it to work to end this needless suffering. We will immediately put it to work searching for treatments and a cure.
Marilyn G. Geller