International Coeliac Day 16 May 2019


The 16 may is celebrated the World Day of celiac disease, chronic inflammation of the small intestine that is normally triggered in susceptible individuals genetically from the ingestion of gluten.

Today, in Italy people with celiac disease are approximately 206.500 (the data detected to the end of 2017), of which more than 35,000 in the Lombardy region: a large number that could, however, increase if you include those at risk of becoming so, such as, for example, people who have had uncertain results from the screening test, or who have family members with this disease.

The celiac disease affects approximately 1% of the world population and, despite the growing awareness and precision of diagnostic tests, still 70 % of the diagnosis escapes: in Italy only 30% of celiac disease is estimated diagnosed. Women with celiac disease (145.759 in 2017) are more than double that of men (60.802).

A phenomenon that is unfortunately growing as it is estimated that in 2050, when the Earth will be inhabited by 9 billion people, approximately 90.000.000 people must eat gluten-free; an important issue that requires particular attention.

So much so that theItalian Celiac Association Onlus, that for over 35 years, is committed to change the lives of people with celiac disease and their families, takes its cue from the global reflection on the power to discuss the topic of celiac disease.

The first step is awareness: of the symptoms but also the possibility of clinics to determine if they suffer or not. The test to determine celiac disease is done with a simple blood test and is based on the research of the alteration of the DNA in a specific part of his propeller (l’HLA haplotype).

This variation causes the presence on the membrane of cells of the immune system of two molecules, called DQ2 and DQ8, which are associated with celiac disease.

On the occasion of the world day of celiac, the Centro diagnostic Italiano (CDI) has decided to offer, subject to prior booking, the possibility to undergo free of charge on the test in two of its offices, in the milanese territory: CDI Saint Bon and the CDI Largo Augusto.

Fulvio Ferrara, director of the Integrated Service of Laboratory Medicine and Pathological Anatomy of the medical Center Italian, said, “The Ministerial Guidelines for the diagnosis of coeliac disease (2008) direct the execution of this test on patients with antibodies and/or biopsy of doubtful or discrepant, as well as to their family and degree, including brothers and sisters. The genetic analysis of the HLA haplotype (DQ2/DQ8) is performed to identify among the subjects who perform it, those who have a lower or higher risks of developing the disease.

Thus it is not a diagnostic test but a test of the susceptibility, thanks to the high negative predictive value, which allows reducing to an extremely rare event, the onset of disease in persons who are negative. For example, in children, only one of four brothers positive (25%) will become ill, but in the case of negativity, none of the 4 brothers) (100%) will have signs and/or symptoms of the disease.

Therefore, a negative result in this test makes it possible to certainly reassure family members of celiac patients, as it brings the likelihood of developing the disease, the values are comparable, if not even lower than in the healthy population“.

What is a celiac disease?

The celiac disease is a multifactorial disease that affects women twice as men; it is determined by two factors: one is environmental, the gluten in the diet, and a genetic, the presence of DQ2 and DQ8 on the membrane of cells of the immune system.

Affects the mucous membranes of the small intestine that cannot tolerate foods containing gluten. This substance in fact triggers an immune response that causes the damage. Gluten intolerance can present at any age and in a variable.

The form of a typical event is characterized by the presence of classic symptoms, i.e. weight loss, diarrhea and nutritional deficiencies. The atypical form is manifested later in life and with symptoms not related to the digestive system but with muscle weakness, bone pain, skin changes, mouth ulcers.

In the form of the silent celiac disease do not present with particular symptoms even in the presence of an impairment of the intestinal mucosa.

The symptoms of the disease

The root cause of the disease is, as already pointed out, the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, which is found mainly in foods, but can be detected in significant amounts also in other products like medicines, multivitamins and supplements, butter cocoa for the lips and also in the products of stationery and stationery.

The most common symptoms of celiac disease are those related to the sphere of the digestive; those suffering from celiac disease is very often manifested disorders of the digestive tract, especially in the case of children:

  • abdominal swelling
  • abdominal pain and cramps
  • feeling of fullness
  • chronic diarrhea
  • constipation
  • bloating and flatulence (excessive gas production) with abdominal distension
  • nausea and vomiting
  • light-colored stools loose and greasy, a smell, especially an unpleasant and float
  • weight loss linked to the malabsorption
  • stomach pain