This is definitely not the kind of study you want to see if you are a sufferer from celiac disease. It is an autoimmune disease that counts gluten as a trigger turns the body on itself, attacking tissue in the gut.

In a new study, published in the Journal of Proteome Research, researchers from the Columbia School of Medicine found that other non-gluten proteins could trigger reactions in celiac disease patients.

Dr. Armin Alaedini, the study’s lead author, said that the team found that gluten accounts for around 75% of the reactions. Finding the other 25% will lead to better treatment options, and greater understanding of the disease.

Right now, the treatment option for patients is to avoid foods that contain gluten. Not exactly the easiest diet in the world to follow. The team from Columbia noted there were few studies that looked at proteins beyond gluten. Where there are studies, the results have been a mixed bag.

Using both a group with celiac disease and a healthy control group, the researchers set out to test immune response to a host on non-gluten wheat proteins.

“Compared with healthy controls, patients exhibited significantly higher levels of antibody reactivity to non-gluten proteins. The main immunoreactive non-gluten antibody target proteins were identified as serpins, purinins, α-amylase/protease inhibitors, globulins and farinins.”

The conclusion of the study is researchers need to explore more comprehensive treatments for celiac disease, not just the old standard of avoiding gluten. It’s obvious the current option is not covering every trigger associated with the disease.

Symptoms of a celiac reaction include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nutrient deficiencies and anemia. If a person goes undiagnosed, their risk factor for type 1 diabetes, neurological conditions and MS jump.

Celiac disease is hereditary, so if it exists in your family tree and you suffer from the above symptoms, it won’t hurt to get checked out. The disease affects 1 in 100 people worldwide. It is estimated that 2.5 million Americans currently suffer from the disease without realizing it.

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