Task Force Says Evidence Doesn't Warrant Screening For Celiac Disease When There Are No Symptoms [VIDEO]
The US Preventive Services Task Force issued a statement on March 28 suggesting that there is not enough evidence to support or discourage screening for celiac disease when there are no symptoms.
The panel announced that it did not find enough evidence that proves the benefits of screening for celiac disease in people with a family history or other factors that may increase the risk of having the disease, and in those who are concerned they might have the condition but have mild or no symptoms associated with it. They did not find any evidence that screening could do any harm either.
People with celiac disease suffer from an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestines when foods with gluten are ingested. About 1 percent of the American people have it.
They exclude wheat, barley and rye from their diet in order to avoid the body's immune response to gluten. Gluten-free food products are more accessible recently and it has led many people to wonder whether they have the condition, asking their doctors if they should get screened.
Dr. Alexander Krist, a member of the task force, urged the public to consult with their doctor if they worry about or are having symptoms of celiac disease. Health experts admit that the signs and symptoms of this condition such as anemia, fatigue, osteoporosis, weight loss, infertility and some neurological problems are not often linked to disorders in the intestines.
As such, it is not easy for doctors to decide whether or not to recommend screening for celiac disease when there are no symptoms commonly associated with it. Screening for this condition is done with a blood test called the tTG-IgA test, the NPR reported.
People with celiac disease will benefit from eating naturally gluten-free foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and other seafood, dairy products, beans, legumes and nuts. They may include grains and starchy foods in their diet, such as rice, quinoa, millet, cassava, corn, soy, potato, flax, chia, and nut flour among others.
Reading the label to distinguish food products without gluten from those with it is necessary, according to Celiac Disease Foundation.