Study Celiac Disease Cases Increasing

09.28.10 | FL News Team

Newly released information shows the number of cases of celiac disease is on the rise, especially among senior citizens.  The study -- published in the "Annuals of Medicine" -- showed patients diagnosed with celiac disease has doubled every 15 years in America since 1974.

Researchers say the findings challenge common speculation that gluten tolerance develops in childhood.  It is still unknown why a person becomes intolerant to gluten, but researchers found the incident for celiac disease rises with age.

If a person with celiac disease doesn't get treatment, they may be unable to absorb nutrients properly which can eventually damage the small intestine.  Celiac disease can sometimes be a challenge to accurately diagnose.

Some patients may test positive for the disease, but not display the classic symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.  Other symptoms not typically linked to the disease include chronic fatigue, depression, and joint pain.