New research out this month in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association confirms only a small number of undiagnosed celiacs have typical symptoms and called for increased celiac awareness in the medical community to get more people diagnosed.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness reprinted highlights of the article called Importance of Nutritional Assessment and Collaboration between Physicians and Registered Dietitians in Detecting Celiac Disease: Two Case Studies.

The article reported the “diversity of symptoms and presentations associated with celiac was a major challenge currently facing practitioners…” It stated that most patients don’t have the typical symptoms “described in textbooks”.

“The disease might not only be symptom-free, but can also present with diverse symptoms or masquerade as other diseases. A recent review study of CD concluded that many patients with CD seek health care for a great variety of common symptoms and that the more frequent use of screening is uncovering more cases of the disease.” –Journal of the American Dietetic Association

Anemia in particular was listed as common in patients who have atypical symptoms. Researchers recommended increased screening for this population.

The research suggests all health professionals including doctors, nurses and dietitians learn more about celiac disease, the varying presentations and treatment; but also work as a team to get the patient diagnosed quickly and get them on the road to recovery with a gluten free diet.

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