April 2021
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Research Fuels Potential Cures for Celiac Disease

Every day, thousands of people struggle with celiac disease. This disease is marked by an allergy to gluten, a wheat protein found in some of the most common dishes in America, including cookies, beer, pasta, bread and cereal. Those who have the disease can control it by avoiding these foods, but it’s still very difficult to have a completely gluten-free diet because the availability of gluten-free foods is so limited. In recent years, those with celiac disease have been able to find helpful resources, such as shopping guides for gluten-free items. Some restaurants have even added gluten-free products to their menus. Regardless, it’s still very costly to buy gluten-free items, and it can cause a financial strain for many families.

When a food with gluten in it is ingested by a person with celiac disease, it can cause extreme physical discomfort. Symptoms like chronic fatigue, osteoporosis, and cancers or the digestive tract may result. Many scientists are now studying the many components of gluten in order to find a cure for celiac disease. For instance, 244 people with celiac disease recently participated in an official study. Scientists analyzed the participants’ immune cells after ingesting foods with gluten. The results showed that out of the 16,000 components in gluten, only about three are related to the allergy.

These results are extremely important for celiac disease research. With this information, scientists have decided to develop a drug which can be injected into the body. The drug contains trace amounts of the three allergy-related components in gluten. If their drug is successful, it could help individuals with celiac disease slowly adjust to those components. As the body receives injections over time, the scientists hope that the immune system will adjust to the allergy components and help cure the disease. It’s only a matter of time before the researchers find out if this drug is successful; meanwhile, those with celiac disease hope that the future could hold a cure for this condition.

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