Celiac disease can remain undiagnosed for years, hiding in the shadows
of symptoms that mimic other conditions. But now physicians and researchers
are shining a spotlight on the disease that should lead to quicker diagnosis
and appropriate treatment.
A consensus panel convened by the National Institutes of Health recently
announced recommendations for appropriate diagnosis and management of celiac
disease. The focus is timely because celiac disease, once believed to be a
rare condition, is now considered underdiagnosed and is estimated to affect
between 0.5% and 1% (up to 3 million individuals) of the US population. These
new numbers are 10 times higher than previous estimates.
Mitka M. Higher Profile Needed for Celiac Disease. JAMA. 2004;292(8):913-914. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.913