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Celiac Disease

By Anonymous September 9, 2010 - 1:36pm
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I have a child adopted from Ethiopia who has been diagosed with Celiac. How prevalent is that disease amongst sub saharan Africans (since I don't otherwise have a medical history for her bio family) and what other auto immune ramifications might she face?

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Hello Anonymous

Celiac disease is considered one of the most common chronic diseases in children. It is estimated that more than 1% of children have it, but the prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa is thought to be much higher, at around 5%.

People with celiac are more likely to have other autoimmune issues than the general population; they are also more likely to have neurological problems ranging from neuropathy to seizures. However, it is thought that dietary restrictions can help prevent a lot of these complications.

We have info on celiac: http://www.empowher.com/condition/celiac-disease. Another good source of information and statistics is Medscape. You have to register but it is free. There is a fair amount of jargon but you can probably sort most of it out or if you have further questions we'd be happy to help you here. I looked at two articles there, here are the links: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/709198 and http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/932104-overview.

Another resource is the Celiac Disease Foundation at http://www.celiac.org/. Good luck to you and your child.

Congratulations on your adoption! Thank you for writing, and if we can help further please do not hesitate to let us know.

September 9, 2010 - 6:30pm
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