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Gluten-free fix? What to know about an experimental treatment that can cause celiac disease to eat gluten

People suffering from celiac disease must eat a strict, gluten-free diet, but a new treatment that is currently being tested…

People suffering from celiac disease must eat a strict, gluten-free diet, but a new treatment that is currently being tested may, if clinical trials work and are approved, change it.

The treatment, called Nexvax2, can change people’s immune response to gluten so that it no longer triggers a harmful inflammatory reaction in the body.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine when gluten is taken.

Nexvax2 hopes to help people with specific immunogenicity genes that make up about 90 percent of the celiac patient population, according to ImmusanT, Inc., Massachusetts company behind the vaccine.

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Nexvax2 is currently being tested in a clinical phase 2 study in Australia that includes patients from the United States.

A phase 2 clinical study usually lasts about two years. Nexvax2 would then have been tested in a Phase 3 clinical trial that must show that the treatment is at least as safe and effective as existing treatment options.

If successful in the Phase 3 trial, it would need to apply for FDA approval to become available to consumers in the United States. The cost of treatment is unknown.

If approved, Nexvax2 can give hope to almost 1

“Further research and results await, but if the therapy works, it has the potential to enable patients to return to a regular diet and improve health,” says Dr. Dean Railey, a gastroenterologist in Sunrise, Florida, which is not affiliated with Nexvax2. “It’s very hard to go gluten free, you have to read each label and know exactly what you eat at restaurants.”

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Here are five questions about celiac disease, answered by Dr. Johanna Kreafle, an emergency medical practitioner at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a member of the ABC Medical Unit.

no. Some people have non-celiac disease sensitivity, which have similar symptoms for celiac disease but they do not test positive for celiac disease. And it is not confirmed that gluten is the culprit that triggers the immune response of these people – it may be another protein or antigen.

There are many symptoms but the most common is abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headache, leg or joint pain and chronic fatigue.

Two steps: screening and diagnosis. You should always contact a doctor to ensure proper diagnosis.

Screening : Blood sample for screening against celiacity antibodies. If your blood tests indicate celiac disease, your doctor will recommend a small intestine biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

Diagnosis : Biopsy of the small intestine during endoscopy is looking for damage to the small intestine that is consistent with celiac disease.

Currently, the only treatment available for celiac disease is lifelong adhesion to a strictly gluten-free diet. This means avoiding food with wheat, grains and rye.

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