Presentation and Patterns of Celiac Disease in Indian Subcontinent: A Literature Review

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Anjum Siddiqui Aparna Agrawal Praveen Kumar Lekhraj Hemraj Ghotekar Sanjana Taneja


Gluten, in genetically susceptible individuals induces an immune mediated enteropathy called Celiac disease (CD). It is an established cause of malabsorption, with the worldwide prevalence being 1% in the general population. It is found across all age groups, from infants to the elderly with 20% patients being diagnosed in the seventh decade of life. It has varying clinical presentations ranging from silent asymptomatic forms which are diagnosed during screening to life threatening forms with severe malabsorption to atypical presentations, with the symptom spectrum extending beyond the gastrointestinal tract which are more common in adults. High index of suspicion, robust screening and testing, followed by strict adherence to gluten free diet is a must to curb and cure the disease. Patients tend to face difficulties not only during diagnosis, but also with compliance and availability of a gluten free diet, in addition to significant economic and psychosocial burden, which is more predominant in developing countries. Screening of high-risk groups like first-degree relatives of celiac disease, patients with severe malnutrition, other autoimmune diseases, refractory anaemia and irritable bowel syndrome should be done to enhance case detection. In low middle income countries, judicious resource utilisation takes precedence, hence, tackling a multifactorial disease such as celiac disease becomes challenging. Repeated follow ups, awareness among patients and doctors, encouragement, availability of testing and dietary counselling is necessary for management of the disease in such settings. Improving sanitation and feeding practices may also play role in decreasing incidence, considering childhood GI infections are a well-established risk factor. Increased availability of serological tests (IgA/IgG anti-tTG, anti -EMA and anti-DGP), biopsy, genetic testing and other newer modalities under research have improved the diagnostic accuracy. Poor compliance increases the risk of GI malignancy, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hepatocellular carcinoma and MALToma. Hence adherence is a must to prevent complications. A wide variety of treatment modalities are being evaluated to bring into force alternative strategies for management. Only providing gluten free diet is often not sufficient for improvement of nutritional status in patients with CD. Hence, micronutrient supplementation should also be encouraged to meet the unmet needs.

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SIDDIQUI, Anjum et al. Presentation and Patterns of Celiac Disease in Indian Subcontinent: A Literature Review. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 12, dec. 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 june 2024. doi:
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