Annual blood work that all Celiacs should have

At today’s potluck meeting, chapter Vice President Jennie Johnson shared her notes from the CCA National Conference that she attended in June.  Among the interesting items she shared were the annual follow-up tests that all Celiacs should ask for from their doctors.

By popular demand, here is an excerpt of her conference notes from that presentation.  Note, if you are a member of the Kelowna Chapter, you would have received her full 7 pages of conference notes in your email on July 1st.


Dr. Mohsin Rashid

Notes on Dr. Mohsin Rashid’s presentation – CCA National Conference 2013
Dr. Roshid is Member of the CCA Professional Advisory Board and Pediatric Gastroenterologist in Halifax 

Good follow-up is important for both children and adults with good evidence that follow-up improves adherence to the gluten-free diet.

After diagnosis of Celiac disease patients should:

  • At 2 months: see a physician (family doctor or gastroenterologist) and dietitian
  • At 6 months: repeat celiac serology (see note below)
  • At 12 months: have a complete physical, TTG blood test, and ideally a biopsy (not in children)
  • Annually: celiac serology and thyroid test

Celiac Serology includes:

  • TTG
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Thyroid
  • Liver Enzymes
  • Calcium
  • Phosphate
  • Vitamin D

The follow up should focus on:

  • nutritional deficiencies
  • adherence to diet
  • monitor for complications

Even with strict adherence to a gluten-free diet, there is still an increased risk of other auto-immune problems.  Celiac patients with two abnormal genes (for celiac disease) have a greater risk of complications than those with one abnormal gene.

In general:

  • Consult with a skilled dietitian
  • Educate yourself
  • Follow a lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet
  • Identify nutritional deficiencies to avoid anemia and osteoporosis 
  • Advocacy  (support the CCA and your local chapter)
  • Monitor for complications

Dr. Mohsin Rashid presentation notes

Dr .Rashid Title SlideAt the Kelowna 2012 National Canadian Celiac Association conference, Dr. Mohsin Rashid spoke on “Celiac Without Borders: A Global Perspective”. Dr. Mohsin Rashid is a paediatric gastroenterologist and an Associate Professor of Paediatrics & Medical Education at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He did his Pediatric Residency training at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Gastroenterology& Nutrition Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto.  He is a member of the national Professional Advisory Board, Canadian Celiac Association and Medical Advisor to the Canadian Celiac Association Nova Scotia Chapter.

Many of those attending his presentation have asked for copies of his notes.  Dr. Rashid has generously provided these.

Click to download Dr. Rashid’s Kelowna 2012 presentation (PDF)

May is Celiac Disease Awareness month –

News Release

The Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) is excited to unveil the theme of this year’s Celiac Disease Awareness Month: Oral and Dental Manifestations of Celiac Disease. The event will coincide with the CCA’s release this spring of a scientific, peer-reviewed brochure that outlines the ways that dental health care professionals can spot the signs of celiac disease.

Mohsin Rashid

“Dental enamel defects and recurrent aphthous ulcers (canker sores), especially in children, can be signs of this dangerous autoimmune disease,” notes Dr. Mohsin Rashid, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University. “Early identification by dental professionals can be very helpful for a timely diagnosis of celiac disease.”

Most people would not normally consider a diagnosis of a gastrointestinal disorder to be a likely outcome of a dentist appointment, but the research is quickly advancing. Increasing awareness of celiac disease among the dental professional community will help lead to faster diagnosis and fewer medical complications down the road.

Celiac disease is a condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. As a result, the body is unable to absorb nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals, which are necessary for good health. An estimated 1% of Canadians are affected by celiac disease, and a stunning 90% of these cases remain undiagnosed.

“Symptoms of celiac disease can range from gastrointestinal distress to migraines to extremely itchy skin rashes, or there may be no overt symptoms at all,” says Brian Benwell, President of the CCA. “However, the proven link between celiac disease and other serious medical conditions – such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, infertility and type 1 diabetes – make a speedy diagnosis critical to good health.”

Peer-reviewed research by several members of the Professional Advisory Board of the CCA is also available for download.