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Celiac Disease: A Medical Puzzle

McCabe, Mary Anne MS, RN, CCM; Toughill, Eileen H. PhD, RN, APN, CNL; Parkhill, Andrea M. BSN, RN; Bossett, Margaret Schell BSN, RN; Jevic, Melissa S. BSN, RN; Nye, Matthew L. MSN, RN-BC, OCN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000421019.77542.65
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Abstract

Overview: Celiac disease is a T-cell–mediated, autoimmune, genetic illness that targets the small intestine and typically resolves with removal of gluten from the diet. More widespread serologic testing indicates that celiac disease affects 0.5% to 1% of the U.S. population, but presentation is highly variable and diagnosis is often missed or delayed. Strict adherence to a gluten-free diet remains the only treatment but can be challenging. This article outlines the pathophysiology of celiac disease, discusses signs and symptoms and the four disease types, describes testing, and addresses treatment and nursing implications.

In Brief

This article outlines the pathophysiology of celiac disease, discusses signs and symptoms, describes testing, and addresses treatment and nursing implications.

Author Information

Mary Anne McCabe is the director of quality and accreditation for the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Health Group in Red Bank, NJ. Eileen H. Toughill is an associate professor of nursing at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. Andrea M. Parkhill is a community health nurse, Margaret Schell Bossett is a staff nurse, and Melissa S. Jevic is a staff nurse at the VNA Health Group. Matthew L. Nye is director of client services and director of nursing at SeniorBridge Homecare, a division of Humana, in Monroe, NJ. Contact author: Eileen H. Toughill, eileen.toughill@shu.edu. The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.