Canadian Celiac Association
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease where the surface of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients from food is damaged by a substance called gluten.
We offer support to people diagnosed with celiac disease by providing information about celiac disease and about how to live with celiac disease in Kingston You’ll find resources to help you understand and manage a gluten free diet, as well as advice on where to shop and eating out at restaurants.
Find out how to donate, volunteer, fund awards or make a bequest to support your celiac community.
Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a chronic skin condition. Typically, a person with DH will have lesions with an intense itching and burning sensation. If you or someone you know has DH, treatment with a gluten free diet and/or drugs can make a big difference. The following information has been provided by the Canadian Celiac Association.
External symptoms are an intense burning and itching rash. The intestinal symptoms of celiac disease may or may not appear. A new, unscratched lesion is red, raised, and usually 2–5 mm in diameter with a tiny blister at the centre. If scratched, crusting appears on the surface. The burning or stinging sensation is different from a regular itch, and can often occur 8–12 hours before a lesion appears.
Genetic factors, the immune system, and sensitivity to gluten all play a role. DH and celiac disease are related autoimmune disorders that share the same genetic pathways and chromosome features. Both respond to gluten withdrawal from the diet.
DH occurs in 10% of patients with celiac disease. It affects males and females equally. It is more common in Caucasians than African Americans, and rare in the Japanese population. Onset is most frequently in the late second to the fourth decades of life.
The most common areas are the elbows, knees, buttocks, back of the neck, scalp, and upper back. Facial and hairline lesions are less common. The rash has symmetric distribution.
DH is most often associated with an abnormal mucosal lining of the small intestine, identical to changes seen in people who have celiac disease. Most people with DH have few or no bowel complaints. A small percentage have diarrhea, bloating, bulky stools, or abdominal cramps.
Diagnosis of DH can only be made by a dermatologist. The dermatologist must obtain a slight skin biopsy from uninvolved skin adjacent to blisters or erosions. If DH is confirmed, small bowel biopsies are not essential as celiac disease is known to coexist with DH.
Treatment is by dapsone and a gluten free diet.
The response is dramatic. Within 24–48 hours, the burning is relieved and the rash starts to disappear. The aim is to use the smallest dose possible to keep the itch and rash under control. Dapsone has no effect on the gut abnormality.
Gluten Free Diet
Elimination of all wheat, rye, barley, oats, triticale, and any parts thereof from the diet will result in:
Improvement of skin lesions
The gut returning to normal
Substantial reduction in or elimination of the need for sulphones to control the skin rash
Decreased risk of malignancy
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|Canadian Celiac Association National office|
|Celiac Disease screening kit|
|Myths about Celiac Disease|
|Related Diseases and conditions|
|About Gluten Intolerance|
|Gluten Intolerance Research|
|Alcohol in the Celiac Diet|
|Foods Celiacs Must Avoid|
|Helping Your Celiac Child Cope with the Gluten Free Diet|
|Preparing a Safe Gluten Free Meal for Those with Celiac Disease|
|Gluten Free Shopping Resources|
|Restaurants In & Around Kingston|