Dr. Katri Kaukinen, a Finnish gastroenterologist, spoke at the International Celiac Disease Symposium 2015 in Prague about possible non-DH skin manifestations of celiac disease. In patients with alopecia areata, for example, the incidence of celiac disease was found to be markedly higher than in the general population. Vitiligo is another skin condition that could be linked to celiac, as it is also common in patients with thyroid disease and Addison’s disease. Urticaria may have a potential celiac connection.
It was also reported that the incidence of dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is decreasing, despite an overall increase in celiac disease prevalence. The prevalence of DH varies greatly across geographic boundaries – in Finland, 13% of celiacs have DH, while the numbers are 8% in the US and UK and just 4% in Italy. DH patients do have the same increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that all celiac sufferers have, so adherence to the gluten-free diet is just as important.
Canadian Celiac Association (CCA) Board Member Mark Johnson and Operations Manager Sue Newell represented the CCA at the 2015 International Celiac Disease Symposium (ICDS) held in Prague in June 2015. This report represents their learnings. Want to join the Canadian Celiac Association? Visit www.celiac.ca or email [email protected]