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Celiac disease associated with liver disease

A gluten free diet might help some people with certain types of liver disease.

Celiac disease has been found to be associated with coexisting liver disease. Previous studies have shown that celiac patients often have elevated levels of liver enzymes, which typically get back to normal once a gluten-free regimen is implemented. In the new study, the researchers set out to explore the cause and prevalence of altered liver function in celiac patients up to one year after eliminating gluten from their menus.

The researchers analyzed liver function prior to and after dietary changes in 245 untreated celiac patients. They found that 43 patients had elevated values of one or both aminotransferases, important indicators of liver damage. Forty one patients had a mild elevation, and the remaining two had higher aminotransferase elevations.

After a year of going gluten-free, elevated levels normalized in 39 of the patients. The remaining four had either hepatitis C or primary biliary cirrhosis.

Based on their findings, the researchers stressed the importance of a timely celiac disease diagnosis and treatment (namely, strict adherence to a gluten-free diet) for reducing the risk of liver complications.

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