Toronto, Canada (PressExposure) February 19, 2009 -- Health studies suggest that celiac disease, a hereditary condition that often goes undiagnosed, can lead to infertility. Experts acknowledge that without treatment, celiac disease can cause repeated miscarriages and early menopause.
For women facing no explanation for their infertility, now there is a simple, accurate way to find out if undiagnosed celiac disease might be the cause. For the first time in Canada, Health Canada has approved the Biocardâ¢ Celiac Test Kit, an at-home test that measures gluten antibodies from a fingertip blood sample.
According to health officials, about one per cent or one out of 100 Canadians are affected by celiac disease, which occurs when gluten--a protein found in wheat, rye and barley--triggers damage to the lining of the small intestine, interfering with your absorption of nutrients. But that estimate increases to as much as six per cent for women with unexplained infertility.
Infertility affects as many as one in six couples in their reproductive years in America. Of those, about 15 per cent are from no apparent cause. At the same time, the symptoms of celiac disease are not always obvious. It may be years before symptoms worsen and the disease is diagnosed, and by then child-bearing years may be over. The Biocardâ¢ Celiac Test Kit, first developed in Finland, gives these couples an easy way to find out if celiac disease is a possible cause for their infertility.
Celiac disease affects people differently and not all symptoms are obvious. Classic celiac symptoms include diarrhea, stomach pain, weight loss and, in children, delayed growth. For others, the symptoms are subtler, such as such as bloating, or excess gas. Fatigue, weakness, joint pain and migraines -- symptoms typically not associated with the gut -- are also reported, and the diagnosis is often anemia, stress, irritable bowel syndrome or chronic fatigue syndrome. Without treatment, celiac disease increases the risk of malnutrition, osteoporosis (because of poor absorption of calcium and vitamin D), certain digestive tract cancers and other disorders such as Type 1 diabetes and thyroid disease.
Average time for correct diagnosis of celiac disease - 12 years: According to a 2007 survey of the Canadian Celiac Association's more than 5000 members, the average time it took to be diagnosed was 12 years. Many reported consulting with three or more doctors before their diagnosis was confirmed. In fact, health research experts estimate that some 97 per cent of those affected by the disorder remain undiagnosed.
Home Screening Test Now Available The Biocardâ¢ Celiac Test Kit is an at-home test that measures IgA antibodies from a fingertip blood sample. While this easy test gives a high degree of certainty that you are either developing celiac disease or already have celiac disease, you still need to see your doctor for a confirmation. Confirming a diagnosis requires a small bowel biopsy in which an endoscope is passed through the mouth into the stomach's upper intestine so that the lining can be examined and a biopsy taken.
The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet for life. Still, the day you're confirmed celiac and start your diet, is the day you're on the road to recovery.
Information on celiac disease, the Biocardâ¢ Celiac Test Kit, and links to key informational sites can be found at [http://www.celiachometest.com/]. The kit can be purchased online, or at London Drugs, Rexall Pharma Plus, Price Smart and Save on Foods and other major Canadian retail chains.
About 2G Pharma Inc. Founded by Karina Nelimarkka and Janet Monk, 2G Pharma markets the unique, patient-friendly celiac disease test kit first developed by AniBiotech in Finland. This kit has been redesigned for the Canadian market and is currently the only Health Canada approved point-of-care celiac disease test kit available. Information on celiac disease, the Biocardâ¢ Celiac Test and links to key informational sites can be found at [http://www.celiachometest.com].