Academy of FinlandWe had reported in our previous article that viral infections could contribute to the onset of gluten intolerance. Finnish people ought to be aware of the fact that the frequency of gluten intolerance seems to have doubled in the past twenty years. Apparently, in the early 1980s, roughly one per cent of adults in Finland suffered from gluten intolerance, but the number appears to have risen up to two per cent by the 2000s.

The experts claim that gluten intolerance may frequently be symptom-free, and people may be ignorant that they have the disease if their symptoms are mild or uncharacteristic. It is said that around three out of four people having gluten intolerance have apparently not been detected, which may also denote that they are not undergoing treatment for the condition.

“We’ve already seen a similar trend emerge earlier on where allergies and certain autoimmune disorders are concerned. Screening has shown that gluten intolerance occurs in 1.5 per cent of Finnish children and 2.7 per cent of the elderly. The higher figure for older people is explained by the fact that the condition becomes more frequent with age,” commented, Professor Markku Mäki, head of a research project in the Academy of Finland’s Research Programme on Nutrition, Food and Health (ELVIRA).

Mäki’s research team has apparently assumed that the criteria for identifying gluten intolerance ought to be rewritten, as even though early stages of the disease do not meet the criteria, it is said to be vital to treat. The present criteria for diagnosis seem to concentrate on impairment to the intestinal villi and the small intestine, recognized in a tissue sample from the small intestine. Nevertheless, early stages of gluten intolerance are not believed to be identifiable from tissue samples.

Individuals with gluten intolerance may not have any intestinal symptoms. They could, nonetheless, encompass symptoms unconnected to the intestinal tract. Grave issues with nutrient absorption are now said to be uncommon, instead, sufferers may usually have anaemia owing to iron deficiency or folic acid deficiency as their main symptom. If experts manage to create receptive, precise antibody tests, it may be feasible to recognize people with early stages of gluten intolerance, who may require more treatment. Currently, there is said to be no test to unfailingly diagnose early stages of gluten intolerance.

Apparently patients are hoping for a detection that may not include endoscopy. Moreover, patients are also supposedly hoping for an ‘anti-gluten pill’. Mäki mentioned that a type of pill with enzymes that break down gluten could turn out to be a viable option in the future.