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JACKSONVILLE, FL, March 13, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Professional Development Resources has announced a new addition to its online continuing education (CE) curriculum for health professionals: Celiac Disease: Basics & Beyond. The course is designed to help registered dietitians and other health professionals who work with patients with celiac disease.
It seems that everybody knows somebody with celiac disease or who is avoiding foods containing gluten. Is this because there is a higher level of awareness and more people are being diagnosed with celiac disease? Or is this because of a rise in popularity of a gluten-free diet and people self-diagnosing celiac disease? A gluten-free diet, the diet prescribed for those with celiac disease, is being touted as a 2013 health trend.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects approximately 1% of the United States population (about 3.1 million people), which triggers an immune system reaction that causes inflammation in the small intestine when a person eats food containing gluten. Common signs and symptoms of the disease may include diarrhea, iron-deficiency anemia, lactose intolerance, fatigue, joint pain, abdominal pain, migraines, depression, short stature and osteoporosis. Many patients spend many years seeking a reason for their symptoms, possibly because celiac disease shares symptoms with many other gastrointestinal conditions. The typical time for a patient to receive a diagnosis of celiac disease is from 4.5 to 9 years.
"The only treatment for celiac disease currently is a gluten-free diet: one that removes all sources of wheat, barley, and rye. Celiac disease is not cured with a gluten-free diet. Patients must follow this diet prescription for life or the intestinal damage and associated symptoms will return," says Alexia Lewis, registered dietitian and course author. "Researchers are currently studying treatments that include drug therapy, manipulation of foods, use of nutritional compounds or supplements, and use of parasitic worms. There may be adjunct or alternative treatments in the future."
"Some people want to go on a gluten-free diet to lose weight because they've heard that's what celebrities are doing," says Andrea Levario, executive director for the American Celiac Disease Alliance. "What people don't realize is that many gluten-free products are higher in fat than other products, and people may not lose weight but actually gain weight eating them."
Nutrient deficiencies are common in those with celiac disease, affecting approximately 67% of patients. Patients with celiac disease are at a nutritional disadvantage in two ways. One is from the degradation of their intestinal villi and the resulting malabsorption of nutrients. The second disadvantage comes from removing wheat, barley, and rye from the diet, which are nutrient-rich foods.
Unfortunately, following a gluten-free diet does not have a big impact on improving nutrition status with approximately 50% of patients continuing to have nutrient deficiencies even after removing gluten from their diet. Inadequate intake or deficiencies are frequently found in fiber, iron, calcium, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), and B vitamins (folate, B6 and B12). Those without celiac disease should not remove gluten from their diet because it is not inherently a healthier way to eat. The gluten-free diet is designed for people who have an autoimmune response to gluten.
In order to be able to provide care to their clients and patients, both with and without celiac disease, health professionals should understand the basics of celiac disease and a gluten-free diet.
Celiac Disease: Basics & Beyond will cover the basics of celiac disease including pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment. This 2-hour online CEU course will then go beyond the basics by describing how registered dietitians use the nutrition care process to provide medical nutrition therapy to patients with celiac disease. Two case studies are included to assist the health professional in understanding the patient's perspective from pre-diagnosis to disease management. This course will be informative for anyone with celiac disease as well as registered dietitians and other health professionals who work with patients with celiac disease.
About Professional Development Resources, Inc.
Professional Development Resources is a Florida nonprofit educational corporation founded in 1992 by licensed marriage and family therapist Leo Christie, PhD. The company, which is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) - as well as many other national and state boards - has focused its efforts on making accredited continuing education units more cost-effective and widely accessible to health professionals by offering online home study coursework. Its current expanded curriculum includes a wide variety of clinical topics intended to equip health professionals to offer state-of-the art services to their clients.
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