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The prevalence of celiac disease in the U.S. has quadrupled over the past 50 years. The Celiac Disease Program at Mass General brings together an expert team of providers who work with patients with celiac disease to co-create health.
This multi-disciplinary care team is tailored to each patient’s unique condition. Our providers include:
We offer the full range of endoscopic diagnostic procedures critical for obtaining a tissue diagnosis and differentiating celiac disease from other disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), microscopic colitis (lymphocytic and collagenous), eosinophilic and autoimmune enteritis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Patient education and support are important components of our mission. We are committed to helping patients understand their disease, assess their treatment options, participate in their treatment decisions and feel in control of their disease. Our physicians are experienced in fine-tuning medical therapies and helping patients obtain relief from persistent, difficult-to-manage symptoms.
To help educate the community about how our diet, lifestyle and environment can affect GI health, our doctors participate in community events throughout the year.
The Celiac Disease Program at Mass General is a comprehensive program dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with celiac disease and all gluten-mediated disorders. The gastroenterology department at Massachusetts General Hospital is consistently ranked among the nation's top programs, with Magnet award-winning nurses providing patients with compassionate, timely care. Magnet designation represents the highest honor available for nursing excellence and is achieved by fewer than 7% of hospitals in the United States. Our multidisciplinary team of providers has been recognized both nationally and internationally for groundbreaking research and outstanding patient care.
We believe that each patient can significantly improve our knowledge of celiac disease and contribute toward understanding the factors that influence the development of this disease and factors that determine response to treatments. All of the physicians involved in the Celiac Disease Program actively participate in research programs aimed at understanding the underlying cause of celiac disease, with the goal of developing more effective treatment approaches.
Dr. Ramnik Xavier, Chief of Gastroenterology, directs a research program that focuses on understanding the genetic basis of celiac disease based on genome-wide association studies. Dr. Xavier's research group actively collaborates with the lab of Dr. Cisca Wijmenga, a world leader in the genetics of celiac disease. In addition, Dr. Xavier works closely with Dr. Bana Jabri, a renowned immunologist who is working with Dr. Xavier to develop systems biology approaches to understanding the fundamental mechanisms underlying celiac disease. Many of these clinicians and researchers will be featured at the 15th International Celiac Disease Symposium, to be held in Chicago in September 2013.
Dr. Cosmas Giallourakis directs a research program that seeks to understand the genetic basis of celiac disease using novel technologies, with a particular focus on understanding how immune responses in the gut are linked to environmental triggers (food or otherwise) and factors that control barrier function of the gut. Dr. Giallourakis has published seminal papers on how the immune system controls the production of antibodies, which are critical mediators of celiac disease.
Dr. John Garber III, conducts a research program in intestinal epithelial biology with the goal of understanding factors that regulate the intestinal barrier both in the healthy state as well as in the setting of diseases such as celiac and inflammatory bowel disease. The integrity of the intestinal barrier is determined primarily by intercellular junctions, which also represent one of the primary pathways by which gluten gains access to the immune system. Despite the critical importance of intestinal junctions as a determinant of epithelial function, relatively little is known about the fundamental mechanisms that control the stability and responsiveness of junctions. Our lab is actively investigating the cellular constituents and mechanisms that function in intestinal junction assembly and turnover.
Celiac disease is increasingly recognized as often co-occurring with a variety of autoimmune diseases as well as food or other environmental allergies. For example, it is estimated that 5-10% of patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus have celiac disease. Furthermore, genetic studies have shown that variations in the human genome linked to celiac disease are often linked to other autoimmune diseases beyond type I diabetes, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus. In addition to causing celiac disease, gluten can be a trigger for other types of inflammation at different locations in the gastrointestinal tract including the esophagus, for example, in a condition called eosinophilic esophagitis. In other instances, certain immunodeficiencies can mimic some of the symptoms and pathological findings of celiac disease. These observations point to the need to have expert care and provide an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach to any patient with celiac disease as well as those patients that may have overlapping diseases.
In addition to classical celiac disease, our experts focus of a range of diseases, many of which may overlap with celiac disease or present with similar symptoms, including gluten intolerance/sensitivity spectrum diseases; wheat allergy; food allergy; eosinophilic esophagitis, enteritis, and colitis; autoimmune enteropathy; microscopic colitis (lymphocytic and collagenous); and GI manifestations/complications of immunodeficiency.
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine because of a sensitivity to gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. This hereditary disorder interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food.
The Celiac Disease Program at Massachusetts General Hospital brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts that collaborate with patients with celiac disease to co-create health.
Celiac Disease Program
Mass General North Shore Center for Outpatient Care102-104 Endicott StreetDanvers, MA 01923Phone: 978-882-6531
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