Thursday, May 22, 2008

What are the differences between Celiac and SDS?

A question came up on our support group, so I thought I would share my answer here. I am not a doctor, this is just my understanding. I thought it might be helpul for others.

What differences are there between Celiac and SDS?

While both Celiac and SDS cause fat malabsorption, the difference is the cause. Celiacs cannot tolerate wheat gluten. The gluten flattens the cilia of the intestines (damages them) and the intestines then cannot absorb nutrients and fat as they should. In severe cases of celiac, the blood counts can be affected due to nutritional deficiencies. Once the person stops ingesting gluten, the cilia in the intestines heal and the person starts to absorb nutrients and counts and deficiencies are reversed. Fat malabsorption in SDS comes from pancreatic exocrine dysfunction. Meaning that the pancreas does not produce enough enzymes for the person to digest food properly, most notably fat. People with SDS have bone marrow dysfunction that causes low blood counts (most frequently neutropenia, but other cell lines can be affected) These counts do not usually improve once the malabsorption is treated with pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy.