Celiac disease expert Nielsen Fernandez-Becker, MD, PhD, built an interest in science into a PhD in molecular genetics. “I wanted to know why we are what we are,” she said. Then, the immunological complexity of celiac disease drew her to help patients with that condition.
Celiac disease symptoms include bloating, diarrhea, and discomfort in your stomach. It can be caused by genetics, the immune system, and your interaction with the environment. Over 99% of people with celiac disease carry one of two genes that indicate a risk for celiac disease. If you have a first-degree relative with celiac disease, it is a good idea to get screened for celiac disease.
The only treatment that is currently effective for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Stanford’s immunology researchers are working to find other treatments for celiac disease. A vaccine may some day become available to prevent celiac disease.
The Celiac Disease Program at Stanford is the only one of its kind in Northern California and one of the few centers in the United States with a multispecialty team of experts. The celiac disease team also includes a dedicated registered dietitian for people with gastrointestinal disorders.