Paris Eiffel Tower for Celiac Disease Conference

International Celiac Disease Symposium

Celiac disease may be the most widely known autoimmune condition, but there are still many questions to be answered about genetics, microbiota, diagnostics, the gluten-free diet, and other potential treatments.

At the September 2019 ICDS Conference in Paris, France, many of the foremost experts in celiac disease presented their work on various topics to rooms full of gastroenterologists, pediatricians, dieticians, and celiac-related organizations and programs. It was a packed few days, illuminating a number of controversies in the realm of celiac disease, IBS, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Even at a conference centered around celiac disease, some of the options offered in the gluten-free lunch boxes listed wheat flour, barley, and “may contain gluten” on their ingredient labels. And fresh fruit was placed underneath gluten-containing croissants. The food situation for celiac attendees brought attention to the challenge of being on a gluten-free diet and the lack of public knowledge about it. It’s no surprise that the need for this kind of vigilance can tempt individuals toward either hypervigilance or nonadherence, topics discussed at length during the conference.


  • Psychologists experienced in caring for celiac patients are greatly needed, yet psychological support it is not fully recognized by the medical community as a necessary part of treating celiac disease.

-Psychological Issues, Caroline Ciacci and audience comments

  • Individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) may instead have a sensitivity to fructan, which is part of a group of sugars called FODMAPs, and high in wheat and other foods.

-Update on NCGS, Knut Lundin

  • Modifying gut microbiota can impact the severity of IBD. Our microbiomes are affected by many factors including genes, antibiotics, diet, emulsifiers, and smoking.

-Mechanistic Insight into the Role of Microbiota in Intestinal Inflammation, Harry Sokol

  • Celiacs and other individuals on restricted diets are at risk of disordered eating habits such as Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (persistent difficulty in meeting nutritional needs despite a lack of body image or weight concern) or Orthorexia Nervosa (excessive preoccupation with healthy eating).

-Follow-Up of the Patient: Which Balance for the Best Compliance?, Benjamin Lebwohl