As stories about Russia continue to dominate the news cycle, you are probably familiar with the recent sanctions against the country, Vladimir Putin’s reelection, and even the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the EU and US. But what do you know about celiac disease in Russia?

The Gluten Free RN is taking a closer look at the limited information about celiac disease in Russia, giving us an overview of the country’s size and population and the likely number of celiac cases based on the global tendency. She discusses the thriving wheat production industry in Russia as well as the gluten-containing traditional Russian diet.

Nadine walks us through a presentation created by Dr. Elena Roslavtseva at the Scientific Center for Children’s Health in Moscow, sharing how the diagnoses of celiac disease changed from the 1970’s through the 2000’s, the inconsistencies with testing for celiac disease around the nation, and the challenges of maintaining a gluten-free diet in Russia. Listen in as the Gluten Free RN covers the Journal of Immunology Research’s overview of celiac disease in Russia, explaining why the reported frequency probably doesn’t reflect the true prevalence and the necessity of a mass screening.

What’s Discussed: 

General information about the country of Russia

  • Population of 144.3M
  • Dual nation state, 185 ethnic groups
  • Largest country by land mass

Russia’s thriving wheat production industry

  • Very high, exported to Middle East and Africa
  • Ban on genetically modified wheat

The first diagnoses of celiac disease in Russia

  • Late 1970’s—1980’s
  • Cases of severe malabsorption
  • No gluten-free foods available

How celiac diagnoses changed in the 2000’s

  • Diagnosed more often, well-known in most regions
  • Research done in many universities, med centers

The Eastern European countries that have done mass screenings

  • Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia

Why the data around celiac disease in Russia is unreliable

  • Variation in how practitioners test for celiac disease
  • Belarus—HLA-typing not available in most cases
  • Latvia—mandatory screening for patients with IDDM and AIT

The problems associated with celiac disease in Russia

  • Unreliable data in absence of mass screening
  • Gluten-containing traditional Russian food

The overview presented in the Journal of Immunology Research

  • Diagnostic tools for celiac disease in Russia vary significantly
  • Reported frequency of 0.2-0.6%, but real rate unknown

Resources:

‘Coeliac Disease and Gluten Related Disorders in Russia and Former Soviet Republics’ by Dr. Elena Roslavtseva

‘Overview of Celiac Disease in Russia: Regional Data and Estimated Prevalence’ in the Journal of Immunology Research

‘Russia, Argentina and Canada Displace US, Europe in Global Wheat Trade’ in agriCENSUS

‘Russian Wheat Sales Expand Global Reach with Surge in Sudan’ in Bloomberg

‘Russia’s Wheat Industry: Implications for Australia’ from the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre

‘Growing Importance of Russian Milling Wheat Worldwide’ from Solaris Commodities

‘How an Oil Giant (Russia) Came to Dominate Wheat’ in Bloomberg

‘Celiac Disease in Russia and the Former Soviet Republics’ in The Celiac Scene

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Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Heal

Posted by Nadine Grzeskowiak, RN

Nadine is a 'food is medicine’ activist and is very proud of her work to educate all people about the power of food in health and wellness. Nadine is an expert consultant, professional speaker with over 1500 lectures to date, author of DOUGH NATION: A Nurse's Memoir of Celiac Disease From Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism, podcaster, mom and former emergency/trauma/critical care nurse. Nadine is co-authoring her next book on the science of celiac disease.

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