Two outstanding seminars on current topics in celiac disease

On 3rd April a seminar for doctors and dietitians took place. Prof. Sibylle Koletzko presented the changes and updates of the new pediatric guidelines of the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) which are currently in publication process. Afterwards, Prof. Julia Mayerle, adult gastroenterologist, gave an overview about the diagnosis and therapy of the rare but severe complication of therapy-refractory celiac disease. PD Dr. Helga Török then explained potential new mechanisms and studies for the future of celiac disease treatment. Finally, Dr. Katharina Werkstetter presented the Foucsu IN CD project mainly addressing the e-tools for doctors and patients as well as the Germn pilot project which comprises the transition workshop for adolescents as well as the updated and more comprehensive celiac passport including a „celiac ID“ card“. Finally Prof. Koletzko supported by Dr. Elisabeth Beckenbach presented some case examples. The participants were invited to directly vote on the given answer possibilities with their smartphones by using the „OnlineTED“ system which allows to directly show the outcome of the vote on the screen and discuss it.

Before and after the meeting as well as in the short breakt, the praticipants had time to collect the Focus IN CD dissemination materials and gather information about the project and address their questions in person.

On 6th April, the seminar for celiac patients, their relatives or other interested lay people or experts took place. More than 150 participants listened to the detailed presentation about the Focus In CD project and the live demonstation of the e-tools as well as the experiences with the pilot project. Again, before and after the event as well as in the lunch break, there was enough time for the participants to visit the Focus IN CD exhibition and info desk and to collect postcards, posters and the new celiac passport. Giulia Roggenkamp from the Child Health Foundation answered all questions of the visitors.

The 2nd presentation addressed healthy gluten-free diet and was given by the very experienced medical consultant of the German CD society, Dr. Stephanie Baas. Finally, before the lunch break, Prof. Sibylle Koletzko gave an interactive talk about new „gimmicks“ as self-testing for diagnosis, for monitoring of gluten consumption in urine or for testing gluten traces in food as well as special „vitamine preparations“. The participants were invited to vote via Online-TED if they have already heard about these tests and tools or maybe have already used it. In the lunch break a 100% gluten-free buffet was waiting for the mainly celiac participants which were extremely happy to not worry about potential gluten-contamination  - as usually the case when attending social events with food and buffets. They were very satisfied and gave spontaneous applause when the programme before the programme stated to continue.

After the break, Dr. Ulrike Disko explained the thyroid function and Hashimoto tyroiditis, another autoimmune disease which occurs more frequently in celiac patients and vice versa. Then PD Dr. Helga Török presente the currently also in her hospital ongoing phase 2a study which may improve the therapy of celiac disease. She also presented other potential mechanisms and ideas for future therapies of celiac disease. Finally, the audience had the chance to address any questions to all experts. 

Overall, both events were very successful as shown by the feedback questionnaires completed by the participants.