In 1988 Dr. Paveley published a succinct history of coeliac disease (CD). One of the historical landmarks of CD has been the discovery that a component of a normal diet, wheat, is toxic to the coeliac patient. Dicke in collaboration with Van de Kamer and Weijers in Utrecht, demonstrated this with careful experiments performed on patients during different periods using different cereals. In his assay, Dr. Paveley quotes a lecture delivered by Sir Christopher Booth to the Derby Medical Society in November 1983. According to Booth the idea of the wheat-free diet occurred to Dicke during the Second World War when there was a shortage of bread, although Dicke first noticed a possible relationship between wheat and a condition of malabsorption with a rash in a child in 1930. Several months after the publication of the article by Dr. Paveley, Dr. Smits challenged the story that the wartime food availability has had any effect on Dicke’s idea which led to his discovery, as Dicke had already made observations leading to the gluten-free diet on children born before, and during the beginning of the war. He further added: “Sir Christopher Booth has enjoyed the tale as it makes a nice story, but I do not think there is any evidence whatsoever to support it”. After consulting several sources, the story can be summarized as follows: In Chapter III of Dicke’s thesis, entitled: “Treatment with a wheat-free diet” he stated that the origin of his idea on this kind of dietary treatment was an observation of ME van Dusseldorp and HA Stheeman during the treatment of a coeliac patient. He then quotes a passage of the publication by Stheeman in 1932.
- Wheat Flour
- Coeliac Disease
- Coeliac Patient
- Netherlands Society
- Hospital Food
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Peña, A.S. (1991). History of Coeliac Disease. Dicke and the Origin of the Gluten-Free Diet. In: Mearin, M.L., Mulder, C.J.J. (eds) Coeliac Disease. Developments in Gastroenterology, vol 13. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-7943-8_1
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