Potential AutoImmune Disorders

Again, this is an area where the available information related to (why those suffering from Celiac Sprue or Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity) are also more susceptible to other immune disorders can be quite overwhelmingly “medical” in nature. So I’ve compiled a few of my favirite posts and lined out the full article for you to read.

The general understanding is that once you have an immune-compromising condition, you are more likely susceptible to other immune compromising disorders. I’ve mentioned in other pages of the correlation between Celiac and Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity with an auto-immune thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s, however, there are other areas of risk as well.

Some of the more common associated disorders are below, however, you can review a complete list of the associated diseases and disorders by clicking here and reading the Celiac.com forum.

What makes us susceptible?

Celiac.com 06/28/2010 – Studies on the genetic links to celiac disease are leading to more research which may lead to new and more effective ways to treat the disease, an exciting  prospect for celiacs who may want to enjoy some gluten now and then.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, the source of this being gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, affecting about 1% of the population and 300 million Americans. The disease attacks the villi,the finger-like structure which line thesmall intestine, leading to stomach troubles and malabsorption of nutrients. Left untreated, it can cause severe health conditions and complications such as Anemiaosteoporosis, miscarriage, and even cancer.

David van Heel, a gastrointestinal genetics professor at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, headed a group of researchers from around the world who studied the genetic maps of more than 9,400 celiacs.

British researchers have found what they term “substantial” evidence that the genes which are connected with celiac disease are also linked to other autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. As a result, scientists are able to understand how the genetic risk factors for the disease operate—by changing the number of immune system genes that cells make. Furthermore, it is now understood that there are “hundreds” of genetic risk factors, which means that scientists should be able to “have a good guess at nearly half of the genetic risk at present,” van Heel wrote in the Nature Genetics journal in his published study.

According to a SIGEP Study Group for Autoimmune Disorders in Celiac Disease. Gastroenterology 1999; the presence of other autoimmune disorders in celiace and NCGS patients was directly related to the age of the patient, and therefore, to how long they have been exposed to gluten. 

Over a 6-month period, 909 pediatric patients with celiac disease, 1268 healthy controls and 163 patients with Crohn’s disease were evaluated for the presence of autoimmune disorders. The authors [4] detected a prevalence of autoimmune disorders among celiac disease patients higher than in controls, but similar to that detected in Crohn’s disease patients. Prevalence of autoimmune disorders in celiac disease was increased with increasing age at diagnosis. In a logistic regression model, age at diagnosis was the only significant predictor variable of the odds of developing an autoimmune disorder [4]. Based on this evidence, the authors concluded that the prevalence of autoimmune disorders in celiac disease is related to the duration of exposure to gluten.

Gluten and ADHD, ADD, Autism and more….

Parent surveys done by The Autism Research Institute list the GFCF Diet as one of the most Successful Interventions for the Treatment of Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Autism Diet
GF/CF Diet
Gluten Free
Casein Free
Celiac Gluten Free
Wheat Free
Dairy Free
Food Intolerance
Food Allergies
Food Sensitivities

Since 1999, this website, www.GFCFDiet.com has been assisting parents & individuals with information about The “GFCF Diet”.
They are a free resource for any parent who needs support implementing a gluten free – casein free diet ( GFCF Diet ), and provides a central location for parents to find other parents who are also using Dietary Therapy.  It is the largest free resource of its kind on the Internet, not only providing lists of products to help guide you through the Grocery Stores (ALWAYS READ LABELS!!) but other relevant information which will help every parent learn about Dietary Intervention.

Celiac and Thyroiditis:

Thyroiditis has been repeatedly associated with celiac disease as mentioned previously. There appears to be a highly significant association
between celiac disease and autoimmune thyroiditis (Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), as evidenced by elevated EMA antibodies in these thyroid conditions.  In addition, abnormal liver enzymes (transaminases) are common in both thyroid disorders and subclinical celiac disease.  More can be read on the association between Thyroiditis and Celiac here.

Celiac and Type 1 Diabetes:

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the digestive system and is commonly found in people with other autoimmune diseases, like type 1 diabetes. Celiac disease occurs in 1 in every 10 people with type 1 diabetes, as compared with the 1 in 100 cases in the general population.

Roughly ten percent of celiacs either have Type I diabetes or might develop Type II diabetes (more later). Estimates differ, but at least five percent of those who have Type I diabetes are or will become celiac. Where the two diseases occur in one individual, in almost all cases, the diabetes is diagnosed first.

Diabetes, which has several forms, is much better known and much more prevalent than Celiac Disease. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), eight million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes. The organization says another eight million have the disease, but have not been diagnosed.

Of the 8 million who are diagnosed, 800,000 are Type I. If at least five percent of those are also celiac, that means there are 40,000 celiacs — most likely undiagnosed — among the already-diagnosed diabetic population.

Most cases of Type I are obvious, unlike the more common Type II, which can remain hidden for years.

Type I diabetes is much more serious than CD. Without self-regulating insulin levels, people with Type I walk a tightrope: too low a blood sugar level can lead to potentially deadly “insulin reaction”; too high a blood sugar level can lead to long-term complications that involve the eye, kidney, heart, nerves or vascular system. These complications are minimized with better control of blood sugar.

Celiac and Chron’s Disease:

Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It usually affects the intestines, but may occur anywhere from the mouth to the end of the rectum (anus). Around 500,000 Americans are believed to be suffering from Crohn’s disease, a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the digestive tract.

While researchers are still not clear exactly why there appears to be a correlation between Celiac and Chron’s disease, they do know the correlation exists, and therefore, when you’re diagnosed with one, its common to be tested for the other.

My 2 cents….

In short, there are several related conditions which you are more susceptible to once you have either Celiac disease, or Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivities, so upon diagnoses, its important to remove gluten from your diet, and monitor your symptoms. I encourage you to keep a  log of your health and eating habits, and make it a point to talk to your doctor about any lingering symptoms.

It might seem daunting now, but I promise you can overcome, and beat, these conditions.

Live for yourself, not your diagnosis!

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