Celiac disease

Hyperthyroidism, Celiac Disease and the Gluten Connection

Hyperthyroidism, also called Grave’s Disease, is an immunologically mediated thyroid disease.  That basically means it is brought on by the action of specific abnormal autoantibodies, called thyroid receptor antibodies (TRAb), that stimulate excessive release of normal thyroid hormones into the blood.  Thyroid hormones control body metabolism.

Features of hyperthyroidism are diffuse non-tender goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), elevated blood levels of thyroxine hormone, suppressed blood levels of thyrotropin hormone (TSH), and the presence of thyroid receptor antibodies in the blood.

Symptoms include various degrees of bulging eyeballs, staring, firm areas of edema or swellings of the lower legs in most patients, rapid pulse, increased blood pressure, palpitations, nervousness, depression, anxiety, heat intolerance, weight loss, thigh and upper arm weakness, brisk tendon reflexes, cardiac abnormalities and oligomenorrhea in females – infrequent or scanty menstruation. 

According to a recent medical study of 111 people with hyperthyroidism, 4.5% had positive celiac disease antibodies, 14% had anti-gliadin antibodies and 3% had IgA deficiency. Anti-gliadin antibodies demonstrate a normal reaction to the abnormal presence of gluten in the blood. The high presence of anti-gliadin antibodies in thyroid disorders is likely related to gluten entering the bloodstream through the small intestine via “leaky gut.”  Leaky gut can result from poorly digested gluten with or without celiac disease. 

An immune-linked reason for the co-existence of hyperthyroidism and celiac disease revolves around the fact that both disorders (and several other diseases) share the immune system genetic markers HLA B-8 and HLA DR3. Individuals having these genetic markers can develop one or more of a certain cluster of diseases associated with these genes.1

The good news is that a strict gluten free diet can successfully treat hyperthyroidism in celiac disease.

Thyroid function should be assessed in all celiac disease patients at diagnosis and follow-up if clinically indicated. Screening of high-risk groups such as those with autoimmune thyroid disease is a reasonable strategy.2

If you have hyperthyroidism, be sure your doctor tests you for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA-IgA and AGA-IgG) tests for gluten sensitivity while EMA-IgA and EMA-IgG or tTG-IgA and tTG-IgG  are specific tests for celiac disease.  Testing that is based on IgA only would give a false negative result for individuals who are unable to produce IgA antibodies, that is, in IgA deficiency.

If your physician refuses or dismisses the idea of testing for celiac disease, please get a second opinion from a medical provider who is knowledgeable about celiac disease.  The longer gluten is consumed, the greater will be its damaging effects on your body.

(This Health Alert was taken from information found in Issue #11 – “Gluten and the Thyroid” of the Gluten Free Gazette.)

Celiac disease is a hereditary, auto-immune disorder estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the US). Less than 3 % are estimated to be medically diagnosed, but numbers are expected to rapidly increase as diagnosis improves. Celiac disease is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats and treated by removing these items from the diet. Signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications can affect any part of the body and removal of the offending foods can result in complete recovery.  Visit Glutenfreeworks.com for more information.
Grave’s Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Enteropathy (GSE). Elaine Moore. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/graves_disease/54749
Ch’ng CL, Keston Jones M, Kingham JGC. Celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease. Clinical Medicine & Research. May 2007; 5(3)184-192.

I Got Glutened and It’s My Own Fault!

no glutenI sit here writing this post from my bed. It’s 9:39pm and I have been in bed since 4:30pm. My tonsils are so big it hurts to swallow and I feel like I have been in a boxing match where I lost, severely.

I used to get sick like this all the time before I was diagnosed with coeliac disease and I am starting this think that my immune system is a wreck again.

Why? Because I have been slack. Many of those out there with coeliac disease will think I am stupid. I am stupid.

You see at my current job we have staff cafe. Read More »

I Had a Dad bod. Then I Went Gluten Free

“I should look like Brad Pitt.”

Back before I went gluten free, I remember looking in the mirror and saying these exact words to myself.

I was working out 5 to 6 days a week, weight training and cardio, eating “right” but instead of looking good, I looked like a sausage…and it was getting worse.

Dad bod gluten free

Now, to be certain I didn’t go gluten free to lose weight, but because I had acid reflux, IBS, anxiety and a host of other problems.

When I asked, my doctor said I didn’t have celiac disease – without testing me.

I started a 100% strict gluten free diet anyway. As the inflammation decreased, I felt worlds better…and I lost weight. What I thought was fat had actually been retained fluid. 25 lbs of it. I haven’t had a dad bod in 12 years, and I don’t miss it a bit.

-John Libonati

Woohoo! Won my age division at a local 5K!

Woohoo! Won my age division at a local 5K! This was two months ago at 12 years GF!

I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 1)

I was recently reading a press release from Nature’s Path Organic about two of their new cereals. The press release made a familiar argument: the cereals “provide gluten avoiders with whole grains… unlike many gluten-free cereals which forfeit nutritional benefits…” The implication is that many gluten-free cereals (and other gluten-free processed foods, by extension) are more highly processed in order to improve taste and texture. But they do so by sacrificing nutritional quality.

There is some truth to this logic. Foods made from whole grains are inherently healthier than heavily processed foods, and I’ll use our good old enemy – wheat – to demonstrate. I compared whole grain wheat flour (less processed) with white, unenriched wheat flour (more processed) across a range of nutrient measures. Not surprisingly, the wheat underwent a profound loss in Read More »

I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 2)

In  Part 1 of this article about nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population, I posed four critiques and questions that I promised to answer in today’s part 2. Without further ado, here we go…

Critique #1 questioned the small sample size of the research. I can’t do anything about that, and there’s not much to be said about it, so let’s move on.

Next, I think it’s easiest to address critique #3: How did nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population compare to Americans as a whole? To answer that question, I pulled data regarding nationwide averages from the USDA’s Community Nutrition Mapping Project. If I amend yesterday’s table that showed the percent of the gluten-free population who are deficient in given nutrients, and add to it a column for the national averages, this is what you find:

 

Nutrient GF Deficiency Nationwide Deficiency
fiber 74% 92%
calcium 82% 69%
thiamin 59% 19%
riboflavin 25% 11%
B6 35% 26%
folate 85% 40%
B12 29% 20%
iron 41% 11%

 

These numbers change the perspective a bit, I think. It’s not simply that the gluten-free population is nutrient deficient. When you compare us to the national averages, it gets slightly more complex. In some cases, such as folate, riboflavin, thiamin, and iron, we’re two or more times as deficient (as a group) than the nation. However, in other cases, such as B12, B6, and calcium, we still have greater rates Read More »

IBS Guidelines Should Include Screening for Celiac Disease

Guidelines for the treatment of IBS published by the American College of Gastroenterology include screening for celiac disease. These guidelines were established in 2008.

New IBS Guidelines Offer Treatment Ideas

American College of Gastroenterology Updates Recommendations for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
By Bill Hendrick

WebMD Health NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDDec. 19, 2008 — New guidelines have been issued by the nation’s gastroenterologists that are aimed at easing the abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which afflicts millions of Americans.

The guidelines, issued by the American College of Gastroenterology, also offer hope to patients who’ve struggled with the condition and found satisfactory treatments lacking. Read More »

If there was a ‘Magic’ Gluten-Free Pill

Gluten-eaters often ask me, “Don’t you wish there was some ‘magic’ pill?”

This question arises when I have limited choices on a menu, or have to pass the basket of bread without indulging. My response usually includes a “Not really”, with some type of short explanation on why my life doesn’t suck because I’m gluten-free.

If there was a magic pill that enabled you to eat gluten, would you use it?

I can honestly say that I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I am happy with my diet. Just because I can’t choose a roll from the gluten-filled bread basket, doesn’t mean my life has crumbled into ruins.

So if there was a pill, would I take it? If I had the ability to indulge in gluten-filled food with the comfort of knowing the so-called ‘magic’ pill would alleviate my symptoms as well as prevent the damage to my intestines, would I be poppin’ it back on the regular? Read More »

ImmunogenX Acquires Celiac Disease Therapy from Alvine Pharmaceuticals

Immunogenx-logo-lowx41[1]A therapy for celiac disease is one step closer. ImmunogenX purchased the license for Alvine Pharmaceuticals’ medicine, ALV003, which degrades gluten before it can be digested and absorbed by the intestines. The following press release was distributed by ImmunogenX.

“Glutenase for in-vivo gluten degradation is a leading candidate for celiac disease ImmunogenX™, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune and gastrointestinal diseases, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the non-cash assets of Alvine Pharmaceuticals.

This includes Latiglutenase (formerly known as ALV003 and renamed IMGX003), an orally administered mixture of two recombinant gluten-specific proteases that degrades gluten proteins into small physiologically irrelevant fragments. The technology is backed by over 50 issued or pending patents, has been extensively studied in Phase I and Phase 2 clinical trials, and is the only CD treatment that has demonstrated histologic success as well as symptomatic improvements in Read More »

Infertility, Pre-term Birth and Miscarriage all Linked to Gluten Intolerance

Editor’s Note: The malabsorption resulting from undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease has been well documented in research, but is still little known among physicians. Our medical website, The Gluten Free Works Health Guide, contains male and female reproductive disorders and lists the nutritional deficiencies that cause each.

In a recent New York Times article, Can Foods Contribute To Infertility?, Dr. Sheila Crowe, a professor in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology in the department of medicine at the University of Virginia, brings to light a lesser-known contributor to infertility in both men and women: Celiac disease autoimmunity (CDA). Read More »

Innovate Biopharmaceuticals Completes License For Late-Stage Celiac Disease Asset From Alba Therapeutics

Alba_Logo[1]Alba Therapeutics has been working on a therapy for celiac disease the past 8 years. Alba’s therapy, Larazotide Acetate, is the first to reach phase 3 clinical trials, where it will be given to large groups of people.

When Alba first contacted us about helping to promote their phase 2 clinical trial, we investigated the therapy’s mechanism and were glad to see the drug is not absorbed into the body, but acts in the intestine to stop gluten from being absorbed. Better yet, it worked. We covered Larazote Acetate in our article, Medical Research Study to Test a Potential Celiac Disease Therapy Is Underway and Signing up Participants.

A real therapy for celiac disease is one step closer. Alba just sent us the following press release concerning their deal with Innovate Biopharmaceuticals to produce the therapy.  Read More »

>