Tag Archives: Celiac disease

Shared Genes in Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease

A 2008 study provides more evidence that there is a link between celiac disease and gluten. This article in Scientific American reviews the study.

Diabetes and celiac disease: A Genetic Connection
Patients with type 1 diabetes have been known to be more prone to another autoimmune disorder, celiac disease, in which gluten in wheat, rye and barley triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine or gut. Now there’s evidence that the two diseases have a genetic link: they share at least seven chromosome regions.

The discovery, published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, indicates that both diseases may be triggered by similar genetic and environmental mechanisms, such as certain foods, that cause patients’ immune systems to become overactive and destroy healthy instead of infected tissue. Previous research has found that celiac disease is five to 10 times more common in people with type 1 diabetes than in the general population, an editorial accompanying the study notes.

“These findings suggest common mechanisms causing both celiac and type 1 diabetes – we did not expect to see this very high degree of shared genetic risk factors,” said study co-author David van Heel, a gastrointestinal geneticist at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Van Heel and his colleagues studied genetic material or DNA from about 20,000 people, half of them healthy, nearly half with type 1 diabetes, and 2,000 with celiac disease. The overlapping genetic variants occurred on regions of chromosomes (parts of cells that carry genetic code) that are believed to regulate the gut’s immune system, the BBC notes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy beta cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin, which is needed to convert glucose into energy. In celiac disease, a similar attack occurs on the small intestine when sufferers eat gluten-rich grains, causing inflammation in the gut that can lead to bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, headaches, weight loss and failure to thrive in children. Whereas diabetes 1 patients must inject insulin daily to make up for their deficiency, people with celiac disease can avoid damage and symptoms by sticking to a gluten-free diet.

“The finding raises the question of whether eating cereal and other gluten products might trigger type 1 diabetes by altering the function of the gut and its interaction with the pancreas, the authors write. But Robert Goldstein, chief scientific officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which helped fund the study, says it would be premature to assume from this study that gluten is also a diabetes trigger.

“I fear the newspaper headlines in the popular press will read like, ‘Eating wheat will cause type 1 diabetes,’” Goldstein tells us. “The presence or absence of these associations has to be linked to some biological consequence” for a person’s health.

Article Source: http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=diabetes-and-celiac-disease-a-genet-2008-12-11

*UK Study Source: Shared and Distinct Genetic Variants in Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease, New England Journal of Medicine. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa0807917

 

[Editor’s Note: Article reprinted from December, 2008.]

Anxiety and Celiac Disease, Causes and Response to a Gluten Free Diet

“An estimated 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorder.” (1) These 40 million people total 18.1 percent of the United States that are at least 18 or over. (2)

According to “Recognizing Celiac Disease” anxiety is common in people with celiac disease and may be the only manifestation. Celiac disease patients showed high levels of state anxiety in a significantly higher percentage compared to controls – 71.4% vs. 23.7%.(3)

Chronic maladaptive anxiety is characterized by vague uneasiness or unpleasant feeling of apprehension and dysfunction. It is marked by anticipation of danger and interference with normal functioning, ranging from mild qualms and easy startling to occasional panic, often with headaches and fatigue. Deficiency of amino acids and vitamins implicate reduction of synthesis of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system and could be linked to immunological disregulation in celiac disease patients. Anxiety itself causes depletion of vitamins and minerals. Deficient nutrients could be B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, tryptophan.(3)

A medical study evaluating bloodflow in the brain showed evidence of significant blood flow alteration in the brains of people with celiac disease who had only anxiety or depression neurological symptoms and were not on a gluten-free diet. Single photon computed tomography (SPECT) scan showed at least one hypoperfused brain region in 73% of untreated celiac disease patients compared to 7% of patients on a gluten-free diet and none in controls.(3)

Therefore, bloodflow in the brain and nutritional deficiencies play a large part in anxiety. If nutritional deficiencies are the source of the problem, then medications will be less effective requiring increasingly strong doses because the body and brain do not have what they need to utilize them.

The good news is that studies showed state anxiety improves and can usually disappear in people with celiac disease after withdrawal of gluten from the diet and improvement of nutrient status.

Consider celiac disease if you or someone you know has anxiety.

Related medical studies are referenced in “Recognizing Celiac Disease, by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN.”

Celiac disease is a multi-system, hereditary, chronic, auto-immune disease estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the US) that is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats. It is 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.

“Recognizing Celiac Disease” is a reader-friendly reference manual written for both medical professionals and the general public that specifically answers the call from the National Institutes of Health for “better education of physicians, dietitians, nurses and other healthcare providers.” It has been endorsed by top medical professionals and professors at Harvard, Columbia, Jefferson and Temple Medical Schools as well as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Celiac Sprue Association – USA. “Recognizing Celiac Disease” is being hailed as the complete guide to recognizing, diagnosing and managing celiac disease and a must-have for physicians, dietitians, nutritionists, nurses, patients and anyone with an interest in this complex disorder.

Editor’s Note: Recognizing Celiac Disease has been expanded upon and converted into an online resource, The Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide.

Click here for more information.

Sources:

(1) ADAA Brief Overview. ww.adaa.org/GettingHelp/Briefoverview.asp
(2) Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety
(3) Libonati, Cleo. Recognizing Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Works Publishing, 2007.

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Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com.

Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide.
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached by e-mail here.

Celiac Disease, Diabetes Have Genetic Link

The article below discusses that similar genes are found in people with celiac disease and Type 1 Diabetes.  This supports the findings of a Danish study that showed 12.3% of children with Type 1 Diabetes tested positive for celiac disease.

Published: March 4, 2008 at 5:48 PM

Print story Email to a friend Font size: LONDON, March 4 (UPI) — London researchers suggest celiac disease and diabetes may have common genetic origins.

David van Heel of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry demonstrated that of the nine celiac gene regions now known, four are also predisposing factors for type 1 diabetes.

The team of researchers, which also include Irish and Dutch scientists and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, performed a genome-wide association study in celiac disease. Genetic markers across the genome were compared in celiac disease subjects versus healthy controls. The researchers identified seven new risk regions, six of which harbor important genes critical in the control of immune responses, highlighting their significance in the development of the disease.

Celiac disease, triggered by an intolerance to gluten — a protein found in wheat, barley and rye can lead to anemia, poor bone health, fatigue and weight loss.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Genetics.

Mental Health and Celiac Disease

If you’ve ever lived with undiagnosed Celiac Disease – chances are you’ve been to a psychologist at one time or another.  Perhaps your doctor told you that you had severe depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety, or simply that it was “all in your head.” Believe me – I’ve been there, done that. I had even convinced myself as an undergrad in psychology, that with all the knowledge I was gaining, I would not only be able to fix my own problems, but that I’d some day be able to help everyone else fix their problems too. I would become so mentally tough that nothing could conquer me. The problem was -something was wrong … and it wasn’t really in my head. No amount of “positive thinking” could get me out of what I was going through. I didn’t want to be depressed – and yet I had depression. I didn’t want to feel anxiety, didn’t have any reason to be anxious – and yet, I had anxiety all the time. I knew who I was – but when I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t that person. Something else was going on- and it was beyond my control.

During my time as a psych student, I had begun to realize that what I was putting into my body had a direct effect on my mood, energy level, and overall happiness. I started paying close attention to what I was eating and how I would feel afterwards – which eventually led me to walk into my doctors office and ask for a blood test for Celiac Disease. When I finally got some answers – I thought, “Wow, no wonder I felt horrible at school all the time” because I would eat a Gordita or Mexican Pizza just about every day on the way to class at our campus Taco Bell. (Just for the record, Gluten + addicting Taco Bell cheese opiates = not a good combo ;) I began to truly understand that what I was putting into my body had a direct effect on my mind. (The GUT-BRAIN connection).  Read More »

Celiac Expert Answers – Could a Gluten-Free Diet Lead to Other Diseases? Video!

Weight loss, fad, miracle cure…there is an enormous amount of misinformation concerning the gluten-free diet in the news, on the internet and even in the medical community.

One of the worst ideas being perpetuated is that following a gluten-free diet can somehow be bad for you.

Dr. Stefano Guandalini, Founder and Medical Director of Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center, answers the important question – Could following a gluten-free diet lead to other diseases?

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Bleeding Complications (Bruising or Hematoma) as First Sign of Celiac Disease

Editors’ note: This case report illustrates that a person can live a long time reporting apparent good health and be completely unaware that they have symptoms of celiac disease. In this case, hematomas, (which are swollen black and blue marks caused by a break in the wall of a blood vessel), that developed on his legs caused the patient to seek medical attention. The ability of his blood to clot was severely impaired and yet there was no other manifestation of hemorrhage. Discover more about bruising and hundreds of other health issues and how to treat them at the Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide.

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Cataracts Due to Nutrient Deficiencies in Celiac Disease

cataract1[Editor’s Note: The post below is a response to a young woman with cataracts and celiac disease. Cataracts are directly related to nutrient deficiencies of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, protein, vitamin C and possibly vitamin B2 in celiac disease. -Updated 6/13/2016 from Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide: Cataracts]

Hello,

I am 20 years old, have celiac disease and cataracts. The optometrist told me it is because I have fair skin and light eyes and have had too much sun exposure. I grew up in Mobile, AL and spent everyday I could at the beach so this could be true. It is very interesting that you brought up this topic though. It never crossed my mind that these two could have anything to do with each other.

-L

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Hi L,

Many eye problems are found in celiac disease. Cataracts are directly related to nutrient deficiencies. “Cataract formation, a feature of vitamin A deficiency and long standing hypocalcemia, is characterized by clouding of the lens of the eye. In celiac disease, it results from malabsorption of vitamin A and calcium. Vitamin B2 may be involved. GFD (gluten-free diet) is preventive and limits further changes.” (Recognizing Celiac Disease, p. 213) That said, we know that malnutrition can persist on a GFD due to unintentional gluten ingestion, poor diet, etc. Ask your physician to take levels of vitamin A, B2 and calcium to make sure you are absorbing adequate amounts.

-John

Learn more about cataracts in celiac disease and how to prevent them and limit further damage in the Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide: Cataracts.

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Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com.
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.

Gluten Free Works Treatment Guide.
John can be reached by e-mail here.

Health in Depth: Muscle Weakness in Celiac Disease

Muscle weakness is the lack of muscle strength to perform physical work that we should be able to do, such as lifting objects, climbing steps or simply walking or getting up from a chair. Muscle weakness is different from muscle fatigue, which is the lack of energy to continue physical work once begun. Muscle weakness is also different from lassitude, or chronic fatigue, which is the feeling of tiredness or exhaustion but without loss of muscle strength.

Muscle weakness is common in celiac disease. It may stem from one or more nutrient deficiencies, associated disorders or complications. This article addresses only nutritional causes of muscle weakness resulting from malabsorption and/or loss of minerals from diarrhea or vomiting. Read More »