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Celiac Disease Discovered in 12.3% of Children with Type 1 Diabetes

Celiac.com 11/07/2006 – In the first multi-country population based study of its kind, Danish researchers have found that around 1 in 8 children with Type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease, and of these the prevalence of stunted growth is abnormally high. Dr. Dorte Hansen and colleages from Odense University Hospital screened 269 children with type 1 diabetes for celiac disease using immunoglobulin A anti-endomysium antibody, anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody, and intestinal biopsy. The researchers found 33 cases of celiac disease, and in 5 of these cases the children had no symptoms of the disease whatsoever. The children with celiac disease were diagnosed with diabetes at a significantly youger age than their non-celiac counterparts and each was also significantly shorter and lighter.

The 33 celiac disease patients were put on a strict gluten-free diet for 2 years, and amond the 24 who complied with the diet all symptoms resolved. Additionally most of the children gained weight and the children who were under 14 also regained their height.

A gluten-free diet relieved symptoms of celiac disease and restored normal growth patterns to most of the children. The doctors conclude that regular screening for celiac disease should be conducted in all children with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes Care 2006;29:2452-2456.

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