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Connection Seen Between Celiac and Addison’s Disease

Celiac.com 12/14/2007 - Celiac & Addison's patients seem to be at greater risk for both diseases. People with celiac disease have a higher risk of developing Addison’s disease, and those with Addison's have a higher risk of developing celiac disease. In both cases, the numbers are far higher than for the general population at large.

Doctors are advising that people with Addison's be screened for celiac disease. However, as Addison’s is still rare overall, they are holding off recommending screening of celiac patients for Addison's. Instead, they are advocating that doctors treating celiac patients maintain a heightened awareness for signs of Addison’s, and to react accordingly.

This latest evidence is the result of a case history review of 15,000 people with celiac disease. The review was conducted by a team of doctors led by one Dr. Peter Elfstrom of Sweden‘s Orebro University Hospital.

A number of studies have shown a link between celiac disease and Addison’s disease, but little has been done to elucidate that connection. And, while this review goes farther than most, the doctors emphasize that the data is strictly preliminary, as they have looked at a relatively small number of cases and tested patients with Addison’s for celiac disease, but not vice versa.

The data show a significant connection between celiac and later development of Addison's disease, citing a hazard ratio of 11.4. The results were the same for both adults and children with celiac, and remained so even after adjustment for diabetes, and the socio-economic conditions of the patients.

Patients with existing Addison's had a significantly higher risk of celiac disease, citing a hazard ratio of 8.6.

The connection between celiac and Addison's was shown to exist both pre- and post-diagnosis for celiac disease. The researchers don’t feel that celiac causes Addison's disease or vice versa, but that they might have related or common genetic traits.

Journal of Endocrin. Metabol. 2007: 3595-3598.

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22 Responses:

 
Michelle A
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said this on
01 Jan 2008 7:15:16 AM PST
I have celiac disease and was just diagnosed with Addison's disease. They are both autoimmune and I was thinking that they might have something in common. Thanks for the article.

 
an unknown user
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said this on
02 Jan 2008 9:03:44 AM PST
OK, we get it, Addison's and celiac are linked. But what is Addison's disease? What symptoms should we be aware of?

 
Brittany
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said this on
20 Jun 2016 4:01:44 PM PST
Addison's disease is when your adrenal glands don't function. so you would need to get a type of steroid medication for that. it means that whenever your body is under stress or something like that you would need more meds. some symptoms include being lethargy and super tired and out of it. you appetite decreases (when I was diagnosed I lost 30 pounds in less then a month), you will want to sleep a lot and if you're diabetic your sugar levels will low frequently. I hope this helps.

 
Renee
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said this on
02 Jan 2008 11:01:17 PM PST
Knowing what Addison's is and how to educate ourselves would be of great help!

 
Mary
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said this on
23 Feb 2008 9:41:14 AM PST
To those who want to know what Addison's disease is - Google it

 
John
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said this on
14 Feb 2009 6:30:04 PM PST
I've had Addison's for 21 years. I recently read about the link to celiac disease and recently discovered that celiac runs in my family. I am presently awaiting test results. But I will not be surprised if further studies indicate that a lot of the primary Addison's cases currently attributed to 'autoimmune' causes turn out to be the result of some type of chronic malnutrition caused by years of undiagnosed celiac disease.

 
lea
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said this on
09 Dec 2009 10:19:17 PM PST
Excellent! Thank you so much. This is what I have thought over the last year but no doctor will listen while I waste away from no nutrition. I know I am celiac even tho test results say no and now I have no cortisol and lipase and post menopause. I don't know what to do now but thanks again for confirmation of what i been saying too!

 
tbird
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said this on
15 Dec 2010 5:04:10 PM PST
I would agree. I guessed I had celiac disease due to some symptoms. I did not test positive for the blood test, but my intestines show a different story. My parents were told I was wheat, milk and red meat sensitive when I was 14. They ignored the doctor. Now I have Addison's. I believe there is a direct connection between my "un-diagnosed" celiac disease and getting Addison's as Addison's is in 70% of the cases caused by an auto-immune disorder. Just because the blood tests are negative, it does not mean you don't have a milder form of celiac disease which will worsen over time if left untreated. They also diagnosed me as bi-polar. I am not. The mood disorder was related to the celiac disase.

 
JEn
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said this on
17 Jun 2013 8:09:08 PM PST
Before I found out I had celiac, every tooth in my mouth was loose from malabsorption and my hair was falling out like crazy. I started gluten-free and am feeling much better! I'm going to have my doctor check for Addison's also, just to rule in or rule out. I want my health back even if I am the one doing all the work to fix it.

 
sheila
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said this on
02 Feb 2010 2:00:59 AM PST
to Lea

mine happened the same way. no doctor will listen, test say no but I know i am, no cortisol(autoimmune adrenal inff,) and post meno too. NO NUTRITION THO I EAT AND EAT. and waste away everyday. i get it, they don't oh yeah no lipase either. Why?????

 
sheila
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said this on
02 Feb 2010 2:07:43 AM PST
Hi Lea

The same thing happened to me. No doctor will listen, NO Nutrition. I know I am celiac and the tests say no. No cortisol ( autoimmune adrenal insuff) No lipase, post meno too. would love to gain 30 lbs. THANK YOU

 
adrienne
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said this on
07 Oct 2011 5:00:23 PM PST
Because of gluten intolerance/celiac it can cause stress on the body= low cortisol blood serum levels. it happened to me, but i do not have Addison's, just adrenal fatigue, which is dealt with having a strict diet and sleep/ wake cycle. up at 7 walk at 9 in bed by 10. do this for 6 months and you will feel better and get your cortisol back on track. also, i'm seeing two specialists, a G.I dr and an endocrinologist dr...i have not been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, but the elimination diet says i do, i get dermatitis herpeformus. i am about to go back to the G.I dr for a checkup, he wants to see me again, I bet he will finally diagnose me. I went on a gluten free diet before the scope and biopsy, he saw a lot of scarring but tested negative for celiac, hence gluten intolerance is what I have. my mom has it too.

 
BJ
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said this on
02 Feb 2011 3:52:33 PM PST
I had to tell the doctor about celiac disease! I also have Addison's. After taking cortisone and getting moon faced and arthritis from the toxic medicine, I studied and now take only herbs and food. I am a Certified Holistic Health Counselor.

 
Lorraine
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said this on
03 May 2011 8:21:18 AM PST
I was diagnosed with a gluten problem several years ago and have always suspected Addision's. Doctors said no but I never had testing to confirm. I am soon to see an endocrynologist however my concerns are the same as yours BJ. I don't want meds with side affects. Being certified in Holistic Health what do you suggest if I test positive for Addison's?

 
G. B.
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said this on
11 Sep 2013 11:01:56 PM PST
It would help if you mentioned the kind of herbs you take. I am writing from Switzerland and therefore have to look for them locally. Thanks.

 
Jenna
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said this on
24 Apr 2011 11:57:03 AM PST
I have confirmed Addison's (dx at age 33- I'm 38 now). It took 15 years & several misdiagnoses (Fibromyalgia/Chronic fatigue (along w/chronic migraine) before I self-referred to an endocrinologist- who finally ordered the right test.

About 2 years ago, I started developing skin rashes & infections. I did my research and learned the rash may be Derm. H. resulting from gluten intolerance. I've now avoided gluten for 3 months (I had two incidents where I accidentally ingested it though).

To anyone with gluten issues (esp. if you also have Addison's), assuming you've gone gluten-free, how long did it take to feel better? Did you avoid gluten alone or gluten/dairy, etc?

Thanks!!

 
Esther
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said this on
15 Sep 2011 7:34:12 PM PST
Interesting article. I have had Addison's Disease for 11 years, and for 5 years I have had diarrhea constantly. I have been checked for celiac and I have tested negative. I am thinking maybe I should try a celiac diet.

 
Linda Orr
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said this on
21 Apr 2012 2:06:37 AM PST
I just discovered this article and I am crying with joy, it is so wonderful when you finally have great information and then you can put everything together and have the information it takes to get well and live a much better life, I was diagnosed with Addison's last Nov and thought I was dying, my Dr. suggested there might be a link to celiac so he wanted me to start going gluten free, so in my search I found this website, I thank God for this website and all the writers that contribute to it, thank you.

 
Joe
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said this on
05 May 2012 1:13:08 PM PST
I figured this out on my own too. I have self treated my adrenal insufficiency for years (daily salt plus Dr Wilson's adrenal rebuilder). Over the years I developed a mucus reaction to gluten and finally went on a gluten free diet. And something remarkable happened - my sleep dramatically improved. I think part of the benefit I have experienced is from better nutrient absorption. But also my breathing is better and that contributes to better sleep. This connection between the two disorders is important.

 
Lynn
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said this on
15 May 2012 11:20:25 PM PST
I have been having symptoms of diarrhea for years. I had no idea, until I finally went to the doctor and today I found out that I have celiac disease. My mother had Addison's disease but it was not diagnosed until she was in the late stages where she started losing the function of her organs. She ended up on Prednisone and passed away due to the complications from Addison's. All the research I have done today confirms my suspicions that these two diseases are related and that if I don't get my celiac disease under control then I could develop Addison's as well. Great article.

 
Sandy
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said this on
17 Sep 2013 6:37:44 AM PST
Thanks for all the comments from people. I was tested about 5-6 yrs ago for celiac and test was negative. I went on a gluten free diet and have lost weight, feel better and gotten rid of diahrrhea for the most part.

 
Lee
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said this on
13 Mar 2015 11:25:42 AM PST
I came here to learn more about Addison's Disease because I suffer from Lyme and noticed that most of the people who have Lyme suffer from this and celiac disease. I did not expect the two to be connected in some way. This was very interesting. I am going to share this information because many of the people in my Lyme group are still having health problems and have been tested for one but not the other if they see these have a connection it might help them find a solution to their health problems.




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