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Celiac Disease and Paraproteinemia (Serum Monoclonal Proteins)

Celiac.com 02/28/2008 - A study published in the Leukemia Research Journal (Volume 30, issue 12, Pages 1585-1586 - December 2006) looked at samples of serum from multiple myeloma patients. In 35% of the samples the myeloma monoclonal proteins had antigliadin activity, and migrated just like celiac anti-gliadin antibodies when subjected to electrophoresis. Monoclonal gammopathy (MGUS) is a precursor stage to multiple myeloma, with the same or very similar sort of monoclonal proteins as in multiple myeloma, and converts to it at the rate of about 1.5% per year. Therefore if one lives for 20 years after diagnosis with MGUS, one has a 30% chance of ending up with deadly, so far incurable, multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of the bone marrow and blood. For those diagnosed with MGUS it seems like a time bomb ticking, and each time one goes for the monitoring blood tests, there is some degree of anxiety. It was postulated by the researchers that multiple myeloma may actually be an end result of untreated celiac disease. This is why there has been a large reaction about this on the various MGUS web forums.Thirty-five percent is very high! At least one of our ChooseHope.com MGUS forum members was recently tested and found to have Celiac Disease and there are numerous other persons on the various MGUS forums alleging that they have this combination of conditions.

In another publication from the database at PubMed.gov (Gut. 1976 Sep;17(9):735-9.), a study that showed that when a patient with MGUS and Celiac Disease was put on a gluten-free diet the monoclonal proteins entirely disappeared by the end of 3 years! Hence you can imagine what big news this is to all the MGUS patients, on the various online MGUS forums. Here is the suggestion that Celiacs might avoid becoming MGUS patients, that MGUS patients might perhaps avoid progression to multiple myeloma, and that multiple myeloma patients might have halted or slower progression of their disease, simply by being on a gluten-free diet! This is indeed big news!

The ramifications of this are that everyone with Celiac Disease really should undergo testing for MGUS/Myeloma which can be associated with various autoimmune diseases, increased rate of osteoporosis,  and neuropathy, or no symptoms at all! Likewise all MGUS patients should be tested for celiac disease, which again can be associated with various autoimmune diseases, increased rate of osteoporosis,  and neuropathy, or no symptoms at all! Do you see the similarities?

I am currently working on a letter to Blue Cross Blue Shield,  informing them of the results of these studies and suggesting that their policy of reimbursing for celiac DNA testing of first degree relatives of known celiacs should be expanded to also include all persons having serum monoclonal proteins. This would include not just MGUS and multiple myeloma, but also Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia.

I would also like to call for intensified research on the link between celiac disease and paraproteinemia.

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27 Responses:

 
Tommie Thomas
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said this on
02 Mar 2008 12:22:08 PM PST
Found this interesting as an iridiology picture indicates that I am not digesting protein and that cells are surrounded by something and protein at least is not getting into cells. I also have a blob of something on one eye which seems to be causing changing readings from 20/25 - 20/60. Can this have to do with celiac disease which I have?

 
Tamara W
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said this on
03 Mar 2008 6:54:20 AM PST
Hello.
I receive the email updates. I found a lot of information in this article I did not understand, but with a bit of studying have made sense of it. Thank you for including it on your site.

 
Ellen S
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said this on
10 Mar 2008 11:03:09 AM PST
Very interesting article. My mother has MGUS and recently I have begun to suspect she (and I) have gluten sensitivity based on other symptoms. This article adds more support to my efforts to get her to stay on a gluten-free diet.

 
Beverly
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said this on
11 Mar 2008 1:54:48 AM PST
This theory definitely sounds logical to me. I am a newly diagnosed Celiac who suspects there are many more celiacs in my large family. Specifically, I have an aunt who died of Multiple Myeloma and cousins with IBS. There is so much more to be learned about Celiac and autoimmune diseases.

 
Annie Barnes
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said this on
11 Mar 2008 3:05:56 AM PST
I am a dermatitis herpetiformis and coeliac disease patient and I have had raised levels of gamma kappa paraproteins for some years now. I have a blood test about every 6 months and thankfully, nothing untoward has occurred. I have been on a strict gluten-free diet for the last 8 years but these paraproteins don't disappear. The doctors just tell me they are non-specific.

 
DrMm
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said this on
11 Mar 2008 6:10:08 AM PST
Wonderful, but scary news. It is nice to see some research going on about celiac and cancer.

 
Alicia
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said this on
11 Mar 2008 8:56:07 AM PST
Interesting enough to email to my doctor...

 
Jody S
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said this on
11 Mar 2008 3:12:13 PM PST
This is a very interesting article. I often search for genetic links, or th 'why I have celiac'. My father died of Leukemia at age 38. I was diagnosed with celiac at age 30, with osteoporosis at age 36. Now at 51 my osteoporosis is reversed, I'm healthy and enjoying life and FOOD. But I will be checked for MGUS.

 
LenaP
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said this on
05 Jun 2012 11:19:54 PM PST
How did you reverse the osteoporosis?

 
quinnafrina
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said this on
11 Mar 2008 4:30:44 PM PST
Interesting article. I was diagnosed with celiac disease about 2 1/2 years ago, and with MGUS (IgG kappa) shortly after that. At that time, my endocrinologist (I'm osteoporotic) attributed the MGUS to the celiac. As to the disappearance of the paraprotein, my paraprotein levels have remained stable over the 2 1/2 years.

 
Darlene K
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said this on
12 Mar 2008 2:45:04 AM PST
Very interesting. My father was diagnosed with MGUS approx 10 years ago and I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease 6/07 after having symptoms since childhood. Ironically, both of my parents were tested for celiac after my confirmed diagnosis and both their tissue antibodies came back negative. Definitely warrants some investigation.

 
Donna Stewart
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said this on
12 Mar 2008 5:02:06 AM PST
I am a 55 year old woman who was diagnosed with MGUS by Dr. Durie at Cedar's Sinai Medical Center in 1995. My IGg numbers have been pretty constant since. When I went for my first colonoscopy screening last month I happened to mention to the doctor that I occasionally had bouts of IBS. He tested me for celiac disease but the results were neg. He did mention that because my IGa was low it might cause a false reading. Since I did not want to have any invasive procedures done I decided to try a gluten free diet. There has been a noticeable absence of intestinal pain. I was already anticipating my upcoming MGUS lab work in May, thinking there may be some correlation when I read this article. I would like to get in touch with the author of this article to update you further and compare notes. Thank you so much for validating my suspicions.

 
Sherri
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said this on
12 Mar 2008 11:01:24 AM PST
The info is interesting. However, I would temper the advice that every celiac get the MGUS testing. If there is nothing that medicine knows to do, why get the testing? It will only provide another medical record and 'diagnosis' used against the person when he or she seeks health insurance. Stay on a gluten-free diet and undertake other health-oriented nutritional therapy. I frankly don't believe that the diagnostic system used in conventional medicine is helpful in our quest to understand whole body dynamics.

 
Hallie
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said this on
12 Mar 2008 11:05:07 AM PST
I want to let all of you MGUS (and other) patients know not to quit your celiac testing prematurely. My celiac specialist, who is probably the nation's, if not the world's foremost celiac researcher, told me that even if the blood antigliadin IgG and IgA, EMA, and TTG tests are all negative or equivocal, one should proceed to have the celiac DNA tests. And he further stated that even if those are negative, they only usually test for DQ8 and DQ2, so if these are negative, one can STILL have celiac. He says they are finding out that many genes are involved, not just those two. So then if celiac is still suspected, one should proceed to having intestinal biopsies done.

As a case in point, one of our ChooseHope.com MGUS patients found in the past that all of her blood tests for celiac were negative. However recently she resumed testing with Enterlab, and they found that both her fecal antigliadin test, and her DNA test were positive!

 
Hallie
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said this on
12 Mar 2008 11:47:17 AM PST
Sheri,
While it is true there is no known cure so far for multiple myeloma, there ARE various treatments that can give significant remissions, prolong life, and help retain quality of life longer. By testing celiac patients for MGUS and multiple myeloma those who turn out to have MGUS can be monitored and receive prompt treatment if their condition converts to multiple myeloma. Those who have multiple myeloma can be entered into treatment if their stage warrants it. There are many clinical trials currently in progress on multiple myeloma, and one of these just may turn out to be the actual cure we are looking for! It's just too early to know yet for many of these trials. And even remission is welcome to those who have it. As they say, 'Where there is life, there is hope!' So much research is ongoing that we have minor breakthroughs about this cancer all the time, and a major breakthrough is surely not far away. I have a relative with multiple myeloma who has lived about 13 years with various treatments. Without treatment he would have been dead long ago. Instead, however, he comes every year to our family reunions!

There is another paraproteinemia called POEMS syndrome. It has been found that high dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant, has been followed by extremely long remissions, perhaps some cures. Only a few persons have relapsed. This may turn out to have been a cure for many of these patients. It is just too early to know yet!

I hope I have illustrated that it does not pay to take a fatalistic approach to the possibility of MGUS/multiple myeloma and other paraproteinemias.

 
joe Pagliarini
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said this on
17 Mar 2008 7:50:10 PM PST
This article sounds like that last 4 years of my life. My mom is celiac and although none of the tests showed celiac my wife insisted I follow this diet since after therapy for my bone marrow para proteins I could not get control of my digestive system. I have never gone of the diet and recently after 3 years on the diet religiously my proteins have disappeared entirely.

Wow I can not wait to share with my oncologist and primary care physician.

 
William West jr.
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said this on
24 Jul 2009 9:36:18 PM PST
I have had cd+dh for 53 years, and it has turned my is sides into a mass of hurt.

 
Kat
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said this on
02 Sep 2010 4:17:09 AM PST
This was very interesting and informative.....I'm staying Gluten free for life! I have MGUS and want to keep it in check.

 
Lois Wannamaker
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said this on
16 Jun 2011 12:40:16 PM PST
I am really glad I found this article. Recently I went to have regular check for my MGUS and they told me I need to be more vigilant with my gluten free diet, I've been gluten intolerant since 1980. Also they found the MGUS is causing neuropathy and that is why my carpal tunnel surgery was not successful and came back - bad proteins stick to nerve endings. Now it is in my legs and feet and have to use a cane. I had never been very careful with my gluten free diet but now I will be more vigilant.

 
Paula W
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said this on
18 Jun 2011 8:25:44 PM PST
This IS interesting, I have had a VERY bloated stomach for several years and I am a baker, eats HEAPS of wheat.
Was diagnosed for MGUS, 1 year ago now am having monthly tests as my M is 29.1.
About to order curcumin once I figure out best quality and price.

 
ree
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said this on
14 Jan 2012 9:30:28 AM PST
I am relieved to see these remarks and the article. I have MGUS, but the doctors I had here on Long Island don't seem to have the first clue! I put myself on the diet to reverse the MGUS in July 2010, after researching and finding a commonality the excess M protein in the red blood cell that the oncologist explained to me was MGUS and in celiac, and also discovered that other conditions I have had for over 30 years also started to subside (nerve damage, osteoporosis, skin sensitivities, arthritis, and extensive digestive problems) within 2 weeks of starting the GF diet. My PCP said I should stick with it in view of those improvements. I did agree to an endoscopic procedure a month later, which was negative, but caused an injury to the site where the biopsy was taken in my upper GI region. He also neglected to tell me about a hiatal hernia he supposedly detected in 2008 when treating me for ischemic cholitis, but never told me I had it, or to treat for it. My MGUS numbers were in Normal range after 10 months on the GF diet. I plan to continue, but because I don't have a specific positive diagnosis for celiac, I do for MGUS, the GI who performed the test later in the year told me to see a shrink when I was hospitalized late 2010 and then again in March 2011, for an intestinal blockage, resulting in surgery to remove a 9 inch adhesion in the appendix region. If the doctors aren't aware or willing to learn I will treat myself. I don't trust the doctors in my region. Thank you for this information.

 
Ramona
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said this on
14 May 2012 3:32:36 PM PST
I was diagnosed with MGUS last year. I went gluten-free and the MGUS disappeared. I no longer need blood test monitoring.

 
Laurie
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said this on
21 Jun 2013 5:14:17 PM PST
I am gluten intolerant, have celiac disease which developed in multiple myeloma. I went into immediate remission after about 5 months of Velcade. I feel great! I also followed Dr. Huldah's protocol, with respect to the de-malonating diet, and the addition of specific amino acids. That along with the green hull of Black Walnut Hull drops and cloves to kill all parasites. I saw improvement in my counts around the second month of chemo. I continued with Alkalife, to keep my system alkaline, and added fresh papaya with the black seeds included, and aloe directly from the gel in the leaf to my daily diet. These have properties that kill the multiple myeloma cells. I was told to go gluten free, but didn't adhere strictly. Even when the m count was undetectable, sometimes after eating a gluten product, I'd continue to have a burning back paint. At the same time as the MM diagnosis, I was diagnosed with acid reflux disease, and have been on protonics for 9 months, since this first occurred. As I a m in complete remission, I am certain that by continuing to be strictly gluten free, and adhering to the above protocol that the mm will not return to take my life prematurely. I'm 59 and I believe that I can live another 20 years cancer free. The only other things that I used were Uma da Gato, which I boiled from the bark and took a small swig of daily. The morning power drink I make is with organic arugulla, spinach, flax seeds, shitake mushrooms, turmeric, green onion, almonds, aloe vera, and garbanzos. I also do everything that my oncologist tells me to do.

 
danielle
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said this on
21 Sep 2013 11:10:01 AM PST
Hi, my father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last year and since than I have researched about this disease. I found it interesting that there might be a connection between it and celiac. I have gerd and gastritis a lot though no obvious risk factors for this. I took huge amounts of stomach medications for it the past three years and nothing was working really well. Then I remembered that my sister was sensitive to wheat, and that the stomach problems ran on my fathers side of the family. I decided to go gluten free, even though I was tested for celiac in an endoscopy 2 years earlier and it came back negative. After being one week gluten free I was able to quit my stomach med (Nexium). After one month being off of Nexium and gluten I had a blood work done and my hypothyroidism was gone and also my platelet count that used to be low for the last 2 years was normal. ( I haven't been diagnosed with any condition about this though, was always unspecified thrombocythopenia of unknown cause) . A week later I reintroduced wheat/gluten in the form of two slices of white bread. I literally was sick half an hour later with diarrhea and horrible bloating, and had to get back on my Nexium the following day with severe gastritis! Kind of clear, huh? I immediately quit the gluten again and was able to quit the Nexium 2 weeks later. Since then I'm gluten free and feeling wonderful. I wonder if my dad is gluten intolerant and doesn't even know....

 
cristiana
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said this on
17 Feb 2014 2:45:17 AM PST
My doctor thought at first I might have MM, as I had raised immunoglobulins (41, I gather the normal reading is meant to be under 35, or perhaps some labs say 38). When it was sent to electrophoresis though the readings were diffuse, indicating inflammation. When my celiac disease was diagnosed a few months later it was discovered that my readings of this protein was down to normal levels - 31.

 
cristiana
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said this on
18 Feb 2014 10:09:58 AM PST
Sorry - I should add that it had returned to these normal levels having adopted a gluten free diet.

 
Rosemary

said this on
09 Aug 2015 6:52:42 AM PST
Hi, I have had dermatitis herpetiformis since 2002 treated with dapsone and a gluten free diet. Earlier this year I have been diagnosed with MM and amyloidosis (kidneys) and had 6 cycles of chemo and am now in remission feeling well but tired.




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