Celiac.com 03/24/2010 - Celiac disease is a permanent intolerance to gluten ingestion, which is predisposed in individuals with human leukocyte antigen  (HLA ) and DQ2 or DQ8 haplotype. Celiac is an autoimmune disease and  there has been mounting evidence indicating a substantial connection between celiac and other autoimmune disorders such as, autoimmune thyroiditis and diabetes mellitus type 1.  Additionally, recent evidence has surfaced correlating a relationship between celiac and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

An Italian study was designed to research  a gene commonly associated with celiac disease known as MYO IXB, which was recently found to be mutated in IBD patients as well. Additionally, the chromosome 4q27 region is also associated with celiac disease and other autoimmune diseases, and predisposes patients to ulcerative colitis, indicating a common genetic code for these diseases. Although, other IBD risk factors were not found to be candidate genes for celiac disease.

Italian patients with IBD were tested for celiac disease and their results were lower than expected, and  lower than compared with the general population. celiac disease was found to be more prevalent in patients with ulcerative colitis than in those with Crohn's disease. Ulcerative colitis is typically isolated to the colon and is not present in the small intestine. However, there have been reports of diffuse duodenitis in ulcerative colitis patients which is sometimes mistaken for celiac disease.  The gastroduodenal association with Crohn's disease varies from 30% to 80% of patients.

Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel are not related, they are merely two diseases that sometimes cross the same path. While the prevalence of celiac disease in Italian IBD patients was typically low indicating no close relationship between celiac disease and inflammatory bowl disease, the mutual relationship of these diseases lies in the fact that patients with both conditions frequently share a history of iron-deficient anemia.  It is thus important for patients that are unresponsive to treatments for IBD and are prone to incessant anemia, to also test for celiac disease.


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