New research on sleep disorders and celiac
Celiac.com 09/24/2010 - A team of researchers recently found that people with celiac disease, even those following a gluten-free diet, also commonly suffer from sleep disorders that are related to depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Since anxiety and depression both occur at higher rates in people with celiac disease than in the general population, the researchers were curious to see how celiac disease might affect quality of sleep.

The research team included F. Zingone, M. Siniscalchi, P. Capone, R. Tortora, P. Andreozzi, E. Capone, and C. Ciacci. They are affiliated with the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at Federico II University of Naples in Italy.

In addition to finding that sleep disorders commonly affect people with celiac disease, regardless of gluten-free status, they also found that sleep disorders are less common in celiacs who score higher on quality of life scales, while those with low quality of life scores suffer at higher rates.

For their study, the team evaluated people celiac disease at diagnosis, celiacs on a gluten-free diet at follow-up, and a group of healthy control subjects. All patients completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), SF36, Zung and Fatigue scales and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

Their results showed that people with celiac disease at diagnosis and those following a gluten-free diet showed higher PSQI scores than did healthy volunteers (P < 0.001). PSQI scores were no lower for those following a gluten-free diet than for the others with celiac disease (P = 0.245).

People with celiacs disease at diagnosis and those on a gluten-free diet scored similarly on the other tests, but differed sharply from the healthy control subjects.

Patients who had higher individual scores for overall physical and mental fitness (r = −0.327, P = 0.002, and r = −0.455, P < 0.001, respectively) had higher overall PSQI scores.

Factors influencing sleep quality were depression (r = 0.633, P < 0.001), fatigue (r = 0.377, P < 0.001), state anxiety (r = 0.484, P < 0.001) and trait anxiety (r = 0.467, P < 0.001).

So, if you or someone you love has celiac disease, be prepared to address sleep issues, and maybe consider doing everything possible to ensure a good night's rest.

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