Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Can Eating Gluten Cause Damage?
0

9 posts in this topic

Hello

Forgive my lack of understanding. I don't have coeliac disease myself but my baby going on toddler does. She's been living with it very well for the past year and we have never had an episode at home with any reactions.

Unfortunately she's had 3 reactions at daycare despite them knowing about her condition. She will vomit continuously each time she eats gluten, the final time is just some saliva and perhaps a tiny bit of food, we know it's over and she's happy and wanting to eat more food and running around.

My concern is, does eating gluten cause her any damage to lead to other medical complications or increase risks.

i'm going to stick my neck out here and say i've been worried it could increase the risk of bowel problems, maybe even increase risk of bowel cancer, stomach cancer, diabetes etc. This perhaps shows my complete lack of understanding but i would like to find out at least.

Thanks!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

I don't have celiac, but am gluten sensitive. I din't find this out until my mid thirties. The way I found out was due to developing epilepsy and following a suggestion to check into gluten sensitivity. So I guess that answer from me is, yes. I believe that gluten can cause damage. To what extent to the individual, I am not sure. I nor anyone in my family had any thought that I may have this sensitivty to gluten and I had a "normal" life until the epilepsy started. From what I found out about my condition (which is called hippocampal sclerosis)is that the processing or lack of (I don't know how to describe it) of gluten affects a calcification at the occipital lobe of the brain, which then causes a deteriorization of the hippocampus (right side in my case) that progresses over time, usually the early to mid thirties. I don't think that this particular thing would happen to people that are already diagnosed with celiac though, but I'm sure some other kind of damage can be caused over time if things are not carefully whatched over.

Good luck to you,

Ray

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am quite sure that eating gluten does increase her risk of developing cancers and other celiac-related conditions if she has celiac disease. I imagine it is very hard to keep her from eating gluten in daycare since she isn't old enough to know what she can and can't have, but I would keep working toward a solution to keep her completely gluten free.

Good luck!

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many individuals with Celiac and Migraine experience that their migraines are minimized or cured by a gluten free diet. Studies show that migraines are linked to lesions on the brain, significantly raising risk of developing Alzheimer or experiencing stroke.

Eating gluten will likely (though it seams not always) cause damage to the villi in her small intestines, preventing her growing body from taking in the all nutrients she needs. Without a gluten-free diet, she may get sick often, and have stunted growth.

The more research you do, the more you find may be linked to this condition. Since she is young and growing, and is already diagnosed, it may be best to not take any chances. Give her the best chances of growing up strong and healthy and make sure her diet is gluten free now.

You may need to print out information on Celiac to give to the daycare attendants to be sure that they understand the seriousness of the situation.

On the plus side, there are lots of delicious gluten free foods and snacks, so it's not as though she has to grow up without cookies and cake :)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, sorry, just remembered.

Has she been tested for any other food allergies or sensitivities?

Many people with Celiac are also either lactose intolerant or are outright allergic to dairy. Soy is also a common offender for many people.

Neither of these will cause villi damage to the best of my knowledge, but they each come with their own bag of worms.

My husband has a severe dairy allergy. He was colicky as a baby. In his mid 20's he experienced a throat constriction due to Eosinophilic Esophagitis, which made his throat hurt and tighten so much he couldn't eat anything but liquids, until he had surgery and discovered his allergy. Now he eats faster than I do.

Soy is a very good source of nutrition for those not sensitive to it. For those of us that are, it causes symptoms from brain fog and migraine to vomiting.

Best of luck to you and your little one.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




Over time, continuously eating gluten does cause risk. In a way, your daughter is lucky that she reacts obviously enough that it cannot be missed as her body rejects it, otherwise, she could be eating gluten and nobody would know it.

For us older adults who were not reacting in the "classical" sense, and who did not get diagnosed or figure it out until after decades of damage, now that we have been off of it for a long time, we are acutely aware of our non - traditional reactions, even if the medical community over on this side of the pond (U.S.) is still fumbling around a bit.

Eating gluten, for celiacs, (or gluten intolerants) can cause an auto immune reaction in which the body slowly attacks its own tissues. This "silent" damage can be just as devastating as the obvious classic ones of vomiting, intestinal upset. It can cause heartburn. It can cause lack of balance and coordination issues. It can cause brain damage, aka "bright spots." It can cause vision problems. It can cause increased chances of having asthma or other allergic reactions. It can make one very sleepy or feel very lethargic "brain fog." It can depress thyroid function. It also seems to be linked to type 1 diabetes onset. (All of these problems will obviously affect the ability to learn and do well at school or work) In the future, it can affect how her reproductive organs function, such as decreased fertility or having cystic ovaries. It can make one's bones too thin.

We adults are always afraid of "cancer." But that is mostly an older person's disease.... But the overall crashing fatigue issues, brain fog, the thyroid issues, and lack of well being can also be a lifestyle wrecker. Especially when we are in such a competitive world, expected to be able to remember lots of information, and interact with a lot of different rules and restrictions.

Some kids like the adults, when they get older, will get really tired and irritable when they get glutened- who needs the extra hassle ? It could be worse in a school situation, where the teachers are tending to blame it on a behavioral problem.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice

Yes she has had all the tests and they found evidence of the problems in her gut effecting her development. She had 6 months of diagnosis when she was one and a half, and this delayed her development physically, slightly. She is about 1 or 2 cm's shorter than her piers and at the time had a severe lack of energy and began loosing weight.

Her belly was distended and it was putting in the bath one day that i didn't think something was right. About a month later they were still doing tests and she began vomiting back up her foods occasionally. They put it down to teething or the way her bowel was developing. Anyway, we got it sorted in the end after about 6 months.

As far as we know she is fine with all other foods, loves milk, dairy etc.

My only concern is what gluten can do to her. I know you have all said it can lead to complications, but are we talking a continuous supply of gluten that can cause cancer and lifestyle issues or are we talking even a tiny amount. It is very hard to quantify.

Cheers,

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read recently on one study that 1/100th of one peanut can be enough gluten to begin to cause damage (or about two breadcrumbs) but it is cumulative. Aside from increasing various cancer risks, gluten is definitely linked to infertility and miscarriages as well as other auto-immune diseases.

I believe it was Sylvia here who recommends "Celiac for Dummies" which I also read which can be a helpful book in understanding the extent of damage and the problems it can cause. BUT that is for those with undiagnosed celiac disease; once diagnosed apparently and strictly following the gluten-free diet most of our guts would look the same as a normal gut in approximately two to five years' time (less for children).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only concern is what gluten can do to her. I know you have all said it can lead to complications, but are we talking a continuous supply of gluten that can cause cancer and lifestyle issues or are we talking even a tiny amount. It is very hard to quantify.

If she is getting into gluten regularly enough to cause her TTG to rise or even slight villous damage, there is a danger of cancer and other autoimmune diseases. If her antibodies are at zero and her villi are healed on followup biopsy, my understanding from the scientific literature is that she doesn't have any increased risk of cancer or other celiac-related problems. (Malnutrition, developmental problems, other autoimmune diseases.)

Unfortunately, that threshold is different for every person with celiac disease. Some celiacs react to as little as 10 mg gluten/day while others can tolerate over 500 mg. It generally does take 2-3 months of daily gluten exposure to get a complete relapse so it is unlikely that her infrequent gluten exposures are doing any long-term harm. The best way to tell if her lifestyle in general is working is for her doctor to do followup antibody testing. This is pretty standard care for celiacs anyway.

I assume you have followed up with the daycare people and made sure they understand that gluten is dangerous for people with celiac disease.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,109
    • Total Posts
      919,431
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Hi Lisa, I completely understand why you didn't do a biopsy on your daughter.  I went through the appendix thing myself...not fun!  I was diagnosed with just bloodwork and no biopsy, but did have the full panel.  I would go back to your PCP and ask for a full panel to include TTG, EMA and DGP tests.  Since she was already willing to test you, I'm sure she would be willing to order these.  Good luck!
    • katesyl.........this is an older topic so the OP most likely won't answer.  I can, however, offer a piece of advice for you. Just going gluten free will probably not drive your inflammation markers down into normal.  It does depend on how high they were to begin with but with all autoimmune diseases, there will be inflammation going on forever.  Get used to wonky blood work because most of us will have that issue. I have 4 autoimmune diseases in total and, although I have driven certain inflammatory markers way down, my recent sed rate number was elevated.  The normal is supposed to be 30 and under in a woman my age but mine is 50.  With 4 AI diseases, I doubt it will ever be normal and I don't let it bother me. I am not willing to take major meds at all and use more natural anti-inflammatory supplements.  You can do whatever you feel comfortable with in regards to treatment but don't expect normal numbers with Celiac Disease. Inflammation will improve but normal?  Most people never get there completely.
    • My daughter's PCP did not go against anything, she offered to do the biopsy - I was the one opposed to it. My DD, who was 10 at the time had just spent 3 weeks in the hospital, very sick with a ruptured appendix, then had 2 surgeries a few months after. I didn't see the need to put her through anything else with her numbers so high and all the classic symptoms. Apparently, in some other countries, if your numbers are all high, they forego biopsy. Anyway, I was really asking about myself and whether I should push for add'l testing. I am still new this this and trying to get up-to-date and wasn't sure if my PCP should conduct other blood tests before I go completely gluten-free. I have been somewhat gluten-free, but not entirely. I have no problem going gluten-free, but want to make sure that I am doing it for the right reasons. I wasn't sure if the Gliadin Abs IgA was sufficient to point to Celiac and possibly doing a biopsy for me. Or if additional blood test would make more sense.   Thanks!!
    • I would like to know if you have found out the source of your inflammation yet. I'm gluten free three years but my inflammation test was high.
    • Personally, I would ask for the full Celiac panel and see what that shows.  I mean, the full Monty, not just cherry picking testing.  On the full panel, if the tTg and the EMA come back positive, that is a diagnosis without biopsy.  This is how I was diagnosed and there is absolutely no doubt I have Celiac.  I presented with classic celiac so it was a no brainer with my blood results. If you cannot stick to the diet religiously, without cheating, unless you have a biopsy picture, then I would go on to have a biopsy.  Like your daughter, I was way too sick to have one done at the time.  They would not have agreed to use sedation because I was so anemic and malnourished and that ended that!  Good luck with whatever you decide!
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,147
    • Most Online
      1,763

    Newest Member
    Otto'sMom
    Joined