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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Adolescent Celiacs Have Elevated Levels of Anti-Thyroid and Anti-Pancreatic Autoantibodies

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Am J Gastroenterol 2000;95:1742-1748.


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    Celiac.com 09/20/2000 - A new study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology by Dr. Vincenzo Toscano and colleagues at the Universita La Sapienza in Rome indicates that adolescent patients with celiac disease have elevated levels of anti-thyroid and anti-pancreatic autoantibodies. The results indicate that gluten plays a key role in the observed autoimmunity, and may in some cases result in organ dysfunction.

    Previous studies have shown that antibodies directed against endocrine glands develop in a high proportion of patients who have celiac disease. In many cases a gluten-free diet is abandoned by many patients in adolescence, and the researchers studied such a group to determine whether anti-endocrine antibodies and endocrine function were affected by the presence or absence of gluten. Their study indicates that 9 of 44 celiac disease patients tested positive for at least one anti-thyroid autoantibody. The same numbers of patients tested positive for anti-pancreatic autoantibodies. Additionally, one patient was diabetic, two others exhibited preclinical hypothyroidism, and one had clinical hypothyroidism.

    Further, 10 of 19 patients on a diet containing gluten were positive for at least one antibody, in comparison with five of 25 patients on the gluten-free diet, and the distribution of autoantibodies was significantly different between the two groups. Dr. Toscanos team concludes that gluten consumption is associated with a high prevalence of anti-endocrine autoantibodies.


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    I am desperate for an answer to my question. I have celiac, but am on a liquid diet of yogurt and carnation breakfast with protein power, from gastroparesis. I don't know if they have things in it I can't have on the celiac diet, but I do not digest solid food.

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    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease  in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

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