Am J Gastroenterol 2000;95:1742-1748.
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.