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    Jefferson Adams

    These Seven Common Skin Conditions Are Associated With Celiac Disease

      Celiac disease is associated with at least seven skin conditions.

    Caption: Image: CC--Karolina Mis

    Celiac.com 03/26/2019 - People with gluten intolerance often have non-gastrointestinal symptoms, including several common skin conditions. If you have celiac disease or other sensitivity to gluten, a gluten-free diet may help to improve symptoms of these associated skin conditions. 

    These Seven Common Skin Conditions are Associated with Celiac Disease

    Acne
    Links between celiac and malabsorption, as well as hormonal upset can contribute to a greater production of acne.  Many birth control pills boast promises of clearer skin, their method is through hormone manipulation.  Because many who suffer from gluten intolerance also experience a disruption of normal hormone function, this disharmony can lead to problems with acne. There are some anecdotal reports that acne can improve on a gluten-free diet.

    Canker Sores (Aphthous Stomatitis)
    Technically, the mouth is not part of the skin, but we include canker sores, since they are one of the most common non-gastrointestinal celiac symptoms, and easily visible in the mirror. Nearly 20% of people with symptomatic celiac disease had canker sores as one of their symptoms. In many cases, these canker sores are recurrent, and can be one of the few or only signs of celiac disease.

    Dermatitis Herpetiformis
    This painful, blistery condition can be very stressful, especially when misdiagnosed.  An inflamed, itchy rash, dermatitis herpetiformis begins as tiny white filled blisters or red spots around hair follicles.  Trying to hide or disguise DH, as well as trying to treat it when misdiagnosed can be incredibly stressful for a person. Read more on celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis at Celiac.com.

    Dry Skin
    Also correlated to malabsorption, dry skin is a very common complaint amongst those with celiac.  But this condition is one that many people see even after the prescribed treatment of a gluten free diet.  Why?  Vitamin E rich grains are vital to maintaining skin harmony, but since many who are gluten intolerant begin avoiding grains completely—even those grains that are gluten-free, getting that important Vitamin E in their diets can become a challenge.

    Eczema
    Eating a gluten-free diet is becoming an increasingly popular mode of treatment for eczema.  Those who are gluten intolerant also tend to have more advanced psoriasis.Psoriasis—Like eczema, psoriasis has in many cases shown improvement when the person is put on a gluten free diet.  In Scott Adams’ 2004 article, he also mentioned that psoriasis in those with celiac tends to be more severe.

    Psoriasis
    Psoriasis is a common, chronic, genetic, systemic inflammatory disease that usually manifests as itchy plaques of raised red skin covered with thick silvery scales. Psoriasis is usually found on the elbows, knees, and scalp but can often affect the legs, trunk, and nails. There’s been very little research done on the association between celiac disease and psoriasis. That means there’s just not much good information. Some people with psoriasis claim to see benefits on a gluten-free diet, but that is purely anecdotal.

    One interesting finding recently was that psoriasis patients who do not have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity commonly show high levels of antigliadin IgA antibody, and would likely benefit from a gluten-free diet.

    Some earlier studies have shown that celiac disease antibodies correlate with psoriasis activity, though little follow-up has been done, so there’s still a lot of confusion about any connection to celiac disease?

    Read more on celiac disease and psoriasis at Celiac.com.

    Rosacea
    Rosacea is a common inflammatory skin condition that shares the same genetic risk location as autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and celiac disease. Some studies have shown high rates of immune conditions in rosacea patients, while others have shown a connection between rosacea, celiac and other diseases. Still, more research is needed to nail down the connection. The most recent study showed that rosacea is associated with T1DM, celiac disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis in women, whereas the association in men was statistically significant only for rheumatoid arthritis.

    Again, for people with celiac disease, or a sensitivity to gluten, symptoms of these skin conditions may improve or disappear on a gluten-free diet.
     

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    Mr. Adams Thanks this is important information to let people know. I have always had gi issues growing up in addition to that I have many memories of hives, eczema, and canker sores. While these issues then morphed into shingles, Puppp, and DH as I entered my 3rd and 4th decade. 

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    Excellent article on skin conditions! Decades ago, I self-diagnosed due to my doctor's apparent lack of knowledge on gluten intolerance. He recommended an over the counter gas relief product, which contained gluten.

    I have had all of the skin conditions in your article except psoriasis.

    The first indicator/s of a gluten attack for me (very few since the beginning), are ulcers, stomach cramps, followed by really horrible diarrhea. The most impressive part of my recovery was the eventual total absence of headaches. Since recovery, I have never had another headache. It's been several decades for me.

    I used to take part in the celiac.com forum back when.

    Pat Bridges, now 77

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    I was diagnosed with celiac 6 years ago. If I have been inadvertently “glutened”, dry scaly patches appear above my eyebrows! Anyone else?

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    3 hours ago, Guest Sheri said:

    I was diagnosed with celiac 6 years ago. If I have been inadvertently “glutened”, dry scaly patches appear above my eyebrows! Anyone else?

    So - not the eyebrows, but my son gets red patches and dry flaky skin around his hairline. He has psoriasis in his scalp which was really quite bad before his diagnosis. Small doses of gluten (like from contaminated pans) cause skin problems and lethargy before they make him sick.

     

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    I had severe psoriasis for a number of years. Then I was diagnosed with celiac disease. After being gluten free for 2 years, it dawned on me that my psoriasis was gone! No one would believe me that it was connected. But there was no other explanation. 

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

  • Related Articles

    Dr. Rodney Ford M.D.
    Celiac.com 10/22/2008 - This article appeared in the Autumn 2007 edition of Celiac.com's Scott-Free Newsletter.
    The Gluten Syndrome refers to the cluster ofsymptoms that you experience if you react to gluten.  Gluten can affectyour gut, your skin, and your brain.  It applies to any reaction thatis caused by gluten.  It includes celiac disease, along with the myriadsymptoms that can be experienced throughout your gastro-intestinaltract in response to gluten.  It also includes many other symptoms thatdo not stem from your gut.  These include brain and behavior disorders,irritability and tiredness, skin problems, muscular aches and pains andjoint problems.
    The effects of gluten are wide ranging and arenow brought together under the term Gluten Syndrome.  In mostinstances, a simple blood test (the IgG-gliadin antibody test) canidentify those people who are affected.  
    10% Affected by Gluten
    TheGluten Syndrome affects about one in ten people.  However, most peoplewho are affected are unaware that their life is being hindered bygluten.  The gluten symptoms are most likely to be caused by damage tothe nerves and brain.  The earlier the problem is identified, thebetter the response to a gluten-free diet will be.
    Tummy Pains and not Growing
    Jontiis 3 years old.  His gluten story is typical.  His mother brought himto see me because she was concerned about his poor growth, and hisdistressing abdominal pains.  His blood tests showed a high gluten test(His IgG gliadin was 94 units.  This test result is usually less than15 at this age).  Other tests, including the gene test for celiacs,showed that he did not have celiac disease.
    I suggested that hego on a gluten-free diet.  Within days he began to eat better, and histummy pains went.  He is now growing again on a gluten-free diet.  Hismum wrote:
    “I really haven’t found the gluten-free diet thatdifficult.  I found people to be incredibly helpful actually, both inthe supermarket and in restaurants.  In the supermarket there is a lotof normal type food that is gluten-free and it is all clearly labeledthat it is gluten-free.  Even if you go to the delicatessen departmentthey will tell you which luncheon sausage is gluten-free.  There aregluten-free sausages all labeled and it’s normal food that tastes great.
    Forthe baking mixes and bread mixes, you don’t even have to go to thespecialist health food shops.  I go to no other shops other than thesupermarket to get food for him and I haven’t really found it thatdifficult.”
    Amazed how Jonti has Adapted
    Ihave been amazed, actually, by how easily Jonti has adapted to thegluten-free diet.  I tell him it is special food for him and that itwon’t hurt his tummy.  We have got nice biscuits from a bakery and heis allowed to choose which one he wants for morning tea.  He still hasnormal foods like chips and sweets.  He is not missing out and theother biscuits he hasn’t even really asked for.  The only thing is thebread!  I have yet to perfect the making of the bread.  Toast is aboutthe only thing he asked for.  You can get specialist cornflakes andcereals, porridge he loves, again, at the supermarket.  It has beensurprisingly easy actually
    I’m so pleased that he is now well again.  Gluten-free has made such a huge difference.”
    The Main Points:

    The Gluten Syndrome refers to the cluster of symptoms that youexperience if you react to gluten.  It can affect your gut, skin andnerves. Medical practitioners accept that gluten causes celiac disease(gut damage) but often resist the notion that gluten can cause a widerspectrum of illness. Celiac disease, gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity are all part of The Gluten Syndrome. Rapidly accumulating medical evidence shows that gluten is nowcreating a massive health problem throughout the Western world. However, woefully few people are aware of the catalogue of harm thatgluten is causing.  About one in ten people—that is millions ofpeople—are affected by The Gluten Syndrome. Gluten could be responsible for one-third of all cases of chronicillness and fatigue.  People suffering from these conditions arecurrently just tolerating their symptoms, unaware that gluten is theculprit.  This is because the link to gluten is not yet recognized bythe medical community. Gluten-containing products are being added to our food chain inincreasing amounts.  Our wheat is being engineered to have even highergluten content.  This gluten overload is occurring without ourcommunities being unaware of the harm that this is causing. Gluten can cause malfunctions of the brain and neural networks ofsusceptible people.  The incidence of mental, neurological and braindisorders is on the rise.  However, the diagnosis of gluten-sensitivityis seldom made. The community is already embracing the notion ofgluten-sensitivity.  More and more people are opting for a gluten-freelifestyle.  These people are looking for a term to identify theirillness.  Their search is over.  They have been affected by The GlutenSyndrome. A strong gluten-free movement is developing globally in responseto the knowledge that going gluten-free can be so beneficial to so manypeople.  What has been missing up until now is a name that captures thegluten problem.  The missing name is The Gluten Syndrome.

    Get Your Blood TestsThe Gluten Tests
    Glutenis a protein that is found in wheat grains.  This protein has a numberof components, one of which is called gliadin.  People who get sickfrom gluten are usually reacting to the gliadin component.  
    You are a Long Tube
    Tounderstand what the blood tests mean, first you need to know a littlemore about your immune system.  It is the job of your immune system toprotect you from the outside world.  It protects you from the invasionof microbes (viruses and bacteria), and it also protects you from thetoxins and poisons in the food that passes through your gut.  Your gutis a long tube inside you that travels from your mouth to your anus. This is your gastrointestinal tract, also called your bowel.  Eventhough it is inside your body, the contents of this tube are still onthe ‘outside’ from your body’s point of view.  Lots of your immunecells coat the skin (called the mucosa) of this tube and work hard toprotect you from anything that might prove to be harmful.
    Gluten (Gliadin) can be Toxic
    Gliadin,the toxic component of the gluten protein, is one such harmfulsubstance.  Your immune system defends your body strongly againstgliadin using weapons called antibodies and the gliadin is repelled. The outcome of your immune system’s fight against gliadin is theproduction of antibodies that are specifically targeted towardsgliadin: these are called anti-gliadin antibodies.
    Gliadin Antibodies
    Anti-gliadinAntibodies (commonly called the IgG-gliadin antibody) are weapons thathave been made specifically to fight against gluten in the diet. Remember, gliadin is a component of the gluten protein.  This antibodyis very sensitive.  It is made very specifically by your immune systemto fight against gliadin.  However, a high level of this antibody doesnot necessarily mean that you have any gut damage, so it is not veryaccurate in assisting the identification of patients with celiac gutdamage.  On the other hand, tests for this antibody are nearly alwaysstrongly positive in people with celiac disease who are not on agluten-free diet.  Once people are placed on a strict diet, theseantibodies will fall to normal levels within a period ranging from fewmonths to a year or two.
    Gluten Tests Not Getting Done
    Thereis a problem.  Unfortunately, this gluten blood test (the IgG-gliadinantibody test) is no longer available from most communitylaboratories.  This year many laboratories have decided to discontinuethis test.  Their opinion is that it is worthless (for detecting celiacdisease).
    I disagree with their decision.  My latest data shows thathuge numbers of people remain undiagnosed with serious symptoms becauseof the misinterpretation of this gluten test result.  At the moment itis difficult to get the medical labs to do your gluten test.  They areunwilling to consider that gluten causes a wide spectrum of illnessthat has been written up in the international medical literature.  Theyhave turned a blind eye to the problem.  If you can’t test for glutenreactions, then you will not be able to make the diagnosis!
    A Diagnosis at Last!
    Mandywrote this letter to me: “Hi Dr Rodney Ford, for many, many, years Ihave been to doctors complaining of a bloated tummy, extreme crampingpains, and diarrhea (to the point I had no time to get to the toilet). I have recently had some blood test for celiacs done by my GP.  Myresults showed: the tTG was negative; and the IgG-Gliadin resultstrongly positive.  He could not explain it to me, but he said that Idid not have celiac disease.”
    “I have no idea what these testsmean.  Although I got no answers, I had to try something.  I was at theend of my nerves!  My bad health has always been upsetting my socialand working life.  I often have to rush home to the toilet.”
    Amazing on a Gluten-free Diet
    “SoI decided to try a gluten-free diet!  I have now been gluten-free for amonth.  It is amazing! Already I feel like a different person!  No morebloating, just the odd stomach cramp.  Also, all my headaches havegone.  But I still feel really tired and not sure how to overcomethis.  Can you help me please by explaining my blood test results—andshould I have anymore tests?  What else I can do to help myself?   Ihope you can help me Dr Ford.  Gluten, up to now, seems to have made mylife a misery.  Even though I feel so much better already, I want toget even better.  Kind regards, Mandy.”
    The Gluten Syndrome
    Ireplied: “Thanks.  I am glad that you are feeling a lot better offgluten.  From your story and your blood test results, you havegluten-sensitivity.  You do not have celiac disease (your low tTG levelshows that you do not have any gut damage from gluten).  But you arestill getting sick from gluten (your high IgG-gliadin level shows thatyour body reacts to gluten).  The good news is that it takes manymonths to get the full benefits of a gluten-free diet.  I expect thatyou will continue to feel better over the next few months.  You shouldbe taking some additional iron and a multivitamin supplements becauseyou will be relatively iron deficient—that will be making you tired.”
    The Time has Come
    Thehistory of science and medicine is littered with vehement argumentsagainst any new idea that runs contrary to traditional beliefs. Ironically however, it takes new ideas to make progress.  It was GeorgeBernard Shaw who said that “The reasonable man adapts himself to theworld: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world tohimself.  Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
    Thousands Convinced
    Manypeople are joining the ranks of the gluten-free.  There are thousandsof people like you who have read this information and who are concernedabout how gluten might be affecting them; there a millions of peoplewho are sick and tired of being ignored and who are looking for moreenergy and vitality; there are the practitioners in the field ofcomplementary medicine who are aware of the concept ofgluten-sensitivity; there are the laboratories who have developed thegliadin antibody test and know that their tests are specific for glutenreactions; there are the gluten-free food manufacturers who haverecognised that there is an ever-increasing demand for gluten-freeproducts; there are the networks of people in the health food industrywho appreciate the value of high-quality food and a gluten-free diet;and there are the supermarkets and grocery stores that are sensitive tothe demands of their customers.
    Who Might Oppose this Trend?
    Aspreviously discussed, medical practitioners are wary of overturningtradition.  They do not want to be seen as alternative and want toavoid acting outside of the recommended clinical guidelines.  Inaddition, there are the grain-growers and the bread-makers who maketheir living from gluten, and the pharmaceutical companies who maketheir living from the sick and unwell.  
    Bad Behavior on Gluten
    Kimberleyis 12 years old.  She has The Gluten Syndrome and her behavior getsdisturbed with gluten.  She does not have celiac disease but she doeshave a high gluten test.  (Her IgG-gliadin level was 55 units—It shouldbe less than 20.)
    Her mum said: “It is interesting about howbehavior troubles are linked to gluten!  Our youngest, Kimberley, isnow 12 years old.  She had her IgG-gliadin measured and it was high. She was clearly a lot better when she was off gluten.  However then shedecided to ‘try’ gluten again.  Rodney suggested a small amount but shewent for it—big time!”
    By the end of a week, two other parentshad asked what was wrong with her.  Another parent asked “what onearth’s the matter with her” she seemed so different and stroppy.  Sheadmitted she felt “absolutely awful” but really didn’t want to admit itas she knew it meant she’d have to completely give up gluten.”
    Anyway,after a lot of talking, she agreed it wasn’t in her best interests toeat gluten.  From that day she has been gluten-free ever since, withthe odd very long envious glance at French bread!  With our supportshe’s very compliant with being gluten-free now, which I think is remarkable forher age.  Clearly she now understands and gets the benefits of gluten-free.  ButI was really shocked at how affected her behavior was after areintroduction of gluten.”
    Could You Have The Gluten Syndrome?
    Onein every ten people is affected by gluten.  If you have chronic symptom(feeling sick, tired and grumpy) then you should get checked for TheGluten Syndrome. 


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/15/2011 - Doctors have successfully treated patients with both gastrointestinal and skin disorders by testing for food sensitivities and avoiding foods that provoke those sensitivities. This, according to a team from the University Teaching Hospital in Pavia, Italy, which reported their results at the annual meeting of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, in Istanbul, Turkey.
    More and more, researchers, clinicians and other health care providers see food sensitivity testing and dietary modification is as a viable treatment method for a number of chronic health problems.
    To measure food and chemical sensitivity, the research team used the ALCAT Test, which is included in the hospital’s official registry of services.
    A number of chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions improve when certain food sensitivities or intolerances are identified, and those offending foods are avoided.
    Conditions that respond favorably include skin problems like eczema and psoriasis, IBS, Crohn’s, celiac disease, and a number of auto-immune diseases.
    Two such studies conducted at the University of Pavia teaching hospital showed positive results using the ALCAT Test. 
    For the first study on 35 patients, M. De Amici, L. Berardi, et al, showed that an elimination diet based on ALCAT Test results improved symptoms in 97% of patients, with  66% of those experiencing important improvements. 
    For the second study on 48 patients, the researchers found that 98% of patients improved on an elimination diet based on ALCAT results.  In particular, patients with higher symptom scores prior to treatment showed the greatest improvement.
    These results echo findings by Dr. Alessio  Fasano that recently provided the first scientific evidence that gluten sensitivity differs from celiac disease at both a molecular level and in the response it triggers in the immune system.
    Continuing research from Dr. Fasano and the team of the Center for Celiac Research identify three factors underlying auto-immune diseases: A hyper-permeable, or, “leaky” gut; genetic pre-disposition; sensitivity to a food, which triggers an adverse reaction.
    The ALCAT test identifies these foods and other factors that act as triggers. The University of Pavia studies reinforce the need for accurate food sensitivity testing in general medicine.
    Source: Cell Science Systems, Corp.
    Note: Cell Science Systems, Corp. (CSS), located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, is a life sciences company and the worldwide market leader in food sensitivity testing as the manufacturer of the ALCAT Test. CSS operates a State of Florida and US government (CLIA) licensed laboratory; as well as an FDA registered, ISO certified, cGMP, medical device manufacturing facility. It is the sole owner of ALCAT Europe, GmbH, near Berlin, Germany, a European Union supported clinical and research facility of ALCAT testing services in the European Community. The ALCAT test identifies cellular reactions to over 350 foods, chemicals and herbs. These inflammatory reactions are linked to chronic health problems like obesity and diabetes, as well as skin, heart, joint, and digestive disorders.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/29/2011 - About one in 100 people in America has celiac disease, while about one in four of those will develop dermatitis herpetiformis Duhring, which occurs when celiac disease manifests cutaneously, in the skin. Dermatitis herpetiformis Duhring is uncommon in children, with only 5% of cases appearing in children younger than 7 years. Most often, it presents in people over forty.
    Making a proper clinical diagnosis of dermatitis herpetiformis Duhring, also known as Duhring’s disease, is challenging, and often requires the help of skin biopsy and direct immunofluorescence.
    To do this, clinicians should look for antibodies against gliadin, endomysium, and transglutaminase, said Dr. Magdalene A. Dohil, of the University of California, San Diego, at a seminar sponsored by Skin Disease Education Foundation (SDEF).
    The fact that manifestations of celiac disease in the mucous and skin may point to Duhring's disease was one of the more important aspects of Dr. Dohil's discussion, for people with celiac disease, and those treating them.
    Dr. Dohil noted that, at some point during the course of their disease, more than seven in ten people (74%) with celiac disease will have some type of skin manifestation. Most often, this skin manifestation occurs in the form of xerosis, which often triggers pruritus. Mucosal manifestations occur in 27% of patients, especially in patients with longer history of celiac disease.
    Dr. Dohil pointed out numerous diseases, disorders, syndromes, and structural epithelial defects with clear connections between skin and gut. For example, 60%-82% people with asymptomatic inflammatory bowel disease present with mucocutaneous findings that include skin tags, fistulas, fissures, or abscesses in the perianal and genital areas. In 25%-30% of cases, these will precede GI complaints. Dr. Dohil said.
    Overall, 6%-20% of all patients with inflammatory bowel disease develop oral lesions, but up to 80% of pediatric cases with Crohn’s disease and 41% with ulcerative colitis develop such lesions.
    Source:

    http://www.skinandallergynews.com/news/medical-dermatology/single-article/diseases-of-the-gut-may-present-cutaneously/57197f4ef7.html

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/12/2018 - As an American, I almost never get excited about British royalty, or soon-to-be royalty. Chatter about William and Kate? Yawn. Charles and Camilla? Double yawn. Royal babies? Pshaw. I'd rather watch paint dry.
    However, one soon-to-be royal has just jumped into our gluten-free celebrity of the month pool, and so a brief story can't be helped.
    Much of the celebrity-gawking world might be unabashedly obsessed with Meghan Markle right now, and that makes her claims about ditching gluten newsworthy. In a recent interview with Delish, the 36-year-old Markel said that cutting gluten from her diet resulted in major improvements in her skin and energy levels.
    Now, there are health experts who claim that at least cutting back on gluten consumption can improve gut health, which plays a role in skin health. And there's plenty of evidence to show that, for people who are sensitive to gluten, eliminating gluten from the diet can reduce gut inflammation and improve symptoms that may affect skin and other organs.
    However, for people without celiac disease, there's no good research to support claims of any direct link between cutting gluten and improvements in gut and skin health.
    So, should you ditch gluten to get better skin? If you have genuine gluten sensitivity, then yes, by all means, ditching gluten will likely be helpful. If you don't have a gluten sensitivity, then ditching gluten is unlikely to have any major benefits, at least, that's what the science says.

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