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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Connection Seen Between Celiac and Addison's Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 12/14/2007 - Celiac & Addison's patients seem to be at greater risk for both diseases. People with celiac disease have a higher risk of developing Addison’s disease, and those with Addison's have a higher risk of developing celiac disease. In both cases, the numbers are far higher than for the general population at large.

    Doctors are advising that people with Addison's be screened for celiac disease. However, as Addison’s is still rare overall, they are holding off recommending screening of celiac patients for Addison's. Instead, they are advocating that doctors treating celiac patients maintain a heightened awareness for signs of Addison’s, and to react accordingly.


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    This latest evidence is the result of a case history review of 15,000 people with celiac disease. The review was conducted by a team of doctors led by one Dr. Peter Elfstrom of Sweden‘s Orebro University Hospital.

    A number of studies have shown a link between celiac disease and Addison’s disease, but little has been done to elucidate that connection. And, while this review goes farther than most, the doctors emphasize that the data is strictly preliminary, as they have looked at a relatively small number of cases and tested patients with Addison’s for celiac disease, but not vice versa.

    The data show a significant connection between celiac and later development of Addison's disease, citing a hazard ratio of 11.4. The results were the same for both adults and children with celiac, and remained so even after adjustment for diabetes, and the socio-economic conditions of the patients.

    Patients with existing Addison's had a significantly higher risk of celiac disease, citing a hazard ratio of 8.6.

    The connection between celiac and Addison's was shown to exist both pre- and post-diagnosis for celiac disease. The researchers don’t feel that celiac causes Addison's disease or vice versa, but that they might have related or common genetic traits.

    Journal of Endocrin. Metabol. 2007: 3595-3598.


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    I have celiac disease and was just diagnosed with Addison's disease. They are both autoimmune and I was thinking that they might have something in common. Thanks for the article.

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    I've had Addison's for 21 years. I recently read about the link to celiac disease and recently discovered that celiac runs in my family. I am presently awaiting test results. But I will not be surprised if further studies indicate that a lot of the primary Addison's cases currently attributed to 'autoimmune' causes turn out to be the result of some type of chronic malnutrition caused by years of undiagnosed celiac disease.

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    I've had Addison's for 21 years. I recently read about the link to celiac disease and recently discovered that celiac runs in my family. I am presently awaiting test results. But I will not be surprised if further studies indicate that a lot of the primary Addison's cases currently attributed to 'autoimmune' causes turn out to be the result of some type of chronic malnutrition caused by years of undiagnosed celiac disease.

    Excellent! Thank you so much. This is what I have thought over the last year but no doctor will listen while I waste away from no nutrition. I know I am celiac even tho test results say no and now I have no cortisol and lipase and post menopause. I don't know what to do now but thanks again for confirmation of what i been saying too!

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    to Lea

     

    mine happened the same way. no doctor will listen, test say no but I know i am, no cortisol(autoimmune adrenal inff,) and post meno too. NO NUTRITION THO I EAT AND EAT. and waste away everyday. i get it, they don't oh yeah no lipase either. Why?????

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    Hi Lea

     

    The same thing happened to me. No doctor will listen, NO Nutrition. I know I am celiac and the tests say no. No cortisol ( autoimmune adrenal insuff) No lipase, post meno too. would love to gain 30 lbs. THANK YOU

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    I've had Addison's for 21 years. I recently read about the link to celiac disease and recently discovered that celiac runs in my family. I am presently awaiting test results. But I will not be surprised if further studies indicate that a lot of the primary Addison's cases currently attributed to 'autoimmune' causes turn out to be the result of some type of chronic malnutrition caused by years of undiagnosed celiac disease.

    I would agree. I guessed I had celiac disease due to some symptoms. I did not test positive for the blood test, but my intestines show a different story. My parents were told I was wheat, milk and red meat sensitive when I was 14. They ignored the doctor. Now I have Addison's. I believe there is a direct connection between my "un-diagnosed" celiac disease and getting Addison's as Addison's is in 70% of the cases caused by an auto-immune disorder. Just because the blood tests are negative, it does not mean you don't have a milder form of celiac disease which will worsen over time if left untreated. They also diagnosed me as bi-polar. I am not. The mood disorder was related to the celiac disase.

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    I had to tell the doctor about celiac disease! I also have Addison's. After taking cortisone and getting moon faced and arthritis from the toxic medicine, I studied and now take only herbs and food. I am a Certified Holistic Health Counselor.

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    I have confirmed Addison's (dx at age 33- I'm 38 now). It took 15 years & several misdiagnoses (Fibromyalgia/Chronic fatigue (along w/chronic migraine) before I self-referred to an endocrinologist- who finally ordered the right test.

     

    About 2 years ago, I started developing skin rashes & infections. I did my research and learned the rash may be Derm. H. resulting from gluten intolerance. I've now avoided gluten for 3 months (I had two incidents where I accidentally ingested it though).

     

    To anyone with gluten issues (esp. if you also have Addison's), assuming you've gone gluten-free, how long did it take to feel better? Did you avoid gluten alone or gluten/dairy, etc?

     

    Thanks!!

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    I had to tell the doctor about celiac disease! I also have Addison's. After taking cortisone and getting moon faced and arthritis from the toxic medicine, I studied and now take only herbs and food. I am a Certified Holistic Health Counselor.

    I was diagnosed with a gluten problem several years ago and have always suspected Addision's. Doctors said no but I never had testing to confirm. I am soon to see an endocrynologist however my concerns are the same as yours BJ. I don't want meds with side affects. Being certified in Holistic Health what do you suggest if I test positive for Addison's?

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He 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 SF 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.

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