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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Gluten-free or Not, Celiacs Suffer More Sleep Disorders

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: New research on sleep disorders and celiac

    Celiac.com 09/24/2010 - A team of researchers recently found that people with celiac disease, even those following a gluten-free diet, also commonly suffer from sleep disorders that are related to depression, anxiety and fatigue.

    Since anxiety and depression both occur at higher rates in people with celiac disease than in the general population, the researchers were curious to see how celiac disease might affect quality of sleep.

    The research team included F. Zingone, M. Siniscalchi, P. Capone, R. Tortora, P. Andreozzi, E. Capone, and C. Ciacci. They are affiliated with the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at Federico II University of Naples in Italy.

    In addition to finding that sleep disorders commonly affect people with celiac disease, regardless of gluten-free status, they also found that sleep disorders are less common in celiacs who score higher on quality of life scales, while those with low quality of life scores suffer at higher rates.

    For their study, the team evaluated people celiac disease at diagnosis, celiacs on a gluten-free diet at follow-up, and a group of healthy control subjects. All patients completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), SF36, Zung and Fatigue scales and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

    Their results showed that people with celiac disease at diagnosis and those following a gluten-free diet showed higher PSQI scores than did healthy volunteers (P < 0.001). PSQI scores were no lower for those following a gluten-free diet than for the others with celiac disease (P = 0.245).

    People with celiacs disease at diagnosis and those on a gluten-free diet scored similarly on the other tests, but differed sharply from the healthy control subjects.

    Patients who had higher individual scores for overall physical and mental fitness (r = −0.327, P = 0.002, and r = −0.455, P < 0.001, respectively) had higher overall PSQI scores.

    Factors influencing sleep quality were depression (r = 0.633, P < 0.001), fatigue (r = 0.377, P < 0.001), state anxiety (r = 0.484, P < 0.001) and trait anxiety (r = 0.467, P < 0.001).

    So, if you or someone you love has celiac disease, be prepared to address sleep issues, and maybe consider doing everything possible to ensure a good night's rest.

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    Thanks so much for your persistent investigative journalism on celiac disease, Jefferson!! You are like a one man renaissance of information infiltrating the dark ages of current understanding of celiac.

     

    When I first found out that my son and I have celiac, I was relieved. I thought that not eating gluten would solve all our problems. As it has turned out, it's helped both of us a little but our quest for good physical and mental health goes on and on. Obviously, medical science's current view of celiac does not take in the whole picture of what is really going on. I suspect that by the time celiac is developed, patients have so much disbiosis of intestinal flora and mucosa that it really has to be addressed holistically rather than just focusing on avoidance of gluten. I think we need to ask what triggers the celiac gene to awaken? Could it be yeast overgrowth and/or heavy metal toxicity? How common is it for those with celiac to have yeast overgrowth and/or heavy metal toxicity? Why do these conditions go together? Which causes which? Was there a preexisting instigator to all of them--perhaps stress or an environmental exposure or eating the wrong food (new studies show that a component of mother's milk known to be indigestible to human has been found to feed a particular strain of probiotics in the guts of infants; the purpose of this probiotic is to line the gut and prevent bad bacteria, funguses and viruses from attaching to the intestinal walls--a powerful clue!).

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    Guest marion hutchison

    Posted

    Thanks so much for your persistent investigative journalism on celiac disease, Jefferson!! You are like a one man renaissance of information infiltrating the dark ages of current understanding of celiac.

     

    When I first found out that my son and I have celiac, I was relieved. I thought that not eating gluten would solve all our problems. As it has turned out, it's helped both of us a little but our quest for good physical and mental health goes on and on. Obviously, medical science's current view of celiac does not take in the whole picture of what is really going on. I suspect that by the time celiac is developed, patients have so much disbiosis of intestinal flora and mucosa that it really has to be addressed holistically rather than just focusing on avoidance of gluten. I think we need to ask what triggers the celiac gene to awaken? Could it be yeast overgrowth and/or heavy metal toxicity? How common is it for those with celiac to have yeast overgrowth and/or heavy metal toxicity? Why do these conditions go together? Which causes which? Was there a preexisting instigator to all of them--perhaps stress or an environmental exposure or eating the wrong food (new studies show that a component of mother's milk known to be indigestible to human has been found to feed a particular strain of probiotics in the guts of infants; the purpose of this probiotic is to line the gut and prevent bad bacteria, funguses and viruses from attaching to the intestinal walls--a powerful clue!).

    I have celiac and get about 2 hours of rest, then awake and cannot sleep.

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    My partner has celiac disease and hypothyroidism and suffers from a lack of sleep. She often gets no more than an hour of sleep a night and frequently no more than three or four hours per night. She takes thyroxin tablets and has been on a gluten-free diet for 3 years now. I hear that it can take as much as 2 or 3 years for the villi in the lower intestine to repair and get back to normal. I also hear that it is the lower intestine that absorbs Vitamin B12, which is somehow part of the thyroxin treatment. This suggests to me that her fatigue could be being caused the damaged villi not absorbing enough B12 and iron, seen as low in her blood tests. Is this just adding 2+2 to get 5 or could this be a valid reason for the tiredness? 

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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 science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. 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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