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  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Sarcoidosis and Celiac Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Sarcoidosis is the disease; and sarcoid of the lungs is a location affected by the disease. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Service National Institutes of Health: Sarcoidosis is a disease due to inflammation. It can appear in almost any body organ, but most often starts in the lungs or lymph nodes. As sarcoidosis progresses small lumps, or granulomas appear in the affected tissues. Symptoms are usually general. Weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, fever, or just an overall feeling of ill health. In some cases it shows up with the appearance of skin rashes. red bumps on the face, arms, shins, ect., and sometimes inflammation of the eyes.

    Further: Sarcoidosis was once considered a rare disease. It is now known to be a common chronic illness that appears all over the world. It is the most common of the fibrotic lung disorders, and occurs often enough in the United States for Congress to have declared a national Sarcoidosis Awareness Day in 1990. Sarcoidosis is currently (1993) thought to be associated with an abnormal immune response. Whether a foreign substance; a chemical, drug, virus, or some other substance is the trigger and how the immune disturbance is caused are not known. No one can predict how sarcoidosis will progress. In general, sarcoidosis appears briefly and heals naturally. However, 20 to 30% of sarcoidosis patients are left with some permanent lung damage. In 10 to 15% of the patients, sarcoidosis can become severe and chronic. When either the granulomas or fibrosis seriously affect the function of a vital organ; the lungs, heart, nervous system, liver, or kidneys, for example, sarcoidosis can be fatal.

    From Ron Hoggan:

    Sarcoidosis has repeatedly been associated with celiac disease. Some researchers seem to view it as a condition which results from untreated celiac disease, while others see it as coincident with celiac disease. Here are a couple of references you might want to look at:

    • Douglas, et. al. Sarcoidosis and Celiac Disease: An Association? Lancet, 1984; July 7:13-15
    • Karlish Celiac Disease and Diffuse Lung Disease Lancet, 1971; May 22: 1077

    A Medline search might reveal more information to you, and I would suggest that you satisfy yourself of the connection. In #1, it says, in part: These cases suggest there may be an association between celiac disease and sarcoidosis, but formal studies of small bowel function in sarcoidosis are needed to confirm this. It is important to recognize that these two conditions can occur together and that unexplained weight loss in a patient with sarcoidosis may be caused by celiac disease. You might consider suggesting that your friend get a full panel of blood tests for celiac disease, as it is usually a very treatable condition. And I have been pleasantly surprised by the resolution of other, apparently unrelated health problems, that have cleared up on the diet since I was diagnosed. I hope she is similarly surprised.

    • Reunala T, et al. [see Related Articles] Diseases associated with dermatitis herpetiformis. Br J Dermatol. 1997 Mar; 136(3): 315-318. PMID: 9115907; UI: 97247319.
    • Papadopoulos KI, et al. [see Related Articles] The occurrence of polyglandular autoimmune syndrome type III associated with celiac disease in patients with sarcoidosis. J Intern Med. 1994 Dec; 236(6): 661-663. PMID: 7989901; UI: 95081757.
    • Bianconcini G, et al. [see Related Articles] [Celiac disease (familial) associated with sarcoidosis. Clinical case and review of the literature]. Minerva Med. 1994 Oct; 85(10): 541-553. Review. Italian. PMID: 7800197; UI: 95098301.
    • Boruchowicz A, et al. [see Related Articles] [sarcoidosis and the digestive tract]. Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 1994; 18(12): 1119-1128. Review. French. No abstract available. PMID: 7750685; UI: 95269922.
    • Riccabona M, et al. [see Related Articles] Sonographic findings in celiac disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1993 Aug; 17(2): 198-200. PMID: 8229548; UI: 94046289.
    • Papadopoulos KI, et al. [see Related Articles] Polyglandular autoimmune syndrome type III associated with celiac disease and sarcoidosis. Postgrad Med J. 1993 Jan; 69(807): 72-75. PMID: 8446560; UI: 93189522.
    • Mainguet P, et al. [see Related Articles] [Celiac disease in adults: clinical aspects--role of endoscopy]. Acta Gastroenterol Belg. 1992 Mar; 55(2): 181-189. Review. French. PMID: 1632135; UI: 92336640.
    • Sorokin R, et al. [see Related Articles] Diarrhea presenting as a rare manifestation of sarcoid. Am J Gastroenterol. 1990 Sep; 85(9): 1197-1198. No abstract available. PMID: 2389733; UI: 90358167.
    • Rogers P, et al. [see Related Articles] Antibodies to Proteus in rheumatoid arthritis. Br J Rheumatol. 1988; 27 Suppl 2: 90-94. PMID: 3042079; UI: 88294497.
    • James DG, et al. [see Related Articles] Overlap syndromes with sarcoidosis. Postgrad Med J. 1985 Sep; 61(719): 769-771. Review. No abstract available. PMID: 3903708; UI: 86042375.
    • James DG, et al. [see Related Articles] Overlap syndromes with sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis. 1985 Sep; 2(2): 116-121. PMID: 3843140; UI: 87177134.
    • Lowe G, et al. [see Related Articles] Sarcoidosis and celiac disease. Lancet. 1984 Sep 15; 2(8403): 637. No abstract available. PMID: 6147667; UI: 84294457.
    • [No authors listed] [see Related Articles] Sarcoidosis and celiac disease. Lancet. 1984 Aug 18; 2(8399): 408. No abstract available. PMID: 6147488; UI: 84294274.
    • Douglas JG, et al. [see Related Articles] Sarcoidosis and celiac disease: an association? Lancet. 1984 Jul 7; 2(8393): 13-15. PMID: 6145934; UI: 84244768.
    • Vilaseca J, et al. [see Related Articles] [Granulomatous hepatitis. Etiologic study of 107 cases]. Med Clin (Barc). 1979 Apr 10; 72(7): 272-275. Spanish. PMID: 459594; UI: 79220138.
    • Hurley TH, et al. [see Related Articles] Reaction to Kveim test material in sarcoidosis and other diseases. Lancet. 1975 Mar 1; 1(7905): 494-496. PMID: 46962; UI: 75117906.
    • Ewe K. [see Related Articles] [Calcium absorption in health and disease. II. Syndromes of imparied calcium absorption]. Klin Wochenschr. 1974 Jan 15; 52(2): 64-73. Review. German. No abstract available. PMID: 4361437; UI: 74122902.
    • Mornet P, et al. [see Related Articles] [A case of peripheral neuropathy during terminal ileitis. Crohns disease]? Sem Hop. 1973 Jun 26; 49(30): 2209-2218. French. No abstract available. PMID: 4147181; UI: 73252730.
    • Karlish AJ, et al. [see Related Articles] The Kveim test in Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease. Lancet. 1972 Feb 19; 1(7747): 438-439. No abstract available. PMID: 4110670; UI: 72118038.
    • MacGregor GA. [see Related Articles] Inhibition of leucocyte migration in celiac disease. Lancet. 1971 Dec 25; 2(7739): 1431. No abstract available. PMID: 4107620; UI: 72042982.
    • Pagaltsos AS, et al. [see Related Articles] In vitro inhibition of leucocyte migration by sarcoid spleen suspension in celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. Lancet. 1971 Nov 27; 2(7735): 1179-1181. No abstract available. PMID: 4107984; UI: 72052439.
    • Karlish AJ. [see Related Articles] Celiac disease and diffuse lung disease. Lancet. 1971 May 22; 1(7708): 1077. No abstract available. PMID: 4103011; UI: 71206245.
    • Dawson AM. [see Related Articles] Nutritional disturbances in Crohns disease. Proc R Soc Med. 1971 Feb; 64(2): 166-170. No abstract available. PMID: 5548941; UI: 71139887.
    • Hill LE. [see Related Articles] Hypogammaglobulinaemia in the United Kingdom. 3. Clinical features of hypogammaglobulinaemia. Med Res Counc Spec Rep Ser (Lond). 1971; 310: 9-34. No abstract available. PMID: 5573491; UI: 71183306.
    • Levinson JD, et al. [see Related Articles] Infiltrative diseases of the small bowel and malabsorption. Am J Dig Dis. 1970 Aug; 15(8): 741-766. Review. No abstract available. PMID: 4195473; UI: 70283039.
    • Sjaastad O. [see Related Articles] Urinary excretion of free and conjugated histamine in various gastrointestinal disorders. Acta Med Scand. 1969 Jun; 185(6): 495-499. No abstract available. PMID: 4185319; UI: 69281390.
    • Pirola RC, et al. [see Related Articles] Whipples disease. Med J Aust. 1967 Nov 25; 2(22): 985-988. No abstract available. PMID: 4170086; UI: 68128282.
    • Smith BD. [see Related Articles] Sarcoidosis with recurrent thrombophlebitis and idiopathic steatorrhoea. Proc R Soc Med. 1966 Jun; 59(6): 569-570. No abstract available. PMID: 5937945; UI: 66143622.

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    Was diagnosed with sarcoidosis in 1994 and celiac just this year. Developed severe allergy to all corn products in 1999. Some studies suggest that the underlying mechanism -- whatever is causing the inflammatory reaction -- is the same. This definitely seems to be what happens for me. Therefore, the way most practitioners need to separate out the diagnoses is of limited value. Most folks with inflammatory conditions like this for long have a list of what are considered different diseases technically (arthritis, acne, sarcoid, asthma, other allergies, celiac, etc.) all caused by the inflammation. So far going gluten and caffeine free is one of the only things I've done that's addressed multiple symptoms at once. Hope this helps.


    Rebecca Self, Ph.D.

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    I just found out that I have sarcoidosis, and I have been dealing with internal inflammation, asthma, high blood pressure and a facial rash for years. I also suspect that all these problems are linked to a gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

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    I have had celiac for a number of years was just recently tested (bone marrow) and having follow up now for sarcoidosis, which was detected by a chest xray.

    There are many false positive tests associated with sarcoidosis. It is best to get your eyes, heart and other major organs tested so that no further damage occurs, including your brain. The symptoms for sarcoidosis come and go, and will depend on your personal diet and how it effects your body. Celiac and sarcoidosis disease are closely related and have the same symptoms. With just one x-ray, it may be impossible to claim the findings to sarcoidosis, and other test could help detect it's presents. Depending where it is located, a biopsy would be in your favor.

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    I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis in 1980. I am now nearing my 79th birthday in Feb 2015. In October of this year (2014) I have recently been diagnosed with celiac Disease. It seems I hold the record for being the oldest person ever first diagnosed with celiac disease at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Whoopie!!!

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  • About Me

    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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