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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Study Shows High Rates of Celiac Disease Antibodies in Adult Rheumatology Patients

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      High rates of celiac disease antibodies in adult rheumatology patients suggest that celiac screening might be a good idea for people with rheumatological issues.


    Caption: Image: CC BY-SA 3.0--Doc James

    Celiac.com 09/24/2019 - Currently, physicians do not routinely conduct celiac disease screening in patients with rheumatological diseases, as these people are not considered to have high risk for celiac disease.

    A team of researchers recently set out to determine rates of celiac disease serological markers in a group of patients with rheumatological issues. The research team included Giacomo Caio, Roberto De Giorgio, Francesco Ursini, Silvia Fanaro, and Umberto Volta.

    They are variously affiliated with the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy; the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital – Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; the Department of Medical Sciences, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy; the Department of Health Sciences, University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia”; and the Centre of Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London.

    The team screened blood from 230 rheumatological patients for celiac disease by testing IgA antitransglutaminase (TTG IgA), IgG deamidated gliadin peptides (DGP IgG) and IgA antiendomysium (EMA) antibodies.

    Of the 230 total patients, the team found 67 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 52 with Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS), 42 with systemic sclerosis (SCL), 35 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 15 with mixed connective tissue disease, 11 with polymyositis and 10 with dermatomyositis.

    The results showed TTG IgA antibodies in a total of 7 out of 230 cases, or 3%. They also showed such antibodies in 3 of 42 SJS cases, 2 of 42 SCL cases, 1 of 67 RA cases, and 1 of 35 SLE sera. All seven samples were also positive for DGP IgG and EMA IgA. DGP IgG antibodies were the most common, showing up in 16 total samples.

    High rates of celiac disease antibodies in adult rheumatology patients suggest that celiac disease screening might be a good idea for people with rheumatological issues.

    Read more at Gastroenterology Hepatology Bed Bench. 2018 Summer; 11(3): 244–249.


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    It actually was a Rheumatologist that discovered my Celiac Disease after sending me for a blood work up.  He diagnosed me with Rheumatoid Arthritis and then called and told me I tested positive for Celiac Disease.  Which I had tests and my Endocrinologist confirmed it.  I am in constant pain from the Arthritis.  It is a daily struggle dealing with the Celiac and Arthritis, causing me to stay at home feeling like I live the life of a recluse.

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    12 hours ago, Guest Annette said:

    It actually was a Rheumatologist that discovered my Celiac Disease after sending me for a blood work up.  He diagnosed me with Rheumatoid Arthritis and then called and told me I tested positive for Celiac Disease.  Which I had tests and my Endocrinologist confirmed it.  I am in constant pain from the Arthritis.  It is a daily struggle dealing with the Celiac and Arthritis, causing me to stay at home feeling like I live the life of a recluse.

    Did you go in a 100% gluten-free diet after the diagnosis? I was having pain and swelling in my joints (hands and knees), it was difficult to open a jar. That problem and many more went away once in a 100% gluten-free diet.  

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    Guest Wayne williams,

    Posted

    14 hours ago, Guest Annette said:

    It actually was a Rheumatologist that discovered my Celiac Disease after sending me for a blood work up.  He diagnosed me with Rheumatoid Arthritis and then called and told me I tested positive for Celiac Disease.  Which I had tests and my Endocrinologist confirmed it.  I am in constant pain from the Arthritis.  It is a daily struggle dealing with the Celiac and Arthritis, causing me to stay at home feeling like I live the life of a recluse.

    Our family took the 23&me DNA test nearly 10 years ago. We found after suffering with numerous symptoms, that we were all high for celiac. At 60, I was breaking out with weird rashes on my scalp, groin and other areas, my kidneys and joints were giving out, doctors had no answers. My adult daughter was always sick and would get rashes and acne on her face, and our granddaughter would get rashes on around her elbows and back of the knees and well as stomachaches, we all had more constipation, than the diarrhea most seem to get. Within days of trying the gluten-free diet our symptoms minimized. It has taken years to figure out gluten is in everything, but with today's new products, growing our own garden and eggs, we are all doing much better. It is hard to eat out, many don't understand gluten can be in vinegar's and other condiments, even being in a restaurant that serves a lot of gluten products can create problems, because of cross-contamination and flour can get air-born if they make their own breads, so we stay clear or get as far from the kitchen as possible... There are some great books, recipes and other sources. If one researches, they find they are not alone and there are many options available, we still believe celiac is way under diagnosed, because of so many variable symptoms. My wifes rheumatoid arthritis, is nearly symptom-less. I suggested the gluten-free diet to a friend who's fingers were totally bent sideways, she basically  quit breads and pasties, but it was enough to unbend her bent fingers of over 20 years... She still eats gluten in moderation, but feels much better. You are not alone and there are many good products coming out.

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    On 9/25/2019 at 2:22 PM, Guest Tammy said:

    Sadly I have both Celiac and Rheumatoid Arthritis- diagnosed within one year of each other. I’m not really sure which came first though. 

    I had Celiac first then within 9 months diagnosed w RA.  I was, and have been told, RA is a major one of many side effects of Celiac.  Also, within couple years diagnosed with IBS and I was classed as a “high sensitive” celiac I am unable to have gluten-free oats or be around flour if it even gets up my nose from breathing it in my stomach gets upset and using lotions with oat or wheat sends my system into flare up.  I wish you well with your RA there are a lot of medicines to help you such as Enbrel Humira, Remicade as long as you haven’t been vaccinated for TB then, like me who was,  you will be unable to have them cos of the high risk of a non curable TB.

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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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