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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    What's the Connection Between Gluten Sensitivity and Postural Tachycardia Syndrome?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Is gluten sensitivity connected with postural tachycardia syndrome? Photo: CC--Michael Mandlberg

    Celiac.com 10/31/2016 - Responding to observations and reports that many patients with postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) adopt a gluten-free diet without medical consultation, a team of researchers recently set out to evaluate the prevalence of celiac disease and self-reported gluten sensitivity in patients with PoTS, and to compare the results against data from the local population.

    The research team included HA Penny, I Aziz, M Ferrar, J Atkinson, N Hoggard, M Hadjivassiliou, JN West, and DS Sanders. They are variously affiliated with the Academic Department of Gastroenterology Departments of Cardiology, Radiology, and Neurology at Royal Hallamshire Hospital, and Upperthorpe Medical Centre in Sheffield, UK.

    For their study, the team recruited 100 patients with PoTS to complete a questionnaire that screened for gluten sensitivity, related symptoms and dietary habits. They also screened patients for celiac disease. For comparison, they calculated local celiac prevalence from a total of 1,200 control subjects (group 1) and another 400 control subjects (group 2), frequency matched for age and sex, who completed the same questionnaire.

    Overall, 4/100 (4%) patients with PoTS had serology and biopsy-proven coeliac disease. This was significantly higher than the local population prevalence of celiac disease (12/1200, 1%; odds ratio: 4.1, 95% confidence interval: 1.3-13.0; P=0.03). PoTS patients also had a higher prevalence of self-reported gluten sensitivity (42 vs. 19%, respectively; odds ratio: 3.1, 95% confidence interval: 2.0-5.0; P<0.0001).

    This is the first study to show a possible connection between gluten-related disorders and PoTS. They note that a prospective study which examines this relationship further might promote better understanding and treatment of these conditions.

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    Not surprising. I have celiac disease and dysautonomia/POTS, and my neurologist considers the cause of my dysautonomia/POTS to be autonomic neuropathy from decades of undiagnosed celiac disease.

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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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