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50% of Type 1 Diabetics Show Adverse Immune Response to Wheat

Celiac.com 09/25/2009 - Scientists at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa have uncovered what looks to be an important clue regarding the causes of type 1 diabetes.

A research team led by Dr. Fraser Scott recently screened 42 patients with type 1 diabetes and found that nearly half showed an abnormal immune response to wheat proteins.

Dr. Scott is a Senior Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Professor of Medicine at the University of Ottawa. The research team includes Dr. Majid Mojibian, Dr. Habiba Chakir, Dr. David E. Lefebvre, Jennifer A. Crookshank, Brigitte Sonier and Dr. Erin Keely. 

In most people, the immune system functions normally, identifying and attacking dangerous foreign visitors, like viruses and bacteria, without harming healthy body tissue or other benign molecules, including food molecules in the digestive tract.

The breakdown of this process contributes to the development of various autoimmune diseases and allergies. In the case of Type 1 diabetes, the immune system wrongly targets the cells of the pancreas, the organ responsible for regulation of blood sugar.

Globally, diabetes afflicts nearly 250 million people. Type 1 diabetes, the most severe form of the disease, makes up about 10 percent, or about 25 million, of that worldwide total. There is currently no cure for Type 1 diabetes, and sufferers require daily insulin injections can help control blood sugar levels.

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Dr. Scott’s results offer the first suggestions that T cells in the immune systems of type 1 diabetics are also more likely to have adverse immune reactions to wheat. His results also suggest that such over-reaction is tied to genes associated with type 1 diabetes.

According to Dr. Scott, the research suggests that "people with certain genes may be more likely to develop an over-reaction to wheat and possibly other foods in the gut and this may tip the balance with the immune system and make the body more likely to develop other immune problems, such as type 1 diabetes.”

Dr. Scott adds that the immune system has to find "the perfect balance to defend the body against foreign invaders without hurting itself or over-reacting to the environment and this can be particularly challenging in the gut, where there is an abundance of food and bacteria.”

In side comments that accompany the paper, diabetes expert Dr. Mikael Knip of Finland suggest that the team's results "add to the accumulating concept that the gut is an active player in the diabetes disease process.”

Earlier animal models studies by Dr. Scott have shown that a wheat-free diet can reduce the risk of developing diabetes, but he notes that more research is needed to confirm the association and to assess possible effects of diet changes in humans.

More research is also needed to examine possible connections to celiac disease, an autoimmune disease associated with adverse immune reactions to wheat proteins that has significant associations with diabetes.

This research project was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Source:
Diabetes - August 2009

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Hi! My daughter is 19 was diagnosed at age 16. It took about 12-18 month s for her to fully heal from the damage and feel "normal" again. Also because of the damage done she had reactions to dairy, so you may want to try no or minimum dairy until youre fully healed. Just a suggestion. Hope you start feeling well soon!

Hi yall! New to this blog, but really glad it exists because I have lots of questions. First off, I'm Allie! I'm 17 and newly diagnosed Celiac after about 3 years of searching for answers. I initially went gluten-free on the recommendation of a friend, I felt better in about a month and then my pediatric gastroenterologist had me do the gluten challenge, and my symptoms were the worst they have ever been, and ones I barely noticed before became very present. I did the biopsy and was diagnosed, it's been about 2 weeks and my symptoms are still pretty bad, although my diet has no known sources of gluten or cross contamination. Wondering if anyone has any input on healing post gluten challenge, any tips or how long it took for you would be quite helpful! Thanks

Might want to look into a keto diet, I have UC on top of celiacs and keto is working great Yeah I have major nerve and brain issues with gluten, gluten ataxia with nerve issues and brain issues. Seems to cause my body to attack my brain and nerve system. My brain stumbles fogs, and starts looping, the confusion causes me to become really irritable, I call it going Mr Hyde. Like my mind will start looping constantly on thoughts and not move driving me literally mad, or it used to. Now days it is primary the numbness anger but the gut issues and sometimes random motor loss limit me motionless to the floor now days for the duration of the major anger effects. Used to be a lot more mental then painful gut. I did a mental trauma post on it on while back where I came out about all my mental issues with gluten.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.

Hello I was diagnosed Dec 15 of last year and went totally gluten-free the next day. I actually got worse before I got better - it's a steep learning curve - but now, 4 1/2 months later I'm finally seeing improvement. Hang in there.