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Celiac Disease "Modestly" Linked to Heart Disease and Asthma


New study on asthma, heart disease and celiac disease.

Celiac.com 03/21/2011 - Two recent population-based studies, both performed in Sweden by Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson, have concluded that people who have had biopsies that reveal villous atrophy are at increased risk of both ischemic heart disease and asthma. But at least regarding heart disease, the bulk of the risk may simply be attributable to inflammation.

The team of researchers looked at biopsy data collected from all twenty-eight of Sweden’s pathology departments between 2006 and 2008. The data included biopsies performed as far back as 1969, and represented 44,446 individuals: 28,190 with celiac disease, as ascertained by small intestine morphology; 12,598 with duodenal/jejuna inflammation lacking villous atrophy; and 3,658 with latent celiac disease, defined as those with positive celiac serology but normal mucosa. 219,392 healthy controls who had never had biopsies were included as controls. They concluded that celiac disease and inflammation of the small intestine were both modestly associated with ischemic heart disease, whereas latent celiac disease was not.

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Although these findings agree in kind, if not in degree, with reports previously published by others, this study had a number of flaws. First of all, the researchers lack data on individual adherence to a gluten free diet. The authors note that “low dietary adherence is associated with persistent inflammation and therefore might explain the increased risk of ischemic heart disease observed in patients with celiac disease.” They also lack data on blood pressure, smoking status, body mass index, lipid levels, exercise routines, and other established risk factors for ischemic heart disease. Because they found the highest risk in the first year following biopsy, they cede that this risk could be attributable to enhanced inflammation, enhanced stress surrounding a diagnosis with celiac disease, or even an increase in reporting rather than incidence due to more vigilant medical care immediately following the diagnosis with celiac disease. They even note that gastrointestinal and cardiac symptoms are easily confused, further confounding their analysis.

The second study compared the same 28,190 Swedes with villous atrophy to 140,000 controls. It reported that people with celiac disease were 60% more likely to develop asthma than those without it, and conversely, that people with asthma are more likely to develop celiac disease. “A potential mechanism could be that asthma and celiac disease share some immunological feature,” said Dr. Ludvigsson. “If you have it, you are at increased risk of both diseases.” He also noted that vitamin D deficiency can play a causative role in both diseases, and should be assessed on both celiac patients and asthmatics.

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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.