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Season of Birth May Influence Celiac Disease


Photo: CC-jayneandd

Celiac.com 06/10/2011 - Children born in the spring or summer seem to have higher rates of celiac disease, according to a study of Massachusetts children. This higher rate could be tied to certain seasonal and environmental factors, according to researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.

Potential triggers for celiac disease seem to include the timing of infants' introduction to gluten and of viral infections during the first year of life.

The research team hypothesized that the season of a child's birth might influence rates of celiac disease, since babies commonly receive their first foods with gluten at about six months of age, which for children born in spring or summer would mean the beginning of the winter cold season.

The research team assessed 382 patients with biopsy-confirmed celiac disease, whose age at diagnosis ranged from 11 months to 19 years.

Among older children (ages 15 to 19), there was virtually no difference in birth season (categorized as light, meaning March to August, or dark, defining September to February).

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But the group of 317 children under 15 years old showed an significant difference. As a group, 57 percent had been born in a light season, whereas 43 percent were born during a dark season.

Given the prevalence of celiac disease in children, the study carries potential importance for families and doctors.

Lead researcher and clinical research fellow, Pornthep Tanpowpong, MD, MPH, said the findings might invite researchers health care professionals to rethink their recommended time frame for introducing a children to cereals and other foods that contain gluten.

He adds that other potential causative season-of-birth factors, such as sunlight exposure and vitamin D status, also deserve investigation.

For people born in the spring or the summer, it might be more appropriate to introduce gluten at a different point than someone born in the fall or winter, said Dr. Tanpowpong. "Although we need to further develop and test our hypothesis, we think it provides a helpful clue for ongoing efforts to prevent celiac disease."


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3 Responses:

 
SandraB
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said this on
13 Jun 2011 5:49:54 AM PDT
I don't know if anyone has ever looked at the vitamin D status of pregnant women whose children go on to develop celiac disease. Obviously it would be a difficult study to do. In northern Europe March births are common amongst autistic children, and this is one of the reasons why there is a hypothesis that a lack of Vitamin D in the womb may be a factor in autism.

 
Lori C.
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said this on
14 Jun 2011 5:07:58 AM PDT
My daughter is a February baby. This is interesting. I suppose it would somewhat depend on where you live as well as the seasons progress differently based on how far north or south you are, too.

 
Peter
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said this on
03 Dec 2011 11:13:02 AM PDT
My father was born in May, as was I. We both have celiac. This is an interesting article.




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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.

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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.