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High Rates of Microscopic Colitis in Celiac Disease, Especially Among Middle Aged Women

New study on microscopic colitis and celiac disease. 07/27/2011 - Based on associations made between microscopic colitis and celiac disease in scientific literature, but limited population-based data, a team of researchers set out to assess rates of microscopic colitis in celiac disease.

The research team included M. Stewart, C. N. Andrews, S. Urbanski, P. L. Beck, and M. Storr. They were looking to better understand how these two diseases might be connected, and to identify any factors that might cause them to occur together.

This led them to conduct a population-based review of all people diagnosed with celiac disease and microscopic colitis in a large Canadian medical center over a 5-year period.

To do that, they searched endoscopy and pathology databases to find all diagnosis made for celiac disease and microscopic colitis within the Calgary Health Region between 2004 and 2008.

To get accurate results, they made sure to standardize age and gender data from their study with 2006 Canadian Census data.

They then used standardized incidence ratios (SIR) to figure out how often the two disease occur together.

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In the study population, they found, over a five-year period, 763 patients diagnosed with celiac disease, and 1106 diagnosed with microscopic colitis.

In the general population, the standard rates of celiac disease ran from 10.4 to 15.7 per 100,000 people, while the standard rates of microscopic colitis ran from 16.9 to 26.2 per 100,000 people.

The study team found 40 patients with both celiac disease and microscopic colitis, 21 of whom were females aged 40–60 years.

In the celiac disease group, microscopic colitis occurred at an annual rate of 11.4 per 1000 cases of celiac disease with an overall SIR of 52.7.

These findings showed a strong association between microscopic colitis and celiac disease. In fact, the diseases occurred together in the study population at rates of about 50-times those expected in the general population.

One prominent finding was that middle-aged women suffered especially high rates of celiac disease together with microscopic colitis.

Therefore, the team recommends that middle-aged women with celiac disease and persistent diarrhea undergo lower endoscopy with biopsies to check for microscopic colitis.

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7 Responses:

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said this on
28 Jul 2011 6:27:23 AM PST
When I first went GF 8 years ago I read about this strong correlation between MC and gluten sensitivity on Dr. Kenneth Fine's Intestinal Health website. One can be gluten sensitive even if one does not have the genes for CD or if tests for CD are negative.

Since I cannot post a link to a website you can find this info by Googling "Intestinal Health Institute"

Judy Santos
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said this on
01 Aug 2011 4:51:36 PM PST
I found this very interesting. I have been trying to convince my GI doc of this for two years now. I was diagnosed with MC in 2009. I had to beg him to test me for CD. A year later he reluctantly agreed. Blood test off the charts. positive for CD Confirmed (like It needed to be?) with endoscopy. I have a follow up appointment Monday. I will be taking this article for him. Maybe this can help someone else. I think not only should CD patients be tested for MC but visa versa like me.

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said this on
03 Aug 2011 11:07:54 AM PST
Thank you for the info.

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said this on
18 Aug 2011 7:33:15 AM PST
It doesn't say anything about what you do if you have it or any links to more information about microscopic colitis. So far, nothing works for me, but I'm still looking for more information about it.

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said this on
30 Aug 2011 8:31:00 PM PST
I have celiac disease, and I had already been on a strict gluten-free diet for years before I developed MC. The GI doctor suspected maybe I was somehow consuming gluten without knowing - the symptoms were so similar - but biopsies confirmed that it was MC alone. (This also shows that it can develop in people with CD even when CD-related inflammation is not active.)

A long list of things can trigger MC, especially medications; all NSAIDs (Advil, aspirin, etc.) and all SSRIs (many common antidepressants) have been linked to it. I'm very glad more studies are being published on this, and I hope more focus is placed on identifying triggers & causes.

I also hope more doctors will consider this as a possibility even if the patient is not in the "typical" age/gender group - I was diagnosed with MC when I was 21.

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said this on
01 Nov 2012 6:08:52 PM PST
Good information. Who has developed the "perfect" diet for both (I have both)? Why do we have to push this information on "specialists"? I am tired of being treated like I am stupid and then I am correct. I have also developed such a cough, I know it is food allergies. Ideas?

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said this on
21 Apr 2016 4:32:34 PM PST
I have had severe digestive system issues...ulcerative colitis most of my adult life. My ability to digest and absorb foods properly to get the nutritional benefit was greatly diminished. I knew nothing would be "quick fix", since I had been digestive compromised for so many years.

It turns out, my intestinal bacteria were probably totally out of whack from all the trauma and medications my digestive system had endured over all these years. I researched and decided on the Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse - I ordered online after being recommended by my GP. When I received these, I immediately started taking them. I did feel a little dizzy after but I know this response just means the Deep Immune is doing its job, killing off bad bacteria and replacing it with good bacteria.

After my body finished dumping all those toxins, I STARTED FEELING BETTER THAN I HAVE FOR YEARS! I will continue to use Lady Soma's Fiber Cleanse It is probably a good addition for everyone's general health, but it can also be life changing for some people like me.

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