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Can Head Trauma Trigger Celiac Disease?

Celiac.com 09/12/2013 - There is evidence that certain types of gut trauma can trigger celiac disease, but almost nothing is know about whether traumatic brain injury might trigger a neurological form of celiac disease in some individuals.

Photo: CC--EMRTG6 is a brain expressed form of transglutaminase that seems to be connected to neurological expressions of celiac disease. 

Researchers Jonas F Ludvigsson and Marios Hadjivassiliou wanted to test the hypothesis that earlier brain injury due to head trauma may be more common in patients with celiac disease, potentially through trauma-induced TG6 leading to interaction with TG2.

Ludvigsson and Hadjivassiliou are variously affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics at Örebro University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden, the Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, USA, and with the Department of Neurology at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, UK.

For their study, they used biopsy reports from all 28 pathology departments in Sweden to identify 29,096 individuals with celiac disease, which they defined as the presence of villous atrophy.

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They then assessed the risk of earlier head trauma in celiac disease patients compared to the risk in 144,522 controls matched for age, sex, county and calendar year. They used logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (ORs).

They found that a record of earlier head trauma in 981 (3.4%) patients with celiac disease, and in 4,449 (3.1%) control subjects.

People who had suffered from head trauma showed a 1.10-fold increased risk of future celiac disease (95% CI = 1.02-1.17); independent of sex or age at celiac disease.

The highest risk of future celiac disease was seen during the first year after trauma. There was no connection between severity of trauma and risk of developing celiac disease.

These results show a very small excess risk for future celiac disease in individuals with an earlier head trauma.

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4 Responses:

 
Heather
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said this on
16 Sep 2013 5:09:32 AM PDT
Two things come to mind. I fell off a horse and hit me head when younger, ok. I also had Thyroid cancer/surgery...

 
Namklak
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said this on
16 Sep 2013 6:02:42 AM PDT
My CD was caused Augmentin, a powerful combo of two anti-biotics. My wife is a GI nurse specialist and she also believes this was the cause (or should I say "trigger"?). The bacterial balance of the gut is criminally understudied...

 
Nancy Garabrandt
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said this on
16 Sep 2013 2:07:20 PM PDT
I had a severe skull fracture on 1988 and celiac disease was dignosed in October 1989. It didn't become full blown until after my skull fracture. I always thought that their was a connection somehow but never really knew. Thanks for the article.

 
Cheryl
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said this on
18 Sep 2013 7:31:19 AM PDT
When I was 4 (1961) the tailgate of a trailer pinned my head to the ground. 4" in skull fracture and hematoma. I found out I had celiac 11 years ago. Looking back over my life I would say I always had it just no one found it.




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I wanted to collect some of the info on NCGI in one place so that visitors who test negative but may still have an issue with gluten can be directed there. I'll add to this post as I find new links, but feel free to add or contribute anything you think may be of use! Matt --- Useful links: An overview from Alessio Fasano, one of the world's leading researchers on celiac and gluten sensitivity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvfTV57iPUY A scholarly overview from celiac disease magazine: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Knut_Lundin/publication/232528784_Non-celiac_Gluten_Sensitivity/links/09e415098bbe37c05b000000.pdf A good overview from a sceptical but fair perspective: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/a-balanced-look-at-gluten-sensitivity/ Another overview: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/understanding-celiac-disease-2/non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity-2/ University of Chicago's excellent celiac site's take: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/category/faq-non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity/ A compelling account in the British Medical Journal from an NCGI patient: http://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e7982 Here's some positive news about a potential new test: http://www.medicaldaily.com/non-celiac-gluten-insensitivity-blood-test-392850 NCGI in children: NCGI and auto immune study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26026392 Also consider: Fodmaps: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lsm/research/divisions/dns/projects/fodmaps/faq.aspx This Monash study: http://fodmapmonash.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/the-truth-behind-non-celiac-gluten.html suggested some who think they're reacting to gluten should actually be reducing fodmaps Sibo: http://www.webmd.boots.com/digestive-disorders/small-intestinal-bacteria-sibo

I was just diagnosed in March and I totally feel you. I'm having a hard enough time with determining which lip glosses are safe, let alone all my face products etc. I feel like this 'grey area' is the biggest annoyance with Celiac. So many foods/cosmetics I thought were safe after reading the ingredient list are actually not safe at all! One website says it's safe, one says its not. All these unfamiliar ingredients and even after googling term after term still so many grey areas!! I'm sure in time it gets easier and second nature and you learn by trial and error but holy this constant uncertainty is super annoying haha.

This place is great. Learning a lot. Honestly, I've known people with celiacs in the past, but it never occurred to me that that's what could be wrong with me. But the more I learn, the more it fits. One more thought, the articles I'm reading seem to say that we need to avoid gluten meticulously. I'm certain that I didn't accidentally eat gluten, because I've basically only eaten meat and veggies. But, my family has continued eating as normal. My kids making pancakes and it getting in the air, toast with all the crumbs everywhere, etc. Could that exposure be enough to keep my blood antibodies high? Or does it need to be ingested?

Hey, I had Hashi's some 15 years prior to my celiac disease diagnosis. My doc put me on a very lose dose of Armour. It did bring down my antibodies (by half), but they were extremely high to begin with (anything over 30 was positive and mine initially were close to 4,000). My nodules and enlargement stayed constant. Both actually went away since I have been gluten free! Like Gemini, I am on Armour for life! But that's okay. Just had my TPO checked yesterday, in fact, and now the number is 360. So, better, but that lab range is anything over 15 is positive. No reappearance of the nodules or enlargement. I am also on a low carb high fat diet to treat my diabetes too.

Yes! Call University of Chicago! Switching you from one medication that's not working to another and back again isn't helping you. It's definitely time to look at something else. I'm so sorry that you're not feeling better.