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Metabolic Syndrome in Patients with Celiac Disease on a Gluten-free Diet

Celiac.com 04/06/2015 - Several studies have shown that many patients with celiac disease experience changes in body weight after starting a gluten-free diet, but researchers still don't have much data on rates of metabolic syndrome in this population.

Photo: CC--Samantha MarxA team of researchers recently set out to assess rates of metabolic syndrome in patients with celiac at diagnosis, and at one year after starting gluten-free diet. The research team included R. Tortora, P. Capone, G. De Stefano, N. Imperatore, N. Gerbino, S. Donetto, V. Monaco, N. Caporaso, and A. Rispo. They are affiliated with the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy, or with the Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College London, London, UK.

For their study, the team enrolled all consecutive patients with newly diagnosed celiac disease who were referred to their third-level celiac disease unit. For all patients the team collected data on waist circumference, BMI, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels.

The team diagnosed metabolic syndrome according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria for European countries. They reassessed rates of metabolic syndrome in patients after 12 months of gluten-free diet.

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The team assessed ninety-eight patients with celiac disease, two (2%) who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome at diagnosis, and 29 patients (29.5%) after 12 months of gluten-free diet (P < 0.01; OR: 20).

After 1 year on a gluten-free diet, the team compared the patient data to baseline, with respect to metabolic syndrome sub-categories. They found 72 vs. 48 patients exceeded waist circumference cut-off (P < 0.01; OR: 2.8); 18 vs. 4 patients had high blood pressure (P < 0.01; OR: 5.2); 25 vs. 7 patients exceeded glycemic threshold (P = 0.01; OR: 4.4); 34 vs. 32 patients with CD had reduced levels of HDL cholesterol (P = 0.7); and 16 vs. 7 patients had high levels of triglycerides (P = 0.05).

The results of this study show that celiac disease patients have a high risk of developing metabolic syndrome 1 year after starting a gluten-free diet.

To address this, the research team recommends an in-depth nutritional assessment for all patients with celiac disease.

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3 Responses:

 
Iwona
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said this on
13 Apr 2015 11:57:34 AM PDT
That sounds exactly like me...keeping in shape was so much easier when I ate gluten. Now I need to really watch out for what I eat even if I practice a lot of sport... And whenever I have a short breakout in my diet (1-2 days and with not a lot of gluten - I don't jump suddenly on a loaf of bread) I suddenly loose all the water in my organism and get much leaner.
BTW. the article would be even better if it had more factual information about the study.

 
coloradosue
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said this on
14 Apr 2015 3:18:52 AM PDT
Since being diagnosed with CD in 2004 to this year, I have gained 40 lbs. I also have Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis in the L4and L5 that requires shots every 3 to 4 months. My doctors as well as others that politely suggest I should lose weight. Wish I could! These medical issues interfere every hour of every day by increasing pain levels that at times leaves me in bed or living room couch. I'm buying clothes from goodwill just to have something to wear. I am just sick and may I dare say... TIRED from hurting day in and day out. And taking pain meds which expensive. Which reminds me, time for mine.

 
Bonnie
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said this on
05 May 2015 9:36:35 AM PDT
I agree with Iwona -- the article would have been more helpful if it had more info about the study. I've gained almost 30 pounds since I was diagnosed and my Dr says, "Eat less and exercise more!" HAH! I'm at my wits end! I've tried lo-carb and Paleo diets, they are OK, but I still don't lose!




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It took me 20 years or more Barry so I wouldn't claim any great insight on this I had a 'eureka' moment, up until then I was walking around with multiple symptoms and not connecting any dots whatsoever. It is very, very difficult to diagnose and that's something that's reflected in so many of the experiences detailed here. A food diary may help in your case. It helped me to connect the gaps between eating and onset. It could help you to track any gluten sources should you go gluten free. It is possible for your reactions to change over time. As to whether its celiac, that's something you could explore with your doctor, stay on gluten if you choose to go that way. best of luck! Matt

I took Zoloft once. Loved it until it triggered microscopic colitis (colonoscopy diagnosed it). Lexapro did the same. However, I have a family member who is fiagnosed celiac and tolerates Celexa well.

Thanks for the update and welcome to the club you never wanted to join! ?

Jmg, I am glad you were able to come to the realisation that the culprit was in fact gluten. For me its not so simple. IBS runs in the family, as do several food intolerances. Its just in the last while that I can finally reach the conclusion that for me its gluten. The fact that it is a delayed effect-several hours after, made it harder. Friday I had some KFC, felt great. Saturday evening felt sleepy, Sunday felt awful and my belly was huge. I think I have gone from mildly sensitive to full blown celiac over the course of five years-if that possible. Thanks for all your help.

I thought I'd take a moment to provide an update, given how much lurking I've done on these forums the last year. It took a long time, but I've since had another gastroenterologist visit, many months of eating tons of bread, and an endoscopy where they took several biopsies. I have to say, the endoscopy was a super quick and efficient experience. During the procedure they let me know that it looked somewhat suspicious, causing them to take many biopsies, and then did comprehensive blood work. About a month later, I received a call telling me that the TTG came back positive a second time, and that the biopsies were a mix of negative (normal) results and some that were positive (showing blunting of the villi). As a result, I've been given a celiac diagnosis. It's been about a month now that I've been eating gluten free. Not sure if I'm really feeling all that different yet. It's a bit twisted to say, but in some way I was hoping for this diagnosis ? thinking how nice it would be to have an explanation, a plan of action, and feeling better. It's certainly no small change to be totally gluten free, but I'm hopeful.