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Patients with Active Celiac Disease At Slightly Higher Risk for Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Celiac.com 09/09/2015 - Some researchers and clinicians suspect a connection between eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and celiac disease, but prior studies have shown conflicting results

Image: Wikimedia Commons--Ed Uthman, MD.A team of researchers recently set out to determine the relationship between EoE and celiac disease among patients with concomitant esophageal and duodenal biopsies. The research team included Elizabeth T. Jensena, Swathi Eluria, Benjamin Lebwohl, Robert M. Gentab, and Evan S. Dellon.

For their cross-sectional study, they team used data covering the period from January 2009 through June 2012 from a U.S. national pathology database.

They defined esophageal eosinophilia as the presence of ≥15 eosinophils per high-power field. The crude and age and sex adjusted odds of esophageal eosinophilia for patients with active celiac disease were compared with those without celiac disease.

Sensitivity analyses were performed by using more stringent case definitions and by estimating the associations between celiac disease and reflux esophagitis and celiac disease and Barrett’s esophagus.

Out of 292,621 patients in the source population, the team looked at data from 88,517 patients with both esophageal and duodenal biopsies. Four thousand one hundred one (4.6%) met criteria for EoE, and 1203 (1.4%) met criteria for celiac disease. Patients with celiac disease had 26% higher odds of EoE than patients without celiac disease (adjusted odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98–1.60).

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The strength of the connection varied according to EoE case definition, but all definitions showed a weak positive association between the two conditions.

Interestingly, this study showed no connection between celiac disease and reflux esophagitis (adjusted odds ratio 0.95; 95% CI, 0.85–1.07) or between celiac disease and Barrett’s esophagus (adjusted odds ratio 0.89; 95% CI, 0.69–1.14).

Overall, this study showed only a weak increase in EoE in patients with celiac disease. The connection strengthened in direct relation to the strength of definitions of EoE, and was not seen with other esophageal conditions.

Doctors should consider concomitant EoE in patients with celiac disease where clinical indications support it.

Disclosures: Dellon reports receiving research funds from Meritage Pharma, consulting for Aptalis, Novartis, Receptos and Regeneron, and receiving an educational grant from Diagnovus.

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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.