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Do Early Childhood Infections Contribute to Celiac Disease?

Celiac.com 10/05/2015 - Studies on early life infections and risk of later celiac disease (celiac disease) are inconsistent but have mostly been limited to retrospective designs, inpatient data, or insufficient statistical power.

Photo: CC--PeteA team of researchers recently set out to determine whether early life infections are associated with increased risk of later celiac disease using prospective population-based data. The research team included K. Mårild, C.R. Kahrs, G. Tapia, L.C. Stene, and K. Størdal. T Division of Epidemiology at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo, Norway, the Department of Medical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and with the Department of Pediatrics at Østfold Hospital Trust in Fredrikstad, Norway.

This study is based on the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, and includes prospective, repeated assessments of parent-reported infectious disease data up to 18 months of age for 72,921 children born between 2000 and 2009. The team identified celiac disease patients through parental questionnaires and the Norwegian Patient Registry. Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios adjusted for child's age and sex (aOR).

Their data showed that, over an average follow-up period (ranging from 4.5-14.5 years, and averaging 8.5 years, 581 children (0.8%) were diagnosed with celiac disease. Children with ten or more infections up to age 18 months had a significantly higher risk of later celiac disease, as compared with children with four or less infections (aOR=1.32; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.06-1.65; per increase in infectious episodes, aOR=1.03; 95% CI=1.02-1.05).

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The aORs per increase in specific types of infections were as follows: upper respiratory tract infections: 1.03 (95% CI=1.02-1.05); lower respiratory tract infections: 1.12 (95% CI=1.01-1.23); and gastroenteritis: 1.05 (95% CI=0.99-1.11).

The results were largely unchanged even after making additional adjustments for maternal celiac disease, education level, smoking, birth weight, prematurity, infant feeding practices, birth season, and antibiotic treatment. This is the first large-scale population-based cohort study of this association.

These results are in line with earlier studies that suggest that early life infections may have a role in celiac disease development. However, further study is needed to fully eliminate surveillance bias and reverse causation as non-causal explanations for this association.

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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.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.

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.