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Gluten-Free Diet Reverses Poor Lipid Profiles Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes


Celiac disease triggers poor lipid profiles in young children with Type 1 diabetes. Photo: CC--Jeremy R

Celiac.com 08/10/2016 - Low HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations have long been tied to increased cardiovascular risk. People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) who presented complications (1) and people with untreated celiac disease also have low HDL-C levels. People with both TID and celiac disease might face a sharper lipid abnormalities and a more aggressive the atherosclerotic process. Can a gluten-free diet reverse that process?

A team of researchers recently set out to examine the effects of a gluten-free diet lipid on profiles of patients with Type 1 diabetes. They study was conducted on behalf of the for the Diabetes Study Group of the Italian Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology (ISPED). The research team included Silvana Salardi, Giulio Maltoni, Stefano Zucchini, Dario Iafusco, Santino Confetto, Angela Zanfardino, Sonia Toni, Barbara Piccini, Maximiliano Zioutas, Marco Marigliano, Vittoria Cauvin, Roberto Franceschi, Ivana Rabbone, Barbara Predieri, Riccardo Schiaffini, Alessandro Salvatoni, Petra Reinstadler, Giulia Berioli,Valentino Cherubini and Giuseppe d'Annunzio.

They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pediatrics, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, the Department of Pediatrics, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy, the Meyer Children's Hospital, University of Florence, Florence, Italy, the Regional Center for Pediatric Diabetes, Clinical Nutrition & Obesity, Department of Life & Reproduction Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy, the Pediatric Unit, S. Chiara Hospital, Trento, Italy, the Department of Pediatrics, University of Turin, Turin, Italy, the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences for Mothers, Children and Adults, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy, the Endocrinology and Diabetes Palidoro Unit at the University Department of Pediatric Medicine, Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy, the Pediatric Clinic, Insubria University, Varese, Italy, the Department of Pediatrics, Regional Hospital, Bolzano, Italy, the Department of Gynaecological, Obstetric and Paediatric Sciences at the University of Perugia in Perugia, Italy, the Division of Paediatric Diabetes in Children and Adolescents, Maternal-Infantile Department, Salesi Hospital, Ancona, Italy, and with the Department of Pediatrics, IRCCS Gaslini Children's Hospital at the University of Genova in Genova, Italy.

From 13 centers within the Italian Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology (ISPED), the team collected data on a large number of children with both T1D and concurrent biopsy-proven celiac disease. They collected data at the time they initiated a gluten-free diet, and again after 1 year of a gluten-free diet. They verified gluten-free status using serum tests for celiac disease-related antibodies.

They enrolled 201 children with T1D diagnosed at age of 5.8 +/- 3.8 years, and celiac disease diagnosed at age of 7.5 +/- 4.5 years. To compensate for any metabolic derangement at diabetes onset, they included only cases in which celiac disease diagnosis was made at least 3 months after that of T1D.

As a control group, they used 224 patients with T1D only, matched by age, sex, diabetes duration, and HbA1c.

Before subjects began a gluten-free diet, the team found that HDL-C values were significantly lower in children with celiac disease and T1D than in the control group, with the greatest decrease found in younger children aged, 6 years. Subjects with HDL-C values below pediatric percentile cutoffs for sex and age were younger than those with normal values (6.2 +/- 4.4 vs. 8.6 +/- 4.3 years, P , 0.0001) and also had lower HbA1c (7.5 +/- 0.8 vs. 8.0 +/- 1.5%, P , 0.005).

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After a gluten-free diet the average values of HDL-C in the total study population rose sharply to 60.9 +/- 13.7, compared with 51.3 +/- 13.6 mg/dL (P , 0.0001), and returned to normal.

The percentage of subjects with HDL-C values lower than pediatric percentile cut points fell significantly (P , 0.0001) from 42 to 16%. Subjects with complete adherence to gluten-free diet showed the most significant improvement of HDL-C, and subjects with partial adherence showed a lower, but significant, improvement of HDL-C.

These results dovetail with other data from the past few years, but more clearly indicated the reduction in HDL-C at diagnosis, and the better recovery with a gluten-free diet. The researchers view the reduction HDL-C either as a proxy marker for intestinal inflammation, or as the result of a change in the intestinal secretion of apolipoprotein AI (5), the major HDL structural protein.

This change is seen most sharply in the youngest children, who probably suffer more severely, as indicated by signs of malabsorption, e.g., lower HDL-C and HbA1c levels. Children with T1D and untreated celiac disease, especially young children, typically show an unfavorable lipid profile, i.e., low HDL-C values.

Following a gluten-free diet normalizes HDL-C levels, with the greatest benefits can be seen in individuals who follow the diet strictly, and in the youngest individuals.

Because of the possibility of increased risk of cardiovascular disease, a strict gluten-free diet is mandatory in these children.

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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.