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The Gluten-Free Diet Improves Glycemic Control in Children with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease

Diabetes Care 2002;25:1111-1122.

Celiac.com 08/08/2002 - A recent study conducted by Dr. David B. Dunger (Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge) and colleagues found that children with type 1 diabetes and latent celiac disease who were put on a gluten-free diet showed significant improvement in their metabolic control and growth. The study, which was published in the July issue of Diabetes Care, looked at 11 children with type 1 diabetes and who were diagnosed with celiac disease using anti-gliadin and anti-endomysial antibodies and a biopsy for confirmation.

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The group with celiac disease had a significantly lower mean BMI standard deviation score (SDS) than that of a control group of 22 age and sex-matched children with diabetes who did not have celiac disease. The mean height SDS and C-peptide levels in the two groups were similar, while the mean HbA-1-c was lower (better) in the group with celiac disease. After one year on a gluten-free diet the group with celiac disease improved its mean BMI score to that of the control group, and its HbA-1-c score went down (improved), while the control groups HbA-1-c score increased (worsened).

The researchers conclude that more studies are needed to support their findings that a gluten-free diet significantly improves glycemic control in children with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.

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