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Oats Induce Villous Atrophy in Some Celiacs

Gut 2003;52:1649-1652

Celiac.com 11/05/2003 - A study conducted by Norwegian researchers has found that some patients with celiac disease may not be able to tolerate oats, especially those who also have Dermatitis Herpetiformis. The researchers looked at 19 adult celiac disease patients who were given 50g of uncontaminated oats per day for 12 weeks. The patients were given biopsies before and after the challenge and were scored histologically, and "levels of mRNA specific for interferon were determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis." The

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researchers determined that oats were well tolerated by most celiac patients, with the exception of several who reported initial abdominal discomfort and boating, and one patient who eventually developed total villous atrophy and "dramatic dermatitis during a second challenge." Further, five of the patients showed positive levels of interferon mRNA after challenge, which leads to some concern by the researchers regarding the safety of oats for those with celiac disease. Several larger studies have demonstrated that oats are well tolerated by most celiacs.

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6 Responses:

 
Lenore Watson
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said this on
07 Mar 2008 9:11:42 PM PDT
I have had wonderful results with oats from this gluten free oats site. I ordered 25 lbs. and my intestines are 'normal' now. So far, for about a year. Thanks so much. Lenore

 
Doreen Coughlin
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said this on
15 Mar 2008 11:33:46 AM PDT
My husband thought he was having a heart attack. He went by ambulance to the hospital and while we were waiting, he calming told me how he stopped at the store to buy some cereal. He accidentally bought wheat-free instead of gluten-free. He had 2 bowls. Turned out the oat flour in the cereal was the culprit all along. He had severe bloating, pressure in his chest, weakness, hotness of his body and nausea. It turned out to be the most expensive box of cereal ever!!!!

 
Maggie
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said this on
15 Jan 2009 1:32:54 PM PDT
I tried gluten free certified oats and I got so sick I almost went to the hospital. I would be very careful trying oats if you are celiac.

 
Beth
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said this on
17 Sep 2009 9:37:53 AM PDT
I'm suffering right now from gluten free oats - the same reaction as if I had gluten! I've had them before and was fine, but yesterday's bowl of oatmeal is killing me today!

 
Jenn
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said this on
24 Dec 2010 6:32:22 AM PDT
I am one of the unfortunate persons with celiac that seems to be unable to tolerate GF oats. It's my understanding that the protein molecule in oats is similar to the ones our bodies attack, therefore some of us have a 'gluten' reaction. But I'm hypothesizing the reaction can be different for each of us, for example, I get violently ill if I accidentally consume gluten, but oats didn't make me sick. They did (I'm guessing) damage the villi because months after introducing gluten free oats, I became anemic again for the first time since diagnosis (it had been many years). As soon as I eliminated the oats, the iron levels went back up and have stayed there after I ended the supplements. Sheesh, if being GF wasn't difficult enough, now I have to read the ingredients of items marked "GF", like Udi's granola. It has oats in it!

 
Kathy Keenan
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said this on
16 May 2013 2:25:55 PM PDT
I have celiac and I can tell you for sure that I cannot tolerate oats either! I think it is fool hardy to put gluten-free on an item when you don't know for sure if all people can consider it safe to eat. You know every time you have a reaction, it gets worse.




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Similarly, I've been vegetarian for 25+ years. A 2015 Nature study connecting emulsifiers with microbiome changes has me wondering about the processed foods that I ate in the past, and I wonder about the wisdom of eating as much seitan as I did. I mostly prefer my post-diagnosis diet since it forces me to consider every ingredient and to cook from scratch more.

LOL, that might put it into perspective if I explain it that way.

I am very interested in this too. My daughter tested negative for celiac, but has terrible primarily neurological symptoms. Because she tested positive for SIBO at the time and was having some GI symptoms, I was told it was just a Fodmap issue. I knew better and we have been gluten free for 2 years. Fast forward to this February. She had a SIBO recurrence that I treated at home with diet and herbal antibiotics because I couldn't get the insurance referral. She was doing great. Then stupid me brought in gluten containing chick feed for the new baby chicks we got. Feed dust everywhere. Total mess. Really, no GI symptoms (she was SIBO free by then)...but the neurological symptoms! my daughter couldn't walk for three days. Burning down one leg, nerve pain in the foot. Also heaviness of limbs, headache and fatigue. Better after three days. But unfortunately she had a TINY gluten exposure at that three day mark and had another severe reaction: loss of balance, loss of feeling in her back and arms, couldn't see for a few seconds, and three days of hand numbness, fatigue, concentration problems. Well, I actually contacted Dr. Hadjivassilou by email and he confirmed that the symptoms are consistent with gluten ataxia but any testing would require a gluten challenge. Even with these exposures, antibodies would not be high enough. His suggestion was maintain vigilance gluten free. I just saw my daughter's GI at U of C and she really only recognizes celiac disease and neurological complications of that. But my impression is that gluten ataxia is another branch in the autoimmune side of things (with celiac and DH being the other two). At this point, I know a diagnosis is important. But I don't know how to get there. We homeschool right now so I can give her time to heal when she is accidentally glutened, I can keep my home safe for her (ugh, that I didn't think of the chicken feed!) But at some point, she is going to be in college, needing to take exams, and totally incapacitated because of an exposure. And doctors state side that are worth seeing? Who is looking at gluten ataxia in the US?

Caro..............monitoring only the TSH to gauge thyroid function is what endo's do who don' t do a good job of managing thyroid disease. They should do the full panel and check the actual thyroid hormone numbers.........T3 and T4. The importance of the TSH comes second to hormone levels. In order to track how severely the thyroid is under attack, you need to track antibody levels.......not the TSH. I did not stay with endocrinologists because I found they did not do a very good job and found much greater help and results with a functional medicine MD. You should not have a goiter if your thyroid is functioning well and your TSH is "normal". Maybe they should do a full panel? Going gluten free can have a profound affect for the better on thyroid function and that is something that is becoming more and more accepted today. Ask most people with Celiac and thyroid disease and they will tell you that. My thyroid never functioned well or was under control under after I discovered I had Celiac and went gluten free. It was the only way I got my antibody numbers back down close to normal and they were around 1200 when it was diagnosed with Celiac. I was diagnosed with Hashi's long before the Celiac diagnosis. I am not sure Vitamin D has anything to do with thyroid antibodies but who knows? Maybe it does have an affect for the better. It is really hard to get Vitmain D levels up, depending on where you live. Mine are going up, slowly, even after 12 years gluten-free but I live in the Northeast in the US and we don't have sun levels like they do in the South. I take 5,000 IU daily and that is a safe level to take, believe it or not. I get no sun on my job so the large dose it is! Having Celiac Disease should not stop you from being able to travel, especially S. America. I travel, although I do agree that some countries might be very difficult to be gluten free in. You can be a foodie and travel with Celiac so no worries on that front. You may not be able to sample from someone else's plate, unless they are eating gluten-free too but I have had awesome experiences with food when traveling so you can too!

I don't know what you drank or where.... so here are a few thoughts. - sure, a dive bar might have dirty glasses and serve a cocktail in a beer glass? But a nice reminder place, with a dishwasher, should be fine. If it's a sketchy place, Stick to wine, then it's served in wine glasses that aren't used for beer or bottled ciders in the bottle. - ciders on tap might, just a slight chance, have an issue. Because of beer on tap, mixed up lines, etc. - you may have a problem with alcohol - you may have issues with The high sugar content of the drink. I know I have similar issues if I drink serveral ciders of extra sugary brands - are you positive it was a gluten-free drink? Not this " redds Apple" pretending to be a cider - it's beer with apple flavor. Or one of those " gluten removed " beers?