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Cigarette Exposure Protects Against Adult Celiac Disease

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2003 Sep;15(9):995-1000.

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Celiac.com 08/27/2004 - Past studies have demonstrated an association, but not a causal connection, between cigarette smoking and celiac disease. Using the Bradford Hill criteria British researchers have now established a causal connection. In a matched case-control study, the researchers utilized a questionnaire to obtain the smoking histories of 138 celiacs and 276 age-matched and sex-matched controls. The subjects were then categorized according to their pre-diagnosis cigarette exposure, and it was found that 10% of celiacs, and 30% of the controls were smokers during this time. A biological gradient was demonstrated for total, recent and current cigarette exposure, and the greatest risk reduction related to current exposure. The researchers conclude:

"This study strengthens the case for a causal relationship between smoking and coeliac disease by demonstrating a strong, temporally appropriate and dose-dependent effect, thus meeting the Bradford Hill criteria. This suggests that cigarette smoking truly protects against the development of adult coeliac disease."

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Wish I could give you a hug. Unfortunately I know how that feels with Neurologists, Internists, Endocrinologists, Rheumatologists, GIs..... I got so tired of crying my drive home after refusing yet another script for Prozac. I do hope your GI can give you some answers even if it is just to rule out other possible issues. Keep on the gluten and we are here for you.

It is too bad that so often a full panel isn't done. Glad your appointment got moved up and hopefully you will get a clearer answer from the GI. Do keep eating gluten until the celiac testing is done. Once the testing is done do give the diet a good strict try. Hang in there.

That makes sense...I cried with relief when I got my diagnosis just because there was finally an answer. Please know that you are not weak or crazy. Keep pushing for testing. It could still be celiac, it could be Crohns. Push your Dr's to figure this out. Best wishes.

Thank you all very much. I actually cried when I got the answer. I wanted an explanation that I could "fix." Now I'm back to thinking I'm just weak and possibly crazy. I know I'm not crazy, but you know.

From what I have read online there is about a 1-3% chance of getting a false positive for celiac disease from a blood test. Was it a blood test that you got done? It may be worth your while to get a biopsy or more testing just to confirm it. I know being gluten free is a pain but it is better than getting cancer or other auto immune disorders.