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Celiac Disease, Autoimmune Diseases and Exposure to Gluten

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2005 Apr;40(4):437-43.

Celiac.com 07/28/2005 - In an effort to determine whether gluten exposure in those with celiac disease can cause additional autoimmune diseases, Finnish researchers evaluated the frequency of autoimmune disorders in 703 adults and children with celiac disease, and compared them with 299 controls (normal duodenal histology). For each person in the study the researchers assessed the effect of age at the end of follow-up, age at diagnosis; actual gluten exposure time; and the gender and diagnostic delay time. They then determined autoimmune disease incidence figures that were expressed as a dependent variable via logistic regression analysis (per 10,000 person-years).

The researchers found that the celiac disease group had a significantly higher prevalence of additional autoimmune diseases that was not affected by exposure to gluten.

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Additional Comments on this Study by Roy Jamron:

Autoimmune disease has a high prevalence in celiacs. The following study concludes that the duration of gluten exposure in celiacs is not a significant factor in the risk of developing autoimmune disease. One diagnosed late in life with celiac disease does not appear to be at greater risk for developing autoimmune disease. This seems counter-intuitive, but there may be a good explanation for this result.

Studies in the UK and Italy have demonstrated that the prevalence of celiac disease in young children is essentially the same as in adults, meaning celiac disease begins in infancy. Infancy is the critical time period for the development of the immune system. Gluten exposure and the onset of celiac disease symptoms early in life, therefore, have a much greater and more important impact on the immune system and its development than exposure to gluten later in life. Malabsorption during infancy and early childhood can also adversely affect the crucial function of the thymus, T cell production, and T cell repertoire. So the stage is set early in life rather than later for increased risk of autoimmune disease. The timing of gluten exposure in life seems to be more critical to autoimmune disease risk rather than the overall lifetime duration of gluten exposure. It is, therefore, extremely important to diagnose celiac disease and initiate a gluten-free diet as soon as possible during infancy and young childhood to lower the risk of autoimmune disease later in life.

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1 Response:

 
Robert Johnson, MD
Rating: ratingfullratingemptyratingemptyratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
02 Dec 2010 5:27:27 PM PDT
Gives virtually no info. What is the risk index and what EXACTLY are the autoimmune diseases listed that rise above and index of 1.0.




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Yes but...

I didn't read that far. Yikes... A hefty dose of perspective in that one. For anyone reading this is the post:

Hi! I'm new to the Celiac world. I have been gluten free for around seven months, but still seem to get glutened on a regular basis. I have been sick since January '16 and think that is when it triggered, but I didn't realize until October what it was. By that time I was pregnant with my little boy who is due in June. I also have an almost 4 year old daughter. I am really torn and wondering if I need to really be tested? I have very strong suspicions that I am a true celiac because my aunt has been diagnosed. Part of me says it doesn't matter, just live gluten free and assume you are, but the other part says I need to get tested so I know if my kids are at risk. So far my daughter is fine. She was grain free until after her first birthday, I plan on doing the same with my son. But I also don't want them to suffer the way I have. What would you do? The reason I don't want to get tested is I don't want to start eating it again and feel terrible while I have little kids, last year was so hard and I just want to get strong again. I also plan to bf for a few years and don't necessarily think it's a good idea to eat gluten while bf right? Thank you!

Welcome too! Sorry to hear you're suffering now. If you can nail the diet you should improve. You should also think about vitamin supplements. There's a good chance that you're suffering from one or more deficiencies as a result of the affects of celiac on your intestine's capacity to draw nutrients from your food. A good multi vitamin is a must, just make sure its gluten free and see if your doctor can refer you to a dietician as Lochella's has.

Oh I had heard his name and read some stuff about him but hadn't come across this video! Thanks!!