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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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The only symptom I know of that is celiac for certain is dh, which must be diagnosed by a dermatologist.

I have both eoe and celiac and now that I have been gluten free for 18 months, my anemia is gone. It is good to get off the iron supliments because mine may have been the cause of my ulcers. It feels good to recover and heal! I may work my way down to fewer supliments and lots of feel great da...

Your daughter does not have a strong positive. I suspect that the GI might do as RMJ suggested which would be to load her up on gluten for six months and retest. On the other hand, with a diagnosed sibling and a very mild positive, your GI might recommend the endoscopy or run the test again to ...

I was diagnosed with celiac last year on an endoscopy looking for the cause of my anemia. At the time, my GI doc tested m for EoE and it was negative. Fast forward 11 months, I developed sudden heart burn, dysphagia out of the blue. My doc thinks it's EoE. Biopsy was last week and I am still wait...

No, the control test is to verify that she will react to that particular type of test. If she didn't, then certain of the bloods would not be applicable to her. They would be false negatives. As far as tests being weak positives, that's like being a little pregnant. A positive is a positive....