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kclay

T1 Diabetic Diagnosed With Celiac With No Symptoms?

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My son was diagnosed with T1 Diabetes at the age of 20.  He has always been a very healthy eater and avid runner, so this was a total shock. He has been amazing in dealing with Diabetes.  At one point an endo told him that he didn't even think he was diabetic because he was using to little insulin.  He was extremely careful about his diet, and was in the honeymoon phase.   He is now 25 and has a new endo who ran tests for Celiac as part of his initial work up.  Blood tests came back positive, so biopsy was ordered.  The results showed chronic inflammation and the diagnosis was confirmed.  He has NO symptoms.  I realize that some people with Celiac don't have symptoms.  In my research, all the information concerning cross contamination talk about how sick a person will get from just trace amounts of gluten.  My question is this: If my son has no symptoms, are trace amounts of gluten causing damage?  Are the levels in the severity of Celiac?  

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Welcome!

 

All Celiac's will have damage to their small intestine if they ingest gluten but some people will become very sick (like me) and others will not have symptoms.  There are many people who are in the same boat......they ingest gluten and nothing happens that they can feel, but damage is being done none the less.  Kind of crazy, I know, but that's how this disease works.  

 

I have a pretty severe case of Celiac...I presented classically with all the symptoms people are familiar with. I was gene tested and am the lucky recipient of a double Celiac gene, which means it's on both sides of my family.  In reading the literature on the paperwork that accompanied the test results, it stated that those with a double gene will have a more severe form of the disease.  All Celiac's sustain damage on ingestion of gluten but some people don't seem to get to the point where they have total villous atrophy. Some have patchy damage and don't seem that sick. But they are.  Having undiagnosed Celiac can wreak havoc with your health down the line so it's pretty good that his endo tested him and discovered this.  Type 1 diabetes is one of the other autoimmune diseases that is very closely linked to Celiac, along with thyroid disease.  I would imagine that is why they tested him.

 

There are other people here that have both diseases and can help out more with your questions but it's a good thing your son is fitness minded because that is going to be a big plus in the long run.  My brother has Type 1 and I swear he is a Celiac but no one is listening.  He does not take care of himself quite as well as he should and his health has suffered because of it.  He is still eating gluten. Your son will be able to ward off future problems if he is strict with his diet.....and it sounds like he will.  We can help with the diet, if needed.

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Hi!

 

I also thought I did not have any symptoms.  All my symptoms are/were neurological. Leg pain, knee pain, and chronic dull headache.  Any amount of gluten causes damage even if you don't have symptoms.  There are 300 known symptoms of celiac disease.  There are no levels of severity in Celiac Disease.  There are several blogs about celiac that can be helpful. One of them is glutendude.com.  Your son may also be interested in Mark's Daily Apple website.  Good luck to your son.  I hope he continues to take good care of his health especially with the T1 diabetes. 

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I agree with the others in that symptoms do no always corespond to the amounts of damage being done. There are many with Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance (NCGI or NCGS) around here who have no villi damage yet their symptoms are more severe than mine. the variation is huge.

 

One thing that could contribute to his feelings of well being is his age. There are many celiacs around here, myself included, whose symptoms improved a great deal in their late teens and early twenties. When I was in my early 20's, I used to go mountain climbing after school and ran half marathons on the weekend all while eating gluten.... My body at 40 can't handle the gluten so well anymore.  LOL  ;)

 

Perhaps he will notice improvements in some areas as time goes on. I have a young cousin who was diagnosed after they suspected his cognitive problems and ADD was caused by celiac.  Perhaps his energy will improve, or he'll have fewer headaches, or his fitness will make a jump. I would be willing to bet that as long as he is paying attention, he'll see improvements and may be able to recognize the symptoms of being glutened. In the meantime, he will have to be extra vigillent and read every label.

 

Best wishes.

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