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Queen Serenity

Irish Heritage And Celiac's

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I am 100% Irish on my mother side, and on my father side 50% "right off the boat" to Illinois in 1867, my great great grandmother was a chool teacher in Lemont, IL at St. Patrick's. So yeah...I guess you could say I'm Irish.

Then the other day when I had my big GI appt.....the Dexxa scan lady said...yeah....I see so many people with an Irish background that have this ...and I was like reallly??? Then I saw this...weird.

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My strongest heritage is Irish, my Grandma was born there, the rest of my ancestors have been in Canada for several generations. This week I went for my biopsy and my GI actually told me that there is a proven link between Irish heritage and Celiac disease. I googled it and found a great website: http://canada.conocophillips.net/EN/western/Pages/index.aspx. This source explains that wheat, barley, and rye weren't introduced into Ireland (and Irish people's diet) until a much later date than other countries. Therefore we have more difficulties with gluten and are more susceptible to celiac. Check out the link for a better explanation.

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This source explains that wheat, barley, and rye weren't introduced into Ireland (and Irish people's diet) until a much later date than other countries. Therefore we have more difficulties with gluten and are more susceptible to celiac. Check out the link for a better explanation.

Hey everyone....here is an abstract from a medical journal article published in 2001, which is entitled, "Why is celiac disease so common in Ireland?".

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/pe.../44.3cronin.pdf

There are concentrated "pockets" of celiacs here and there around the world (Ireland is one hot spot) and archeologists and agrarian historians collaborate to find out why. I believe that Celi2009's explanation (above) is at least approximately correct.

I think that the general idea is that you will find the highest rates of celiac disease in those areas which relied on foods other than wheat, barley, and rye the longest, historically speaking, but which today ingest large quantities of gluten-containing foods.

This is due to the fact that celiac disease kills babies/small children, and frequently leads to infertility in those who survive to adulthood as well, so susceptible people/families are weeded out of the population fairly quickly (i.e., people like us).

Therefore populations in places which have been growing wheat the longest have lower rates of celiac disease...the "weak links" have been mostly eliminated.

P.S. Celi2009, I couldn't get your link to work.

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Interesting thread.

On my dad's side (going back to the 15th century) German-- Westphalia, but also part Pomeranian (which now belongs to Poland.) On my mom's side Polish (but from areas that could have been Austria or the present Ukraine) and Scotch-Irish. I have been told this last designation is a specific groups of immigrants who originated in Scotland and were forcibly settled in Ireland before immigrating to the US. That side came over after the battle of Cullodan (sp?) and were very early US settlers. Celiac runs on both sides and both sides have identical DQ genes-- 6 and 7 (well, as far as the accuracy of the test will allow me to say so. I guess Enterolab doesn't tell you the beta part of the gene?)

It just goes to show that Europe was more of a melting pot than most people know. Those borders were actually pretty fluid.

In addition, Polish people will tell you that they have blood from the Mongol hordes which swept through there, giving them slightly asiatic features-- the high cheekbones, the lovely eyes-- in short, the "slavic look". I do not know if this is so, but it certainly seems plausible.

And to make matters more interesting, many of the first year linguistic books I use posit the theory that the Celts actually originated in Northern Italy and were gradually pushed to the extremes of Europe by the expanding Roman Empire. Achaeological evidence seems to support this. They were also in Spain (the so called Celt-Iberians.)

So maybe knowing your ancestry isn't as useful as some people think. But it sure is interesting.

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I am curious to know how Celiac's is related, in the majority, to people of an Irish background. Everyone I have spoken too, who have the disease, have some Irish background. I just want to know if there is a connection. If you have no Irish background, please let me know what nationalities you are. Thanks in advance, if you choose to take the survey.

Vicki :)

Mostly Swiss, German, Danish and English, but I think it was the Irish that got me. Thanks loads, great-grandma Tighe!:)

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I'm very, very Irish and am fascinated by the connection between that and celiac. I seem to remember reading a hypothesis somewhere that said the Irish diet was always traditionally very heavy in potatoes, and then when wheat was introduced, people just couldn't handle it. 

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I'm a German and Ukranian/Russian mix and I have celiac disease on both sides of the family. My hubby has a British/Scottosh/Irish background and he's fine... there's some irony in there somewhere.  ;)

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Yes, there is Irish in our background, along with many other European ancestors including Danish, English and German.

I have heard that there are some who think JFK with all his medical problems may have been an undiagnosed Celiac.

Italy is another country that has a high percentage of Celiacs. It may be due to their much more frequent testing for the disease.

DK

Maybe it's because everyone eats pasta - LOL!

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I have an Irish, Scottish, and English background. My husband, who I believe also needs to be tested as he has symptoms, is Irish and German. I've read that people from northern European countries have a higher percentage of celiac disease than other populations. I think there might be an article on this site about that, in fact.

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