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CGally81

Co-worker With Lupus Is Going Gluten-free

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I noticed the book "Gluten-Free Cooking For Dummies" on a coworker's desk, so I asked her about it.

She told me that she has lupus. And she mentioned that she went to a holistic doctor and got injected with various things to be tested for what she has a reaction to. She has reactions to wheat, barley and rye (the main culprits), but was also told not to have milk or chicken (!!!!).

I told her that I have Celiac, explained the symptoms I had, my current withdrawal and constant hunger symptoms, and mentioned that Celiac has been known to cause additional disorders and intolerances (i.e. I was briefly lactose intolerant, but that went away when I stopped eating gluten long enough. I also used to not be able to tolerate any fruit except bananas without becoming intensely hungry, but that was also fixed up by being gluten-free long enough). I mentioned that it might be possible that she has Celiac and doesn't know it, and that is what caused her lupus. She told me that she'll let me know how she fares on her gluten-free diet, and if anything changes.

What do you guys think? Do you think Celiac could be the cause of her lupus, and her symptoms had been so silent before that she didn't realize she had it until it was too late? Or was there some other reason why someone with lupus would be told to go off gluten?

I'm about to visit an immunologist sometime, likely next week. I hope I don't get told to stay off milk or chicken!

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I have seen it postulated that lupus is one of those autoimmune diseases that occur concomitantly with celiac and is caused by gluten. I found the following statement on the Lupus Canada website: "Many people with lupus also suffer from gluten intolerance, although a direct correlation still remains to be unproven." (Uhm, did they mean "remains unproven" or remains to be proven?" :P ) The author of this article noticed improvement of her symptoms eating gluten free, although it did not cure her lupus.

At any rate, yes there does seem to be a link between lupus and gluten. People with ankylosing spondylitis (an autoimmune arthritis) are also told to follow a gluten free diet, which is how I came to give up gluten for my psoriatic arthritis too. And no, it did not cure it, but I believe the nightshade family greatly worsen it and who is to say how bad it might be if I continued the gluten. However, all my celiac symptoms were cured by the absence of gluten :o

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I have seen it postulated that lupus is one of those autoimmune diseases that occur concomitantly with celiac and is caused by gluten. I found the following statement on the Lupus Canada website: "Many people with lupus also suffer from gluten intolerance, although a direct correlation still remains to be unproven." (Uhm, did they mean "remains unproven" or remains to be proven?" :P ) The author of this article noticed improvement of her symptoms eating gluten free, although it did not cure her lupus.

At any rate, yes there does seem to be a link between lupus and gluten. People with ankylosing spondylitis (an autoimmune arthritis) are also told to follow a gluten free diet, which is how I came to give up gluten for my psoriatic arthritis too. And no, it did not cure it, but I believe the nightshade family greatly worsen it and who is to say how bad it might be if I continued the gluten. However, all my celiac symptoms were cured by the absence of gluten :o

Wow. Lupus is another thing related to gluten. Gluten is really looking like quite the enemy to humankind. Autism (which I also have), ADHD, Celiac, and now lupus and ankylosing spondylitis!

Why do you think she was told to stay off milk and chicken btw? Related to Celiac, or to lupus?

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The list of autoimmune diseases linked to celiac is long and includes MS, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

She was probably told to avoid milk because if she is celiac or gluten intolerant she probably also has a problem with lactose (needs intact villi in the small intestine to make the lactase which digests it). The chicken--sorry, I have no idea.

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You can find various lists of associated autoimmune diseases by searching on

"celiac associated condition"

or

"celiac related condition"

You will find the lists of related illnesses does vary somewhat by site.

This is a brief snippet from Columbia's celiac disease center info.

http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.ed...ociatedCond.htm

Autoimmune disorders

Autoimmune disorders occur ten times more commonly in celiac disease than the general population. They include insulin dependent diabetes, thyroid disease, Sjogren's syndrome, Addison's disease, autoimmune liver disease, autoimmune cardiomyopathy, and neurological disorders. When both occur in a patient, the celiac disease is frequently silent, as a result the autoimmune disorder is usually diagnosed first.

Here is one list that includes lupus.

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/c/celiac_disease/assoc.htm

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I know this isn't much help, but a dermatologist tried to diagnose my mother with Lupus and RA when really it was DH.

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I have sle lupus it was diagnosed 7 years before they found the celiac.

I have seen two highly respected GI's, 2 Rheumatologists, 2 Internists & a Natropathic Dr since my celiac Dx. They all think the two conditions are related, 1 GI & 1 Rheumy claimed it was probably "only" celiac all along. But I saw neither of them long term & the other Rheumy said I very clearly have both. It is common for people with one autoimmune condition to have several at the same time.

I have been strictly gluten free for a year & a half now & the only lupus symptoms that have improved were brain fog, abnormal liver enzymes & fatigue. Actually some symptoms have gotten worse, I am coming into a flair now... so I do not believe it was "only" celiac...the theory is gluten was/is a trigger for my lupus.

My GI who dxed me, told me to cut out dairy with gluten & remain dairy free for at least 6 months while I heal. I gave it a year it still made me sick, now I eat a little here & there...but it still doesn't set right & is hard to avoid since letting it back into my diet.

There are theories that casein is so similar to gluten to our bodies that our bodies can react to cow dairy as well as gluten. Others that Dairy is just not tolerated by all people weather its because of lactose or casein. Some say it can cause mucus & respiratory problems. & That people of Native American or Asian decent have more problems with lactose than others.

I go to a Lupus forum & have talked about celiac & gluten intolerance, most don't seem interested but there are several people there with lupus who are gluten free & a couple who have also been dxed with celiac.

I can't do soy, msg, some grains, nitrates either.

Hope this info is helpful, good luck to your co worker...nice to know when we are not alone :)

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The chicken issue might be related to Loren Cordain's paleo diet theories. He contends that foods high in lectins such as chicken and legumes make a leaky gut worse as far as gut permeability hence the need to avoid them. I know I have been avoiding all grains and legumes and chicken while following a mostly paleo diet for the last year. I also avoid nightshades because of my RA and can state that potatoes make my RA very bad. Prior to my celiac DX I had been diagnosed with RA, Sjogren's some problems with Reynaud's syndrome as well as having very high Lupus indicators. In the "regular" population these are all 10x more likely in women than men yet I believe that in the celiac community it is much more common, or the numbers are more even among male and female populations. Sorry I don't have citations for the above numbers as I am recalling these things off the top of my head. My Sjogren's seems at times to be getting better until I have a stretch like the last week where my eyes are unbearably dry. Funny how the Lupus foundation mentions certain possible triggers for flares but will not say that there may be a cause and effect relationship such as antibiotics being a trigger for Lupus flares but not a causitive factor in the development of the disease. I had major problems with that very issue for nearly twenty years before finally being diagnosed for celiac. Antibiotics were worse than whatever I was taking them for. I couldn't figure out why I would get worse instead of better while on them. I recall reading somewhere about flourescent lighting being a concern for Lupus sufferers as it may serve as a trigger for flares. I will have to see if I can find the link to that or whether I am trying to recall imaginary data from my brain fog days.

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Hi Chasbari,

I'm guessing with sjogrens your ana remains positive?

I'm not sure if I read it on the LFA site, or in one of the many books I read trying to understand all this...but I know lots of people with lupus do claim florescent lights bother them. Sun exposure is a known trigger of lupus.

They always said they don't know what causes lupus, but it seems to be coming out that like celiac if you have the gene + triggers you end up sick.

There is a drug induced lupus, I am not sure if antibiotics are on that list, if I find out I will post it for ya.

Do you still see a Rheum.? Do the still suspect lupus or do they say it was celiac instead?

good luck to you! take care!

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Hi Chasbari,

I'm guessing with sjogrens your ana remains positive?

I'm not sure if I read it on the LFA site, or in one of the many books I read trying to understand all this...but I know lots of people with lupus do claim florescent lights bother them. Sun exposure is a known trigger of lupus.

They always said they don't know what causes lupus, but it seems to be coming out that like celiac if you have the gene + triggers you end up sick.

There is a drug induced lupus, I am not sure if antibiotics are on that list, if I find out I will post it for ya.

Do you still see a Rheum.? Do the still suspect lupus or do they say it was celiac instead?

good luck to you! take care!

I fired my rheumatologist who became quite contentious with me after my celiac DX. He said I probably didn't really have celiac and it was probably just IBS... this after a very positive endoscopy and a very positive response to the diet. He wanted to ignore the celiac DX and put me on all sorts of drugs that are seemingly no longer necessary as I can walk and even run now whereas a year ago I could barely walk. My lupus symptoms also seem to have gone away for the most part as well so I think that my RA and other autoimmune issues are secondary to my celiac. I am going to go have new bloodwork done after the first of the year to see what has happened to all my levels so I am not sure where I am at this point on ANA numbers. I do know that I had some very serious flares whenever I took an antibiotic. So much so that my ENT took me off antibiotics completely for about 12 years. Being a singer prone to respiratory infections I used them far too often years ago. He surmised that they were really messing up my immunity and took me off them while putting me on a very limited diet that, unbeknownst to me at the time, limited my gluten exposure. It wasn't until I really departed from that back to a "normal" diet coupled with one of my first rounds of antibiotics after a dozen years of not having to take any that the wheels came off and I got much worse in a very short amount of time. That's when all the lab numbers began showing all the autoimmune issues.

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