Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Overview of Gluten Sensitivity
What is Celiac Disease?
CD and Scleroderma
CD and Autoimmunity
Diets and Celiac Disease
Media Articles
Personal Stories

Overview: What is Gluten Sensitivity?

Celiac KaleidoscopeGluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are a known cause of scleroderma and dozens of other autoimmune diseases. Even if tests for gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are negative or inconclusive, trial of a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) should be considered. (Also see Autoimmune Diseases)

6 Facts About Gluten That You’re Probably Getting Wrong. What exactly is gluten? There are common gluten misunderstandings. Time Healthland, 07/21/2015.

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease Health Center. Celiac disease is an immune system disorder that results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten. WebMD.

Celiac Disease. Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. Foods or products containing gluten causes the immune system to damage the small intestine. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Celiac disease, wheat allergy, and gluten sensitivity: when gluten free is not a fad. As the gluten-free diet (GFD) gains in popularity with the general public, health practitioners are beginning to question its real health benefits. J Parenter Enteral Nutr, 2012 Jan.

Causes of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Prevalence of celiac disease among first degree relatives of celiac disease patients. Given the high prevalence (4.8%) of the disease in this specific group, it is suggested that an extensive screening policy be mandatory for these subjects. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 2012 Jan 10.

Causes of Celiac Disease. The exact cause of celiac disease is unknown, but it's often inherited. Many times, for unclear reasons, the disease emerges after some form of trauma: an infection, a physical injury, the stress of pregnancy, severe stress or surgery. Mayo Clinic.

Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac Disease, and Scleroderma

Gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are a known or suspected cause of scleroderma and dozens of other autoimmune diseases. Even if tests for gluten sensitivity and Celia disease are negative or inconclusive, trial of a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) should be considered. (Also see Diagnosis of Gluten Sensivity and Celiac Disease, What is Scleroderma?, and Types of Scleroderma)

Celiac disease screening in patients with scleroderma. The authors conclude that there is no need to screen scleroderma patients with diarrhea for celiac disease unless there is a clear clinical indication for this. Nisihara R.(PubMed) Arq Gastroenterol, 2011 Jun;48(2):163-4.

Active Scleroderma Common in Celiac Disease. There have been previous reports of several rheumatological disorders, including Raynaud's phenomenon in people with celiac disease, but this seems to be the first report of extensive microvascular damage, similar to capillary changes in scelroderma, documented by nailfold capillaroscopy in a patient with celiac disease. Jefferson Adams. 10/01/10. (Also see Nailfold Capillaroscopy)

Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac Disease, and Autoimmunity

Associated autoimmune diseases in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk for developing other autoimmune diseases, most commonly autoimmune thyroiditis and celiac disease. PubMed, Autoimmun Rev, 2015 Sep;14(9):781-97. (Also see Diagnosis of Diabetes and Thyroid Diseases)

Coeliac disease in endocrine diseases of autoimmune origin. The majority of adult patients have the atypical or silent type of the disease. This is the main reason why CD so often goes undiagnosed or the diagnosis is delayed. PubMed, Endokrynol Pol, 2012;63(3):240-9.

Screening for celiac disease in average-risk and high-risk populations. Certain patient groups such as those with autoimmune diseases may be offered screening in the context of an informed discussion regarding the potential benefits, with the caveat that the data on this issue are sparse. Therap Adv Gastroenterol, 2012 Jan 5.

A Connection Between Thyroid Disease And Celiac Disease. Hypothyroidism was four times more common in celiacs than in non-celiacs. Hyperthyroidism was three times more common in celiacs than in non-celiacs. Jody Smith. EmpowHER. 07/25/2011. (Also see Thyroid Disease)

Gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease are a known or suspected cause of dozens of autoimmune diseases. Even if tests for gluten sensitivity and Celia disease are negative or inconclusive, trial of a gluten-free and casein-free (GFCF) should be considered. (See Diagnosis of Gluten Sensivity and Celiac Disease)

Atypical celiac disease in a patient with type 1 diabetes mellitus and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. These investigations indicated atypical celiac disease with malabsorption, anemia and osteoporosis. Schreiber FS Dtsch Med Wochenschr, 2011 Jan;136(3):82-85. (PubMed).

Polymyositis: Can a gluten-free diet reduce symptoms? If you have polymyositis a rare connective tissue disease you may be at increased risk of celiac disease. In such cases, a gluten-free diet can improve signs and symptoms of celiac disease. But there's no evidence that a gluten-free diet can improve signs and symptoms of polymyositis. Mayo Clinic. (Also see Polymyositis)

Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders. Disorders associated with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity include: anemia, arthritis, ataxia, nerve disease, neuropathy, brain damage, attention deficit disorder, autism, bacterial overgrowth, cancer, lymphoma, candida albicans, casein or cow's milk intolerance, chronic fatigue syndrome, cognitive impairment, Crohn's disease, depression, diabetes, Down Syndrome, dyspepsia, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, flatulence (gas), gall bladder disease, gastrointestinal bleeding, growth hormone deficiency, heart failure, infertility, impotency, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal permeability, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, liver disease, malnutrition, migraine headaches, miscarriage, multiple sclerosis, obesity, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, pancreatic disorders, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, schizophrenia, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, skin problems, thrombocytopenic purpura, thyroid disease, and tuberculosis. Celiac com. (Also see Symptoms of Scleroderma)

Diagnosis of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Some people skip all medical testing and do a trial of a gluten-free diet, to see if it alleviates their symptoms. Doctors object to this approach since it can make an official diagnosis of celiac disease either difficult or impossible.

Enterolabs is a certified U.S. laboratory that does stool and DNA testing for gluten sensitivity, direct to patients, which they report as being about 30% more sensitive than blood tests. Enterolab.

Can I have gluten sensitivity if screening blood tests for celiac sprue are negative or indeterminate? Yes. Originally screening tests for gluten sensitivity/celiac sprue consisted of blood tests against the damaging protein in gluten called gliadin (antigliadin antibodies). However, with heightened awareness of the possibility of gluten sensitivity in family members of diagnosed celiacs, or in people with syndromes associated with celiac sprue, it has become clear that not all people suspected of being immunologically intolerant to gluten have positive blood tests. Finer Health.

Diets and Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease: Advances in Treatment Via Gluten Modification. This review discusses gluten-based therapies including wheat alternatives and wheat selection, enzymatic alteration of wheat, oral enzyme supplements, and polymeric binders as exciting new therapies for treatment of Celiac Disease (CD). Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2012 Jun 19.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Significant bone microarchitecture impairment in premenopausal women with active celiac disease (CD). Patients with symptomatic CD had a greater bone microarchitectural deficit than those with subclinical CD. Bone, 03/14/2015. (Also see Osteoporosis)

Can Celiac Disease Affect the Brain? The prevalence of celiac disease is indeed rising and symptoms are increasingly understood to manifest beyond the gut, including occasionally in the brain. Gluten sensitivity may yet prove to be real and measurable. New York Times, 10/11/2014.

Celiac disease (CD) and reproductive disorders. Women with CD should therefore be made aware of the potential negative effects of the disease also in terms of reproductive performances, and of the importance of a strict diet to ameliorate their health condition and reproductive health. PubMed, Hum Reprod Update, 2014 Mar 11.

The enthesopathy of celiac (CD) patients: effects of gluten-free diet (GFD). Enthesopathy is more frequent in untreated CD subjects with positive anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (ATA), as compared to those on GFD and absence of serum ATA. PubMed, Clin Rheumatol, 2014 Feb 25.

Should We Look for Celiac Disease among all Patients with Liver Function Test Abnormalities? Serological screening with IgA anti-tTG antibody test should be routinely performed in patients presenting with abnormal liver function tests (LFT) and especially those with chronic liver diseases including hypertransaminasemia, autoimmune hepatitis, and cryptogenic cirrhosis. Int J Prev Med, 2012 Mar;3(3):167-72. (Also see Liver Involvement)

Back pain and sacroiliitis in long-standing adult celiac disease: a cross-sectional and follow-up study. There have been only scattered reports suggesting that musculoskeletal manifestations including back pain and sacroiliac joint involvement may be associated with celiac disease. In a follow-up study of eight patients, after 11 years on a gluten-free diet, the great majority of patients had no clinical symptoms; yet, a subclinical progression of the sacroiliac joint involvement could be verified. (SpringerLink) E. Vereckei. Rheumatology International. June 6 2009.

Do I Have Celiac? Symptom Checklist. Frequently experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed, plus being diagnosed with any one of the diseases or conditions listed—Iron deficiency/ anemia, infertility, depression, osteoporosis or osteopenia, Type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, Sjogren's, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal cancer, peripheral neuropathy, Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, or Dermatitis herpetiformis, may indicate that you have celiac. National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.

What are the symptoms of gluten sensitivity? Although there may be no detectable symptoms of the immune response to gluten, the typical symptoms people develop occur when the reaction begins to damage the intestines. The symptoms, resulting from malabsorption or improper digestion of dietary nutrients, include abdominal bloating or pain, diarrhea, constipation, gaseousness, or nausea with or without vomiting. It appears that acid reflux in the esophagus, manifesting as heartburn, may be a potential symptom as well. Other symptoms people experience include fatigue, joint pains, mouth ulcers, bone pain, abnormal menses in women, and infertility. Finer Health.

Signs and Symptoms. There are no typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease. Most people with the disease have general complaints, such as intermittent diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating. Mayo Clinic.

Treatment for Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity

Celiac disease: implications for patient management. Through monitoring gluten intake and providing nutritional supplementation, those diagnosed with celiac disease can lead a relatively normal life without complications. Ryan M. (PubMed) Gastroenterol Nurs, 2011 May-Jun.

Researchers uncover new clues in celiac disease. A new study published in the journal Nature shows that blocking certain genetic factors may prevent the autoimmune response that causes the condition. Private MD Labs. 02/10/2011.

Treatment of Celiac Disease at Mayo Clinic. Celiac disease has no cure, but it can be effectively managed by avoiding foods containing gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye). After gluten is eliminated from the diet, the small intestine begins to heal. Mayo Clinic.

Media Articles and Books on Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease

The Weird Link Between Celiac Disease and Nerve Damage. People with celiac disease have a 2.5-fold increased risk of developing neuropathy, or nerve damage. Time Healthland, 05/12/2015.

Many Americans With Celiac Disease Are Unaware Of It. A Mayo Clinic analysis that investigated the prevalence of celiac disease revealed that around 1.8 million people in the U.S. suffer from the disease. However, about 1.4 million are unaware they even have the disease. Medical News Today. 08/01/12.

Personal Stories of Gluten Sensitivity

Donna C: Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD) For the most part I have still been doing very good. Some little setbacks here and there but for the most part much better...

Dorne: Overlap and Possibly CREST Since 2002 I have been diagnosed with Lupus, Sjogren's Disease, B12 deficiency, mild pulmonary hypertension, Celiac disease, Type II diabetes and now the specialists are seriously talking about CREST...

James S: Son of Watermelon Stomach Sufferer Last year, my mother was diagnosed as a celiac. Since then a number of other problems have risen to the surface...

Joan Elston: Systemic Scleroderma, Sjögren's, and Fibromyalgia I am 61 years of age and live with my husband Bryan in Durban South Africa...

Kathy R: Localized Scleroderma I was diagnosed with Localized Scleroderma when I was six months pregnant with my son in 1965. It started at the time with blotches on my right arm...

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