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)

Is Gluten Sensitivity Real? For people who have celiac disease eating gluten triggers an intestine–damaging immune system response. Time Healthland, 05/17/2017.

What is Celiac Disease?

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.

Causes of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

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.

Prevalence of celiac disease among first-degree relatives of Indian celiac disease patients. All first-degree relatives of celiac disease patients should be screen for celiac disease even if asymptomatic or with atypical manifestations. PubMed, Dig Liver Dis, 2016 Mar;48(3):255-9.

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)

Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac Disease, and Autoimmunity

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) in Children and Young Adults with Celiac Disease (CD). A Multigroup Matched Comparison. This article found a highly increased risk of IBD in individuals with CD when comparing with the general population. PubMed, Inflamm Bowel Dis, 2017 Nov;23(11):1996-2000. (Also see Inflammatory Bowel Disease)

The Gluten-Free Diet: Fad or Necessity? Some smaller studies suggest that patients with both type 1 diabetes and celiac disease may derive benefit in the prevention of some diabetes complications by adopting the gluten–free diet, although the research remains conflicted. PMC, Diabetes Spectr, 2017 May; 30(2): 118–123. (Also see Symptoms and Complications of Diabetes)

An unusual association of three autoimmune disorders: celiac disease (CD), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This case is unusual: the rare combination of the three autoimmune diseases, their appearance in a man and the atypical onset of the diseases with psychiatric symptoms likely to be related either to CD or to SLE. PubMed, Auto Immun Highlights, 2016 Dec;7(1):7. (Also see Lupus in Overlap, Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis)

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. (Also see Diagnosis of Diabetes and Thyroid Diseases)

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)

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.

Diets and Celiac Disease

What a practitioner needs to know about celiac disease (CD)? Currently, the only treatment for CD is a life–long gluten–free diet (GFD)and strict avoidance of wheat, rye, barley and their derivatives will result in intestinal healing and relief of symptoms for the majority of individuals with CD. PubMed, Indian J Pediatr.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Management of bone health in patients with celiac disease (CD): Practical guide for clinicians. Patients with CD require adequate calcium and vitamin D supplementation, as well as monitoring of vitamin D levels and bone mineral density with regular follow–up to help prevent osteoporosis and fractures. PubMed, Can Fam Physician, 2018 Jun;64(6):433-438. (Also see Osteoporosis)

Bone and Celiac Disease. Adequate calcium and vitamin D supplementation are also recommended to optimize bone recovery, especially during the first years of gluten free diet. Springer Link, 02/13/2016. (Also see Vitamin D Deficiency)

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. Beyond Celiac.

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

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

A Downside of Gluten Free. A gluten–free diet may have a downside: increased blood levels of arsenic and mercury, according to a preliminary report. New York Times, 02/16/2017.

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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