Celiac disease and type I diabetes, both autoimmune disorders, are more closely related than you might think.
Celiac disease is a condition where the body reacts against gluten. Usually there are obvious symptoms in the gut. Most people with celiac disease have symptoms such as stomach cramps and diarrhea to tip them off that something in their gut is not quite right.
But this is not always the case. This can be of particular importance if you have type I diabetes.
Type I diabetes is also an autoimmune disease. The pancreas stops producing insulin. This prevents your body from properly regulating blood sugar levels.
A great number of borderline cases of both diabetes and celiac disease go un-diagnosed.
Of the two, diabetes is more likely to be picked up on by your doctor. What most doctors don’t realize is that having diabetes means you have an elevated risk of also having celiac disease.
Many experts believe that just under 1% of the population has celiac disease. This is an astoundingly high number.
Studies have shown that for diabetes patients, 2% – 8.5% of them, also have celiac disease. The variation mostly has to do with the method used to diagnose celiac disease. If a biopsy is used, incidents of celiac disease is under-reported.
Often, celiac disease is “silent”, meaning the classical symptoms are not present.
Mainstream doctors are only just starting to accept, look for and recognize celiac disease, if classical symptoms are present. Some still depend on the highly unreliable biopsy test for diagnosis.
If you have silent celiac disease, do not assume that you are OK after all.
Silent celiac disease and type I diabetes is a case in point.
Diabetics suffer many side-effects from the disease, so if you are diabetic, it makes a lot of sense that you check for celiac disease. There’s almost a 10% chance that you have that as well.
1. Vijay Kumar, "Celiac Disease Associated Autoimmune Endocrinopathies"