[IPp] FW: Understanding Celiac Disease
FYI...... From the ADA Parents9 Newsletter...
Pam, mom to Sarah, age 8, dx'd 1/03, pumping Cozmo since 3/04
Understanding Celiac Disease
Studies show that celiac disease (CD) occurs in almost 1 in 10 children with
diabetes. So if your child has diabetes, you should know the signs and
symptoms of celiac (also known as "sprue"). Here are some answers to common
questions about celiac disease and diabetes:
What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac Disease (also known as "sprue") is an allergic reaction to gluten
proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. The reaction occurs in the
intestine, skin, and other tissues. Common symptoms can include stomach
pain, diarrhea, gas, and, in children, failure to grow and thrive. Celiac
causes the body to absorb nutrients inefficiently, which sometimes leads to
Other symptoms may include:
* Loss of appetite
* Weight loss
* Depression or irritability
* Skin rash
* Unexplained low blood glucose levels
Most often, however, there are no symptoms. Celiac is diagnosed using a
blood test and then confirmed with an intestinal biopsy.
Celiac causes damage to the small intestine. In the early stages of
untreated celiac disease, the small intestine becomes irritated and damaged,
but still functions. Problems with food absorption become apparent right
away. Celiac often develops after a viral illness and the symptoms are
similar to the flu, so celiac onset is often mistaken for the flu in its
Over time, the continued and repeated exposure to gluten makes the
intestinal irritation worse. Problems with food absorption continue until
celiac is diagnosed and treatment begins. If celiac disease goes untreated,
a person can become very malnourished and literally starve to death.
How is Celiac Treated?
Celiac is treated by removing all products containing gluten from the diet
completely. These include primarily wheat, rye and barley. Rice, corn, and
oats, are generally gluten-free and can still be eaten.
It takes time for the gluten-induced damage to heal, and it's the intestinal
damage that causes symptoms. So introduction of even one serving of a
gluten-containing food can cause symptoms. Thus the person with celiac
disease must completely remove all gluten-containing foods from their diets
Adults who are asymptomatic often go untreated. Left untreated, over the
long term celiac can cause gastrointestinal tumors. There have been a few
case reports of adults who have died with a cancer of the intestine where
celiac disease has been found.
How does Celiac Relate to Diabetes?
Type I diabetes occurs at a rate of about 0.5% in the general population,
but at a rate estimated at 5-10% among celiacs. Celiac is a genetic disease
carried on one of the genes that causes high risk for type 1 diabetes. Thus,
People with with type 1 diabetes are 20 times more likely to also have
celiac disease, and vice-versa.
Additionally, research from the Genetic and Environmental Causes of Celiac
Disease (CEDAR) has shown that 10% of diabetic children and adults, 3% of
their relatives and 1% of the general population have celiac disease.
Some studies have indicated that a gluten-free diet may improve glycemic
control in children with diabetes and celiac disease. However, risk for type
1 diabetes in first-degree relatives of children with IDDM is not reduced by
a gluten-free diet.
Like type 1 diabetes, celiac disease is also more commonly found in those of
Northern European extraction. No connection has been found between type 2
diabetes and celiac disease.
Learn more <http://main.diabetes.org/site/R?i=aCOJGLKeNsYFX-HnzLM3OQ..>
about celiac disease.
<http://main.diabetes.org/site/R?i=QlcLOq1xF6wFX-HnzLM3OQ..> about checking
your child for celiac disease.
Read a narrative review
<http://main.diabetes.org/site/R?i=yl5fHxBCGHgFX-HnzLM3OQ..> about celiac.
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