Not all with celiac disease have bowel symptoms such as gas, bloating or diarrhea; many have constipation or are asymptomatic. But what I find absorbing (pun intended) about celiac disease are the other syndromes that may be associated with it, and that might improve on a gluten free diet. This is not an exhaustive list:
- Anemia: 3% of low iron folks have celiac, all should be tested.
- Autoimmune diseases: thyroid, type 1 diabetes coexist more frequently with celiac; diabetes seems to improve when GFD is started in patients with both celiac and diabetes.
- Cancers: Small intestinal cancers such as lymphoma, adenocarcinoma, as well as esophagus cancer, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, melanoma, colon cancer, pancreas cancer are increased in folks with celiac disease.
- Cardiology: Cardiomyopathy
- Dermatology: Dermatitis, herpetiformis, atopic dermatitis (3.8% of people with celiac have atopic dermatitis).
- Dental: Dental enamel defects occur in 24.5% of celiac vs 6.2% of control patients.
- Downs syndrome: 8% have celiac, but it is not felt to be causal relationship.
- Neurology: seizures, brain calcifications, ADHD, chorea (a movement disorder), multifocal axonal neuropathy, migraines, cerebellar ataxia.
- Osteoporosis and bone fractures: Celiacs have 2.45 times the risk of peripheral fractures, 3.17 times risk of axial (spine) fractures; 19% spontaneous fractures compared with 8% without celiac disease.
- Pediatrics: Failure to thrive, delayed puberty, ADHD.
- Reproduction problems in both men and women: Infertility, decreased sperm count.
More Answers from Patricia Raymond