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Related Celiac Diseases

Related Diseases to Celiac Disease

A number of other diseases are related to Celiac disease.

Anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older.  There are several types of Anxiety disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Phobia and other Specific Phobias.  Anxiety symptoms and severity differ depending on the type of disorder. Before and after Celiac Disease diagnosis, a number of stressors surface.

Pre-Diagnosis: Gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, insomnia, malabsorption and vitamin deficiency are factors of Anxiety prior to being diagnosed.  Another common stressor is worrying about health issues.  It is hard to determine if the anxiety and depression symptoms are related to life events or Celiac Disease.

Post-Diagnosis: Often, after diagnosis there are signs of relief, anxiety symptoms are not far behind.  Cross-contamination with eating surfaces and utensils can lead to phobias and obsessive compulsive disorders.  Nevertheless the challenges of disease management are the frequent cause of anxiety.

Infertility

The biological inability of a person to contribute to conception is the primary description of Infertility.  There are many combinations of factors that cause complications with conception.  Factors that commonly can increase the risk for women and men’s infertility are Alcohol consumption, Drugs and Celiac Disease.

Patients diagnosed with Celiac Disease that are not following to a gluten-free diet are at risk for shortened reproductive period (early menopause), gonadal dysfunction (male), abortion, low birth weight and short-breast feeding periods.

Migraine Headaches

A chronic neurological disorder that is a disabling headache that can be accompanied by or followed by flashes of light, blind spots or arm/leg tingling.  A Migraine is moderate to severe pain on one side or both sides of the head that lasts a few hours to a few days.  Sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, throbbing or pulsating pain that continues to worsen are common symptoms of a Migraine.  Occasional symptoms are blind spots, flashes of lights, tingling/pins and needles in arms or legs.

Recent studies have shown that Migraines are a common neurologic indicator of Celiac Disease.  Migraine sufferers are at a higher risk for Celiac Disease than those who do not suffer from Migraines.  Patients diagnosed with Celiac Disease that follow to a gluten-free diet, Migraine pain is often improved.

Thyroid Disease

The thyroid is a small gland located in the middle of the lower neck that produces T4 and T3 hormones, the quantity of these hormones are controlled by the pituitary gland located in the center of the skull below the brain. The two forms of thyroid disease are Autoimmune Thyroiditis, the most common which does not produce enough hormones, and Graves Disease, a rare disease but the most common of hyperthyroidism that produces too much hormone.

Celiac disease and Autoimmune Thyroiditis share a common genetic predisposition that may explain the higher occurrence of Celiacs with thyroid autoimmune disorders.  If already diagnosed with Thyroiditis and recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, a gluten-free diet might not be effective.

Depression

A mental disorder characterized by low mood, low self-esteem and loss of interest feelings that persist and interfere with ordinary life.  The variance of normal sadness and depression are based on a few factors:  Intensity, Length and Interference with daily life.

Celiac disease and depression are both associated with low levels of red cell folate or folate deficiency.  Folate and B12 are important to the production of neurotransmitters which help regulate mood and other brain functions.  Other factors for depression with Celiac disease are restrictive diet, sudden lifestyle changes, dietary compliance and poor absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Intestinal Cancer

The small intestine (small bowel) is located between the stomach and the colon, approximately 20 feet long.  The crucial function of the small intestine is to digest and absorb nutrients.  The most common type of small intestine cancer is adenocarcinoma; other types are carcinoid tumors, gastrointestinal stromal tumors and lymphomas.

If Celiac Disease goes undiagnosed or fails to follow the gluten-free régime, the chance of developing small intestinal cancer increases.  Individuals with Celiac Disease have a compromised immune system and are more inclined to develop lymphomas in the small intestine.

Osteoporosis/Osteopenia

With Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system when the bone mineral density is reduced, the amount and variety of proteins in bone are modified and bone microarchitecture deteriorates.

Celiac disease is malabsorption and vitamin deficiency with the small intestine and can be deficient in the nutrients needed to maintain bone density such as calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K.  After following a gluten-free diet there are studies that show improvements with bone density.

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For more information about other related diseases such as:  Dermatitis, Herpetiformis, Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis, Peripheral Neuropathy, Type 1 Diabetes, Down Syndrome, Liver Disease, Sjogren’s Disease and Williams’s Disease , please click here.

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