Type 1 Diabetes, Hashimotos, & Celiac

Type 1 Diabetes, Hashimotos Thyroiditis, and Celiac disease all walk into a bar. Sounds like the start of a great story – but for many it is a cluster of diseases that all have the same genetic roots.

So Celiac disease has two genetic markers – HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8. If you don’t have one of these genes there is a less than 1% chance of developing Celiac. However, if you have either HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8, there is no guarantee that you will ever develop Celiac.

Guess what – Type 1 diabetes and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is triggered by these same genetics.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease that damages the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. We all need insulin to help deliver energy into the cells that allow us to move and function. Insulin is important.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that damages the thyroid gland in the neck. The thyroid gland is manages  hormones that regulate the body’s metabolic rate as well as heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance. All important things in my mind.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine that absorbs food. We should all know about this – but this is just a simple reminder.

These three autoimmune diseases – Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and Celiac all live at HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8. If you have one of these disease, you carry the genetic markers for the others. One disease could lead to additional autoimmune diseases. It is recommended that if you have one and demonstrate symptoms of another of these diseases, you should be tested.

For example, if you have Celiac disease and suddenly begin to gain weight unexpectedly, it might be time to look for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Or if your Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is suddenly out of control because you may not be absorbing food due to Celiac disease.

I’m not sure everyone knows about this relationship, but I thought I would put it out there for everyone to know.

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