Celaic & Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is one of the most common diseases in modern western society. I was trying to do some research on T2D and celiac but kept on running into information about Type 1 Diabetes and celiac. So, I found this article that talks about T1D and T2D and celiac disease and thought I would share it.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the pancreas. The pancreas is where insulin is produced. Insulin is important because it helps turn glucose into energy and helps store glucose in your muscles, fat cells, and liver to use later. When your body doesn’t produce insulin, glucose increases in the body leading to a diabetic crisis and potentially death. T1D is controlled by constantly monitoring blood glucose levels and injecting insulin to keep glucose under control.

Type 2 Diabetes is a lifestyle disease. The pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to control the glucose in the blood stream. Typically, T2D is diagnosed later in life, in their 40’s or 50’s, and is normally considered when people are overweight or have a sedentary lifestyle. T2D is often first controlled through dietary modifications and excercise. As the disease progresses, medications are added to help control glucose.

T1D has genetic roots closely associated with celiac disease. T2D diabetes has gentic influences but is not considered to be “genetic” in origin.

How is celiac related to diabetes?

There was a study of just over 1350 Finnish celiac patients with an additional diagnosis of diabetes.

They found that men over 30 in Finland who had celiac disease and also had T1D was significantly higher than expected. Furthermore, men with celiac disease had a 8% rate of T1D compared to women who had celiac disease had a 1.8% rate of T1D. That is a big difference between men and women. Also, they say, “prevalence of T1D was also almost five times higher in celiac disease men aged 30–64 years compared with men being 65 years or more.” The scientists say this might be due to older men dying in higher numbers than expected.

Regarding, T2D there was no statistical difference between those with celiac disease and without celiac disease. This result differs from an earlier study based on the US population that said the rates of T2D was 3 times lower for those with celiac disease than the non-celiac population. The scientists hazard a guess as to why this study results might be different and its that this is a Finnish study. In Finland, the time for diagnosis of celiac disease to much shorter than in America, so the Americans might be much leaner at T2D diagnosis due to uncontrolled celiac disease.

This study did confirm that the presence of T1D or T2D and celiac disease increased the prevalance of coronary artery disease and hypertension compared to those without celiac.

The study also noted that compliance with the gluten free diet was significantly lower for those with T1D and celiac disease. They hypothesized that the T1D diet was very challenging and then adding the socially isolating gluten free diet made it virtually impossible to comply with both diets at the same time.

Interesting information in this study. The biggest change in what I knew was that the lack of protection from T2D for celiac disease patients. I was sort of banking on the celiac protection from T2D.

Just another piece of information to put into your celiac database!

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