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Celiac Disease and Type I Diabetes Linked

Celiac disease often precedes Type 1 diabetes in children with both conditions. As a matter of fact, up to 10% of children with Type 1 diabetes have clinical celiac disease, according to findings presented at Gastro 2009 in London, UK by T. Hansson of Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden.
Hansson explained that researchers detected elevated levels of celiac disease-associated antibodies in children with recent onset Type I diabetes.
“The presence of autoantibodies against tissue transglutaminase (anti-tTG) implies that celiac disease was present already at the time of Type 1 diabetes onset in all children having both diseases,” he said. “Hence, celiac disease may precede and cause Type 1 diabetes in children with both diseases.” The researchers suggest that a “change in diet in individuals with genetic susceptibility may reduce the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.” They add that “all Type 1 diabetes children and their siblings should be routinely screened for celiac disease-related antibodies.”


Gastro 2009, UEGW/WCOG; London, UK: 21–25 November

Gluten Free Society’s Stance:

Gluten sensitivity is the only 100% confirmed cause of any autoimmune disease. Type 1 diabetes, like celiac disease, is an autoimmune disease. The HLA-DQ genotype risks for type 1 diabetes (juvenile diabetes) are the same for celiac disease. Gluten Free Society suggests that anyone who has a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes without a diagnosis of celiac disease avoid gluten and other grain based foods. Remember the basis of how genes work. Gluten positive HLA-DQ genes means that you should avoid grain to prevent the onset of illness. Having the positive HLA-DQ genes for type I diabetes or celiac disease does not mean that you will develop these conditions. However; gluten positive genes are related to over 190 conditions. Diabetes and celiac disease are just 2 diseases in a long list of problems that can develop. If you are confused on this issue, we highly recommend you watch this video on gluten sensitivity. If you have been diagnosed with Type I diabetes and want to determine your HLA-DQ genotype, click here.

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