Celiac Often Follows Diabetes Diagnosis

Children born with type 1 diabetes are often also susceptible to celiac disease, researchers suggest. A new study has found that children born with type 1 diabetes are three times more likely to have celiac disease antibodies, which eventually lead to the disorder.

"Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease are closely related genetically," says study author Dr. William Hagopian. "People who have type 1 diabetes autoantibodies should get screened for celiac autoantibodies."

Like celiac attacking the small intestine's lining, type 1 diabetes attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.

Diagnosing celiac early can prevent a lot of unecessary complications later. In children, especially, celiac can mean slower growth, iron deficiency, anemia, osteoporosis, and more.

For this study, researchers looked at almost 6,000 children from six different U.S. and European medical centers. All participants were tested for autoantibodies with a follow up in about 5.5 years. Of the children, 367 had type 1 diabetes autoantibodies and 808 had them indicating celiac. 90 of the children had both. Testing usually found type 1 diabetes before celiac, noted the authors.

Neither necessarily causes the other, but the note that type 1 diabetes is normally found first indicates that the one most often follows the other indicating that a screening for celiac should be done when type 1 diabetes is diagnosed.

Source: WebMD.com

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