Those with Celiac disease are at a higher risk of another disease called neuropathy, Swedish researchers discovered.
Celiac disease, estimated to affect one per cent of the general population, is a digestive disorder that involves a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in rye, barley, wheat and hundreds of other foods made with the protein. So, gluten is basically in everything that tastes good.
Those with celiac disease have a restricted diet to non-gluten foods. Thankfully, there is a wide variety of options for non-gluten foods, even though those affected have to be more mindful of what they eat. At one point, I thought I might have had Celiac disease, and having to eat the non-gluten foods was a bit of a significant change.
The disease neuropathy is a bit more less straight-forward. The term neuropathy simply means nerve damage, but generally refers to peripheral neuropathy, which affects nerves outside of the central nervous system.
Doctors, headed by Jonas Ludvigsson, MD, PhD, at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm discovered through a large population-based case-control study that patients who had biopsy-confirmed celiac disease were 2.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with neuropathy. Their research found that the risk for neuropathy was 64 per 100,000 person-years in celiac patients with one year of their diagnosis; compared to 15 per 100,000 people for the general population.
Symptoms of celiac include digestive problems (abdominal bloating, gas, pale stools and weight loss), iron deficiency, seizures and tingling sensation in the legs, which is caused by nerve damage and low calcium. Those are just a few of the symptoms. According to WebMD, some health problems related with the disease include infertility and in more rare cases, cancer of the intestine. Autoimmune diseases related to celiac also include Type 1 Diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
With the correlation between celiac and neuropathy, the researchers suggested those with neuropathy get screened for celiac.