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April 16, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Mesa, Arizona, USA:

About three months ago, I was diagnosed with celiac disease, and my gastroenterologist says I'm at risk for diabetes. My fasting glucose level has been the high normal range. I have trouble with my pancreas, and I'm taking an enzymes to help with digestion of foods to be absorbed into the bloodline. If I have not eaten for three hours or so, I tend to get dizzy and slur my speech. Any help would be appreciated. What do you think?


It is now well understood that celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder and thus it is relatively often associated with other organ-specific autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune thyroid diseases (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis), adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and others. The most common ones are diabetes and thyroid disease whilst this risk is much lower for other disorders. Your symptoms at three hours after eating are probably due to low blood sugar, a common phenomenon occurring to celiac patients and due to malabsorption.