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November 23, 2005

Celiac, Other Illnesses

Question from Portugal:

Are the pathogenesis of the celiac syndrome and of diabetes insipidus related?

Answer:

There is no relationship between diabetes insipidus and celiac disease. There is a relationship with type 1 autoimmune diabetes mellitus, though, and celiac disease. Both are autoimmune disorders. Both have some genetic predisposition associated with certain HLA genes on the short arm of the sixth chromosome. About 6 to 8% of people with type 1 diabetes mellitus are at risk for also having celiac disease. There is some crossover also with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, probably also with Addison’s disease and pernicious anemia. Celiac disease is the best known and it is caused by sensitivity to wheat/gluten. All the others have no specific known causative factors yet discovered. Also, avoiding wheat/gluten allows the body to heal itself and the “allergy” at the intestinal level is curable so this, too, is very different from the other autoimmune disorders just mentioned.

SB