Diabetes Associated with Celiac Disease

Kozzi-slices_of_wheat_bread-441x294Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a real shock to the system, but when you find out that you have celiac disease to go along with it, you start to feel like a three course meal for medical disaster. It is not a farfetched idea that the two diseases are connected as they are both autoimmune diseases. They are also linked genetically because they share some of the same genes and from factors that are from the environment. Patients that are type 1 diabetic are also susceptible to many other autoimmune diseases such as hypothyroidism and Addison’s disease.

Type 1 diabetes, which is also known as juvenile diabetes, is generally diagnosed in children that are between the ages of 6 to 18. When they are diagnosed with a double whammy the diabetes is usually the first condition to be detected. In looking at the signs and symptoms of diabetes, the younger the child, the faster they start. The older you are the longer can take before anything is noticed. Symptoms include going to the bathroom more often, tiredness, extreme hunger and drinking more. It is possible that any of these symptoms may go unnoticed until the condition has reached a breaking point and the child becomes deathly sick.

The symptoms of celiac disease may not show themselves plainly because they resemble many other conditions. They include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and even the child not growing at the pace that they should. If the patient is also diabetic the blood sugar levels can be very hard to control, which is a big sign of celiac disease. Because the symptoms of celiac disease are so hard to pin down it is possible that although the patient is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes first the celiac may have been there all along and no one knew. This leads doctors to thinking that perhaps the celiac is a doorway to letting in other autoimmune diseases including type 1 diabetes.

When type 1 diabetes has been diagnosed without the diagnosis of celiac disease to go along with it, the patient’s blood sugar levels will go up and down constantly because of the hard time that the tissues have absorbing. The patient may have a higher risk of hypoglycemia and their medications may need to be adjusted over and over again. However, once the diagnosis has been made for both diseases, the patient can start on a gluten-free diet and readjust their medication. Unfortunately this can take some time getting the right pattern down and the parents as well as the child may feel as though they are on a wheel that is spinning and will never stop. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and hope where you feel there is despair.

By working with your doctor and making changes that need to be made (even if it seems to be a daily venture) you will be able to get the right routine down and everyone will be healthy and happy.

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