6. Increased Vulnerability to non-Celiac Autoimmune Diseases
If you go digging into the research on celiac disease and gluten, you’ll find a bunch of studies linking it to all kinds of other autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune thyroid disorders, type 1 diabetes, fibromyalgia (for both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity!), rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune liver disease, and a couple different autoimmune skin diseases.
The common factor here might be the gluten. Wheat gluten is a major potential trigger of Type 1 Diabetes(that’s the autoimmune type, not the diet-and-lifestyle type). In this study, feeding mice a gluten-free diet reduced the rate of Type 1 diabetes in their children. There’s also evidence that breastfeeding human children reduces the rate of type 1 diabetes, which would make sense if gluten is the problem because breastfeeding delays the introduction of gluten to the baby.
Hey, by the way, guess what other common health problems have an autoimmune component? Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
7. Autoimmune Reactions in People Without Celiac Disease.
Point #6 above gave a lot of reasons why celiac disease is associated with other autoimmune diseases, but it’s not limited to people with celiac disease. If you thought non-celiac gluten sensitivity was unrelated to autoimmune disease, you thought wrong! This study found that a lot of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity have autoimmune markers in their blood, suggesting that the wheat exposure might be causing autoimmune issues even without celiac disease.
One interesting aspect of this is that patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may have a different type of autoimmune reaction, which just underlines that celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are two different things. But the point is that both involve potentially serious autoimmune responses.