Gluten Sensitivity, Gluten Intolerance

What Causes Celiac Disease?

To successfully treat and prevent recurrence of celiac disease we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow celiac disease to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind celiac disease consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to celiac disease.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Autoimmune Tendency
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Sjogren's Syndrome
  • Chronic Thyroiditis

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
Heberden's nodes
low lymphocyte count
mouth sores
severe stiff neck
major joint pain/swelling/stiffness
chronic thyroiditis
morning stiffness for 45-120 minutes
frequent unexplained fevers
fatigue after slight exertion
frequent morning stiffness
dry nose
pitted nails
... and more than 10 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of celiac disease:
Cause Probability Status
Chronic Thyroiditis 92% Confirm
Autoimmune Tendency 25% Unlikely
Rheumatoid Arthritis 1% Ruled out
Sjogren's Syndrome 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate suffering allergic/other reactions, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you have Celiac Disease, also known as Gluten Sensitivity, Gluten Allergy or Wheat Allergy?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No, it has been ruled out
→ Probably, but unconfirmed
→ Mild/moderate - confirmed by doctor or lab test
→ Severe - confirmed by doctor or lab test
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate confirmed lack of gluten intolerance, probable gluten intolerance, gluten intolerance or severe gluten intolerance, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Chronic Thyroiditis

People with celiac disease are more likely to develop Autoimmune Thyroid Disease (ATD) than the general public, and the reverse is also true.  Consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune process in those with celiac disease, causing the immune system to attack the body itself.  In the case of ATD, the target of the attack is thyroid gland, resulting in a deficiency or excess of hormones, which causes unpredictable metabolic changes.  The most common type of ATD is hypothyroidism.

In one study, 83 patients with autoimmune thyroid disorder were screened for celiac disease.  Three patients with asymptomatic celiac disease were found along with one who had previously been diagnosed, giving an overall frequency of 4.8%.  By contrast, only one of 249 age- and sex-matched blood donors was found to have celiac disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

People with Rheumatoid Arthritis have a higher risk of also being diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

Sjogren's Syndrome

Many Celiac Disease patients report they also have Sjogren's Syndrome, and vice versa.  Sjogren's Syndrome has been reported in up to 15% of patients with proven Celiac Disease.

... and also rule out issues such as:
Crohn's Disease

Having been diagnosed with celiac disease implies a much lower chance of Crohn's disease being the explanation for one's symptoms.

Ulcerative Colitis

Having been diagnosed with celiac disease implies a much lower chance of ulcerative colitis being the explanation for one's symptoms.

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