Autoimmune Diseases and Celiac

There are over 100 autoimmune diseases. Some are rare and some are more common. Celiac disease is one of the more common autoimmune diseases affecting about 1 in 100 people worldwide.

Are people with Celiac more likely to have other autoimmune conditions?

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation

“Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder. People with one autoimmune disorder are prone to getting other autoimmune disorders. For people with celiac disease, the later the age of diagnosis, the greater the chance of developing another autoimmune disorder. Other serious conditions and some cancers are also associated with celiac disease, though following a strict, gluten-free diet may decrease cancer risk.”

For a list of autoimmune diseases most commonly associated with celiac disease, continue reading the article from the Celiac Disease Foundation here.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in my mid 30’s. According to the information above, I am in a higher risk category for having multiple autoimmune diseases. I have the following autoimmune diseases. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Pernicious Anemia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have most of the symptoms of Lupus and have been tested multiple times, only to receive a negative result. I often feel as though I was born on the wrong side of my family’s genetic pool. I always suspected that my father had celiac disease, but he refused to get tested. My Aunt has chronic fatigue syndrome; It is unclear if there is a genetic disposition.

Pernicious Anemia

I wanted to talk more about this disease because I was told by my doctor that it is more common in people with celiac disease, but is this true? According to my research, it is true. I have to give myself B12 injections every month for the rest of my life. I don’t like needles, but who does? It is a small price to pay for healthy red blood cells. Just because you have celiac disease, it doesn’t mean you also have pernicious anemia. Only 1 in 10,000 people have this disease. If you are concerned about having it, talk to your doctor. He can test your B12 levels and keep an eye on them to see if you are having trouble absorbing it.

“When your body can’t make enough healthy red blood cells because it lacks vitamin B-12, you have pernicious anemia (PA). A long time ago, this disorder was believed to be fatal (“pernicious” means deadly). These days it’s easily treated with B-12 pills or shots. With treatment, you’ll be able to live without symptoms.”

Source: Webmd Press this link for more information on pernicious anemia.

If you have celiac disease and are experiencing symptoms of other autoimmune diseases see your doctor. There are tests that can confirm or rule them out.

To read my article on Celiac Disease click here.

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