From Phoenix, Arizona, USA:
I recently read about a study that finds wheat may be one of the environmental triggers causing type 1 diabetes in some people. Is it known whether celiac disease can cause type 1 diabetes in some people?
A large ongoing study called TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in Youth) has indeed shown that a first exposure to wheat protein before three months of age or after six months can predispose to type 1A (autoimmune) diabetes. Fortunately, the three to six month window is exactly the time when mixed feeding is recommended to begin.
Wheat protein at any time of course, has long been known to initiate celiac disease. However, celiac disease does not cause diabetes, rather they are both autoimmune diseases which occur together in the Autoimmune Polyglandular Syndrome Type II along with hypothyroidism, suprarenal gland deficiency and a number of other much rarer conditions. These conditions do not routinely appear together but for someone with type 1A diabetes, it is useful to screen for hypothyroidism, and positive glutamyl transferase and anti-21,hydroxylase antibodies.
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:46
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