Findings from Study on Celiac Sprue

August 10, 2011 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center recently began major research and study on Celiac Sprue. Since Celiac Sprue is an autoimmune disease causing the body to stop absorbing nutrition, a whole host of problem can, may and will ensue.
According to the Beth Israel Deconess Medical Center website, symptoms of Celiacs vary a great deal:

Common manifestations of celiac sprue include:

Common Features


  • Iron-deficiency anemia [a decrease in red blood cell number due to insufficient amounts of iron absorption and/or to chronic bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract]
  • Diarrhea


  • Diarrhea
  • Failure to thrive [decrease in weight or inability to gain weight, loss of appetite]
  • Abdominal Distension [bloating of the belly]

General features

  • Short stature
  • Delayed Puberty

Gastrointestinal features

  • Recurrent aphthous stomatitis [inflammation in the mouth causing small ulcers to form]
  • Recurrent abdominal pain
  • Steatorrhea [fat in the bowel movement]

Extraintestinal Features

  • Folate-deficiency anemia [a decrease in red blood cell number due to insufficient amounts of folate]
  • Osteopenia or Osteoporosis [a decrease in bone mass due to insufficient calcium absorption]
  • Dental-enamel hypoplasia [sub-optimal production of tooth enamel]
    Vitamin K deficiency
  • Hypertransaminasemia [elevated enzymes levels in the blood]
  • Thrombocytosis [overproduction of platelets]
  • Arthralgia [pain in the joints]
  • Arthropathy [inflammatory joint disease; i.e. arthritis] 
  • Polyneuropathy [disease of the nerves]
  • Ataxia [defective muscular coordination; manifested when voluntary muscular movements are attempted]
  • Epilepsy [seizures]
  • Infertility
  • Recurrent abortions
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Follicular Keratosis [a skin problem]
  • Alopecia [hair loss from the scalp] 
  • Hyposplenism [poor function of the spleen which can increase risk/severity of infection]

Associated Conditions

Definite Associations:

  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • IgA deficiency
  • Type I diabetes
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease 
    • Common symptoms of autoimmune thyroid diseases
      • You may experience autoimmune thyroid diseases symptoms daily or just once in a while, if at all. At times, any of these symptoms may be severe:
        • Constipation
        • Dry skin
        • Fatigue
        • Goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland)
        • Hair loss
        •  Joint stiffness
        •  Missed menstrual periods
        • Unexplained weight gain


  • Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition
    • In some cases, autoimmune thyroid diseases can be serious and should be evaluated in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these serious symptoms including:
      • Depression
      • Facial swelling
      • Unexplained weight gain

·          Sjögren’s syndrome 

  • Although the hallmark symptoms are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjögren’s may also cause dysfunction of other organs such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal system, blood vessels, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the central nervous system. Patients may also experience extreme fatigue and joint pain and have a higher risk of developing lymphoma.
  • Microscopic Colitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Down’s syndrome
  •  IgA nephropathy


Possible Associations:

·          Recurrent pericarditis

·           Sarcoidosis

·          Cystic Fibrosis

·          Fibrosing Alveolitis

·           Lung Cavities

·           Pulmonary Hemosiderosis

·           Inflammatory Bowel Disease

·          Autoimmune Hepatitis

·           Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

·          Addison’s Disease

·          Systemic Lupus erythematosus

·          Vasculitis

·          Polymyositis

·          Myasthenia gravis

·          Schizophrenia

·          Congenital Heart disease 

  • Heart defects and autoimmune myocarditis in fetuses and newborns has also been associated with Celiac Disease in the mother, but more literature is available linking maternal Lupus with infant heart defects.  However, Celiac Disease can easily be and often is a misdiagnosed as lupus (see Gluten Sensitivity Masquerading as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus).  Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity may generally underlie of accompany many cases of SLE.

·          Brain/Developmental Disorders

  • Downs Syndrome is associated with maternal folate dificiencty. Asperger Syndrome is associated with gluten intolerance and brain development problems in the womb.  But, unlike Autism in which the patient’s own food intolerances play a large role, Asperger Syndrome may be largely affected by the mother’s food intolerances during pregnancy.  Much the same may be said of ADHD, which itself may generally be the result of the mothers untreated food sensitivities and aggravated by the child’s food sensitivities.


  • Refractory Sprue
  • Enteropathy-associated T-Cell lymphoma
  • Carcinoma of the oropharynx, esophagus and small bowel [cancer of the stated organs]
  • Ulcerative jejunoileitis
  •  Collagenous Sprue

Entry filed under: Living with Celiac, Uncategorized. Tags: .

Recommended Physicians Gluten Free Means Gluten Free

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