Asthma is a risk for Celiac disease and visa versa according to recent published study out of Sweden. In the study, the researchers found that people with Celiac disease were 60% more likely to develop Asthma. Conversely, people with asthma were more likely to eventually develop Celiac disease.
The study is a strong one, comparing 28,000 people diagnosed with Celiac in Sweden with 140,000 controls without Celiac.
Celiac and gluten have been linked to other chronic lung diseases, such as Sarcoidosis and lymphocytic bronchoalveolitis. Ron Hoggan,Ed.D, co-author of "Cereal Killers-Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free A to Z" in which I have several chapters, writes on this topic and his personal experience with lung disease as a Celiac.
Professionally, I have several patients and colleagues with asthma who have Celiac. This includes a pediatrician who also suffers from broncholitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia also known as BOOP and a pulmonary critical care specialist with gluten sensitivity. They have both shared with me that they are convinced of a link between Celiac or gluten and lung disease.
The researchers did caution that though the study strongly supports a link between asthma and Celiac it does not support the conclusion that one causes the other. Dr. Ludvigsson did postulate that a common link besides genetics and immunity may be low levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D ingestion has been advocated by some because of anti-inflammatory benefits but no specific recommendations can or have been made for Vitamin D supplementation in when levels are normal.
This new study confirms what we have observed in practice seeing large numbers of Celiac disease and gluten sensitive patients. It also validates the experience of many people, most of whom were told by well meaning physicians that there was no link between asthma and Celiac or gluten. If you have asthma, get screened for Celiac disease. If you have Celiac disease and have breathing symptoms get an evaluation. If your health care provider discounts any link share with them this blog, the original article, lead author J. Ludvigsson, in the Journal of Allergy and Immunology 2011.
Copyright © 2011, The Food Doc, LLC, All Rights Reserved.
Scot M. Lewey, D.O., FACG, FASGE, FACP, FACOI, FAAP, FACOP, CPE
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
Rocky Vista University-College of Osteopathic Medicine
Gastroenterology Associates of Colorado Springs
4110 Briargate Parkway, Suite 100
Colorado Springs CO 80920
719 387 2110
Dr. Scot Lewey is a digestive disease specialist doctor (board certified gastroenterologist) whose medical practice focuses on digestive and food related illness. Also, known as Dr. Celiac, the Food Doc, Dr. Lewey shares his experiential knowledge for a healthy gut, healthy life on-line. He is one of the few GI doctors who also is gluten sensitive and dairy sensitive. He has nearly a quarter of century of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of food allergy & intolerance, colitis, Crohn's disease and IBS. He and his family live gluten free in Colorado.