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Celiac Part 1: Destined for a life of suffering and more autoimmune diseases?

I was taken aback when I read an article in Gluten Free & More entitled, “Celiac & Autoimmune Disease: The Surprising Association Between Celiac & Other Medical Conditions”, where it outlined a recent, unpublished study presented at the World Congress of Gastroenterology 2017.

It found…

  • 16% of Celiacs have Pancreatitis, versus 0.7% in the general population

  • 29% of Celiacs have arthritis versus 8.4% in the general population

  • 19% of Celiacs have migraine headaches versus 4% in the general population

  • 36.8% of Celiacs have GERD versus 13% in the general population

  • Celiacs are diagnosed with IBD (Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis) 10 times higher than the general population


  • 8% of people with Type 1 Diabetes are diagnosed with Celiac

  • Celiac is 20X higher in kids with autism (1)

Plus, upon further investigation, I found out there is a long list of associated comorbidities, or diseases that commonly follow the diagnosis of Celiac such as:

Liver disease (Autoimmune, Chronic Active Hepatitis), Grave’s, Hashimoto’s, Addison’s Disease, lupus, Myasthenia Gravis, Pernicious anemia, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Scleroderma, Sjogren’s, eosinophilic esophagitis, anxiety disorders, Down Syndrome, MS, psoriasis and autism. (2, 3)

Plus, once you have one autoimmune disease, the chance of acquiring another autoimmune disease is 15% versus 5-8% in the general population. (4, 5)

Across the board, women are affected more than men. Generally, 80% of people affected by autoimmunity are women. In some autoimmune diseases, the rate is strikingly higher. In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), 9 out of 10 cases are women. (6)

“Both Hashimoto’s and Graves affect more females than males, the numbers are ranging from 7 in 10 to 9 in 10 of people having these conditions also being female.” (7)

Below is a table from a Medscape article entitled “Surprising Number of Conditions Linked to Celiac Disease”, comparing the incidence of various diseases in the Celiac population, versus the general population. It’s obvious, having Celiac predisposes us to many other diseases. (8)

Pretty depressing, right?

So, why am I bringing this up?

Are you destined to a life of diagnoses piling on?

Are you fated to suffer, no matter what?

And, what is it about Celiac Disease that makes you susceptible to other diseases?

I’m outlining this startling fact to wake you up!

Information is empowerment.

Once you know the possible outcomes, why sit by and wait for more diagnoses?

Or, if you’ve already been diagnosed with multiple diseases, why not do something about it?

See, your doctor will only give you a narrow view. In their toolbox, they have medications and surgeries.

That’s it!

You might be happy with immunosuppressive drugs or biologics. Or you might be happy with your doctor removing a problematic organ. Hey, if it works for you and you are happy with your intervention, then you can stop reading this.

But, what if you are not happy with the options? What if you want to heal your body? What if you like having a thyroid or a uterus?

What if you've tried these interventions and they didn't work for you?

What if you like having answers?

What if you knew autoimmune disease could be reversed?

OK, now we are getting somewhere!

I’m here to tell you that Celiac Disease is not a death sentence or a prescription for a life of misery. You can take proactive measures to address your body in a holistic way. Give your body what it needs to heal and you can be free of these worries for your future. Plus, you don't need to sit by and suffer with symptoms.

You see, this was me.

I was diagnosed with Celiac 15 years ago. After about a year of the gluten-free diet, I felt much better. Then I had 1 kid. Then a 2nd and I began feeling terrible. I had daily joint pain, headaches, exhaustion, brain fog, terrible bloating and gas, increasing food sensitivities, constipation alternating with diarrhea, trouble sleeping... the list goes on.

During this time, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. The medication helped for a little while, but after about a year, the symptoms came back. Had I sought out more diagnoses, I had all of the symptoms Hashimoto’s, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I had already lost faith in, and been brushed off by so many doctors, so I didn’t seek the diagnoses.

Thankfully, when I got certified in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition ®, and ran functional lab testing on myself, I found out WHY I was still feeling sick and got my life back.

So, for you, the first question is WHY.

Why is it that having Celiac predisposes you to all of these other autoimmune diseases and conditions?

Well, we don’t exactly know, but we have theories:

  • Could it be “leaky gut” and elevated Zonulin?

  • Or, is it because of infections and changes to your microbiome?

  • Or, what about hormones?

  • Could it be genetics?

  • Or, is it the toxins in our environment?

  • Or, is it a problem with food additives?

Stay tuned for the next blog post where I’ll go into detail about each of these theories and how they are contributing to autoimmunity and Celiac, specifically.

I've created a 3 part series about what's contributing to rising rates of autoimmunity AND what to do to reverse autoimmunity, decrease symptoms and prevent future diagnoses.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where I'll outline how each of these theories is contributing to autoimmunity.

Allana McKinnon, FDN-P is not only highly trained in Functional Health Practices, she has lived through chronic illness and reversed her own Celiac Disease and other health challenges such as asthma, allergies, hypothyroidism, a half dozen gut infections, and CIRS from mold and Lyme. She is a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner ® and a Certified Gluten Practitioner, with additional training in histamine intolerance, hyperoxaluria (oxalate metabolism issues), Celiac Disease, detoxification, hormone balancing, SIBO, the Autoimmune Paleo Diet, the microbiome and stealth infectious disease. Allana works one-on-one with clients via telemedicine, using Functional Lab Testing, along with meaningful interventions in the realm of nutrition, movement, sleep, mindset and supplementation. Many of Allana's clients enjoy working with her because they feel truly understood and truly heard. They feel her compassionate nature and she provides her clients with the answers they are so desperately seeking.

Click here for a 30 minute Zoom video consultation for $30 to see if she can help YOU heal from Celiac.


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