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Five Questions to Ask at Link Between Diabetes and Coeliac Disease

According to a review of medical literature, the chances of being diagnosed with diabetes are very high if you have coeliac disease. The other way around is also true, the prevalence of coeliac disease in people with type 1 diabetes.

The vast majority of individuals, who have been found to have both diseases either show no symptoms of coeliac disease or manifest symptoms that can be easily confused with those of their diabetes. Considering this, those who have been diagnosed with coeliac disease are urged to get tested for type 1 diabetes and vice versa.

Here, we present the 5 most frequently asked question between the link of the two conditions:

1. Is Coeliac disease more common in people with type 1 diabetes than type 2?

Type 1 diabetes

Although type 2 diabetes has genetic risk factors, it does not share associated genes with coeliac disease. There is no increased risk of coeliac disease in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Coeliac disease is more common in people with Type 1 diabetes because both are autoimmune conditions. (

2. What percentage of coeliac are affected by type 1 diabetes?

coeliac disease

Type 1 diabetes affects around 0.75% of the UK population whereas it affects between 4% and 9% of people with coeliac disease (

3. How will being coeliac affect my diabetes?


If coeliac disease has caused damage to the small intestine, it is likely that there may be some difficulties absorbing nutrients, including carbohydrates. This situation can increase the likelihood of suffering from hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia.

4. Does a gluten-free diet affect diabetes?

gluten free

If you have diabetes and are diagnosed with coeliac disease, your blood (sugar) glucose levels may change after you start the gluten-free diet. This can happen because taking gluten out of your diet allows the lining of your gut to heal so absorption of nutrients, including carbohydrate, will improve.

Regular monitoring of blood glucose levels will help coeliac patients see how their sugar levels respond to food and can help detect cases of too high or too low blood sugar.

5. Why It is Common to Have Both Celiac Disease and Diabetes?


The connection between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes was first noticed by researchers and physicians in the early 1960s. Ever since, there has been a battery of medical reports that seem to suggest that a genetic link exists between the two conditions.

It has been established by scientists, that type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease might have a genetic connection with a minimum of 7 genes in common. More findings are being discovered through research.

Both conditions are autoimmune, and these are disorders in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy organ, tissues, or cells. They also share common symptoms, including fatigue, weight loss, nausea, and headache.

The difference between the two conditions is the part of the body that is attacked.

In coeliac, the body launches an immune reaction to gluten, attacking the small intestine. In type 1 diabetes, the body initiates an autoimmune attack on the pancreas, destroying healthy insulin producing beta cells.

Patients with celiac disease must adopt a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet; type 1 diabetics must embrace a diet with little or no sugar. Both conditions involve intolerance to foods which call for special diets. 

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