Similarities Found Between IBD and Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a genetic disease that affects as many as 1 in 133 people in the United States. Celiac is also known as gluten intolerance and is characterized by an inability of the patient's body to tolerate gluten. When gluten is ingested a celiac patient can suffer intestinal damage. Gluten is a component of wheat, rye and barley as well as a food additive in many prepackaged foods.
Like IBD, celiac disease can be hard to diagnose. Mainly because the symptoms of celiac can be vague and can mimic many other conditions. Some of the symptoms of celiac include: mild weakness, bone pain, chronic diarrhea, abdominal bloating, and weight loss.
Like IBD, celiac appears to have both genetic and environmental risk factors for its development. It has been shown in the past that patients with celiac are at an increased risk for developing IBD. Recently researchers looked at the results from several genetic investigations on both of these diseases. What they seemed to find was that part of the genetic background for both of these diseases is shared (1). This finding may help to determine not only the cause for IBD but perhaps even better treatments.