From Las Vegas, Nevada, USA:
My two year old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes six months ago, and while neither my husband nor I have a family history of diabetes, although my husband has had celiac disease since he was a baby. I now know there's a link between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes since people with type 1 are at higher risk of developing celiac disease than the general population, but I haven't read anything about parents with celiac disease who have children with diabetes. Is there a link between my husband's celiac disease and my son's diagnosis? Is my son at higher risk for developing celiac disease than other people with type 1 diabetes who do not have a family history of celiac disease?
The link between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes is the link between autoimmune susceptibility. As part of the immune system, the HLA genes on the short arm of chromosome #6 are inherited, one from each parent. So, diabetes and celiac disease share some of the same genetic susceptibilities.
Type 1 diabetes is associated with celiac disease in about 5-8% of the time because of such overlap. You should discuss genetic testing with your diabetes team and also should annually have tissue transglutaminase antibody testing in all your children so that you will know if this is negative or positive. If positive and also if now negative but changes to positive, then biopsy should be done and gluten free diet started sot hat the long term complications of celiac disease vis-a-vis growth, bowel lymphoma, infertility, delayed puberty and osteopenia may be postponed or avoided.
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