Both celiac disease and thyroid disease are autoimmune diseases (the body mistakenly attacks its own cells). They are closely related to one another and to other autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, Sjogren’s syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, and Rheumatoid arthritis, etc. When a person has one autoimmune disease, it is common to develop another in his/her lifetime. Approximately 2-5% of patients with autoimmune thyroid disorders have celiac disease, due to common genes (HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8) 1,2. Currently there is no universal recommendation to screen asymptomatic individuals even in populations in which the prevalence of celiac disease is high. However, there is widespread agreement on the need to test for diagnosis or exclusion of celiac disease in anyone with signs or symptoms.3
At this time, there is little data to suggest that the gluten-free diet reduces the chance of developing associated autoimmune disorders in a person with celiac disease. Early diagnosis and the gluten-free diet do reduce complications such as malabsorption and improve the absorption of drugs.1
- Ch'ng CL, Jones MK, Kingham JG. Celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease. Clin Med Res. 2007;5(3):184-92.)
- Barker JM, Liu E. Celiac disease: pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and associated autoimmune conditions. Adv Pediatr. 2008;55:349-65.
- Up to Date: Diagnosis of Celiac Disease in Adults. May 2017.
Note: This information is provided by NCA and Melinda Dennis, NCA's Senior Consulting Dietitian. This information is meant for educational purposes and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. This information can be printed and used in consultation with your physician or dietitian. No liability is assumed by NCA, Ms. Dennis or her nutrition consulting service Delete the Wheat, LLC. by providing this information..