Early Infections Increased Celiac Disease Risk
Early Infections Increased Celiac Disease Risk. Celiac disease is defined as a ‘chronic small intestinal immune-mediated enteropathy precipitated by exposure to dietary gluten in genetically predisposed individuals’. Sweden has experienced an “epidemic” of celiac disease in children below two years of age. Celiac disease etiology is considered multifactorial; however, little is known regarding potential risk- or protecting factors. We present data on the possible association between early infectious episodes and celiac disease, including their possible contribution to the Swedish celiac disease epidemic.
A population-based incident case-referent study (475 cases, 950 referents) with exposure information obtained via a questionnaire (including family characteristics, infant feeding, and the child’s general health) was performed. Celiac disease cases were diagnosed before two years of age, fulfilling the diagnostic criteria of the European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Referents were randomly selected from the national population register after fulfilling matching criteria. The final analyses included 954 children, 373 (79%) cases and 581 (61%) referents, with complete information on main variables of interest in a matched set of one case with one or two referents.
Having three or more parental-reported infectious episodes, regardless of type of infection, during the first six months of life was associated with a significantly increased risk for later celiac disease, and this remained after adjusting for infant feeding and socioeconomic status. The celiac disease risk increased synergistically if, in addition to having several infectious episodes, infants were introduced to dietary gluten in large amounts, compared to small or medium amounts, after breastfeeding was discontinued.
This study suggests that having repeated infectious episodes early in life increases the risk for later celiac disease. In addition, we found a synergistic effect between early infections and daily amount of gluten intake, more pronounced among infants for whom breastfeeding had been discontinued prior to gluten introduction.
Regarding contribution to the Swedish celiac disease epidemic, which partly was attributed to concurrent changes in infant feeding, early infections probably made a minor contribution via the synergistic effect with gluten amount.
This case study elucidates our belief that autoimmune diseases such as celic disease and type 1 diabetes have a connection to diet and lifestyle. There may be several triggers that coalesce into a “perfect storm” to precipitate autoimmune disease development and progression. Infections, whether bacterial or viral could certainly play a part in triggering or driving autoimmune disease development as one of the components of that perfect storm. This motivates us to put our bodies in a position of strength to combat infections by living a healthy lifestyle such as the Health-e-Solutions lifestyle.
The Health-e-Solutions lifestyle is an excellent means by which to obtain nutrients for energy, repair and proper bodily function while maintaining optimal blood sugar control. However, some people who have additional complications related to gut health, food sensitivities and allergies and additional autoimmune diseases may need to go further to correct underlying causes. That is why we created a special report called, Gut Check – Healing the Epicenter of Chronic Disease.
In this downloadable, printable e-publication, we discuss potential problem areas and offer practical, natural solutions to improve health and diabetes control. Put your body in a position of strength by promoting, supporting and creating health. Get tools and solutions to help minimize consequences and maximize benefits for nutrition, environment, exercise, sleep and stress management.