• Frequently Asked Questions

    I have celiac disease. Is it safe to smooch someone who eats gluten? 

    Yes, you may kiss that special someone as long as your sweetie’s lips are washed and teeth are brushed before you pucker up

    Can celiac disease lead to more serious illnesses?

    30% of celiac disease patients may develop a malignancy, therefore adhering to a gluten-free diet is critical for preventive purposes.

    Can children get celiac disease?

    In children, stunted growth and an inability to gain weight are important clues to diagnosis. More unusual features of celiac disease appear to be related to an altered immune system. These include a skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis, insulin-dependent diabetes, thyroid disease and underactivity of the adrenal glands.

    I am anemic and have heard that I may have celiac disease. Could this be true?

    Today, many patients have minor symptoms or none at all and the disease is only discovered after routine testing reveals anemia (low red blood cell count) or osteoporosis. In hindsight, many patients will realize that they have had minor symptoms that they ignored.

    Is celiac disease genetic?

    The risk for developing celiac disease is increased 20 times for those who have a first degree relative with the disease.

    What causes celiac disease?

    It is not known why certain people have this allergy to gluten but studies suggest that there are both genetic and environmental components. Traditionally, this disease was found to be more common in patients with northern European backgrounds, such as Ireland and Scotland. However, more recent reports suggest that celiac disease occurs in other racial and ethnic groups.

    My son has Type I diabetes. I have heard that this may put him at increased risk for developing celiac disease. What I can do to reduce his risk of developing celiac disease? What risk(s ) should be aware of as a diabetic living with celiac disease?

    Yes there it is recognized that there is an increased risk of celiac disease associated with those living with Type I diabetes. There is likely a genetic basis and hence it is improbable that there is anything you can do to decrease the risk. A serology blood test (tissue transglutaminase antibody) is very useful to screen for celiac disease and if the test is positive a endoscopic duodenal biopsies should be arranged to confirm the diagnosis and assess any damaged to the villi that may have already occurred. Once diagnosed with celiac disease, following a strict gluten free diet for life is recommended to prevent the risk of malabsorption and the development of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) complicating the management of your son’s diabetes.

Enhancing lifelong health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health