As if living with celiac disease doesn’t have enough stressors, now researchers in Sweden have found there is an increased risk of people with celiac disease, getting thyroid disorders. After studying data among thousands of celiac patients in Sweden, researchers linked the two diseases.

Researchers reported in the October 2008 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, that people with celiac disease were at four-times higher risk of being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. There also was a three-fold increased risk in being diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and thyroiditis.

According to a recent Reuters Health article, hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland “…is underactive causing fatigue, dry skin and weight gain”. Hyperthyroidism is when the gland is overactive causing “…excessive sweating, nervousness”. Thyroiditis is the inflammation of the thyroid gland.

“The positive association between celiac disease and thyroid disease may be due to shared genetic or immunological traits,” researchers said to Reuters Health. The abstract of the Journal article also mentioned these individuals might be more susceptible to autoimmune disease.

For more information on this research you can visit the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism’s website.

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