We might be adding another symptom of celiac disease to our growing list. New research claims people with asthma could be at increased risk for celiac disease — and vice versa. But does the gluten free diet help?
The Celiac and Asthma Connection
Researchers in Sweden found that “people with celiac disease are 60% more likely to develop asthma, relative to those without celiac,” Reuters reported this week from research published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The report also said “those diagnosed with asthma were also more likely to eventually develop celiac disease.”
Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson one of the lead researchers based in Sweden found that the diseases are linked but not necessarily that one causes the other.
So what might be the problem? Dr. Ludvigsson points out it could be one of two things: low levels of vitamin D which could affect the immune system and cause asthma. Another is the fact that both “share some immunological feature, if you have it you’re at increased risk of both diseases.”
So does a gluten-free diet prevent asthma? Well here’s the Dr. Ludvigsson’s quote from Reuters — “…I actually believe that also patients with good adherence [to the gluten free diet] are at increased risk of asthma.” So he’s saying the risk doesn’t lower on the gluten free diet.