Monday, October 31, 2011

Shield Your Kidneys from Celiac Disease

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are the "great pretenders" and mimic hundreds of illnesses.That's because all organs can become the target organs for these diseases. Sometimes the small bowel is hardly affected and only 50% of celiacs ( Farrell, NEJM 2002) have diarrhea.

According to new research by the Swedish team which includes Dr. J. Ludvigsson, whom I've reported on before, the risk of kidney disease in celiacs is increased by 3.5 times compared to non-celiac patients.

That's a staggering number. Protect your kidneys, don't eat ANY gluten if you are celiac or suspect that gluten makes you ill. And take appropriate supplements.

Brian Dean RD reports over at the CeliAct blog:

Kidney Disease Basics

Your body’s kidneys are a pair or organs with a Swiss Army knife-like array of functions. In addition to filtering out blood, your kidneys regulate fluid balance, manage your electrolytes and even convert vitamin D to its functional form.
Sadly, America’s kidneys are in bad shape. More than 10 percent of all adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease – a severe form of kidney disease where functioning is severely impaired – the National Institutes of Health reports. What’s worrying is that things are getting worse: kidney disease is set to double by 2030.
Public health officials have set their crosshairs on obesity, hypertension and type 2 diabetes to try to stem the tide of kidney disease cases. However, it appears that celiac disease may be one silent cause that’s getting ignored.

Celiac and Your Kidneys: Evidence

A Swedish research team, presenting their results in a paper published in the August 2011 issue of Gut, investigated the link between celiac disease and kidney disease. To do this, the scientists followed a group of 20,000 adults with and without CD. They discovered that the risk of developing end stage renal disease – the most serious form of kidney disease – was 3.5 times higher in individuals with CD than those without.
But this study isn’t the first to note the connection between celiac disease and kidney disease: a paper published in the March 2006 issue of Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation found that CD upped kidney disease risk by about the same amount.

Celiac and Your Kidneys: Connection

Scientists aren’t sure how CD attacks your kidneys, but here’s what they have so far:
  • Antibodies: The same antibodies that go haywire over gluten are also found in high amounts in damaged kidneys. These antibodies appear to attack glomerular cells that are important for blood filtration.
  • Type 1 Diabetes: People with celiac disease have type 1 diabetes more often than the general population. Type 1 diabetes is an important risk factor for kidney disease.
  • Nitric Oxide: This pro-inflammatory compound skyrockets in CD, and is well known to contribute to kidney damage.

  • Welander A, PrĂ¼tz KG, Fored M, Ludvigsson JF. Increased risk of end-stage renal disease in individuals with coeliac disease. Gut. 2011 Aug 3. [Epub ahead of Print]
  • National Institutes of Health: Kidney and Urologic Diseases Statistics for the United States. Available at: Accessed September 19th 2011.
  • Ludvigsson,JF et al: Coeliac disease and risk of renal disease-a general population cohort study. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2006 Jul;21(7):1809-15
For part two see this link.
It encourages 110% gluten-free diet, losing weight if you are overweight, exercise, and fish oils. All good advice.
Do it now before it's too late. 

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