The findings of a new study have revealed that celiac disease could be linked to a form of nerve damage known as neuropathy. For the study, the researchers examined the medical records for more than 28000 patients affected by the disease and 139,000 individuals who were never diagnosed with the disorder. They found that patients with the disease were 2.5 times more likely to be affected by nerve damage.
Also known as gluten intolerance, celiac disease is basically a digestive system disorder that leads to pain and discomfort among the sufferer upon the consumption of protein rich foods.
Upon the consumption of certain foods, the immune system of the affected individuals tends to generate a response that reduces the absorption of nutrients from food and also damages the small intestinal linings.
“We found an increased risk of neuropathy in patients with CD [celiac disease] that persists after CD diagnosis. Although absolute risks for neuropathy are low, CD is a potentially treatable condition with a young age of onset. Our findings suggest that screening could be beneficial in patients with neuropathy,” the researchers explained.
Around 83% of those affected by celiac disease are not diagnosed, or their healthcare provider may have linked their condition to other causes- the statistics from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has revealed.
Infact, the patients are often diagnosed 6-10 after they are already affected by the disease, and if left uncontrolled, it could also lead to other autoimmune disorders, reduced bone mineral density, neurological diseases and some types of cancer as well.
Currently there is no cure for the disease, and individuals who are affected have to stick to a gluten free diet.
The findings of this study are now published in the journal JAMA Neurology.