It has been advised that type 1 diabetics should be regularly screened for celiac disease, even if there are no symptoms present of the disease.
A study examined the medical records of 532 consecutive patients with type 1 diabetes over a three-year period. It was found that 93 per cent of the patients underwent celiac screening within about three months of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes . The findings also showed that 5.1 per cent were seropositive for celiac disease on their initial testing, of which 44 per cent had biopsy-proven celiac disease.
Phyllis Speiser, head of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at North Shore–Long Island Jewish Health System in New Hyde Park, New York, said “Despite the fact that type 1 diabetics are at increased risk of celiac disease and that there are guidelines for screening from the American Diabetes Associatio, these have not filtered down to practicing endocrinologists very well.”
Short-term complications from undiagnosed celiac disease include weight loss, growth disturbances and difficulty achieving glycemic control in type 1 diabetics, while long-term problems can include small bowel malignancy.
The report recommends that type 1 diabetics should be screened for celiac disease as soon as they are diagnosed with diabetes .
As Speiser pointed out, “At my institutio, for example, there is a wide range of opinions among pediatric endocrinologists on when to screen and how to screen. Awareness needs to be raised about this, especially to the fact that celiac disease patients don’t have many obvious symptoms.”

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