Individuals who suffer from celiac disease are normally asked to be very conscientious about their diet. However, a new study has proven that sufferers also have to watch out for their nerves as well.
According to the study, people with celiac disease are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from neuropathy than those who don’t have the disease. But watching one’s nerves is also tied in with watching one’s diet, as the researchers believe nerve damage can be avoided by adopting a gluten-free diet, or one that doesn’t include barley, rye, and wheat.
“Celiac disease is a potentially treatable condition with a young age of onset,” said lead author Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson of Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet in a statement. “Our findings suggest that screening could be beneficial in patients with neuropathy.” His team had monitored 28,232 Swedish patients with confirmed cases of celiac disease, and 139,479 others without the disease, and according to their findings, less than 1 percent of patients with CD developed neuropathy. That’s still a small percentage, though one that was 2.5 times greater than the incidence for people who don’t suffer from CD.
For now, Ludvigsson’s best advice is for CD sufferers to watch their diet to avoid the possibility of nerve damage. “Dietary adherence is currently the only thing we can recommend,” he said in an interview with dailyRX News. “I personally believe that it protects against some complications. If one of them is neuropathy, I do not know.”
Celiac disease, or CD, is a hereditary autoimmune digestive disorder that causes small intestine damage when sufferers consume gluten. About one in 100 people worldwide suffer from the disease.