Scary link between celiac disease and nerve damage

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Link between celiac disease and nerve damage

In a recent article published in Time magazine, discusses new findings regarding celiac disease (CD) from a longitudinal study done in Sweden. The article highlights findings from the scientific journal JAMA Neurology which looked at data from every person diagnosed with CD in Sweden from 1969-2008. It is estimated that about 1% of the population has celiac disease, and that number is similar in Sweden and the U.K.

What did the study find?

The Celiac Study was lead by a pediatrician, Dr. Jonas F. Ludvigsson, professor of clinical epidemiology at Karolinska Institute, and his research team. The researchers followed a cohort of people for 10 years to see if they developed neuropathy or nerve damage following the diagnosis of CD. The study found that having CD was associated with a 2.5- fold increase in development of nerve damage (neuropathy) later in life.

Dr. Ludvigsson stated:

“It’s quite a high figure, compared to many other outcomes in celiac disease” and continues to say “There is a real association between celiac disease and neuropathy…we have precise risk estimates in a way we haven’t had before.”

What does this mean for celiac sufferers?

The new research proves the importance of early detection and proper testing for people who are at risk for development of CD. It was not mentioned in the article on the exact mechanism to which celiac disease can lead to neuropathy but possible mechanism include malabsorption of key vitamins and nutrients needed for proper nerve function are compromised in people with celiac disease which could lead to nerve damage.


If you have a family history of celiac disease or have questions about getting tested. Please contact Dr. Heintze at (425) 686-4498 to schedule a medical consultation.

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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, facial rejuvenation, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.


Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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