Celiac Awareness Month: Migraine, IBS, liver disease, Crohn’s disease, osteoporosis

Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease patients have increased prevalence of migraine: StudyMay is celiac awareness month, which is the perfect time to recognize and understand this often-misunderstood disease. Gluten-free diets are all the rage these days, and we at Bel Marra feel like our readers should be aware of what eliminating this protein from the diet can mean for you. Digestive health does not stop there, as we have many articles that affect this part of the body, touching on subjects such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, and inflammatory bowel disease. To help round out a very informative week, we have also included articles on liver disease, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches.

Celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease patients have increased prevalence of migraine: Study

Research suggests that people with celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to suffer from migraine headaches.


A migraine is a severe headache that can start with sensory warning signs like flashing lights, blind spots, tingling in the arms and legs, as well as sensitivity to sound and light. These headaches come with extreme pain and can last for several hours or even several days.

For many years, medical scientists in Europe have believed there is a connection between the digestive tract and the brain. However, this is the first time American researchers have linked celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease with migraines. Continue reading…

Celiac disease vs. IBS, differences in symptoms, causes, and treatmentCeliac disease vs. IBS, differences in symptoms, causes, and treatment

At first, celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may appear similar as they share many common symptoms, but if you take a deeper look, you will notice vast differences between the two. The biggest difference is that one is a disease and the other is a syndrome—you may think this is just a difference of name, but it also refers to differences in conditions.

A disease has a known cause and a measureable effect on the body. Syndromes don’t have definitive causes and their effects on the body are not easily measured. Syndromes are associated with the symptoms they cause, while a disease is associated with the long-term physiological changes it causes. To explain this more clearly, IBS symptoms do not cause lasting consequences on the body, whereas the celiac disease symptoms can cause damage and changes to the digestive system. Continue reading…

Celiac disease associated with liver diseaseCeliac disease associated with liver disease

Celiac disease is associated with coexisting liver disease. Previous studies have shown that celiac patients often have elevated levels of liver enzymes, which typically go back to normal once a gluten-free regimen is implemented. In the new study, the researchers set out to explore the cause and prevalence of altered liver function in celiac patients up to one year after eliminating gluten from their menus.

The researchers analyzed liver function prior to and after dietary changes in 245 untreated celiac patients. They found that 43 patients had elevated values of one or both aminotransferases, important indicators of liver damage. Forty-one patients had a mild elevation, and the remaining two had higher aminotransferase elevations. Continue reading…

Celiac disease vs. Crohn’s disease: differences in symptoms, causes, and treatmentCeliac disease vs. Crohn’s disease: differences in symptoms, causes, and treatment

Celiac disease and Crohn’s disease both cause inflammation of the intestines, and although there are some overlapping symptoms each condition has its own unique disease course that requires a very specific form of treatment.

Distinguishing celiac disease and Crohn’s disease based on symptoms alone could be quite difficult. Additional testing is required for determining the exact diagnosis. What can make diagnosing even more challenging is that many Crohn’s disease patients will have celiac disease as well, so treatments must be combined in order to offer the patient relief.


Genetics is now being studied to determine the genetic differences between Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, and although many genetic differences have been found already there is still much to uncover about either condition. Continue reading…

Celiac disease increases osteoporosis and bone fracture riskCeliac disease increases osteoporosis and bone fracture risk

Celiac disease increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. The findings were presented at the EULAR 2011 Annual Congress, where researchers announced that celiac disease patients have a 4.5 times greater risk of developing osteoporosis, compared to healthy individuals of the same age and gender.

The study compared bone mineral density (BMD) loss in two physical locations in the body in 1,030 people. The researchers found that the lumbar spine BMD in celiac disease patients was significantly different in comparison to the control group. The femoral neck bone mineral density, however, was not found to be significantly different than the control group. Continue reading…


Related Reading:

Celiac disease linked to common viral infection

Celiac disease patients show immune response to oats due to gluten-like protein: Study

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