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Thyroid-Related Autoantibodies and Celiac Disease: A Role for a Gluten-Free Diet?

Mainardi, Elsa B.Sc.D.; Montanelli, Alessandro M.D.; Dotti, Maria M.D.; Nano, Rosanna B.Sc.D.; Moscato, Gianna M.D.

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: September 2002 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 245-248
Alimentary Tract: Clinical Research

An association between celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders—such as insulin-dependent diabetes, Addison's disease, systemic lupus erythematous, rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia areata, and autoimmune endocrine diseases—has been described. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of celiac disease in 100 patients with autoimmune thyroid disease. Moreover, the monitoring of patients with concomitant celiac and autoimmune thyroid diseases, after a gluten-free diet or a gluten-containing diet, can give important insights into the effect of dietary habits in thyroid autoantibodies modulation. In our study, the prevalence of celiac disease in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease was 2%. In these two celiac patients, the serologic markers became undetectable 6 months after beginning a gluten-free diet. However, thyroid autoantibodies did not positively correlate with dietary habits.

From the Department of Clinical Pathology, General Hospital of Crema (E.M., A.M., M.D.); the Department of Biology, CNR, University of Pavia (R.N.); and the Allergology and Clinical Immunology, “S. Maugeri” Foundation, IRCCS (G.M.), Pavia.

Submitted December 12, 2001.

Accepted March 26, 2002.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Elsa Mainardi, Department of Clinical Pathology, General Hospital, Via Maccallè 13, 26013 Crema, Italy. E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.