Celiac Disease and Diabetes
The prevalence rate of celiac disease in children and adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) has been estimated to be much higher than in the general population. The most common explanation for the association between these two autoimmune conditions is shared genetic susceptibility.
T1DM is a less common form of diabetes. It’s mostly diagnosed in children and young adults. In this type of diabetes, the body doesn’t produce any insulin. This is why individuals with T1DM must be on insulin therapy. Insulin is a hormone that assists with the absorption of sugar from the blood stream into the body’s cells where it’s utilized for energy.
If you are diagnosed with both conditions, you have to follow a healthy and balanced gluten free diet. With any type of diabetes, it’s not recommended to completely cut out sugar naturally found in certain foods. Fruit, starchy vegetables, and dairy are all natural sources of sugar. So are grain-derived products such as cereal, bread, pasta and rice.
The healthy and balanced diet should include lean protein, low-fat diary, fruits, vegetables, and gluten free grains*. These foods when unprocessed are naturally gluten free. All processed food has to be gluten free certified.
It’s also recommended that you talk to your dietitian about food portion control with diabetes, as she/he will be able to customize your meal plan to better meet your individual needs.
*Gluten free grains include rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, teff, amaranth, corn, and gluten free certified oats.
This article has been written by our in-house Dietitian. If you have any nutrition-related inquiries, please contact us.