So the other day I fielded a question about celiac disease and if there is a direct correlation between having celiac and type 1 diabetes. A great question as more type 1 diabetics seem to be diagnosed with celiac disease after their type 1 diagnosis. So what’s the deal with celiac disease? What is it exactly and what can be done to help alleviate the symptoms? Lets take a closer look!
What Is Celiac Disease:
Celiac disease is a digestive illness that occurs due to the ingestion of gluten. If you have celiac disease, your intestines cannot tolerate the presence of gliadin, which is a component of gluten. Gluten is present in wheat, barley, and rye. When a person with celiac disease eats foods with gluten, such as bread or cereal, their immune system inappropriately reacts to the ingested gluten and causes inflammation and injury to the small intestine. This results in symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and weight loss, as well as an inability to absorb important food nutrients.
Celiac Disease And Type 1 Diabetes:
So what’s the deal when it comes to type 1 diabetes and a celiac disease diagnosis? While there doesn’t appear to be a direct link between type 2 diabetes and celiac that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to type 1.
Per the celiac disease foundation:
“The link between type 1 diabetes mellitus and celiac disease was first established in the 1960s. The estimated prevalence of celiac disease in patients with type 1 diabetes is approximately 8%, and about 1% in the general population. Most patients with both conditions have asymptomatic celiac disease, or symptoms that may be confused for symptoms of their diabetes. For this reason, and the significantly higher prevalence rate of celiac disease in diabetes patients, many doctors recommend getting screened for celiac disease after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes, as well as celiac patients getting screened for type 1 diabetes.
A recent study in 2013, contributed to by Dr. Peter Green, a member of Celiac Disease Foundation’s Medical Advisory Board found that there were no standard uniform practices for screening type 1 diabetes patients for celiac disease. Of the facilities in the study that did screen for celiac disease, 60% of them only did so if there were symptoms present. The authors of the study suggested that a uniform protocol for screening should be in place, as well as a need for further education on the gluten-free diet in patients with type 1 diabetes for dietitians.”(1)
The unfortunate part of this is that once you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, such as type 1 diabetes, you become prone to developing others. As for the signs, symptoms and treatment options, lets take a look.
Symptoms Of Celiac Disease:
Celiac disease symptoms typically involve the intestines and digestive system. They can also affect other parts of the body and children as well as adults tend to have a different set of symptoms. Those symptoms are as follows:
Celiac Disease Symptoms in Children:
Children with celiac disease can feel tired and irritable. They may also be smaller than normal and have delayed puberty. Other common symptoms include:
- weight loss
- abdominal bloating
- abdominal pain
- persistent diarrhea or constipation
- pale, fatty, foul-smelling stools
How To Diagnose Celiac Disease In Adults
Adults with celiac disease may experience digestive symptoms. In most cases, however, symptoms also affect other areas of the body. These symptoms may include:
- iron-deficiency anemia
- joint pain and stiffness
- weak, brittle bones
- skin disorders
- numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
- pale sores inside the mouth
- irregular menstrual periods
- infertility and miscarriage
I’ve been a type 1 diabetic now for the past 12 years and I’ve heard of most of the associated complications associated with the disease, but I came across an article a couple weeks back about diabetic dermopathy shin spots and how they are more prevalent in type 1 diabetics.
Well, never hearing of it, it automatically peaked my interest and the fact that I’ve personally had a couple of sketchy spots on my lower legs over the years, I started to research diabetic dermopathy and what it was all about, so lets take a closer look!
What Causes Diabetic Dermopathy?
One of the more popular diabetic skin ailment (yay us!), diabetic dermopathy is found in more than 50% of individuals dealing with the disease. Diabetic dermopathy is a harmless condition and is likely the most common skin problem in people who have had diabetes for some time, or whose blood sugar levels are poorly controlled and remain high over a prolonged period of time.
The exact cause of diabetic dermopathy is unknown but may actually be associated with diabetic neuropathic (nerve) and vascular (blood vessels) complications, as studies have shown the condition to occur more frequently in diabetic patients with retinopathy (retinal damage of the eye), neuropathy (nerve/sensory damage) and nephropathy (kidney damage).
Diabetic dermopathy tends to occur in older patients or those who have had diabetes for at least 10-20 years. It also appears to be closely linked to increased glycosylated haemoglobin, an indicator of poor control of blood glucose levels.
Because lesions often occur over bony parts of the body such as the shins, it is thought that diabetic dermopathy may also be a magnified response to injury or trauma to these areas. Studies have shown that shin spots have appeared in response to trauma with heat, cold or blunt objects in patients with diabetes.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Dermopathy?
Diabetic dermopathy appears as pink to red or tan to dark brown patches, and it is most frequently found on the lower legs. The patches are slightly scaly and are usually round or oval. Long-standing patches may become faintly indented (atrophic).
I fielded a question the other day pertaining to artificial dyes, red dye particularly and why they were so dangerous. I knew it was bad but after doing some further research I was quite shocked at what I found out, lets take a closer look!
Artificial dyes can be found in more than just food products that you might expect. It is easy to see brightly colored candies and drinks and know instantly that they contain artificial dyes. You need to be extremely careful and read the ingredient labels which reveals artificial dyes in many potentially surprising products.
The three most widely used culprits—Yellow 5, Yellow 6 and Red 40—contain compounds, including benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, that research shows has linked with Cancer! Why is this though? Lets look deeper into these dyes and check on how they are derived.
Where Does Red Dye 40 Come From:
Contrary to popular belief, red dye is not only found in food. The truth is, red dye allergy can come from just about anything. Food, personal care, make up, and even the toothpaste you’re using. Artificial dyes are derived mostly from Pertroleum, or red dye is extracted from a beetle and then used for various purposes. This dye has NO benefits to the body whatsoever, but lets take a good look at what this is linked to once assimilated (absorbed ) into the human body and blood stream.
Just like other types of allergies, common skin symptoms can be attributed to red dye allergy. Itchiness, redness and slight swelling of the skin are some of these symptoms. Appearance of hives, rashes and thick bumps which contain fluid are also dermal signs of red dye allergy. Angioedema is a more severe skin reaction caused by red dye allergy. It’s characterized by the swelling of the deeper layers of the skin. This might look like raised welt’s on the skin’s surface. Angioedema can also be seen in the tongue, eyelids and the area surrounding the face. Sounds fun, right? Lets examine further.
Anyone who is allergic to a particular kind of food will have some type of gastrointestinal problem. In this case, red dye can cause diarrhea, bloating or give you a gassy feeling. It will usually start as a simple stomach ache. Then it can progress to a more serious digestive problem, such as vomiting and persistent excretions. Once the food with red dye has been excreted, the gastrointestinal stress will also cease. This is why most people are wheezing, coughing or appear to have a general whistling in the chest.
Flu & Respiratory Problems:
Red dye allergy can cause certain parts of the respiratory system to swell. It’s hard to diagnose people with red dye allergy, because most of the symptoms exhibited are too common. The best example of which is fever and flu. Itchiness of the throat, eyes and nose, as well as constant sneezing are also caused by red dye allergy. While these symptoms can easily be treated with antibiotics and antihistamines, the allergy can go undetected for years.
I fielded a question earlier this week on my Facebook page in regards to a fellow type 1 diabetic having diabetic hand pain and issues with their hands being stiff and they seemed harder to move.
Immediately carpal tunnel syndrome popped into my head, but after she brought this up to her doctor and they ruled out carpal tunnel, they moved on to another diagnosis. A condition called diabetic hand syndrome (DHS). Honestly, I’ve never heard of DHS but like most things that grab my attention and not knowing much about something, I decided to see what this was all about. So what is DHS? Lets take a closer look!
What Is Diabetic Stiff Hand Syndrome?
So here we are, diabetic hand syndrome or as its more formerly know as, stiff hand syndrome or cheiroarthropathy. Stiff hand syndrome is one of the most common hand disorders for people with diabetes. Another common nerve and joint problem is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Granted carpal tunnel is not caused by diabetes, but happens more often to people with diabetes, especially those who have diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetic Hand Syndrome Symptoms:
Stiff Hand Syndrome is painless and can effect both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. It usually begins in your little finger. Then it spreads over time to your thumb. This stiffness then keeps you from being able to straighten your fingers fully.
In addition, the skin on the back of your hand may also become thick, tight and waxy-looking. One way to tell if you have Stiff Hand Syndrome is to hold the palms of your hands together as if you are praying. If all of the skin and joints of your palms and fingers don’t touch, there is the possibility that you may have stiff hand Syndrome.
As a type 1 diabetic for the past 9 years, I’m always trying to stay on top of the latest news and trends when it comes to diabetes complications. Did you know that every 30 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone loses a lower limb as a result of diabetes. That’s because diabetes and wounds are a dangerous combination.
If you have diabetes, there’s no such thing as a minor wound to the foot — even small blisters or foot sores can turn into an ulcer that, if not properly treated, can lead to amputation. The rate of amputation for people with diabetes is 10 times higher than for those who don’t have the disease.
There is no single known cause for diabetic blisters. Many of those who have diabetic blisters may also tend to suffer from neuropathy and nephropathy. Some researchers think that a decreased ability to sustain an injury may play a role. Also in people with heart failure, the swelling that can result from that condition may be enough to cause the blisters. Many people who develop the diabetic blisters have had diabetes for many years or have several complications from the disease.
What Is A Diabetic Blister:
Symptoms of diabetic blisters include intense itching and burning sensation of the skin. When the mucous membranes of the mouth are affected, it can cause pain, burning, peeling away of affected inner lining tissues, and sensitivity to acidic foods. Eating can be difficult, and involvement in the deeper areas of the throat can cause coughing. Involvement of the inner nose can cause nosebleeds. The disease typically worsens (exacerbates) and improves (remits) over time.
Treatment For Blisters:
In many cases, the blisters heal by themselves, within two to four weeks, and no treatment is needed other than keeping them clean.
On occasion, though, the blisters may burst. If this happens, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or something to help dry the blister. If the blister becomes infected or develops an ulcer, it will be treated more like a wound. Antibiotics may be used. In very severe cases, skin may need to be removed to help the healing process.