What do Celiac, Thyroid, and Addison's Have in Common? Diabetes!

By DiabeticParents Latest Reply 2013-06-21 08:30:08 -0500
Started 2009-08-20 20:32:29 -0500

Lately when I run into a Type 1 diabetic friend they always seem to have something else going on in addition to their diabetes. For instance, one friend just told me that he has celiac disease in addition to his Type 1 diabetes. Celiac disease can affect how nutrients are absorbed in the body and can often affect blood sugar levels. Many celiacs must stop consuming foods with gluten. My friend is one of those who lives a gluten free diet.

My own husband has Type 1 diabetes and Addison's disease. Addison's disease is an adrenal insufficiency in the body. John F. Kennedy was known to have this rare disorder. Instead of worrying about high blood pressure, my husband has to take medication to keep his blood pressure up. It can also affect the melatonin in his skin and how he deals with stress.

Other Type 1 diabetics I've run into have thyroid problems or thyroid disorders.

My question: Why did my husband and many others get these disorders in addition to their diabetes??

Type 1 diabetes is considered an autoimmune disorder where a person's immune system attacks healthy tissues as if they were foreign invaders. That is perhaps why many diabetics later develop diseases like celiac, Addison's, or thyroid problems. Thyroid disease is the most common in Type 1 diabetics and is seen in approximately 15-20% of those with Type 1 diabetes. Celiac disease affects approximately 1 in every 20 Type 1 diabetics. Addison's is the most rare, but often accompanies those with Type 1 diabetes.

Do you have other disorders in addition to Type 1 diabetes?

5 replies

Nostress 2013-06-21 08:30:08 -0500 Report

I also have diabetes ( type 1) and Addison's disease, and Hashimoto, it is a thyroid isease.
It is just one thing ( called Schmidt syndrome or PAIS 2) that causes it al.
With my disease Addison was the first, then the thyroid and then the diabetes. There is also PAIS 1.

JennD 2010-02-23 11:28:35 -0600 Report

Right you are! I was diagnosed at age 40 with hypothyroidism. Then, I was misdiagnosed with Type 2 diabetes this past May (at 42). It did not make any sense to me…I am not overweight, I exercise, I do not have a family history of Diabetes. I asked for an endocrinologist who tested my C-peptide and a host of antibodies to discover, finally this past week, that I have Type 1 diabetes- LADA to be precise. The literature states that a common theme with Type 1 Diabetes are other autoimmune disorders as you suggest. There seems to be truth to the saying, "I am my own worst enemy!"
Best to you and yours,

Crashnot 2010-02-21 17:47:07 -0600 Report

I was just diagnosed with celiac in November. And eliminating wheat, barley and rye gluten isn't something some do, they MUST do it! It triggers an immune reaction in their intestines that wipes out the lining. If they don't get rid of the gluten ASAP they will actually die of malnutrition, because their guts cannot absorb the nutrients they need.

Having said that, if you have an immune disease like diabetes, chances are that it will suffer another one. Celiac is brought on by one or a combination of three things: A genetic link with a relative who has it; an immune disease like Diabetes; or a stress to the body like pregnancy. I happen to have all three things, so guess I got it head on!

Anyway, that would be one relationship to the other organ-related diseases. I would guess that a lot of the secondary problems like insomnia, blood pressure and depression are an offshoot or the organ diseases or dietary choices.

A lot of the medications we are given to treat things like high blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. actually exacerbate and bring on other problems. Reading "Reversing Diabetes" by Dr. Julian Whitaker was a quick education in what you will be in for if you have to start taking one. The snowball gets started and just gets bigger and bigger as time goes on!

iwillcuinheaven 2010-02-18 12:37:19 -0600 Report

Hi, I've been trying to find someone out there with Diabetes and Addison's Disease. I have type 2 diabetes, addison's, lupus, fibromialgia only to name a few. I've been having trouble with, what I call mini crisis. Where I feel like I'm about to pass out, get dizzy, shake, sweat, have difficulty breathing, blurred vision. I also feel like I'm about to blow up. It only lasts for about a minute or so and I seem to recover. When I check my blood sugar it's usually high during those episodes so I know it's not my BS getting too low. I'm trying to figure out how to prevent it from happening. Any advise?

ELIZABETH - 59279 2009-08-24 05:11:35 -0500 Report

Hi, I've been a type 1 diabetic for 32 years, I was diagnosed at 16. I also have; insomnia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, clinical depression, and thyroid disease. My blood pressure, and cholesterol are just at the point where the doctor put me on medications, but of course with diabetes, there's always risk to serious complications. The depression, and insomnia I've been suffering from my entire life, and although I was only diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a year ago, I've suffered with severe stomach aches since before grade school, years before the diabetes. I used to have glaucoma, but I had cataracts, and the ophthalmologist was able to fix the glaucoma when he did the cataracts surgery. The cataracts were "drug induced". I get URI almost every year, and I have to take steroids (another problem for diabetics) so I can breathe. Nothing else has helped. When you take steroids a lot, you run the risk of developing cataracts, whether you're a diabetic or not. The problem with everything I have (except the ulcerative colitis) are things that my mom, dad, aunt, or grandmother had. (my aunt was the diabetic) So it's difficult to really know what, if any, relationship they all have with diabetes. My aunt that had type 1, and was married to a man that later developed type 2 diabetes. They have 1 child, now in his late forties, and he's healthy. Thank GOD he does not have diabetes, but doesn't that make you question the fact that I got it? Is it really something that is hereditary? Or is it possible to be a disease that gets triggered after an illness? I was diagnosed at 16, and my aunt was diagnosed several years later when she was in her late thirties, early forties. I think diabetes gets blamed for a lot of other things because it's easier than looking for other causes.

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