People with one autoimmune condition are at risk of developing another. A person can even have lupus and celiac disease together, although this is relatively rare.
Lupus and celiac disease are chronic autoimmune diseases, which means they occur when the body mistakenly attacks its own healthy tissues.
Autoimmune diseases affect more than
According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, autoimmune diseases are affecting more people, but scientists are not certain why. Research suggests that various factors, including stress and climate change, may be contributing to the increase in autoimmune disease cases.
In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the
This article explores lupus and celiac disease by discussing if someone can have both conditions and the symptoms they may develop. In addition, it explores some diet tips for people with both conditions and when to speak with a doctor.
The Celiac Disease Foundation explains that people with one autoimmune disorder are prone to developing another. The older someone is when a doctor diagnoses them with celiac disease, the greater the risk of them developing another autoimmune condition.
Lupus is an autoimmune condition that someone with celiac disease can develop. The Celiac Disease Foundation notes that although there is an overlap between lupus and celiac disease, scientists have not established a specific cause or correlation between the two conditions.
A small 2021 study tested 130 patients with SLE for celiac disease. Of the total study group,
However, the authors of a 2021 case study highlighted that overlapping symptoms may make diagnosis challenging for doctors and that having SLE and celiac disease at the same time is rare.
Gastrointestinal symptoms that may be present in both SLE and
In someone with celiac disease, there
- muscle and joint pain
- kidney problems
- mouth ulcers
- malar rash
The list above is not exhaustive, and people may experience other symptoms of SLE.
Doctors typically evaluate a person’s symptoms and use blood tests and biopsies to
People who have celiac disease
A doctor or dietitian can advise someone with celiac disease on what they can eat. They should also check food packaging and restaurant menus for ingredients containing gluten.
No specific diet for lupus exists, but experts advise eating various nutrient-dense whole foods.
Therefore, for someone with both SLE and celiac disease, the following naturally gluten-free whole foods may be suitable toinclude in their diet:
- vegetables and fruits
- certain whole grains such as brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth
- healthy proteins such as beans, soy, eggs, lean meat, poultry, and seafood
- healthy sources of fats such as avocados, nuts, olive oil, and oily fish
A healthcare professional may recommend that someone with SLE and celiac disease limits:
- foods high in salt
- adding salt to meals
- saturated fat, which may be present in processed foods and some meats and dairy products
- foods with added sugars
However, people should speak with a doctor or dietitian to help determine which foods may be best for them to include or avoid in their diet.
If someone with an autoimmune disease has new or concerning symptoms, they should contact their doctor, who can evaluate their condition and recommend an appropriate treatment.
A doctor or dietitian can also help someone plan a nutritious and safe diet that does not worsen symptoms and lead to further complications.
While it is possible to have both lupus and celiac disease together, this is a rare occurrence. Lupus can affect any system or organ in the body, including the digestive system. Therefore, it can be challenging for doctors to diagnose celiac disease in someone with lupus.
In an individual with existing celiac disease, symptoms in other parts of the body may indicate that lupus is developing.
A nutritious diet for someone with lupus and celiac disease may consist of nutrient-dense whole foods that do not contain gluten. People should speak with a healthcare professional for individual advice about diet and nutrition.