Researchers have confirmed a genetic link between Celiac disease, Diabetes and a form of childhood arthritis, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). This genetic data furthers the support of a link between Celiac disease and autoimmune disease, especially inflammatory arthritis. This raises the question if gluten ingestion is safe for certain genetically predisposed individuals. Researchers from the University of Manchester, England, have published genetic DNA data that confirms a link between Celiac disease and diabetes to an autoimmune disorder in children, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA). They found several DNA loci that are confirmed as being associated with Celiac disease and diabetes that are also present in patients with Juvenile Rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), an autoimmune inflammatory arthritis.
This is still a new concept to many physicians. In my experience, most Rheumatologists (autoimmune arthritis specialists) are skeptical of a link between Celiac and autoimmune arthritis conditions. Most pediatric endocrinologists and many adult endocrinologists (diabetes specialists) are aware of the link between Celiac and type I (juvenile onset, insulin dependent diabetes) and routinely screen their patients for Celiac disease. Those of us acquainted with the plight of those with Celiac and gluten sensitivity frequently see the association of gluten and autoimmune disorders. Many of these patients who already have a autoimmune disorder are frustrated, even angry, that gluten sensitivity was not considered before they developed an irreversible autoimmune disorder.