Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Did Antibiotics Trigger Jack's Celiac Disease??

Did they?? I don't know for sure and unfortunately, I probably will never know. But when your child is diagnosed with celiac disease at such a young age (Jack was 2 yrs. old), as a parent, you think to yourself, "What possibly could have triggered it?"

A couple of weeks ago, I was reading my weekly email that I receive from Living Without Magazine. This particular article was from their House Call Issue entitled: "Antibiotics and Celiac Disease". After reading the article (see article below), I was curious about Jack's antibiotic use before being diagnosed with celiac disease.  I made a call to Jack's pediatrician, Dr. Wilson and asked her how many times he was on an antibiotic the year before he was diagnosed. I recalled Jack and his sister, Georgia (who is 18 months older than Jack - a lot of cooties were passed back and forth), having bronchitis, walking pneumonia and a couple of ear infections.

I called Dr. Wilson and asked her to look back at his charts from 2008 - 2009. Jack was on an antibiotic in:

November 2008
February 2009
March 2009

Jack was diagnosed with celiac disease in August 2009, after his 2nd birthday. 

I don't know if antibiotics or a stomach virus triggered Jack's celiac disease, but as his mom, I just have a feeling, it was one of the two. I just never thought about antibiotics being a possible trigger...but it makes total sense...

Living Without's article:                                                                                                 
Antibiotics and Celiac Disease
"Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have linked antibiotic use with the onset
of celiac disease. The study is the first to make such a connection. Investigators used data from
a Swedish drug registry to compare antibiotic use in 2,933 Swedes with celiac disease and 28,262
without the autoimmune disorder.
Those with celiac disease were much more likely to have used antibiotics in the year before 
their diagnosis than those without it (25 percent versus 19 percent). They were also more 
likely to have used multiple courses of antibiotics. When researchers looked at a subset of 
individuals whom they dubbed “early celiacs” (i.e., they had celiac antibodies or intestinal inflammation 
but not the hallmark flattening of the intestinal villi), they also found a higher likelihood of recent 
antibiotic use.
Antibiotics may significantly change the gut environment, which may play a role in the development of
celiac disease, say researchers. However, it’s hard to know exactly when celiac disease starts. It’s also possible the antibiotics may have been prescribed for symptoms related to undiagnosed celiac disease.
More research is needed to tease apart these issues."
The study was published in July in BMC Gastroenterology.

Before your child was diagnosed with celiac disease, can you recall a significant amount of antibiotic use? 

1 comment:

  1. Yes, plenty of antibiotics, but I'm not too sure we can blame them in his case: he started getting sick often, which is why he took the antibiotics. I feel he got sick because the celiac was attacking his immune system, but I'm sure the antibiotics didn't help either.