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RLS and Celiac disease

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:10 pm
by djohnso55
I don't think my message was posted. I was just diagnosed with Celiac disease three days ago. I was diagnosed with RLS about 3 months ago. Wondering if there may be a connection. With celiacs you have to be on a gluten free diet. The gluten causes your immune system to damage your small intestine so you do not absort nutrients, like iron and calcium. They had order the upper gi becasue my ferritn level was 8 and did not come back up after taking iron. I am hoping that if the gluten free diet makes me able to absorb iron it might take care of the RLS.

Posted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:50 pm
by ViewsAskew
Yes, there is a likely connection.

Chances are you may have been told at some point that you were anemic, too. As you said, the villi in your small intestine wasn't absorbing nutrients. Anyone who has anemia is likely to get RLS.

BUT - you could still have RLS anyway. For many celiacs (about 35% complain of RLS prior to diagnosis IIRC), the RLS goes away after the GF diet is followed and the body starts getting the nutrients it needs. But, since about 10% of have RLS anyway, there is always the possibility that you had RLS anyway.

Only time will tell on that and it can take awhile before your body responds well to the diet.

How's the diet going? It's hard the first year or so (my hubbie is celiac and he has RLS - but so does his sister and his didn't go away with a GF diet but did get better). We're in year 13 now, so don't even think about it much - but it took a long time to get to that point.


Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:55 am
by djohnso55
Thanks for responding. That is encouraging. I just found out three days ago about the celiac, so I am just learning about the diet. It is a little confusing. There is a gluten free cooking class at whole foods and I am going to go to it. Also have printed some information from the internet. Do you know of a good book on the diet? I have seen some, but haven't bought one yet. Just about every label I read has somthing on there that I can't have. So, I am in the process of learning and cleaning out my pantry.

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:26 am
by ViewsAskew
Hi Debra,

I sometimes teach classes at my local Whole Foods, as do other local celiac cooks, so I'd say that's a very good start.

I think most people really like the Donna Korn book for general info.

For a cookbook - first, are you a cook/baker normally or is this something you need to also learn? Some people are naturally into cooking/baking and the transition is a bit easier. If you don't like to or don't know how to cook, it's definitely harder.

Also, depending on your metro area, you may have a local group that can help. My Hubbie is a product specialist for our local chapter of CSA. I don't necessarily recommend CSA groups over other groups (they can be a bit fanatical, but they do keep you safe), but it's just the only major group in our area.

celiac disease and rls

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:15 am
by djohnso55
I do cook, I keep it pretty simple. I bake some. Also work full time, so I like to keep it simple. Actually I bought some gluten free allpupose flour and just mixed up some cobbler. I followed my recipee and put baking powder in it (the box said gluten free) then I read on the flour box it already has baking powder in it. So I will let you know if it turns out.
Whole foods here is having a cooking class so I might go.

Posted: Tue Feb 24, 2009 2:14 am
by ViewsAskew
I hope you like the mix you bought. They differ a lot; over the years I've noticed that some of us have less demanding palates than others. Some of us are happy with the basic white rice blends; others of us want more whole grain taste and experiment with millet, sorghum, amaranth, etc.

In the beginning, we were happy to have anything, pretty much!

Posted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 9:34 pm
by Hos
Hello all, long time no type...

I was recently disgnosed with Celiac disease which is an autoimmute condition where your body attacks the intestines if you eat gluten (wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats). As you said, there is a strong correlation between Celiac and RLS.

For those who want to ask their PCP, the test for Celiac Disease is: Total IgA test, aka Transglutaminaic antibody test. If it's positive, then the PCP should refer you to a gastrointerologist and do an upper GI (EGD, I think) which is the "gold standard" to prove if you have Celiac disease.

While I had classic symptoms of bloating, upset stomach, low blood tests re: Iron and Vit. D, etc. and liver enzymes, the challenging thing is that this disease can be asymptomatic. It's possible that your RLS is caused by Celiac but know that it only affects 1 in 133 adults but this number is growing for various reasons. Don't take my word for it:

We can only hope that my RLS will soon go away??? :shock: or at least be eased.