Managing coeliac disease in patients with diabetes

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The association between coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes has long been established. The combination of genetic susceptibility along with a potential role for gluten in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity makes defining gluten's role in type 1 diabetes extremely important. Evidence supporting the role of a gluten-free diet to improve complications associated with type 1 diabetes is not robust. However there is evidence to support improved growth, bone density and potentially the prevention of additional autoimmune diseases in patients with coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes. The gluten free diet is expensive and challenging to adhere to in people already on a modified diet. Early identification of those who have coeliac disease and would benefit from a gluten-free diet is of utmost importance to prevent complications associated with type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease.

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