Celiac and Type 2 Diabetes

There is not a genetic link between celiac disease and type 2 diabetes; however it is possible to have both conditions independent of each other. Individuals with both type 2 diabetes and celiac disease need to go on a gluten free diet. It is important to watch blood sugar levels when eating gluten-free goods. Symptoms of type 2 diabetes in individuals with celiac disease include urinating at night, thirst, weight gain, tiredness, vision changes, numbness in the feet and increased appetite. A celiac patient can have a formal glucose tolerance test or a measuring of the hemoglobin A1C level to test for type 2 diabetes.

Fast Facts:

  • Individuals with celiac disease have a 5% risk of having Type 2 diabetes.
  • Having a family history of celiac increases the risk for type 2 diabetes to between 5-15%.
  • Celiac disease and type 2 diabetes are similar in that they both have confusing symptoms, making diagnosis easy to miss.
  • Individuals with celiac disease should be screened for type 2 diabetes every one to two years.
  • A fasting blood sugar test and a blood sugar two hours after eating tests are screening test for type 2 diabetes.
  • Approximately 3 million people in the U.S. have celiac disease.
  • There seems to be a link between people with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.