Object: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is associated with other autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease (CD) and thyroid disease. It has been estimated that 4-12 % of children with T1D, also have CD. In Norway, most diabetic children are screened for CD. The aim was to investigate the relationship between T1D and CD in Norwegian children.
Methods: We wanted to explore the extent of symptoms, treatment and quality of life. To answer these questions, a questionnaire was made based on two previous studies. The patients were 0-20 years old, and had both T1D and CD. Of 146 Norwegian patients who filled these criteria, 82 participated in the survey. Their mean age was 13 years, 62% were girls.
Results: The prevalence of CD in children with T1D is 8% in Norway. 23% had first-degree relatives with T1D or CD. The most common symptoms were gas, abdominal pain, weakness, unstable blood glucose, moodswings and poor growth. 90% ate strictly gluten free diet (GFD). 64% experienced improved health after initiating GFD. 7% found it hard to follow the diet. Half of the patients felt always/frequently/sometimes excluded by their peers, two third felt different, embarrassed, angry. The quality of life was generally good and was not significantly different from patients with T1D only. Frequency of severe hypoglycemia, DKA and mean HbA1c was not significantly different between patients with or without CD.
Conclusions: CD is an additional burden, but did not significantly impair quality of life or HbA1c compared to patients with T1D only.