Increased Risk for Vitamin D Deficiency in Obese Children with Both Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes

Nithya Setty-Shah,  Louise Maranda,  and Benjamin Udoka Nwosu  

Gastroenterol Res Pract. 2014; 2014: 561351

Hey guys, I think this article certainly brings up an interesting question as to could vitamin D deficiency be a contributing factor in obesity in kids with celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. Additional research will be needed to confirm their findings and here are a few of the key points.

  • There is considerable clinical and pathogenic overlap between type 1 diabetes (T1D) and celiac disease (CD). These two autoimmune diseases have similar genetic background and trigger mechanisms . The common genetic basis for the expression of both diseases derives from the identification of human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules, DQ8 and DQ2 as key genetic risk factors for T1D and CD the United States .
  • These diseases also share similar non-HLA risk factors, such as viral infection, effect of gut microbiome, duration of breastfeeding, and the timing of the introduction of solid foods
  • CD is an autoimmune-mediated, chronic inflammatory disorder of the small intestine that is principally induced in genetically susceptible individuals by the ingestion of proline- and glutamine-rich proteins contained in wheat, rye, and barley, although other factors seem to play a secondary role. It affects about 0.5–0.1% the population but occurs in patients with T1D at a prevalence rate of 8%
  • T1D is an endocrine disorder caused by autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic beta cells leading to insulin deficiency
  • Though vitamin D deficiency has been described in patients with CD and T1D, there are no data on the synergistic impact of both CD and T1D on vitamin D status in prepubertal children. Equally, the effect of increasing adiposity on vitamin D status in patients with both CD and T1D is unclear. Recent reports indicate that 19% of children with T1D are overweight and 5.2% are obese. Similarly, the prevalence of overweight and obesity at the time of diagnosis of CD is 8.8–20.8% and up to 6%, respectively.
  • It is likely that both the severity and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency will increase with time in patients with both T1D and CD given the high prevalence (67%) of malnutrition in patients with CD alone, along with the increasing prevalence of overweight (19%) and obesity (5%) in this population. 
  • The coexistence of T1D and CD in overweight/obese prepubertal children may be associated with lower serum vitamin D concentration compared to healthy controls.

I think the important thing to recognize here that if your kids are obese and they have celiac disease that there could be some major vitamin D deficiencies happening here. And, the severity and prevalence of the vitamin D deficiency will increase overtime. Therefore, it is important to make sure to have their vitamin and mineral level monitored and checked regularly to make sure that they are absorbing as much as they possibly can. Malabsorption is normal however it is not over checked or expected in obese celiac children.

Just something to think about and to consider it may be time to check your vitamin and mineral levels when living with celiac disease. When was the last time you had your levels checked?

* Here’s my little disclaimer, I’m not a doctor, researcher, immunologist, just someone deeply concerned and trying to help as many peeps as I can make conscious, good, healthy choices for their health and their bodies when living life with gluten challenges. I have not been compensated or obligated to write this article, and as always, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own!