IBS Symptoms in Patients with Celiac Disease

While a gluten-free diet (GFD) is the optimal treatment, adult patients with celiac disease still have a high prevalence of irritable bowel symptoms (IBS) (Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2013; 11: 359-65).

The authors examined the prevalence of IBS symptoms by reviewing cross-sectional and case-control studies in adults with celiac disease (≥16 years old).  Initially, the literature search identified 624 studies; the vast majority did not fit the study requirements.  Seven studies (n=3383 participants) reported the prevalence of IBS symptoms in celiac disease.  These studies took place between 2002 to 2011 in five different countries.  IBS was defined using either Rome I, II, or III criteria.  Only one of these studies assessed adherence to a GFD by using negative tissue transglutaminase antibodies on the 2 most recent outpatient visits.

Results: IBS symptoms were present in 38% of all patients with celiac disease.  The pooled odds ratio was higher for celiac disease than controls (OR 5.6, with 95% CI 3.23-9.7).  Nonadherence to a GFD increased the likelihood over those who were adherent by an odds ratio of 2.69

Take-home message: IBS symptoms are present in a high proportion of patients with celiac disease.  While a GFD may improve these symptoms, some individuals will have persistent symptoms.

Related blog entry:

Is functional pain more common in children with … – gutsandgrowth  Previous blog entry examines functional abdominal pain in children and celiac disease.

Additional references:

  • -JPGN 2011; 53: 216. Case report of refractory celiac treated with 6-MP.
  • -Clincal Gastroenterol & Hep 2011; 9: 13. Celaic with persistent symptoms: consider poor adherence**, SBBO*, pancreatic insufficiency*/subclinical pancreatitis, refractory celiac (rare), PLE, giardia, malignancy, lactose intolerance, functional d/o*, microscopic colitis, Crohn’s*, NSAIDs
  • -Gastroenterol 2009; 136: 81, 91, 99, 32. Refractory celiac can be divided into 2 types; 2nd type assoc c abnormal IEL and has poor prognosis. Risk of non-hodgkins lymphoma 3.8-5 .3 fold over gen population in larg Sweish study. n=37869 c NHL, 236,408 controls, 613,961 1st degree relatives. Relatives c 2 fold risk. Absolute NHL risk ~1 in 1421 person-yrs for celiac pt.
  • -Clin Gastroenterol & Hep 2007; 5: 445-450. Causes of nonresponsive celiac.
  • -NEJM 2007; 356: 2548. Nonresponsive due to inhaled gluten in farm setting.
  • -Clin Gastro & Hep 2007; 5: 445. Gluten exposure in 36%, IBS n 22%, lactose intol 8%, refractory CD 10%
  • -Gastroenterol 2011; 141: 1187.  Prevalence of celiac similar in IBS as general population though higher number (7%) with celiac antibodies (esp gliadin).

2 thoughts on “IBS Symptoms in Patients with Celiac Disease

  1. Pingback: “Gluten-Related Disorders” (Part 1) | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: Functional Abdominal Pain in Children with Celiac Disease | gutsandgrowth

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