It’s long been known that there’s a link between Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, and researchers in the U.S. and Europe are trying to figure out exactly what that is.
They studied 8,676 infants at a high genetic risk for developing one of the diseases, and closely followed them until around age 5. While some kids indeed went on to develop both diseases, there was a larger overlap than the researchers would have expected.
The team drilled down into demographic factors and genetics, but neither of those explained the overlap, which the authors say points to something in the environment.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, didn’t get to the bottom of what that is, and more research is needed.
Of note: the data also showed that Type 1 diabetes usually comes on first, so the environmental offender is not likely gluten.