Gluten Intolerance and Genetics

These are really interesting posts and I feel for all those who live with terrible gut issues as my daughter does. Please forgive me, but I can't help wondering if focus on ancestry answers the most relevant questions. Many of these posts are from folk hailing from the Midlands and other previously heavily industrialised parts of England. What about environmental indicators particularly from industrial pollutants still lurking in water, soil and therefore food, still impacting people's health and therefore DNA? What about the impacts of mandatory fluoridation of municipal water supply? The legacy from these environmental hazards impacted still further by current urban air pollution have yet to be measured and corrected. Having said all this I am convinced emotional stress plays just as big a role in gut symptoms as genetics and environmental indicators.

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  • I have silent coeliac disease ie: no gut issues. i live in the South West no heavy industry. We do not have fluoride in our water. I am unaware of any other relative with coeliacs. My diagnosis was a complete shock. I found out from a blood test arranged by my neurologist because I have ataxia.

  • I can certainly vouch for the fact that gut problems can be hereditary. My mum suffered for years with a condition that was diagnosed at various times as hiatus hernia, diverticulosis and, of course, the catchall of IBS. I seemed to be heading down the same road until, after a brief experiment with lactose, I decided to remove gluten (were possible) from my diet. The improvement has been obvious and I now wish I had made the link whilst my mum was still alive, so that she could have gained some relief from the misery.

    BTW...i'm from the West Midlands, so maybe there is something in your theory about the regional link.

  • Maybe there is something in your theory, the environmental factors are certainly present in my family I dynamics. However I want a cure and past influences would appear to point to the probability that there is none 😔 and I find that rather depressing

  • Environmental toxins, things you inherited, and foods all contribute to body health. I've had my DNA done in 3 places, so I know where my ancestors came from but not their health except Mother's milk allergy. My children have some of my food allergies. I am allergic or sensitive to so many foods and chemicals. I have done 2 IgE skin tests and 5 IgG4 blood tests over the years. Still haven't figured it all out.

  • The genetics of Coeliac disease seem to be a complicated one, as are the possible triggers. Problems with gluten have been around for a very long time, first recoded by the Ancient Greeks I think. Seems to be more common in Nordic countries and in places like Ireland, although there is a high incidence in one part of Africa.

    There has been an increase in the prevalence of the disease over the last 50 years but it doesn't seem to be linked to anything obvious. Environmental factors are now thought to be able to affect genes, whereas this was previously thought to be unlikely. There's quite a bit of research being done into finding a way of allowing people to cope with exposure to gluten, not exactly a "cure" but something close. Lots of work on the gut biome / bacteria which seems to be very important.

    There's a lot of information out there on sites like Pubmed, if you are interested. This is one with a good overview of current research into Coeliac disease and NCGS.

    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

    Hope your daughter's health will improve over time.

  • "Seems to be more common in Nordic countries and in places like Ireland" There are a lot of people of Irish descent in the north west of England because they came over from Liverpool many years ago, which does lend some weight to Leaf05's theory. I have a strong Irish connection going back 100 or so years.

    "There has been an increase in the prevalence of the disease over the last 50 years but it doesn't seem to be linked to anything obvious. "

    Some link it to the Chorleywood method of bread production: bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-136... which does seem to make some sense to me.

  • Hi Leaf05,

    I am from Hampshire, brought up in a semi-rural environment. My mother who also has CD is from Dover in Kent! I'm afraid that it is more likely to be genetic than anything else.

    Even if neither parent has CD it may be passed onto any offspring by both having recessive genes. I am unaware if they have isolated the genes responsible for CD or even if anyone's looking. I'll have to get Googleing.

  • It is well known that all people with coeliac disease have either HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8.

  • Am I missing something here? Where do you get information on where posters are from? I haven't seen it anywhere.

  • The regional aspect probably exists because people who live near each other tend to have children together and that leads to the build up of particular genes, on a small scale this manifests itself in people looking like their relatives. But the unseen stuff gets more common too. I'm Irish and the incidence of coeliac disease is quite high here, and most of the country is still very rural. Coeliac genetics are really simple which is why it's easier to diagnose and treat than other conditions (and yes, I know it can take a very long time to get diagnosed, 25 years in my case, but it is better than other conditions). Most other autoimmune diseases are a nightmare as many of you will know as of course you can have more than one. Coeliac disease is the only one with a simple treatment for the vast majority of sufferers. And none of us would have the disease if people didn't eat wheat, barley or rye!

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