Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Type 1 diabetes & coeliacs

Hi, a question for type 1 diabetics who also have coeliacs disease. When the gut is inflamed do you ever experience carbohydrate malabsorption? Say for example you eat something that would ordinarily provoke a blood glucose spike shortly after but instead glucose levels are conspicuously unchanged or perhaps even figuratively "nose diving"?

This was my first coeliacs disease symptom, i never experienced the "classic" gastrointestinal symptoms personally (gas, bloating, diarrhoea). My symptoms manifested as sudden carboyhydrate malabsorption for certain foods, dizziness, crippling fatigue , tinnitus and nerve pain. Thankfully when gluten was removed from diet most of those symptoms either vanished or eased considerably ( minus the lingering fatigue).

I'm curious really if this is uncommon or have any other person's experienced the above.

Especially interested in hearing from type 1 diabetics who also have coeliacs. Any relevant input welcome though.


9 Replies

Yes - that's perfectly normal. I have CD and T1 and use a pump and CGM and couldn't manage without them. One of the issues I have is the recipes of shop bought GF food keep changing which changes the GI. I think I had had CD for many, many years (I was 62 when diagnosed and had had the symptoms since I was under 5 years old). In Scotland they have a screening programme for Type 1's but because it was every 3 years for some reason I kept missing out. When I got the diagnosis it was a shock but answered a lot of questions. I kept going to the docs with extreme muscle weakness but she couldn't find anything wrong. I could hardly crawl about I was so tired. Brain fog was a big issue too - and for years they just blamed everything on my diabetes. When I was diagnosed I saw a different GP who said - from now on they will blame everything you have wrong on your CD and I just laughed and said that would make a change from diabetes.

One of the things that annoys me is the fact I have to carry so much food around with me. When visiting remote places sometimes there is just nothing available to eat.

Tomorrow I am going to an event and will take my own sandwiches. Someone has volunteered to go to M&S over the weekend to get me some from there, but you just can't guarantee there will be anything in stock.


Thanks for the reply!

Yes i mirror your sentiment and suspect i was coelic for quite a while but unfortunately undiagnosed. As for the gi, gf starches do provide carbohydrate but unfortunately carbs that seemingly aren't metabolised as consistently/ readily and sadly lack the background action and longevity of gluten containing grains. It was the sudden malabsorption of gluten containing grain carbohydrates that was my first coeliac specific symptom that couldn't be attributed to diabetes alone. Thanks for the input.

PS i hear m&s sell a few gf sandwich varieties now, weather they're appetising or not is another story but atleast coeliacs have options now when out, diabetic coeliacs especially.


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Get your b12 checked it runs hand in hand with many type1's. my friend has gastroparethesis where his stomach doesnt absorb and he experiences times when carbs just do nothing. Similar symptoms to coeliac but no diagnosis. B12 just discovered despite him having symptoms for a while and now on 3 week injections

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That was one of my first questions to the diabetes consultant when the symptoms first manifested, she did a brief examination and concluded , no,

She did have a test performed for Addison's - as malabsorption can be a symptom of that but thankfully it came back negative.

B12 and iron were low when tested at the GPS late last year , taken steps to deal with that and certainly don't feel as sickly since doing so. In fact thankfully much better but unfortunately still fatigued and fogged too much of the time too.


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How often do you get b12? Originally he got it 6weeks, down to 4, now 3 as his gp is a good one who goes on symptoms rather than numbers or just ignoring it! His symptoms of fog etc have diminished. Tablets for the same reason as food cant be relied on to work effectively because of the stomach.

So maybe you need a more frequent topup. Also it might be good for you to hop into the pernicious anemea forum for added info re b12. It needs other co factors to work efficiently, ie. folateferritin, potassium.

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They were low but not dangerously low, low enough to cause those symptoms though.

I asked the consultant specifically if it was gastro P. She did an examination and said i didn't present with the symptoms . She tested the Vegas nerve and apparently it was responsive and healthy by her assesment (she seems like a competent and thorough doctor).So i can only conclude based on that it isn't gp. (Thankfully!). Although coeliacs , intestinal inflammation and deficiency isn't a walk in the park .

I recall reading a thread either on here (a while ago!) Or another site of a similar ilk from another t1 diabetic who presented with coeliacs in a very similar manner. It can't be that unheard of amongst t1 diabetics with coeliacs?

Inflammation does inhibit absorption of nutrients (minor and major) , and unfortunately i suspect my vili may have been damaged due to continued exposure to gluten as i was unaware of the condition for so long .

I've always been well controlled and I'm relatively young.

Thanks for the feed back.


Yep that sounds just like my early days of coeliac too - now I have the constant bloating plus fatigue -


Hi justbrowning ...i don`t have diabetes but i am celiac i get malabsorption of high fruits and problem`s with milk ...gas, bloating , diarrhoea gluten free diet is starting to kick in now and i have just started taking L glutamine ...i have low palettes for some reason i have now had three blood test in a month but waiting for results on that one at mo.


Hello all,

I have CD & Type 2 diabetes & Hypertension & Sleep Apnoea. For years the NHS Doctors, Nurses & Dietitians have been giving me bad advice and their medications have done little to help. However, last January (2016) when they stopped prescribing me the Gluten Free poison filled with sugar (oops, I mean food, sorry!) I then decided to change my diet to a Low Carbohydrate (AKA: Banting, LCHF, and other names) diet. What a difference it has made, my latest HbA1c is below normal (48) at 40 and my blood pressure has now consistently dropped to well below 135/75 and on one occasion was as low as 103/60. Prior to going Low Carb it had on occasions been as high as 188/122.

If you want to make improvements to your health I suggest stop eating processed foods and go on to real foods like meat & veg and fresh fruits and do not make smoothies they are terrible for diabetics, in fact they are terrible for anyone, but especially diabetics.

I hope this info' can help others as greatly as it has helped me.

If you want to learn a little about Low Carb take a look at Professor Tim Noakes who is a Type 2 himself, here is a link to one of his videos:

Also take a look at:

& this one by Nina Teicholz:

& if you have time, this one by Nina T:

Apparently, it seems that "fat" is not the demon the NHS, the FDA and official food advice is saying it is! Also, it seems that processed carbs (& sugar) are in fact the real problem, and my change of diet to Low Carb seems to support this.

However, even thought I have had great success on a Low Carb diet, it does not mean everyone will have the same results, as we are all different. But even so, if all else has failed for you, then I suggest it's well worth a try as it has done a power of good for me.

Pleases do a little research of your own before changing so you can give it a fair trial and hopefully you also will find some benefit.

I consider carbohydrates (especially refined) to be a major problem for me and if I have any Gluten containing variants I get a very bad gut response with many trips to the loo! But until I tried the Low Carb diet I was unaware of the correlation between blood sugar levels and hypertension. For me all processed carbs & sugar are now avoided like the plague and I feel altogether better for it. If you get a reaction or some ill health from eating certain food types then I would say stop eating them, your body knows what is best so the reaction is its way of telling you to avoid that food.

I hope this helps.

Best regards.


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