Coeliac: No Protection against Covid? - Gluten Free Guerr...

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Coeliac: No Protection against Covid?

philaustin profile image

Are you severely immunosuppressed if you have Coeliac Disease? When COVID started last year my first though was "am I at greater risk then others", because both involve the immune system. I asked the question. The answer was "No. There are no links between Covid and Coeliac disease. Their mechanisms are completely different". Based on that knowledge I continued to go to work. I had the first AZ jab in January, and the second this weekend. The day before the second one I received a letter from my GP telling me that all my household contacts were now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination because the JVCI has recently advised that adult household contacts of adults, over 16 years of age, with severe immunosuppression should be offered COVID-19 vaccination. Apparently, although I may have received my vaccination I may have lower protection from the vaccine given that I am immunosuppressed. Am I severely immunosuppressed, because according to what I read if I get COVID my chances of survival aren't good. It's just a bit annoying to find this out after 15 months of believing I'm okay, and looking forward to the vaccinations to offer some protection.

16 Replies

Hi You are not severely immune suppressed just through celiac . A lot of others on here may have other auto immune diseases and may take immune suppressants which is different and they would have been shielding .

I think that the government is covering all autoimmune diseases as guide for the household vaccine initiative.

philaustin profile image
philaustin in reply to Angel46

I only have coeliac disease, no other diseases. I've tried to get to the bottom of this, because it seems like the AZ jab doesn't protect me if what they're saying is true. How would that affect my chances of being allowed to travel, and the cost of travel insurance? Should I be extra careful at work? I found the NHS document sent out to GPs prompting them to send me a letter. Its NHS document C1228. It refers to a document called the' Green Book of severely immunosuppressed'. Both are on the web.

Angel46 profile image
Angel46 in reply to philaustin

I think the gp surgery have just taken people with autoimmune diseases as being immune suppressed. Someone with celiac does not have a suppressed immune system. Look on the celiac website and it tells you the precautions to take for covid are the same as everyone else . Quite below is off their website“People who are clinically extremely vulnerable, who were advised to follow shielding advice at the start of the pandemic. People with coeliac disease who have no other health conditions do not fall into this category.”

There will not be any difference to your travel insurance except that everyone will have covid protection added on to their policy.

I am celiac and am in the shielding category but not because of celiac but because I have autoimmune liver diseases and take immune suppressants which put me in the clinically vulnerable category.

philaustin profile image
philaustin in reply to Angel46

I hope you're right and I'm very sorry to hear of your other problems. Take care!

Angel46 profile image
Angel46 in reply to philaustin

It’s okay , everyone has their problems . If you are worried, maybe best to speak to your gp, they know your medical history and can tell you more than any of us can . Will either give you updated information on the affect on celiacs or put your mind at rest . Maybe just a phone consultation, it’s obviously got you worried .

Hi Phil, my experience is that my immune system is a bit twitchy and after my first jab I knew that my body was making lots of T cells so I don’t believe that by immune system is suppressed.

I’ve had one shot of the AZ vaccine and feel a great relief as the vaccine will protect me.

It’s great to see you around.

Jerry. 👍😊

philaustin profile image
philaustin in reply to Jerry

You too Jerry! Glad to hear your still fit and well and have had the AZ. I've managed to avoid major illnesses all my life. No broken bones yet despite the osteoporosis. 5 weeks off work in 55 years isn't bad considering I'm supposed to be 'immunosuppressed' .

I had 12 hours of feeling cold, weak and sweaty after my first jab. Nothing after my second. Would be interesting to see how many coeliac receive the same letter as I.

I would have thought there would be more about this in the various coeliac organizations. Are they looking at the data behind deaths from covid-19 and finding a high percentage of people with coeliac disease, I wonder.

Everyone in our local area assured me it was a scam to obtain peoples bank details. Never mind, I get to speak to my GP on Friday if he calls me when I'm at home after work, after waiting over a week.

Makes me wonder what all the doctors are doing these days when you can't get to see one.

From the Nottinghamshire NHS , April 1st....


Should patients with asplenia or splenic dysfunction be considered at high risk of developing Covid-19 related complications and therefore be placed on the Shielded Patient List (SPL)?

The Government is reviewing the shielding policy as it learns more about COVID19 and the risk factors involved to ensure patients are given the most helpful advice for their condition. In England, until this review is concluded, no further clinical guidance will be issued, and the criteria will remain unchanged. Please see the latest advice on the NHS digital website: - Splenectomy- further information - The Coronavirus (COVID-19): Shielded patients list

Recent guidance from the British Society for Heamatology (BSH) has clarified that: 

There is no evidence that the lack of a spleen, or part of a spleen, or a non-functioning spleen on its own renders patients at higher risk of Covid-19

I got that letter too and I was surprised that I was described as being severely immune suppressed.

philaustin profile image
philaustin in reply to Breeches

Phew, thanks Breeches! Well, that's two of us. If the population of the UK is 60 million and 1 in 400 is diagnosed coeliac there could be another 149,998 out there. That's a lot of unprotected people who could potentially need ICU beds.

Breeches profile image
Breeches in reply to philaustin

I really don't know what to make of the letter and to worry that as a Coeliac we are more at risk? to say I was surprised to get it out of the blue is an understatement. I also have breast cancer, but as far as I am aware that does not put me at greater risk unless undergoing chem which I am not now. I would ring the GP about the letter but I think they are likely to know less than I do.

I, too, have Celiac and its accompanying skin disorder Dermatitis Herpetiformis. I also suffer from IBS, Post polio Syndrome, Hashimotos, Migraines, Allergies, Seizure disorder, and now brain and nerve damage from Cipro. I believe that, in spite of these things, if I keep my immune system as strong as possible, through proper nutrition and supplements to help support my deficits, I can continue to lead a fairly decent life. As some of my family in and outside of my own household have contracted COVID, my husband and I at 71 and 74 have skated on through unscathed. I believe he and I have a natural immunity, as does our son. Our son's wife and their two daughters who are part Navaho, not so much. This part of the family will not be receiving any COVID jab as we don't feel it is necessary. As far as those of us who are autoimmune compromised; it is not a situation of our immune system being suppressed, but actually being overly active and receiving any vaccine or pharmaceutical that are notable for causing the system of be stimulated, is like adding fuel to a fire. Just a thought to contemplate.

I found this World Journal of Gastroenterology article:-

"and a gluten-free diet is effective in restoring splenic function"

philaustin profile image
philaustin in reply to nellie237

I tried to read it thanks but got lost in the first chapter. Too many words Ive never hear of. Definitely something to do with spleen function and various medical conditions and diseases. Interestingly, when I was in hospital with unexplained anaemia as a child I remember the crowd of doctors and students around my bed talking about ‘an enlarged spleen’. One suggested it be removed.

nellie237 profile image
nellie237 in reply to philaustin

I think that explains the basis for your letter then. I think that if I were in your shoes, and based on your history and current events, I would be asking my GP to test your spleen function again - although they may know and just haven't told you. Seems like a perfectly reasonable request, and at least then you will know.

philaustin profile image
philaustin in reply to nellie237

It's certainly a question I'll be asking if the GP phones me tomorrow.

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