Gastroenterology & GI Surgery

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Jul 7, 2017

Does Celiac Disease Contribute to Other Autoimmune Diseases?

By Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator, @kanaazpereira

Dr. Joseph Murray, M.D., addresses a question posted by a member on Mayo Clinic Connect: Are there any proven links between mesenteric panniculitis and other autoimmune diseases I have, such as celiac disease or small fiber neuropathy?

Mesenteric Panniculitis is a rare inflammatory disease that affects the subcutaneous adipose tissue of the mesentery or the small bowel area that is characterized by blockage to the small intestine; it can be associated with other immune disorders, like celiac disease. However, celiac disease does not contribute to mesenteric panniculitis,  but rather that the inflammation in the intestine could affect inflammation in the mesentery, as they are so closely related. With regard to neuropathy, celiac disease could be one of the leading factors for peripheral neuropathy, but its association with other neurological disorders is not clear, and requires more research.

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Dr. Murray is a gastroenterologist and celiac disease expert at Mayo Clinic.

There seem to be a great number of diseases or conditions that are defined as “autoimmune.” I would like to know if there is a general physical condition that makes an individual prone to being “autoimmune,” and therefore likely to suffer from these problems.

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