I can't let November slip by without mentioning that this month marks both National Epilepsy Awareness Month and National COPD Awareness Month -- both conditions have ties to gluten and celiac disease.
Although it's not clear exactly what the links between celiac disease and epilepsy involve, research studies have found that people with epilepsy who also have small deposits of calcium on their brains have high rates of celiac disease. In addition, there are case reports involving dramatic improvements in epilepsy symptoms in people who begin to follow the gluten-free diet.
You can read more here: Gluten and Epilepsy
Meanwhile, in the case of COPD -- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease -- researchers have found that celiacs have a moderately increased risk of suffering from COPD. Again, it's not clear why this occurs, but clinicians have speculated that heightened inflammation or poor nutritional status resulting from celiac disease could increase your risk of developing COPD (a disease mainly caused by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke).
Learn more here: Celiac Disease and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Happy awareness months!
Photo © Getty Images/Daryl Solomon