Regression of autoimmunity and abnormal glucose homeostasis in an adolescent boy with silent coeliac disease

Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(10):1141-3. doi: 10.1080/080352502760311692.


We report on a 15-y-old adolescent boy affected by silent coeliac disease, abnormalities in glycoregulation and with autoantibodies specific to diabetes mellitus type 1 (ICA: islet cell antibodies) and GAD 65 (autoantibodies against glutamic acid decarboxylase), in whom normalization of glycoregulation and disappearance of the immunological markers of pre-diabetes were observed after 6 mo on a gluten-free diet. The patient was followed-up for 36 mo and showed a normal insulin response to an intravenous glucose tolerance test and no markers of autoimmunity. It is possible that undiagnosed coeliac disease over a long period could lead to a direct autoimmune mechanism against pancreatic beta cells.

Conclusion: Our findings seem to confirm the theory that undiagnosed coeliac disease can induce an autoimmune process against the pancreatic beta cells and that, following a gluten-free diet, the immunological markers for diabetes mellitus type 1 will disappear.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Celiac Disease / diet therapy
  • Celiac Disease / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Glutens / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Male


  • Glutens