Celiac disease is a small intestinal inflammatory disease with autoimmune features that is triggered and maintained by the ingestion of the storage proteins (gluten) of wheat, barley, and rye. Prevalence of celiac disease is increased in patients with mono- and/or polyglandular autoimmunity and their relatives. We have reviewed the current and pertinent literature that addresses the close association between celiac disease and endocrine autoimmunity. The close relationship between celiac disease and glandular autoimmunity can be largely explained by sharing of a common genetic background. Further, between 10 and 30% of patients with celiac disease are thyroid and/or type 1 diabetes antibody positive, while around 5⁻7% of patients with autoimmune thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, and/or polyglandular autoimmunity are IgA anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody positive. While a gluten free diet does not reverse glandular autoimmunity, its early institution may delay or even prevent its first manifestation. In conclusion, this brief review highlighting the close association between celiac disease and both monoglandular and polyglandular autoimmunity, aims to underline the need for prospective studies to establish whether an early diagnosis of celiac disease and a prompt gluten-free diet may positively impact the evolution and manifestation of glandular autoimmunity.
Keywords: autoimmune thyroid disease; celiac disease; glandular autoimmunity; polyglandular autoimmune syndrome; type 1 diabetes.