Celiac Disease for Dummies by Ian Blumer, MD, and Sheila Crowe, MD
by Ian Blumer, MD, and Sheila Crowe.
Copyright © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd.
Provided with permission by John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Why Blood Glucose Control is Erratic if You Have Diabetes and Untreated Celiac Disease
When a person with no health problems ingests carbohydrates (some examples being bread, potatoes, grains, cereals, rice, and some dairy products like milk and yogurt), the carbohydrates are quickly absorbed into the body and converted to a sugar molecule called glucose. The pancreas recognizes that additional glucose has entered the blood stream and instantly releases precise quantities of a hormone called insulin which allows the glucose to move, in just the right amounts, from the blood into the body’s cells.
A person with diabetes who is being treated with a quick-acting form of insulin taken with meals does so in a dose designed to match the expected amount of carbohydrate about to be absorbed into the body. If you have active celiac disease, however, malabsorption may cause only a portion of the ingested carbohydrate to be absorbed. As a result, a mismatch occurs, with too much insulin having been given for the amount of glucose present in the blood. As a result, low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) occurs. Fortunately, once your celiac disease is discovered and treated, your bowel will heal and the carbohydrates you ingest will once again be consistently and predictably absorbed with, in most cases, an attendant return of more predictable insulin requirements.
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