Our researchers want to know if starting a gluten-free diet reduces daily glycaemic variability in children and young people with both type 1 diabetes and newly-diagnosed coeliac disease.
In Australia, about 5 per cent of all people with type 1 diabetes also have coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged when it is exposed to even small amounts of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. For people with coeliac disease, adherence to a strict gluten-free diet is necessary to minimise symptoms and complications.
Because of the strong link between the two diseases, patients who are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at Perth Children’s Hospital are tested and screened for signs of coeliac disease for early detection and management. However, for people with both type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease, it is unclear how commencement of a gluten-free diet affects blood glucose control.
We are currently doing a research project to see if starting a gluten-free diet helps improve blood glucose levels after diagnosis of coeliac disease. This study will assess whether the intestinal healing after starting the gluten-free diet results in improvements in blood glucose levels due to more consistent carbohydrate absorption. This study aims to provide a better understanding of how diagnosis and treatment of coeliac disease with a gluten-free diet may impact blood glucose control of children with coeliac disease compared with children without coeliac disease. The study will also provide information about the nutritional quality of a gluten-free diet.
What participants can expect by taking part the study:
3 study visits (baseline, and follow-up visits at 3 and 6 months)
Completing three 4-day food diaries (one at each visit)
Blood test to measure coeliac marker at each visit
Uploading 14 days of CGM data after completing food diary
Answering questionnaires (at each visit)
To be eligible, participants must be:
Aged between 2 and 18 years
Regularly eating gluten-containing foods prior to study commencement
Awaiting coeliac disease biopsy or a second blood test to re-confirm high anti-tTG levels