Coeliac Disease

Can Celiac Disease Affect the Foot?

Celiac disease is a long term autoimmune disease which occurs in those who are genetically predisposed where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It affects about 1% of the population. It is a considered a gastrointestinal disease, but can it affect the foot?

It can and does affect the foot through several different problems.

There have been case reports of chilblains in Celiac disease and in most of these the chilblains occurred before the diagnosis of the Celiac disease. The chilblains improved with the use of a gluten free diet. A number of other studies have reported a number of other conditions affecting the foot in Celiac disease. Almost half of them with this have a subclinical enthesopathy. There is an increased risk for lower limb neuropathy. A series of 5 cases reported foot myolconus as the presenting feature of Celiac disease. There is also a higher incidence of undiagnosed Celiac disease in those with stress fractures presenting to a sport medicine clinic.

This probably means that inflammatory process from the autoimmune response in Celiac disease can affect other parts of the body, including the foot.

So, yes, Celiac disease can affect the foot.

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