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From: Ron Hoggan
Date: Sat, 25 May 1996
Subject: anorexia & celiac

First, the list of references:

  1. Lifshitz, "Nutritional Dwarfing" CURRENT PROBLEMS IN PEDIATRICS 23(8): pages 322-336, Sept. 1993
  2. Postel-Vinay, et al "Nutritional Status and Growth hormone-binding Protein" HORMONE RESEARCH 44(4): pages 177-81, 1995
  3. Korman, SH "Pica as a presenting symptom in childhood celiac disease" AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION, 51(2): pages 139-141, Feb, 1990
  4. Coghlan, & O'Morain "Adult lead toxicity and untreated celiac disease" JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE 81(10): page 612, Oct. 1988
  5. Grenet, et. al. "Anorexic Forms of Celiac Syndromes" ANNALES de PEDIATRIE 19(6): pages 491-497, Jun/Jul, 1972 This article is written in French, but a translation shouldn't be much problem. Let me know if you want one.
  6. Wright, et. al. "Organic diseases mimicking atypical eating disorders" CLINICAL PEDIATRICS 29(6): pages 325-328, June, 1990
  7. Barry, et. al. "Coeliac disease. The clinical Presentation" CLINICS IN GASTROENTEROLOGY 3(1): pages 55-69, Jan, 1974
  8. Hall, et. al. "Hyperphagia in intestinal disease" GUT 15(11): pages 858- 861, Nov, 1974
  9. Gent & Creamer "Faecal fats, appetite, and weight-loss in the coeliac syndrome" LANCET 1(551): pages 1063-1064, May 18, 1968
  10. Ferrara & Fontana "Celiac disease and anorexia nervosa" NEW YORK STATE JOURNAL OF MEDICINE 66(8): pages 1000-1005, April 15, 1966
  11. McNichol & Egan-Mitchell "Infancy celiac disease without diarrhea" PEDIATRICS 49(1): pages 85-91, Jan, 1972
This is my selection of thirty some hits I got when I combined "celiac disease" and "eating disorders" on Medline. University of Calgary's Medical library doesn't have many of these, but the ones I could get made for interesting reading.

It appears that from the mid sixties, there has been medical research that demonstrates a relationship between celiac disease and eating disorders. Hall & Creamer (8) demonstrated that overeating up to 5 times the normal caloric intake for their sizes and life-styles was the result of malabsorption. This should not be surprising, since these people were probably offsetting the losses associated with malabsorption. However, bulemic purging might well be anticipated if abdominal bloating were to become painful or otherwise problematic. Pica is sometimes the only presenting feature of celiac disease (3). This, too, should not be surprising, as a starving child attempts to meet its nutritional needs. What would be surprising is if this, too, did not result in bulemic purging.

Gent and Creamer, citing 56 cases, demonstrated that "weight-loss was related more to the appetite of the patient than to steatorrhoea." Even in infants, loss of appetite is a common presentation of celiac disease.(9) Barry, et. al. (7), in their discussion of childhood celiac disease, state the following: "In the well-established case the clinical presentation is fairly characteristic. The child is underweight and fails to thrive. He has a capricious appetite or is totally anorexic, quite unlike those children suffering from malabsorption due to fibrocystic disease."

I was only able to acquire the documents I have referred to in this post.