Lymphoma is a blood cancer that develops in the lymph system of the body. It has long been known that lymphoma and celiac were linked.
In August a study was published in the American Journal of Hematology whereby the records of almost 1,300 patients with celiac disease treated over the past 30 years at the Celiac Disease Center located a tthe the Columbia University Medical Center. The researchers found 40 cases of lymphoma, a six-fold increased incidence than the general population. Most of the patients suffered with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a specific type of the disease.
Those patients developing the disease were found to be diagnosed with celiac disease later in life (58 years old on average) and more often suffered from abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or weight loss.
The researchers summarized their results with the recommendation that older patients with these symptoms should be monitored for the development of the disease.
A few factors likely contribute to this association of celiac, lymphoma and later diagnosis with severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Let’s look at what they could be:
1. Those diagnosed later in life could have suffered the disease for their entire life with no one giving them the correct diagnosis – sadly a common problem. Decades of untreated celiac disease, of course, results in decreased absorption of vital nutrients. With poor nutritional status, the body’s ability to repair itself is compromised.
2. Celiac disease, to some degree, destroys the lining of the small intestine, an organ that houses 80% of the body’s immune system. Failing to diagnose this strain on the body’s immune system plus allowing the presence of the toxin gluten to persist, decreases the immune system’s ability to kill cancer cells.
3. Patients who suffer severe digestive complaints typically have a weakened probiotic population in their small intestine. We now understand that this population of 10 trillion organisms is able to keep bad, disease causing genes turned off, when it’s healthy. On the flip side, once stressed, the probiotics are unable to have a positive effect on genetic expression and bad genes flip on – such as cancer.
4. Also with celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity, the stress on the gut’s immune system often results in the presence of infectious organisms. These organisms further compromise the immune system – another stressor that can increase the risk of cancer.
The bottom line is that early diagnosis is very important, but even more important is the quick resolution of stress on the small intestine and it’s most important resident, the immune system. Restoring the immune system to its full strength is the best weapon against developing cancer.
Should you suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity and find that your health is not to the level you desire, please consider contacting us for a free health analysis. We specialize in taking gluten intolerant patients to the next level of health. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally, therefore you do not need to live locally to receive assistance. We are here to help!
To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of the e-Book: “Gluten Intolerance- What you don’t know may be killing you!”