a link between smoking a Celiac’s? NEVER!

People think I’m crazy when I tell them I became sick 3 weeks after I quit smoking. It took 2 years afterward to be diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease. My friends wouldn’t believe me when I said I am sick BECAUSE I quit smoking. They used to joke that “Phillip Morris should get a hold of you to be their spokesperson.” I swore quitting smoking GAVE me Celiac’s disease. Of course, now I know better, but the closest the doctors would ever come to confirming this was that probably the stress on my body from the withdrawals causes a genetic switch to be flipped that triggered the symptoms. The disease has been there all along.

In the August/September 2010 issue of Living Without Magazine, they address the correlation between smoking, cessation, and onset of Celiac’s disease. The article can be found here but I will copy and paste it in case the link disappears.

Celiac Triggers

Other environmental factors could be relevant to the onset of celiac disease in genetically predisposed individuals.


Researchers have debated whether breastfeeding just delays or alters the presentation of celiac—from the symptomatic to the asymptomatic form. Most evidence now suggests that breastfeeding is actually protective. Why breastfeeding has this effect is still unclear.

Gluten and Infants

Following a dramatic up-tick in celiac diagnoses among young children in Sweden in the mid-1990s, researchers hypothesized that infant feeding practices could have an impact on the development of the disease. Prior to the rise in celiac cases, breastfeeding had been on the decline and gluten was being introduced earlier and in larger amounts.

Based on these observations, experts recommend that gluten introduction be delayed until 4 to 6 months of age and be given in small amounts. They also recommend breastfeeding while introducing gluten.


While very controversial, a few scientific papers suggest smoking may be protective against the development of Celiac disease, says Peter H.R. Green, MD, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. The mechanisms are unknown. Celiac experts strongly caution that smoking is not healthy and that any connection between smoking, nicotine and the onset of celiac disease is of interest to researchers solely for the purpose of better understanding the disease.

Ha Ha! So I am not crazy. So this Peter H.R. Green published a book “About Celiac Disease” if anyone wanted to check out his findings. Curious about him? Look him up here. Please don’t stalk him. I will be getting a hold of this book eventually and do a little review on it at a later time. I checked out a couple of reviews about it and seems like a good resource for anyone struggling with this disease or odd side effects from it. I am always surprised to find out another thing wrong with me and end up being told, “Yup, its totally because you have Celiac’s” even though I am 100% compliant on a gluten-free diet to the point of only consuming corn, rice, potato and bean products I have become so sensitive to grains.

Any further updates I find about the correlation between smoking and Celiac’s I will post here.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. star
    May 22, 2011 @ 06:29:36

    I agree 100%


  2. mylene
    Nov 06, 2011 @ 21:19:16

    I am also certain that my quitting smoking triggered my gluten intolerance! I am on a strict gluten free diet! ;-(
    My digestive problems started right after quitting smoking! It was horrible. EXTREME bloating and constipation,,,,anyway,,,,,,tha might be too much info, but I am so sure of that! thanks for sharing your experience…..I full I am not alone!


    • Kayla
      Nov 07, 2011 @ 15:06:34

      You are not alone! Its a great feeling to not feel like your the only one. Sadly, from what I have read smoking (nicotine actually) masked your symptoms and hid your disease from you. You may have had your disease for years and not known it was doing damage to your body. That’s the part that scares me the most.


  3. Craig
    Jul 15, 2016 @ 09:32:41

    I quit 3 years ago, and prior to that I could eat or drink anything I wanted to. I had been ill for 3 years since stopping but only just been diagnosed last month. I never thought of the connection between stopping and developing CD. Gluten free now and absolutely thriving, feel like a new man. Glad I quit, even if the last few years of being told by doctors that I was fine when I wasn’t. All’s well that ends well, I am now eating as nature intended.


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