Celiac disease is a condition categorized as an autoimmune illness that remains challenging to detect and cure. Read on to find out how research into the role of the endocannabinoid system may be the key to future treatment.
The rise of celiac disease
For people living with celiac disease, the presence of gluten, a protein found in some foods and medications, triggers an immune response from their system that begins to damage the small intestine. Celiac disease is classified as an autoimmune disease, making it difficult to identify. Although much remains to be learned about the development of autoimmune diseases, scientists are certain of one thing: celiac disease is on the rise.
Over the past 50 years, cases of celiac disease have skyrocketed. It is estimated that one person in 100 now lives with the disease, although many sufferers remain undiagnosed. The celiac disease shares similarities in terms of symptoms with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which can complicate identification for physicians. Celiac disease can be controlled by removing gluten from the diet, but unless gluten is known to be an aggravating factor, undiagnosed symptoms can cause serious health problems.
What is celiac disease?
Celiac disease occurs due to an undesirable reaction to gluten, a high-protein substance present in wheat, barley, and rye. It may seem like a minor problem, but gluten is used in a lot of foods as well as in many medications.
Typical symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. By attacking the small intestine, the immune system harms the organ’s capacity to absorb nutrients correctly. In the most extreme circumstances, when the disease has gone untreated for a long time, it can lead to severe intestinal damage and long-term health problems.
Celiac patients can cope with celiac disease by eliminating gluten in their food, currently, it is the only therapy available to them, no cure exists for celiac disease. Unfortunately, celiac disease can develop at any age, and it is an inherited disorder, so a family history of celiac disease will increase the risk of developing it. Some drugs may cause more problems than they solve, and researchers have been looking for other ways to control the symptoms of celiac disease.
Does a link exist between celiac disease and CBD?
A possible link lies with the cannabinoid CBD via its potential role in the production of enzymes within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
A 2003 study looked at the difference between diagnosed and undiagnosed patients and found that undiagnosed patients had a higher prominence of CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Scientists conclude that “the unfavorable modulation of endocannabinoids, at CBR and AEA levels, can lead to the development of celiac disease pathogens. ”
The involvement of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) is important, as high levels of AEA are known to reduce intestinal inflammation, according to a study conducted in 2017 by Nottingham Medical School. This is where the potential role of CBD becomes most obvious. CBD has been shown to inhibit the production of FAAH, an enzyme responsible for breaking down AEA. With higher concentrations of AEA in the GI tract, the inflammation and susceptibility known by those with celiac disease may decrease.
It is important to note that in both cases, researchers have recognized the need for further studies. The purpose of these studies would be to explore the therapeutic potential of DES in patients who no longer respond to a gluten-free diet.
The impact of CBD on celiac disease is still under investigation
The exact role of CBD and the endocannabinoid system in the treatment of celiac disease is still under investigation. Our intestines are a sophisticated mixture of enzymes, receptors and microbial communities. Understanding how foods and substances such as gluten affect the balance of these elements is critical to a better understanding of the celiac disease.
In the future, it might become viable targeting cannabinoid receptors to alleviate pain and inflammation in the intestine, which are 2 symptoms of celiac disease. A better understanding of the cause of celiac disease and how symptoms can be managed is essential, especially in light of the increasing number of cases of celiac disease.