But a new study says it needs to be better understood and treated
By Amy Ratner, Medical and Science News Analyst
Fatigue is often listed as a symptom of celiac disease and is frequently reported by patients, but a new study concludes it has not been researched effectively.
“Fatigue has been scarcely studied in celiac disease,” scientists from several medical institutions in Norway found in a study published recently in the journal Nutrients. They concluded that factors that contribute to fatigue and recommendations for how to manage it for those who have celiac disease need better investigation.
The researchers examined nearly 300 studies involving adults, excluding all but five for full review because of weaknesses in the methodology and other factors.
The authors define fatigue as a “persistent, overwhelming sense of tiredness, weakness or exhaustion resulting in a decreased capacity for physical and/or mental work.” But a common accepted definition is lacking in research, they noted.
The researchers said in their own practices they see undiagnosed patients who suffer from celiac disease fatigue, but they note that published studies rely too heavily on clinical observation rather than the rigorous measurement tools needed in research.
While fatigue may be a natural and transient part of life, in a chronic condition such as celiac disease, these symptoms are unrelieved by adequate sleep or rest. Once diagnosed, the fatigue suffered by celiac disease patients often improves with the gluten-free diet, though not always, according to the study authors.
Better understanding of the factors that contribute to fatigue and the impact of celiac disease fatigue are needed, the study concludes.
You can read more about the study here.