Gabrielle Giffords

Today’s breaking news was the outstanding progress of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who was shot on January 8, 2011.  Today, approximately one month after she was shot in the head by an attacker, she spoke her first words, which included a request for toast – presumably regular old, gluten filled toast.  But is she endangering her recovery?

Rep. Giffords suffered a traumatic injury to the brain – did her trauma possibly trigger Celiac Disease?  As soon as I heard this news break today, my gluten free brain immediately remembered an article titled “Celiac Disease, by Accident” from Living Without Magazine in the August/September 2010 issue.  This article discusses the potential link between traumatic stress and Celiac disease, describing the story of a girl who suffered serious injuries in a jetski accident and developed Celiac Disease after the accident.

Though the link is unclear as of yet between trauma, stress, and Celiac Disease, there have been many cases of a Celiac diagnossis after a traumatic event.  Though there is not a proven link at this time, it warrants further study.  If there is a link found, recovery from traumatic injury could be improved if a Gluten Free diet is followed; persons trying to recover from Trauma and fight Celiac Disease at the same time have a tough road.

Let’s hope that Rep. Giffords does not have Celiac Disease as a result of her accident, but it probably wouldn’t hurt for her (and other trauma patients …. actually it would be good for everyone) to be tested for Celiac Disease to ensure the best possible recovery.