Just a quick post today. These days I have heaps of things to do that are keeping me away from my computer and my research. Errands, work, cookie baking and whatnot. ‘Tis the Xmas season! Speaking of work, one of my students this morning wanted to say “I’m really sorry,” but what came out of her funny mouth was “Sorry davvero” (davvero means “really” in Italian). Yes, this was another merry teaching day. Oh dear, I just noticed that parts of my keyboard have turned yellow. Will I ever get the curcumin stains out? Hmmm.
Anyway, back to serious stuff. A friend (thank you!) sent me a case study published in 1980 and titled “Multiple myeloma and adult celiac disease.” It discusses the case of a 75-year-old woman with multiple myeloma (a bone marrow biopsy or BMB revealed 80% malignancy), a resident of Wisconsin, who “was admitted to the hospital because of diarrhea and abdominal pain.” She had had this kind of trouble for “25 years prior to admission.” So had a few close relatives. Her intestinal woes vanished after she began a gluten-free diet.
Keeping in mind that this study was written 27 years ago (!), let’s read the following: “The appearance of malignity in patients with celiac disease has been well described and several theories have been offered in explanation. An abnormal immune surveillance allowing for the development of a malignant clone of cells is most popular. Proponents of this theory cite the various studies demonstrating a defect in the immune apparatus, such as a reduction in the number of ‘T’ cells or immunoglobulins, or demonstrating a defect in immune function, such as impaired response to mitogens or reduced cytotoxicity. Other explanations include inherent genetic predisposition (celiac patients with malignancy have a higher frequency of having the histocompatibility antigens HLA-A1, HLA-B8, and HLA-B12), and the accumulation of dietary carcinogens because of the lack of detoxifying enzymes and appropriate cell turnover in the small bowel mucosa.” Hmmm. Detoxifying enzymes, eh? I must look into this when I have more time (hah!).
Further on, “Multiple myeloma, a malignant conversion of an immune functioning cell, had not been reported in association with celiac disease. It is tempting to speculate that chronic antigenic stimulation in a patient with abnormal immune response resulted in the plasma cell dycrasia. In patients with multiple myeloma who have persistent, unexplained diarrhea or steatorrhea, endoscopy and biopsy are indicated to rule out amyloid or celiac disease.”
Plasma cell dyscrasia, by the way, is a group of diseases characterized by the proliferation of a single clone of plasma cells. This clone produces a huge amount of a single antibody, or monoclonal antibody, known as M-protein. Multiple myeloma is part of this group and so are other plasma cell malignancies, such as Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia. And MGUS. I think it’s always good to review this stuff (sometimes I forget specifics, too!).
I don’t know if I have gluten intolerance. I certainly don’t have any of the harsh symptoms that I have seen described here (and there). But I want to take the antigliadin antibody test just to rule it out. Like Web Admin, I had a terrible diet for years, especially in college and grad school, when I couldn’t be bothered with cooking. I ate a lot of pasta and chemical-ridden sweets. Tons of gluten, in other words. At any rate, if it turns out that I have the slightest intolerance to gluten, I don’t think it would hurt for me to send it into exile forever. Even if my myeloma markers don’t decrease. Okay, I have more errands to run, so off I go! Ciao a tutti!