If you have celiac disease, and are aren’t producing teardrops or saliva, you should contact your doctor and be tested for Sjögren’s syndrome. People with Sjögren’s syndrome have higher rates of celiac disease than people without Sjögren’s.
You have glands that produce saliva, teardrops and moisture in the nose and lungs. The glands control mucous producing membranes. Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease that results when those membranes are damaged or even permanently destroyed. The result is you “go dry”.
When you get dry eye or dry mouth, it’s awful. You can have trouble swallowing, your eyes feel scratchy and digestion becomes difficult. Just what you needed with celiac disease – more digestion problems! Digestion is affected because the pancreas tissue stops producing moisture creating malabsorption problems.
If you have Sjögren’s syndrome, you are also much more likely to develop lymphoma (cancers that arise in the lymphatic system). Also, when the digestive track is dry, it’s more prone to infections.
The good news is that the syndrome can be managed by using drops, humidifiers, dietary control including drinking lots of water, and prescribed drugs.
I almost feel bad telling you about Sjögren’s syndrome, because having celiac disease is difficult enough to manage without adding more to the plate. But you need to be aware of the other conditions, which appear frequently in people with gluten intolerance. You don’t want to go to the effort to control you gluten intake and ignore other needs that can make your life just as difficult.