Every so often you see something in the popular press about celiac disease that seems goofy and unscientific. The whole idea that celiacs have bigger than normal foreheads seemed like one of those things. I mean really? What does forehead size have to do with celiac disease and how do we know that this is not another one of those correlations without causation. I thought it was fake.
It appears that I was wrong.
Now this correlation has a LOT of limitations. For example, it doesn’t always work on children because their heads are still growing. There are plenty of adults with big foreheads who do not have celiac disease. I am also pretty sure that if you get celiac disease as an adult, it probably would have not impact on forehead size since your head is done growing. For all of these reasons its kind of a lame diagnostic tool.
That said, if you have canker sores, a rash and a large forehead…you might want to get tested even if your bowel habits seem fantastic.
The articles on the research (there aren’t a lot of them) are available here
Interestingly enough, there is practically no research on the link between premature gray hair and celiac disease. That said, the sheer volume of prematurely gray people at and gathering of celiacs will tell you that there is something there. In defense of medical researchers, they have proven that kwashiorkor and deficiencies in B12 and folate or B6 can cause premature gray hair and a celiac is more likely to have such deficiencies than a non-celiac would. It may not be worth the funding to connect the dots. The only article I could find on the topic is this one from 1980 and it relates to a single human being thereby making it an interesting story but not science.
Full disclosure, my forehead is normal sized, but I got my first gray hair at the age of 9 (no that is not a typo, I had gray hair and baby teeth) and my hair color has been coming out of a bottle since the age of 25.