The news is important because Benicar, the name the drug is sold under, is heavily prescribed. The patients who developed the problem were all older, and saw their conditions improve after they stopped taking the drug. They also were eventually able to take other medications to treat their blood pressure issues.
Physicians initially focused on celiac disease because their symptoms were like those of the disease. Celiac disease means an inability to digest gluten, a protein found in wheat rye and barley. If someone with the condition eats it, their immune system attacks and damages the small intestine. Symptoms include diarrhea and abdominal pain, as well as irritability and depression.
If you are on high blood pressure medication and are suffering from any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. He or she can check to see if you have developed, or are at risk for, celiac disease. It may also be a good idea to switch your medication, to see if that helps ease the problem as well.