This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.
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What are the major symptoms of celiac disease?
Celiac Disease Symptoms
What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic)
Celiac Disease Screening
Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results
Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free?
How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful?
The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free
Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested?
Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing
Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases?
Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders
Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid?
Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)
Is there a list of gluten free foods?
Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)
Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages
Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?
Where does gluten hide?
Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet
Where can I buy gluten-free stuff?
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Thanks MissyH. I am very greatful for your help. Yes, it helps to know that things will improve despite what I am going through regarding my health. I hope and pray that I will one day post my own message of hope and recovery from celiac to encourage others.
Thank you for sharing your experience with me. Your situation seems similar to mine. I began elimination tests on myself more than 20 years ago out of necessity on several kinds of food, most of which are acidic (such as fruits) and spicy, and some are dairy products such as cheese and butter. What bothers me though is that in a little more than a month since I eliminated gluten from my diet, I have become less tolerant to many foods that I did not find too bothersome before. Simple example: I used to enjoy cooked broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, cabbage etc in my meals. Now, I cannot eat any of these unless they are uncooked, because during cooking (it seems to me) the acidity in vegetables increases and that bothers my stomach (probably not totally related to celiac, but I wonder why I should be more intolerant to these things now than before.) BTW, when did you know about your celiac status and when did you start eating gluten-free foods? Did it help you improve on your list of food choices or did it worsen it? That insight will definitely help me with what I should do and expect in my situation.
Thank you for your detailed look into my experience. Some fruits such as orange and lemon are a killer to me. Veggies don't have as bad an effect on me, but they are still unhelpful to say the least. I eliminated lactose milk after my doctor told me about lactose intolerance about 7 years ago. That seemed to help for a while, but I knew that I still had problem even with lactose free milk. Then I started to experiment with skim milk (and eventually skim cheese) about 2 years ago. Again, I found out that skim milk was not the answer, and I switched to lactose free skim milk (I never knew until a few months ago that they had both lactose free and skim milk in the same product.) That I thought was going to be the answer for my problems, but even that didn't work. A few weeks ago I learned that casein (a protein found in milk) is similar to gluten in its chemical structure and on some celiacs it has the same effect as gluten. So, that's where I am now. No milk products.
The backing powder I use is Indigo Packaged Goodness. Actually, I am glad you pointed out that, because even though there is no aluminum in it, now I suspect that the cream of tartar mentioned as on of the ingredients may be the enemy. Previously, I had used Kraft's Magic Baking Powder and didn't bother me. The only reason I abandoned it was because it doesn't specifically say "Gluten-free." Now, I am going to switch back to it.
I will follow your suggestions.
Sorry, but I meant gastrectomy with Billroth 2, not gastric bypass. But I guess, the overall effect is similar. No, I will never give up. But I hope I will see the results of my efforts sooner than later.
Thank you and hope to get more help from people who have gone through a similar situation.
I am a self-diagnosed celiac and I have been gluten free for one month now.
Since childhood I have been suffering from many diseases, the majority of which are digestive problems,.. kidney, bladder, and breathing problems, fatigue, depression, lips always being dry, hair loss, problems concentrating...Some have never been diagnosed. I have always been under weight and now I am extremely under weight (I am 5 ft 10).
About 12 years ago I was diagnosed for duodenal ulcer and had a bypass surgery. As a result, I developed even more problems. (Lactose intolerance and dumping syndrome). When I heard about celiac disease a little more than a month ago, I was exhilarated, because I thought I found the root cause of my life long (34) health problems. I searched about celiac disease on the internet, and this forum has helped me very much. As soon as I embarked on gluten-free food, I saw encouraging results. The 'D' subsided, though it didn't disappear completely and I had somehow managed to minimize its severity even before I learned about celiac disease.
Though, I now live in Canada and have been seeing several doctors and specialists for the past 7 years, none of them ever mentioned the words "celiac" or "gluten" to me. What is even more surprising is that I had somehow figured out that bread was one of my worst enemies and I had told this to every doctor, but none of them ever mentioned celiac! I only recently heard about celiac on CTV, just as I had decided to see a new family doctor. The new doctor, though very good otherwise, would not accept my plea to have me checked for celiac. I have told him that I am now on gluten-free and I have seen encouraging results and he says "that's good, why would you want to be checked then?"
Now, my problem is that the little improvement I saw for the first days since I was gluten-free, is now diminishing. I was never completely healed from the duodenal ulcer (which I suspect is because of the undiagnosed celiac disease) and as a result, not only do I have to avoid gluten from my diet, I also have to avoid many other foods that upset my stomach. In addition, though the dumping syndrome caused by the bypass surgery has greatly improved in the past 12 years, I suspect that it also may be the cause for many of the foods that my stomach cannot tolerate. The long list of foods that my stomach cannot tolerate has increased since I have been on gluten-free. I can no longer tolerate lactose free and/or skim milk, almost all gluten free packaged food (since they have too many chemicals), spicy foods, almost all fruits, all drinks (except pure water).
I suspect that I have chemical intolerance which is now more pronounced than ever before. It's has been many years now since I was able to consume orange juice or any other juice or soft drink. The gluten free bread I buy from the store was only good for the first few days. Now, even that makes me tired after eating it (though no 'D') because of some of the ingredients in it. I switched to plain gluten free bread with natural yeast. And now yeast is my problem. As a result, I tried avoiding bread from my diet for a day, and I almost fainted because of lack of glucose (I guess). I have now started backing my own bread. Again, that was only good for the first few days. I found out that backing powder is a problem for me. In order to avoid that problem I am using less than the recommended amount of backing powder in most recipes.
Before going on gluten-free, I used to chew my favorite flavor from the "Extra" gum brand. I checked recently and they told me that it is a gluten-free product. But, these days, even that has become a problem with me. I just gave that up too and I feel slightly better since.
In retrospect I now see that I had been gluten intolerant since childhood and all my other health problems were directly or indirectly linked to it. I think that because it has been misdiagnosed for all my life, the celiac disease I have now is very sever, and I am afraid that the recovery will not be quick.
I check my weight frequently and it fluctuates every day. Some times I gain a pound or so, only to lose it the next day. I have not been able to pin point the exact cause for it. What I think, though, is that the villi in my small intestine must have been damaged so much that it may take a long time before I see any true improvement, apart from the