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      • Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

        This 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.   Subscribe to FREE email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease SymptomsWhat testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease ScreeningInterpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test ResultsCan 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-FreeIs celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic TestingIs there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and DisordersIs 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 BeveragesDistilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free DietFree recipes: Gluten-Free RecipesWhere can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Store.For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity


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    About beachbirdie

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    1. beachbirdie added a post in a topic New Here, Feeling Miserable   

      Hi Sarah, and welcome to the forum!
      You have come to the right place for information and friendly support!  Hopefully your doctor will move quickly to get you tested.
      This forum is full of people who have struggled for YEARS with misdiagnoses before finally figuring out celiac was the cause of their problems.  Your short gluten-free trial has already told you a lot, you feel better when you do not eat it!
      But please, as EmiPark said, keep eating gluten while you are in the midst of testing.  You won't produce antibodies if you are not eating gluten, and the antibody level can drop quickly when you stop.
      Keep us posted how things go with your doc, and keep asking questions!  Be sure she tests for these things:
      Total Serum IgA
      Deamidated Gliadin Peptides - (2 tests... DGP IgA and DGP IgG)
      Endomysial Antibodies (anti-EMA)
      Tissue Transglutaminase antibodies (IgA is usual version, I'd ask for IgG too)
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    2. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Clarification Needed On Blood Testing   

      shadowicewolf gave you good advice.  The IgG will be accurate and would be the only way to tell you if you do have celiac, in the possibility of a negative biopsy.  You may be non-celiac gluten intolerant, that is a valid condition that would need you to be gluten free. 
      You have it right about "IBS".  This forum is FULL of people who were told they had IBS, only to find later they actually had celiac (or NCGI).
      The best way to get the answer; a gluten-free diet!  It does not require a prescription! 
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    3. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Clarification Needed On Blood Testing   

      Welcome to the forum, nosy parker.
      Your doc should do some more blood need to get the TtG IgG, Deamidated Gliadin Peptides (IgG and IgA are both usually done even if you are IgA deficient) and you can even get an anti-EMA IgG version but that is uncommon and the doc would have to make a point to order it specially.
      Your low IgA doesn't negate the possibility of accurate testing, the doctor just needs to order the appropriate tests.
      A colonoscopy won't tell him anything about celiac, though it will rule out cancer and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's.  You DO need to make sure he does a good number of samples from an endoscopy that is done through the stomach (from the "top" rather than the "bottom").  If he doesn't take enough samples, it is a wasted effort.
      As for your rash, that can be biopsied to detect dermatitis herpetiformis.  The biopsy needs to be done on HEALTHY skin right next to the rash, not on the rash itself.  If you test positive for DH, you don't need anymore testing.
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    4. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Food Intolerences After Diagnosis   

      Yes, it is normal to have other intolerances (though not everyone has them).  Some of them might go away after you have healed.  That is why the experienced folks here
      recommend doing a "whole food" diet for a while, before trying to replace your favorite gluten-y foods with gluten free versions.
      Soy, corn, dairy are all common contributors to distress.  Some people are intolerant of xanthan gum, which is used in a LOT of
      products as a thickener/stabilizer; it is found in ice creams, salad dressings, baked goods, and more.
      Best to stick with the simple; fresh meats/fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, basic flavorings...olive oil and butter go a long way, as do fresh herbs.
      You might find a digestive enzyme helpful.
      I've seen some of your threads and several have recommended an informational thread for you...if you haven't gone to read it yet, IrishHeart's Newbie 101 thread
      is the greatest information source all in one place on this site.  She has amassed a wealth of information, she has a LOT of experience with autoimmune diseases.  She also happens to be one of the really great people around here!
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    5. beachbirdie added a post in a topic My Dear Mom's Follow Up Results After Gfd   

      You are a great blessing to your precious mother!  I am very happy for you, you have done a wonderful thing for her!  Thank you for coming back and sharing this update.
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    6. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Test Results Back   

      It's not as common to be diagnosed with celiac if only the Ttg IgG is positive.  Especially with negative biopsy.  Your doc is good to have you go gluten free anyway.
      Did you get a copy of your biopsy report?  Do you know how many samples they took?  If they took only a small sampling, they might have missed damage.
      Also, did your doc make sure to rule out other conditions that might also raise the Crohn's disease and other autoimmune conditions.
      Just to be sure.  Hopefully the diet will help and you'll be on your way to feeling great!
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    7. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Ttg Won't Decrease   

      As Gemini said, make sure your daughter gets tested thoroughly for thyroid.  This should include the anti-Thyroid Peroxidase (anti-TPO antibodies) and the anti-Thyroglobulin antibodies (TgAb), in addition to the TSH, FREE T3 and FREE T4.  Total T4 and Total T3 are useless without the "Frees".
      Autoimmune liver disease and inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's for example) are conditions that can also raise the TtG IgG.
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    8. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Gi Doc Noticed My Low Total Serum Iga....   

      I don't want you to be frightened but since you asked the immunoelectrophoresis is used to look for a number of conditions some of which are more benign than others.  Your doc is being more proactive than most, and looking to make sure there is not something serious that might escape notice.  Here is a run-down from Healthline:
      Why Is the Test Ordered?
      To Confirm a Diagnosis  
      The immunoelectrophoresis-serum (IEP-serum) test is ordered to help
      diagnose an underlying health condition. Your doctor may order the test
      if abnormal results have been detected through other laboratory tests.
      The IEP-serum test may be ordered if you show symptoms of:
      a chronic infection
      an autoimmune disease
      a protein-losing disease, such as enteropathy (a disease of the intestines) or inflammatory bowel disease
      Waldenström’s macroglobulinemia
      The test can be used to rule out conditions such as leukemia and multiple myeloma. Symptoms of these disorders include:
      weakness and fatigue
      weight loss
      broken bones
      recurrent infections
      weakness in the legs
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    9. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Transportation Issues After Egd...ideas Needed   

      I am so glad your mom has made herself available to help you!  That is a great comfort!
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    10. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Blood Test Came Back Positive, Now For The Biopsy   

      I think "they" say that a slice or two of bread, or a good  serving of crackers a day would be sufficient. 
      I know it's crazy to keep yourself sick in order to get answers, but unfortunately that's what it takes!
      If you have the will to keep to a gluten free diet for life, you could accept the doctor's diagnosis from blood work (a lot of docs won't diagnose on blood work alone!) and skip the endoscopy.
      You'll get mixed answers if you ask whether you should do the scope or not, some will say "yes" some will say "why bother".  In part, a positive scope can solidify your determination to be disciplined about gluten consumption...I would get a copy of my blood tests and see exactly what they tested.  If they did a full panel, and several tests were positive, that is a pretty strong indication that the celiac diagnosis is correct.
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    11. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Blood Test Came Back Positive, Now For The Biopsy   

      Please do not stop eating gluten until all your testing is done!  If you stop eating before an endoscopy, you will start to heal and they won't see damage.  You will then be told you do NOT have celiac when in fact you likely do.
      Others know more about the endoscopy, but you do need to ask how many samples they plan to take, and negotiate to make sure they take enough.  Sometimes doctors do only a very few...2 or 3...and that is NOT ENOUGH.  Hopefully others will be along who have more experience with that part of the testing.
      Do you know which bloodwork they did?  It is very helpful if you can get copies of the results so you know exactly what was tested, and what your levels are.  That way, if they did skimpy testing, you can ask for a more complete panel.  Sometimes they only test one part of the celiac spectrum.
      Oh...forgive my rudeness...welcome to the forum!  I love your that you?  Where was it taken?
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    12. beachbirdie added a post in a topic The Paleo Diet?!   

      I have completely given up grains, and it wasn't until I did so that I started to feel really good.  A nice side effect is that I also lost 35 pounds, without any effort or thought whatsoever.  On top of that, I am guessing my generalized inflammation has gone way down; I no longer experience the swelling/fluid retention I used to have.  I used to wake up in the morning with slits for eyes, my face was so puffy.  NO MORE!
      I am sort of paleo/primal though I very occasionally indulge in a crunchy treat made from rice flour.  I also have eaten ( not more than twice in a month) regular potato, though I'm finding that sweet potato fries and sweet potato hash browns are VERY MUCH to my liking!  I used to get horrible carb cravings in the mid-afternoon and would raid the kitchen scrounging all I could find.  I no longer experience this in ANY WAY!  I was also a sugar addict, and since giving up refined sugars I no longer crave sweets.
      I also eat yogurt, but not store-bought. I make it myself from local, organic milk.
      All in all, I am a VERY happy camper with this diet.
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    13. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Cooking With A Pressure Cooker   

      I use a pressure cooker and have for many, many years.  One of the best places to read about them and gain confidence, as well as get ideas for many ways to use them is Miss Vickie's site.
      As for making text links, first type your text in the reply window...then, highlight it by putting the cursor in front of the text and dragging the mouse across the text you want linked.  THEN go to the little link tool at the top of the message screen.  If your message screen does not show the tools, there should be a button to push that says "more reply options".  Click that and it should reveal the tools you need.
      I don't recommend aluminum, I prefer the stainless steel because the aluminum pits if you do a lot of cooking with acidic foods such as tomato.  It also leaches aluminum into your food, which supposedly damages our brains (connected with Alzheimer's).
      I have an older rocker-weight pressure cooker, I also just got one of the fancier ones that doesn't have rocker weight.  I don't have a lot of experience with the newer one, the metal on the pan split before I got much use out of it.  For this reason I would hesitate recommending the Spanish-made Fagor, though they did honor their warranty and replace the pot.  My confidence is low, however, as my husband looked at the metal and said it has what look like flaws in forging and the new one will probably split too. 
      Pressure cooking does not have to be frightening!  One needs to remember a couple of rules:  1)  make sure you have adequate liquid in the cooker, and, 2) don't leave home with your pressure cooker on the stove.  Set your timer so you can get back to your pan before all the liquid evaporates.  It is when a pressure cooker run dry that it is dangerous, and rocker-weights lose a lot more moisture through their vents!  Pressure cooker recipes take this into account, so don't be nervous when following recipes written for pressure cookers.
      You will need to spend a little more time learning how to get a rocker-weight cooker set at right pressure if you have an electric stove, once you get it down it will be faster!  Gas stove is easy, when you turn the flame down the pressure drops pretty quick too!
      Anyway, I love my pressure cookers and hope you will love yours!
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    14. beachbirdie added a post in a topic Off To Get My Endoscopy/colonoscopy!   

      I hope you are recovering well and on your way to getting some good, solid answers!
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    15. beachbirdie added a post in a topic High Ttg Levels But No Symptoms In 3.5 Year Old   

      Which TtG is elevated, IgA or IgG?  Have the doctors considered inflammatory conditions outside of celiac?  Sometimes TtG is reflective of things NOT can be elevated in thyroid and liver conditions for example, as well as diseases like Crohn's. 
      Have you tried eliminating dairy?  Soy? 
      I would definitely think about going on a GAPS or SCD type diet...dropping processed foods and dropping grains/sugars altogether might be worth a try.
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