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Do You Think A Person Can "recover" From Gluten Intolerance?

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

This is kind of a spin-off of another post here, the one whose friend eats gluten even though she says she has celiac.


I have a friend who says she *was* gluten intolerant. She swears that she was cured of her symptoms -- joint aches, migraines, intestinal issues -- after going gluten free. She's been gluten free for over a year. Then just a few weeks ago she ate some bread because she "couldn't stand it any longer" (her words). And lo and behold, no symptoms. So she ate another piece the next day. Still no symptoms. Then she tried some pasta. Nothing.


What do you think? I'm wondering if she ever was really experiencing those symptoms, although there are a lot of them on her list. All the same ones I got rid of, in fact. But I am NOT willing ever to try eating a piece of bread :ph34r:  since I know how bad I feel when I get accidentally glutened.


I've googled around, but can't really find anything reliable on whether or not someone can recover from being gluten intolerant.


My thought is maybe someone could recover from being gluten intolerant, but not from having celiac?


Well, I don't know, but I do know that I am not ever eating gluten again. Just wondered what you all think, those of you who know so much more than I do about this whole subject. :)


edited to add: I am diagnosed with celiac by a blood test. I never had the endoscopy because I wasn't willing to eat gluten for weeks and weeks and weeks just for that. My doctor agreed, and said the blood test was enough.

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:45 PM

You can't cure Celiac disease at this time.

I guess you could cure a non- Celiac gluten intolerance. Probably depends on why they were intolerant in the first place. Maybe that reason isn't a factor any more. Problem is, it isn't always clear what the underlying issue is.

This is based on the assumption a person who SAYS they have a gluten Intolerance really has one.
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Posted 28 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

In a word? NO.


IMHO and based on pages and pages of research I have read for 2.5 years.


either you have Celiac  an autoimmune disease which is incurable, but treatable!


or a serious non-celiac gluten intolerance (requiring abstinence to feel well )


or you don't.

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 03:12 PM

My  two  cents  worth is::::::: NO  to the word"CURE" whether  celiac  of  gluten sensitive... Both  can be  managed   & controlled  by  a  100% gluten free  diet...

And  for  some  people  it may  take  a  while  for them  to  start  to present   with  gluten issues. So  this  person  may be  one  that  after  going  off  gluten  has become  less  sensitive as  time  goes by  or  for  others  they  become  more  sensitive  to gluten  as time goes by...but  it  will  once  again  catch up  with them either  way...

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:14 AM

I don't know. Maybe for some people this is true. I was horribly allergic to strawberries as a kid and now they never bother me at all. So if someone has a wheat allergy, sure maybe yeah it can change...


Now for personal experience: I don't 'officially' have celiac, but I know i CANNOT eat gluten. Hard to imagine this all would miraculously just go away. Maybe because my gums, teeth, and joints are so much healthier, I tell myself that even if my guts just one day didn't react the violent way they do I still wouldn't want those other symptoms to come back.

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:25 AM

If it is an intolerance and not celiac then strictly laying off of the gluten for a few years may allow you to eat it again.  But the intolerance can just as easily come back so for some people it is advisable to continue to lay off.  That would be me, with dairy!  But other people find they can eat it sometimes.  Probably not advisable to eat it every day. 


My daughter had gluten intolerance and does not currently but...  We were told to get  ourselves retested every three years because these things can change.  If you have food intolerances it is best to rotate the foods that you eat and not to eat something every day.


So...  Cured of it?  I wouldn't say so. But the word "cure" in and of itself has a variety of meanings.  And it is not one that I like  to use. 


I don't know who diagnosed your friend or how.  Or perhaps she just noticed the problems and stopped eating it?  My daughter's symptoms (that we know of) were skin rashes and stomach pains.  But she is also intolerant to a several things now.  Was a lot more prior.  So the combination of those things not only led her to being sick to her stomach almost all the time but also problems with attention and learning.  She changed her diet and was a different child!

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:54 AM

As a sero-negative but firmly diagnosed celiac IMHO NCGI and Celiac are both the same thing. It is known that folks with celiac can go through a 'honeymoon' period after being gluten free for a while. This was seen most often in children diagnosed when they hit their teen years and lead to medical folks thinking that celiac could be 'outgrown' in times past. We now know of course that isn't the case.

It may take a while for symptoms to reappear and they may have a different presentation but usually they will reappear. The person may develop symptoms they don't associate with celiac like neuro issues, liver problems, joint pain etc before the more commonly thought of GI issues appear. I personally think it is a real issue that so many doctors and patients just think tummy issues when they think celiac and thus ignore or just medicate other presentations. Real and at times permanent damage can be done in folks for which the intestinal problems are the least of their symptoms. 

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"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

celiac 49 years - Misdiagnosed for 45
Blood tested and repeatedly negative
Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002
Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis
All bold resoved or went into remission with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002
Some residual nerve damage remains as of 2006- this has continued to resolve after eliminating soy in 2007

Mother died of celiac related cancer at 56
Twin brother died as a result of autoimmune liver destruction at age 15

Children 2 with Ulcers, GERD, Depression, , 1 with DH, 1 with severe growth stunting (male adult 5 feet)both finally diagnosed Celiac through blood testing and 1 with endo 6 months after Mom

Positive to Soy and Casien also Aug 2007

Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test Aug 2007
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)



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Posted 29 May 2013 - 03:03 AM

Thanks for the replies. My friend was never diagnosed with anything, but after I was she decided that she'd try gluten free also. When she said it had gotten rid of a lot of symptoms I thought "good, another one that the doctors missed". But now I don't know. I think maybe she was just trying to copy me. But who knows.


Well, I just roll my eyes (inside) when she starts talking about anything medical anyway, because she is a bit of a drama queen about illness. (which is what makes me suspicious about the gluten in the first place).


Anyway, thanks. :)

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:16 AM

I would say no, however, I developed a peanut allergy at age 39 and was told by both the e/r doctor (had to go for allergice reacion, first one in my life) and by the allergist that the body changes, and changes often. People can develop allergies at any age, and the body can also change and someone can no longer have allergic reactions to things.


My bottom line is that I think it's possible if it's an intolerance or allergy. Not possible if it's Celiac.


There's my two pennies :)

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:53 AM



My guess is her symptoms will return in time if she was NCGI or Celiac Disease -- there are those diagnosed with Celilac Disease that have no gastro reaction to gluten ingestion -- also she was gluten-free for long enough to heal damage to her small intestine (if there was damage) and it may take some time for the damage to return which will bring the symptoms back. 


If she never has any symptoms return, she likely just felt better eating gluten free -- my hubs does and he has neither NCGI or Celiac Disease - that we know of ;)


Russian Roulette in my opinion.

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3/26/09 gluten-free - dignosed celiac - blood 3/3/09, biopsy 3/26/09, double DQ2 / single DQ8 positive

10/25/13 - MCAD

Health history since celiac diagnosis became too long -- moved to the "about me" section of my profile

My children and I all have multiple copies of the genes for Celiac Disease, along with large variety of symptoms/resolution gluten-free

Current tally from me, three kids and two grands: 4 diagnosed with Celiac Disease, 2 NCGS


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Posted 29 May 2013 - 07:46 AM

I am almost certain that I have had celiac disease my entire life but my GI symptoms came and went - during my teens and late twenties I did not often get the stomach aches and bloating that I had in childhood, early twenties and my thirties. The problem was that my other symptoms grew worse: hair loss, pain, migraines, joint issues, fatigue... those all grew steadily worse but I never equated waffles with my migraines or sore fingers.


I hope your friend continues to feel better, but if gluten really was an issue for her... i doubt it.  :(

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:39 AM

There's still not a lot of definitive research on Gluten intolerance, so... I can't say anything for sure, but I would think not.

If she's never been tested for Celiac, maybe now is a good time to do it when she's eating gluten again. If it comes back negative, at least she'll know that it's not that. However, even if she has an intolerance, symptoms will likely come back eventually. (Haven't we all had the "oh, I think that had gluten but I feel fine" until it hits you a few days later.)

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:52 AM

There no difference, just a variation or full blown celiac in waiting. Yes sure if you stop eating it long enough you can eat it again without symptoms. I used to get destroyed in the gut any time I ate gluten, didn't eat it for three years and tried some bread... did nothing. Tried some more.. did nothing. Roughly at that time I had the genetic test and was positive for DQ2 so decided I'd perhaps skip the bread for life :). Still I did get to the point where it had no effect, it wasn't going to be permanent though.

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Posted 29 May 2013 - 08:09 PM

There are multiple way you can be sensitive to gluten. One form of non celiac gluten sensitivity is that your intestinal barrier is weakened (leaky gut) and allows gluten to cross to your bloodstream and trigger reaction. With careful dietary changes the the intestinal barrier can be restored and food allergies diminish.

I have myself had strong reaction to gluten and within 6 months of clean eating the reaction is gone. I am free to eat gluten if I want (hint: I almost never eat it)

Edited by LeakyGutRsrch, 30 May 2013 - 07:49 PM.

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 04:18 AM


My guess is her symptoms will return in time if she was NCGI or Celiac Disease -- there are those diagnosed with Celilac Disease that have no gastro reaction to gluten ingestion -- also she was gluten-free for long enough to heal damage to her small intestine (if there was damage) and it may take some time for the damage to return which will bring the symptoms back.

If she never has any symptoms return, she likely just felt better eating gluten free -- my hubs does and he has neither NCGI or Celiac Disease - that we know of ;)

Russian Roulette in my opinion.

I totally agree with this post, words right outta my mouth (fingers ;) )
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