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Gluten Challenge Before Endoscopy
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I am a 30 year old woman who comes from a family with 5 diagnosed Celiac sufferers (all women on my mother's side, including my mom). About 7 years ago, I started to feel sick all the time; stomachaches, headaches, tired all the time, bloating, gas, anxiety/depression. The body aches and tiredness made me feel like I had the flu without the congestion part. At that time, my mom suggested I go gluten free and see if I felt beter. I tried it out, and was super diligent about eating gluten free, and actually started f=to feel better after a month or two. I was 23 years old at that time, and without health insurance, so I never went to the doctor for a proper diagnosis. But I DO know that I felt better after not eating gluten, and would feel terrible if I accidentally ate gluten over the years. 

 

About a month ago, I was having really bad stomach bloating and indigestion and heartburn, and was referred to a GI doc by my primary. The GI told me that she would have to properly test me for Celiac through blood test and upper endoscopy, and that I would have to eat a "gluten heavy diet" for the week prior to the procedure. Of course, for someone who has avoided gluten for 7 years, this news was terrifying! I also feel like if I was already eating a strictly gluten free diet, why would she need to rule that out at all? My current symptoms wouldn't have anything to do with Celiac... Right? Regardless, I did the gluten challenge for a week. And while there was fear at first, there was also a tiny bit of excitement at eating a few things that I missed. I noticed during the gluten challenge that I didn't have as much stomach pain as was anticipating (it still wasn't great), but I DID have terrible headaches, extreme fatigue (like sleeping 10-12 hours a night), felt really spaced out and found it hard to concentrate, and had the bloating/gas/etc. I stopped eating the gluten the night before my endoscopy, and have been back to a gluten free diet since then, which was a week ago. 

 

Here's where my question comes in; has anyone else been through this same scenario? Having to eat gluten for a testing procedure after being gluten free for SO long? A week later, and I am still having symptoms, especially the tiredness. How long should I anticipate this lasting? Considering I hadn't eaten gluten for 7 years, I seriously dumped a WHOLE LOT of gluten into my system for this test! Still waiting for the results. 

 

Any advice/reassurance would be much appreciated! Thanks! :)

 

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It is recommended that a gluten challenge be about three months in duration, not just one week! I was told to ingest the equivalent to 3- 4 pieces of bread daily for 12 weeks. It is odd that you were told that small timeframe. I do hope the results will be accurate. Many people who have been gluten free for ages do the challenge so thankfully you are not alone. As our reactions and bodies differ wildly, it is difficult to say how long your symptoms will last. Hopefully you feel better quickly. Be kind to yourself. I do know of people whose symptoms last for several weeks so am not surprised at your story.

Welcome here! Please post your results if you wish. I am curious about the one week thing.

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