I suffered badly for 2 months prior to a blood test I had which came back equivocal for Coeliac. Unfortunately the TtG was just above normal but the Gliadin IgG was negative. However I was so keen to resolve my illness which consisted of the usual symptoms of bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea and cramps along with a few other peculiar ones like bad breath (really bad no just morning breath trust me), tongue ulcers, itchy skin and a peculiarly horrible 'hungry feeling' a lot of the time. That I quit gluten then and there and believed to notice a difference.
After 3 months I 'settled' down to just the typical symptoms of digestive problems (bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea) as well as bad breath and have as of now, 4 Months down the line from stopping gluten, remained at this point. No longer with stomach cramps, itchy skin and all those other peculiarities apart from bad breath which has remained. However what I have I feel is still significant to effect my way of life. I'm not sure if this is significant enough of an improvement to warrant the belief that I have Coeliac, surely things must have alleviated by now.
I guess my long winded question is the one that is the title, how long should it take for someone who has Coeliac to no longer experience symptoms so significant? I know it varies but just from your experience would be helpful to settle my mind as I am anxious I will not be getting better any time soon.
Any help or comments would really be appreciated and I'd be happy to give any more info.
It took me about seven weeks to resolve digestive issues that only developed between my blood test and biopsy. But, I already knew about my food allergies and intolerances. Everyone is different -- it takes lots of time to heal.
Have you identified other possible intolerances? Typically, because of intestinal damage, you temporarily can't digest milk (lactose).
Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013
Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014
Anemia -- Resolved
Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013
Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013
Allergies and Food Intolerances
Diabetes -- January 2014
Time to resolve symptoms and heal is extremely variable. Up to 16 months is not unusual I believe. That doesn't mean you won't improve over that time, but it may be a bit bumpy road too. Symptoms may come and go. Feeling good for a few days a month and getting sick again. Eventually you should get to where the number of days in a month feeling good is more than the number of days feeling poorly. Or you could just suddenly turn a corner and start feeling well all the time. It varies an awful lot between different people.
Take a look at the tips below and try following them for a while. It may be one or more of them will help you. Patience with your body is very helpful when starting the gluten-free diet. A simple diet is helpful also, as there are fewer variables to consider.
Some starting the gluten-free diet tips for the first 6 months:
Get tested before starting the gluten-free diet.
Get your vitamin/mineral levels tested also.
Don't eat in restaurants
Eat only whole foods not processed foods.
Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.
Take gluten-free vitamins.
Take digestive enzymes.
Avoid sugars and starchy foods.
Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it." Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and hard work. have a good day! :-) Paul
I feel mostly better at 14 months gluten-free. I tend to get the occassional set back for no apparent reason but it only lasts a short time rather than the old downward spiral of a few months.
I still get headaches for while on most days, and GI issues after some meals. BM's are still not great.
Bloating, gas, stomach pain after most meals, deep fatigue, arthralgias, hair loss, muscle cramps and migraines are all greatly improved.
As the others said, it can take a long time to get well. Sadly some symptoms are permanent and never improve if irrepairable damage was done. All you can do is wait and see what the gluten-free diet can do for you.
There are too many variables to put a definitive timeline on it. As others have said its wildly variable from person to person. It depends on age, how long you have been suffering from the symptoms, or maybe how long you have had silent symptoms.
Recovery depends on not just going gluten-free, but also in taking digestive enzymes, pro-biotics, having a rich and balanced diet without any processed foods and WITH excercise. Mental health has a role to play and support from loved ones contributes to recovery and well being.
Your ability to not accidentally eat gluten is a big contributor to recovery too... in the first months I was accidentally glutenating myself on average every 9 days - I would have recovered quicker had I not had accidents.Now I can go nearly 2 months between mistakes. I hope to have this up to 6 months at a time.
One thing for sure is to stick with it, paricularly if you have seen immediate benefits in the first weeks - that is a sign that gluten free must stay with you for life. 6 months should be the point where you revisit your symptoms... until then, chill out and concentrate on eating gluten free and staying healthy!
I had some improvement almost immediately but other things took some time. Lots of ups and downs. It depends how bad off you were to start and how quickly you can adapt to the new diet. It's hard to look back for me - but it will get better for you. It takes some time to recover and heal. It took some time for my body to get back to itself. Its probably in the months for some symptoms to get better. (So if you are following the diet and still not there yet, that is normal) For me I am still not where I want to be but compared to where I was - almost hospitalized- I'm doing great. Hang in there! The first year is probably the hardest. Good luck!
I felt an immediate huge improvement just eliminating cereal and bread. As time went on, I kept reacting to things and I kept learning about which additional things I needed to eliminate from my diet. I learned that I was sensitive to much lower levels of contamination than typical and I learned a lot more about what to eliminate. After about a year I was able to be symptom free. At 6 years now, it is still a challenge to find enough food to be able to be symptom free. Previously safe food changes sometimes and becomes unsafe and the only way to find out is by eliminating things one at a time until I find the right one. What a pain. It is worth all the effort though. I'm doing much better.
I'm not a diagnosed with Celiac but believe I am gluten sensitive.
I felt a difference in a matter of days in regards to headaches, muscle tension & stiffness in my back, stomach rumbling, flatulence, loose stool (love saying that). I gave up eating wheat in an attempt to lose weight, it didnt occur to me that it was causing so much many of 'small' health related problems. I gave it up on sunday night and on thursday I realised "why the h*ll do I feel so good and so awake???" lol
Joint pain lasted longer and got a bit worse actually before it got better. It was gone after about a month or so.
Since it takes such a short time to feel better I am conviced I'm only sensitive to it, rather than Celiac.