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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      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.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Psoriatic Arthritis
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15 posts in this topic

I have a gluten intolarance.

I also suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis. Both are auto-immune related conditions.

I am wondering if there is a correlation between the two conditions.

Also, I am on two drugs: Embrel and Methotrexate. Both were prescribed for the Psoriatic Arthritis. Will these have any positive effect on the Celiac?

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I was diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis about 10 years ago. I am also gluten intolerant. You might want to check into the possibility that you have other food intolerances. Also, try to get off the methotrexate. It can mess with your DNA as well as other nasty side-effects. I eliminated wheat/gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, nightshade vegetables, bananas, many types of beans, red meat and sugar and the arthritis went away. I now teach PE, coach basketball and run triathlons. If I had gone the medication route I don't think I would be this healthy. Also, cod liver oil (lemon or mint flavored) and flax oil are helpful.

Good luck!

Liz

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There is a link between psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis and Celiac...research is still being done (fairly new) but so far its been observed that an increased number of individuals with psoriasis have Celiac or gluten intolerance. I have psoriasis on my scalp, have for years. Mine has begun to improve now after being gluten-free, but seems to flare up when I am run down. I'm glad I cked out this thread... my dad has psoriasis and was offered methotrexate many times...but opted out b/c of the dangers. How have you been doing with it? I assume your psoriasis and arthritis is severe then? Have you tried to explore alternative therapies rather than prescriptions? Many people have improvement with their psoriasis after a period of being gluten-free. I have read of some who have had recovery from psoriatic arthritis/psoriasis after going on the SCD diet as well. It is diet that is gluten-free but more restrictive--no grains, only certain carbohydrates. To read about it: http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.org/get...startedtoc.html Hopefully this info will help get you started...

See links below for related articles:

http://www.psoriasis.org/publications/adva...eninterview.php

http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/cgi...nt/full/41/1/31 more technical/medical

http://www.celiac.com/st_prod.html?p_prodi...-43105250752.af

http://www.nutramed.com/celiac/glutendiseases.htm

http://www.csaceliacs.org/library/notespsoriasis.php

Liz-

Your story is encouraging! My dad has started to develop the arthritis...I have been discussing this stuff with him....

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my dad has psoriasis and was offered methotrexate many times...but opted out b/c of the dangers.

Liz-

Your story is encouraging! My dad has started to develop the arthritis...I have been discussing this stuff with him....

Jenvan-Please encourage your dad to avoid the methotrexate. A wonderful woman at my church, my bible study leader actually, had horrible arthritis about the same time as I did. We laughed because she was "old" (in her 60's) and I was young and we both walked like we were 90. She opted for the methotrexate, I opted for the dietary changes. Maybe it was a coincidence, but she died of liver cancer about a year and a half after starting the methotrexate. I think there was a connection, but obviously have no proof. A friend of mine who is a pharmacist said that she would NEVER take methotrexate.

Liz

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Liz--I agree. When my dad was offered, he didn't know anything about it, so I did the research and made a presentatation to him :) He would never take it. My boss has a friend that took metho...and it ended up damaging several of his organs...and he died also. Our new friend is probably getting horrified from these stories! But yes, one does need to know. My dad takes celebrex which helps him. Luckily his is not terrible at this point, but I wonder if it will get worse, as his psoriasis is severe...

He had a biopsy for Celiac, but no bloodwork. I am encouraging him to get blood work done anyway, as some who have the intolerance, don't have the classic biopsy lesions as we know. He has several other risk factors and I think there is a chance he would benefit from the diet, so we'll see...

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I printed off your story to show him :)

I'm glad my "suffering" can be used to help others. My gene test came back negative for Celiac, but I KNOW that I can't handle gluten. So even if his tests don't show anything it would be a good thing to avoid. My kids' pediatrician (regular MD) said that most people would be much healthier if they eliminated what and dairy from their diets, so that's always a good place to start for any chronic condition. BTW - my psoriasis won't go away, but the arthritis did. Diet and Dovonex controls it enough that I can wear short sleeves at least.

Good luck to your dad!

Liz

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Jenvan-Please encourage your dad to avoid the methotrexate. A wonderful woman at my church, my bible study leader actually, had horrible arthritis about the same time as I did. We laughed because she was "old" (in her 60's) and I was young and we both walked like we were 90. She opted for the methotrexate, I opted for the dietary changes. Maybe it was a coincidence, but she died of liver cancer about a year and a half after starting the methotrexate. I think there was a connection, but obviously have no proof. A friend of mine who is a pharmacist said that she would NEVER take methotrexate.

Liz

Although Methotrexate is a powerful drug with many side effects,for some arthritis sufferers, it has given them their lives back.

My husband was dx with PA(psoriatic Arthritis)4 years ago.

He was diagnosed with Coeliac 18 months ago.

Once you've got one auto-immune disease,you're more likely to get another-they like to run in packs!

My husband has found since going gluten-free that his psoriasis skin condition has cleared up completely-

Also his joints have been alot less painful since going gluten-free-but it hasn't gone away.

Psoriatic Arthritis like Rheumatoid Arthritis is a progressive disease.

These 'disease modifying' drugs work on slowing down the damage caused to joints.

For some it's been the difference to being in a wheelchair or leading an independant life.

Having said all that my husband has recently come off Methotrexate.

He was suffering terrible side effects-nausea+vomiting,and having lost so much weight due to the coeliac disease he couldn't afford to lose anymore.

His Rheumatologist wants to put him on a new drug Enbrel.(which again is a pretty heavy duty drug with the long term side effects as yet unknown as it is new)*Sigh*

So I guess we have to weigh up the pro's and con's.

After my hubbie was diagnosed with Pa-I watched the disease reduce him to a man more like an 80 year old-he could barely move.

He is understandably afraid of getting like that again :unsure:

I suppose what I'm saying is that diet ,for some is not enough to alleviate their symptoms-they 've had to rely on these drugs.

As to whether Methotrexate and Enbrel will affect your coeliac disease?

I'm not sure-but I do know my husband had to stop taking OralMtx as it caused bleeding in the bowel.

Your Rheumatologist and Gastroenterologist (whew that was a mouthful!)should each be aware of the other and maybe consult each other.

Let us know how you get on! :)

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There is a link between psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis and Celiac...research is still being done (fairly new) but so far its been observed that an increased number of individuals with psoriasis have Celiac or gluten intolerance. I have psoriasis on my scalp, have for years. Mine has begun to improve now after being gluten-free, but seems to flare up when I am run down. I'm glad I cked out this thread... my dad has psoriasis and was offered methotrexate many times...but opted out b/c of the dangers. How have you been doing with it? I assume your psoriasis and arthritis is severe then?

At one point, before I had a good diagnosis, I had nearly no use of my hands; I had tendinitis in my wrists, elbows, hips and jaw. I had to eat soft food as I could not chew and I could not use the knife.

The methotrexate helped initially, but quickly lost its efficacy. I started with 12mg and over a period of 6 months went to 30mg. My insurance would not pay for the Embrel until the Methotrexate was proven to be ineffective.

The methotrexate allowed me to sleep through the night and relieved the tendonitis to a great extent, but the 30mg was too high a dosage for continued use according to my doctor. Finally, we were able to convince the insurance company to pay for the Embrel, but not before there was permanent damage to the knuckles in both hands. The Embrel costs about $400.00 per week. I am on "baby doses" of methotrexate (7.5mg) which significantly improves the efficacy of the Embrel according to my doctor. This medicinal combination has made my hands functional again and I have had no real distress from either. Although the methotrexate does affect my appetite. I have blood tests every 6 weeks to monitor the liver function.

I was expecting the psoriasis to go away but it has not.

Every once in a while I get blind sided by a restaurant and get a bout of diarrhea because they sneak in some wheat flower in the chili or on the french fries, etc. I was expecting the Embrel to minimize that too but that has not happened.

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I really respect each person's right to choose their own treatment, I am not judgemental about that. I do totally understand how painful Psoriatic Arthritis can be. I was basically crippled, we were pricing electric wheelchairs. I could not care for my own children - my mom or mother in law had to come each day for months or my husband would stay home. My DH would have to carry me to the bathroom each morning. I could not drive for a while because I couldn't grip the steering wheel. My 4 year old daughter learned how to tie my shoes and help change the baby's diaper. I had to pick up food in my hands because I couldn't grip a fork or spoon. Drinking out of a glass was almost impossible. I cried in pain and in frustration more times than I can remember. If I hadn't had children I would have thought about suicide, because the pain was so bad. The prognosis from the Rheumatologist was that I'd be in and out of a wheelchair for life, even with the Methotrexate (and they wanted to give me Plaquinil.)

That said, I still turned down the Methotrexate and opted for dietary changes. The ONLY things I ate for a whole year were fish, rice, rice bread, sunflower seed butter, salads with lettuce and carrots, celery, apples, raisins, grapes, a small amount of corn, rice milk, rice or quinoa cereal and I can't think of anything else. Within 5 days I noticed improvement, within a few weeks I could drive again. Within a few months I could take care of my kids and my whole house again and after 8 months we went to Disneyland where I walked a LOT. (I took all my own food everywhere.) Just eliminating gluten wouldn't have done it for me - I don't know if it would even have helped much. I would encourage everyone suffering from PA to at least try to super-restricted diet. Maybe it only worked for me, but I can't believe I'm that much different than anyone else. I've had minor flare-ups over the past 10 years, but only when I have tried to reintroduce foods like wheat, spelt, eggs, dairy or soy.

My heart goes out to you, Packard, and your husband Nikki-UK - I really DO understand how horrible it can be. I hope and pray that you can find something to help you.

Liz

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Just out of curiosity, how did your symptoms of psoriatic arthritis begin (this is for anyone to answer)?

I always thought that I had eczema on my fingers, and while I believe that I do in some places, I think that the rest of what I thought was eczema might actually be psoriasis. I have started to get very pitty and malformed fingernails where the eczema/psoriasis is.

I also have been having some joint and neck pains. They started as barely noticeable twinges, but have gotten more frequent. My neck always feels strained and tired, or like I need to pop it (like you would crack your knuckles) and the joints in my fingers/hands and toes hurt frequently as well as my hips and knees. The aching is terrible after I get glutened. I don't have any swelling though, and I believe that swelling is a key symptom of P.A.

ETA: I was tested for RA and was negative.

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Just out of curiosity, how did your symptoms of psoriatic arthritis begin (this is for anyone to answer)?

I always thought that I had eczema on my fingers, and while I believe that I do in some places, I think that the rest of what I thought was eczema might actually be psoriasis. I have started to get very pitty and malformed fingernails where the eczema/psoriasis is.

I also have been having some joint and neck pains. They started as barely noticeable twinges, but have gotten more frequent. My neck always feels strained and tired, or like I need to pop it (like you would crack your knuckles) and the joints in my fingers/hands and toes hurt frequently as well as my hips and knees. The aching is terrible after I get glutened. I don't have any swelling though, and I believe that swelling is a key symptom of P.A.

ETA: I was tested for RA and was negative.

I was out walking one day and got a shooting pain in my little finger and the palm of my hand. I thought is was a insect sting. After about 5 days it faded away.

About 2 weeks later it happened again. This time I went to a orthopedic surgeon who was certain it was a bone fracture until the x-rays came back. Then he thought it was a spider bite.

He sent me to a hand specialist. He thought it might be gout, but was reluctant to make the diagnosis. He sent me to a rheumatologist.

Meanwhile the pain had gotten so bad that is kept me awake at night and would throb. This was mostly in my hands and wrists.

The rheumatologist treated me for gout for one month but I made no progress. I asked for a second opinion and she sent me to a dignified, white haired doctor (experience counts). He made the diagnosis in less than a minute. Then he started looking around for the psoriasis (I was not aware that I had psoriasis).

He put me on methotrexate. By this time my hand, knuckles, wrist and elbows had swollen up to the point that people were asking me about it. The pain was constant and very severe. It was worst when I tried to sleep. I was averaging 2 or 3 hours of sleep each night.

From the time I first noticed the pain until the worst of it, was less than 3 months. It was 4 months that the insurance made me use just the methotrexate before they allowed the use of the Embrel. By then the damage to my knuckles was sufficient that I can no longer make a fist. The pain is now manageable and I am able to work out again (but no punching the heavy bag).

I tire easily. My concentration is poor. I'm not sure that this is related any more. I am now getting a decent amount of sleep.

I understand the insurance company's reluctance to allow the Embrel. With the Embrel, Methotrexate, Folic Acid, doctor's visits and blood work, this will amount to $25,000 to $30,000 per year. I wish they had come to the same conclusion as my doctor did a lot earlier--the damage to my hands would have been a lot less.

I have had no further damage since being on the Embrel. I do have to take extra precautions regarding infections--and no more Budweiser. But the only thing I really miss is the sesame seed bagels.

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Ok, so it was rather sudden and severe?

This has been gradually going from a barely noticable little ache every once in a while to a rather nagging (but not severe or debilitating) pain over the course of about a year or more. Sometimes I have a little trouble holding a pen, but nothing life altering.

I guess I'll just keep an eye on it.

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Just out of curiosity, how did your symptoms of psoriatic arthritis begin (this is for anyone to answer)?

Mine came on slowly at first - aching in my feet, especially after exercise, then aching all the time. Then my shoulders, knees, hips and back. At first it was only bad in the mornings, then it lasted longer. On Easter Sunday 10 years ago I woke up and couldn't get out of bed without help. My feet were so swollen that I couldn't get shoes on and we couldn't make it to church. I had eaten a bunch of Easter candy the night before while I was filling the kids' baskets and I think that put me over the edge. After that I got worse and worse until I had an ELISA test done and eliminated all the foods I reacted to (which was almost everything). On days that I could joke I would laugh that at least my jaw joints didn't hurt - I could still talk. My jaw was literally the only joint in my body that wasn't painful. My toes are still deformed and will never look "normal" again. My hands recovered pretty well, but I was pretty stubborn about using them through the pain as much as possible to keep my range of motion.

I also tested negative for RA.

Liz

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Liz, did you ever have swelling in the initial not-so-bad stages?

I feel like I'm being paranoid, but after ignoring what I now know is a serious disease for 10 years I'mm trying to be vigilent and proactive with my health.

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Liz, did you ever have swelling in the initial not-so-bad stages?

I feel like I'm being paranoid, but after ignoring what I now know is a serious disease for 10 years I'mm trying to be vigilent and proactive with my health.

I remember that my toes were swollen. And I had a problem with one toe on my right foot a couple of years earlier, which they thought was gout at first, a fracture and then "some type of arthritis, possibly".

Are you following a restricted (besides gluten) diet now?

Liz

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