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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.

Constipation
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11 posts in this topic

I have never posted here but read often. My son had a positive blood test for gluten back in January. His nurologist did the test because he was complx partial seizures and we wanted to rule other rhings out and the celiac test came back positve. I put in on the diet right away and he was doing great. He always had constipation since birth and we did not know why. After starting the diet he was having dailey bms. Now we are having problems again. he just went 9 days without a bm. Finally I got him to go last night because I told him if he did not go we were going to the er. I give him fiber pills 2 times a day I do not know what else to do. Has anybody else seen this. We see gi doc on Monday.

Thanks,

Jennifer

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Jennifer, is it a behavioral problem that he won't go, or is he really constipated? I know that some children, especially those who have been painfully constipated in the past, develop behavioral movement holding. Another possibilty is that he is having a hard time processing casein (milk). That can lead to constipation. I hope you get things figured out soon. It sounds like you've had a hard enough time already.

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My problem was always constipation, and I know how miserable it is. After going gluten-free for about 6 days, I got it back (hadn't had it in a while), and that was really frustrating because it seemed as though i should be getting better, not worse.

I ended up seeing a nutritionist and he put me on a diet that consisted of slow cooked brown rice, lots of cabbagy style veggies, nuts and seeds and fruits, and of course, some supplements. After a couple days, my constipation subsided. I don't know if it was all the fiber-food I was eating, or if it was replenishing my intestinal bacteria or what, but I'm glad that it is over, at least for now.

the other thing I found out through trial and error, is that dairy products constipated me quite badly. When I quit those, I got better.

Good luck. I hope you find the answer.

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Is he getting enough water to go with the fiber pills?

Also, you mention that he went when you told him he was going to the er if he didn't. That seems it may be behavioral. Maybe he doesn't understand that going more often is normal. Maybe he's like my son and is so busy with fun things he just doesn't want to take the time to go. I'd try talking with him about it. You don't mention how old he is, but even three year olds can tell you a lot more of when they're thinking than we give them credit for.

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Good questions from Guhlia... I also wonder if he have issues with another food such as dairy? It causes constipation for a good number of us here. Or could he have gotten an accidental glutening?

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We just figured out that dairy is making our daughter constipated. you might try eliminating this.

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Accidental gluttening can cause constipation for me. Also if he was able to go when you said he would have to go to the ER, he may just be afraid to go. My boys are 7 and 4(don't have celiac), but they sometimes hold it all day until evening. I tell them to go if I think they need to, because they are just lazy. Your son may be afraid to go if he associates it with pain.

Monica

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My non-celiac son just admitted to holding it because he was too lazy to go back when he was little. So, it might not be a medial problem.

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I can so relate to this. My son was diagnosed last year with Celiac and his primary symptom was constipation. When we went gluten free I assumed that he would feel better. My father is also a celiac but suffered with D and once gluten free for a few weeks, he felt much better. This did not happen for my son. After about a month gluten free, he did have daily bowel movements but at least once a month, he gets hit with another bout of constipation. It always baffles us because he is only 5 and his diet it very controlled and really does not change (I am not a very creative cooker so my meals tend to repeat :P , and I know they are gluten free). I do not believe he is being contaminated as we just recently had his blood tested again and it was negative for antibodies. He takes a stool softener everyday (mirolax) and I give him Yummi Bear Fiber everyday. His bowel movements are usually now soft to loose and very heavy and then out of no where, they just stop. And he will go up to a week without going. He will start with the frequent running to the bathroom saying he has to "poop" and then nothing happens. I feel as though his life revolves around pooping. He missed the beginning of his Pre K graduation this week because he was on the toilet (I don't know why the teacher did not wait for him).

We will be seeing his gastro. ped. next week. He said that he is concerned that he is still not completely well but it could just be that his body is not compleley recovered from when he was so sick. As far as behavioral issues are concerned, my doc also said that children tend to hold back the bowel movement when they feel pain. So if it somewhat hard for the child to go, and as it is passing he or she feels pain, they will kind of close of the muscles not letting it pass. I insisted that it looks like he is pushing not holding back and the doc said it is sometimes hard to tell the difference because they start out pushing and then stop from the discomfort.

Another parent on this forum, once replied to me, saying that his daughters gastro. ped. said that when a person is extremely constipated and backed up, the colon gets stretched. Therefore, once the person is better, the colon then needs to heal and get back to normal. I don't know how true this is, I never asked my doctor.

Nicole

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I suffered with lifelong chronic constipation. Even after my Enterolab celiac disease diagnosis and then milk intolerance test results influenced me to abstain from gluten and dairy, I STILL suffered from constipation. I 'went' everyday, but never had normal soft stools ... UNTIL I learned that untreated celiac disease depletes magnesium, which controls smooth muscle (intestines) contractions. Without adequate magnesium all the fluids and fiber in the world didn't help my constipation. While consuming LOTS of fiber, but inadequate magnesium. I twice experienced impacted stools. However with magnesium supplementation (magnesium aspartate NOT oxide which is not easily absorbed), I FINALLY have normal (soft) stools. Here's a good link about magnesium depletion and supplementation:

http://www.mbschachter.com/importance_of_m...um_to_human.htm

For more info on Magnesium, do a google search or search on this site (where I got that link).

BURDEE

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Thank you all for replying my son is 9 and still constipated. THe GI doc gave us miralax again after I told him that we took it for about a month and a half and it did nothing other than cause leakage.

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    • Will my doctor test me? So many symptoms...
      Yep, get tested for celiac.  You have plenty of digestive symptoms to indicate it.
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie, It definitely sounds like you got glutened.  Over here in the USA they can't label foods gluten-free if they are made from gluten ingredients, period.  So your barley drink would not be labeled gluten-free here.  A while back I read something about the testing for gluten in foods not being as accurate for detecting barley hordein as it is for wheat gliaden.  So the gluten-free testing (if they do any) that your drink maker does may not be reliable. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition.  So the immune system starts reacting when it detects gluten and damages the gut lining.  An immune reaction is not like a food poisoning event, where most of the damage is only while the food is actually in your system and then ends.  An immune reaction can continue for weeks to months.  The immune system is really quite serious about protecting our bodies.  And since it is designed to detect and attack micro-organisms it reacts to tiny amounts of gluten. Wheat, barley, and rye are the main gluten grains that affect celiacs.  But some celiacs also react to oat gluten.  
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie,  Glad you are feeling better. I wondered have you been officially diagnosed with coeliac disease? Just wondering as you say you are anaemic, that is one of the symptoms of coeliac disease, along with other general malnutrition. You don't need to eat meat for iron though, you can get it from non-heme foods, like spinach or parsley. Just be careful with the drink with barley, it may be that you only start to have symptoms if you consume a lot of it, but if you have coeliac disease the damage is still been done to your gut regardless of whether you have symptoms or not, which will ultimately lead to malnutrition as well as other things.
    • Weird Reaction
      I think, if all this is caused by glutening, it could be that it takes a while to work its way out of your system. I should explain about what I said about organic broccoli.   I don't have a problem with organic food,  in fact, I buy organic milk and carrots all the time, but I don't want to try organic broccoli in case it is the broccoli that is the problem, not the insecticide.    I meant to ask, are you a coeliac or is it non-coeliac gluten intolerance that you have?   I wonder what sort of support you get in Australia for these conditions once diagnosed?   Here in the UK I think the understanding is that if new gastro symptoms have lasted for more than six weeks it needs to be investigated.   I have found this very helpful advice because I do get odd twinges of pain and sometimes changes in bowel movements (sorry if tmi) but they rarely last more than a couple of weeks.   If they do persist I mention it to my gastroenteroligist and he follows it up.  I recently had a sigmoidoscopy for left sided pain and they found nothing.  Turns out it was to do with lactose intolerance, but I always imagine the worse!    
    • Will my doctor test me? So many symptoms...
      Welcome, @iwillmoveamountain! Of course you are not wrong to pursue getting testing for celiac. My advice is to drop that doctor and find a new one, preferably one who is celiac savvy, and who will listen to you and test you for the disease.  
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