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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.

Can I Cheat?
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33 posts in this topic

Are there different levels of Celiac? I was sick as a dog last year but now that I have been on the gluten-free diet I feel great. I had pizza and beer last week and didn’t get sick at all. If I stay on the gluten-free diet for a long time can IO cheat occasionally?

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Are there different levels of Celiac? I was sick as a dog last year but now that I have been on the gluten-free diet I feel great. I had pizza and beer last week and didn’t get sick at all. If I stay on the gluten-free diet for a long time can IO cheat occasionally?

NO NO NO NO NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even if you don't think you are reacting your body will still be damaged.

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Nope there aren't different levels of celiac. You either "have it" or "don't have it". You can't cheat if you want to be healthy. You are still doing damage to your insides, even if you aren't feeling the pain.

I guess you CAN cheat if you enjoy things such as Cancer. It's up to you. Nobody is going to do this for you.

I hope you make the right choice for your health and stay on the diet.

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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Are there different levels of Celiac? I was sick as a dog last year but now that I have been on the gluten-free diet I feel great. I had pizza and beer last week and didn’t get sick at all. If I stay on the gluten-free diet for a long time can IO cheat occasionally?

NO!!!! It will still damage your intestine. That would be like someone in remission with emphysema having an ocassional cigarrette!

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In what way will my body be damaged? Won’t the Velli grow back - hence me not being anemic or sick anymore?

NO NO NO NO NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even if you don't think you are reacting your body will still be damaged.
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Are there different levels of Celiac? I was sick as a dog last year but now that I have been on the gluten-free diet I feel great. I had pizza and beer last week and didn’t get sick at all. If I stay on the gluten-free diet for a long time can IO cheat occasionally?

wouldnt it be good if you could tho. carla hit the nail on the head tho with the cigerrete thing or an alchaholic haveing the ODD drink, it just doesnt work.

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If your truly have celiac disease, then no you can not cheat. How were you dx'd ?

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I had a scope and blood test. I don't mean to be rude but I just want to know how my body is being damaged if I have some gluten then remain on the diet - I look at it more like a diabetic than a smoker - The cancer of a smoker does not improve if you quit for a while. I just want to know where I can get this info on what it will do to my body?

If your truly have celiac disease, then no you can not cheat. How were you dx'd ?
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In what way will my body be damaged? Won’t the Velli grow back - hence me not being anemic or sick anymore?

In addition to being bad for your gut gluten is a systemic poison effecting not just your villi but every cell in your body. It can damage many organs leading to neurological problems, including mood disorders like depression and anxiety, it can damage the pancreas leading to diabetes (this can appear even years after being gluten-free I am a case in point for that), it can damage the lymphatic system leading to lymphomas, it can damage the joints and muscles leading to arthritic changes, it can damage the skin leading to psoriasis, acne like lesions and sores resembling herpes the list goes on. It's your body but the prudent thing to do is to avoid it. We get enough damage from accidental glutening and CC but if you want to add to it that's your choice.

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David,

Everyone has different levels of external reactions to gluten.

Gluten causes an imune response that destroys villa. So while your villa might be healed now (prbly not competely...) re introducing gluten starts destroying them agian.

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I used emphysema as an example because I thought it was a better example than cancer. I like the alcoholic example, too.

You will have the antibodies and autoimmune antibodies wreaking havoc even if the damage isn't bad, yet.

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Thank you all very much - I wish my doctor would have told me all this. Where can I find this information?

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I suppose I should add one more voiceof concern here. Cheating on the diet is PURPOSELY hurting yourself.

I like the alcohol example. They CAN not drink because of the mental/physical problems it can cause. We can not eat gluten because of the physical damage it can do to our bodies. Granted our bodies will heal, but it maytake longer and longer every time. Especially if you are "cheating" on large amounts of gluten containing products (pizza and beer)

I will admit that I have only been gluten-free for about 2 months, and the temptation to cheat is overwhelming some days. Then I just think about the over 50 lbs I lost before I was diagnosed, and all the problems I was having, and how it was affecting my marriage (much like alcoholics) and I will never cheat.

All that being said ( and I do not mean to lecture. I am sorry if it came off that way) you are your own person, and if it did not effect you this time then that is awesome. But be careful.

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Thank you all very much - I wish my doctor would have told me all this. Where can I find this information?

Seach for "newbie kit" on this site, and there are some great resources out there in internet land. If there is a decent dietician in your area, you can check with them, or try calling the local hospital and see if their dietry planners have any information etc.

Gkad we could be of help. :)

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David, I've gotten so much information from this site. You can learn a lot here.

I would think that if you were cheating, say twice per month, that you would have a certain level of antibodies causing damage in your body all the time. So, even though your health would improve from where it was before, you still would not be in optimal health. You probably felt fine because your intestines had a whole year to heal and your one time wasn't enough for you to feel the damage it did. If you did that regularly, then the damage would build up again so that you notice the symptoms. As it was, it caused damage, you just didn't feel the symptoms. It just doesn't seem like it would be healthy to repeatedly damage a body part, let it heal, then damage it again.

As far as different levels of celiac, no, you either have it or you don't. Some people have it longer before diagnosed so some people have more damage at the time of diagnosis, but for everyone, it's still gluten-free for life.

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I had a scope and blood test. I don't mean to be rude but I just want to know how my body is being damaged if I have some gluten then remain on the diet - I look at it more like a diabetic than a smoker - The cancer of a smoker does not improve if you quit for a while. I just want to know where I can get this info on what it will do to my body?

I think the book "Dangerous Grains" does a pretty good job of explaining it. Your body treats gluten like a pathogen and creates antibodies to it. What happens has to do with things like causing intestinal permeability which lets immune antibodies and other things "leak" out of your gut and it can trigger autoimmune diseases that can attack any organ (I've gotten a couple) and cancers of the lymph nodes or blood or colon. That's not even considering any damage to the villi. These autoimmune reactions can be detected for a year or more after eating wheat (Enterolab) so even though it might not end up with you in pain on a toilet, you're doing damage to your body that will have a cumulative effect over the course of your life.

If you want to know more read up on autoimmune diseases and gluten sensitivity and intestinal permeability and zonulin. There's a lot of knowledge and studying going into these areas now so it isn't something your doctor is likely to know about, unless he's a researcher in the field.

There are people that have "silent celiac". In other words, they don't have any of the classic symptoms. But they've got to treat it just as seriously and strictly as someone who gets violently ill.

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go to the forum's "parent" site, celiac.com and read, read, read! there is a TON of information there, which will probably answer a large amount of your questions. Otherwise, we are here to answer and help! Good luck.

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Antibodies and the other chemicals resulting from the autoimmune reaction in your intestines when you eat gluten linger for weeks to months. So, if you cheat once a week or even once a month, you increase your risk for intestinal cancers, lymphoma, other autoimmune diseases, and nutritional deficiencies like anemia and osteoporosis. You can check out the research done on celiac - treated and untreated - at pubmed. It'll take a while to wade through the decades of research, but I always believe in going to the source. :-)

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Read this book:

http://www.amazon .com/gp/product/006076693...2662304?ie=UTF8

I felt it was very informative without straying into some of what I call the 'fringy' aspects you might find on a message board.

But no, you can't cheat. Though it would be good to know that you can withstand a good sized dose without severe reaction. Your cross-contamination concerns should be greatly reduced.

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Man-oh-man.

Not to sound sexist, but it is almost always men who "cheat". I don't understand it, but it must have to do with the different ways in which men and women view their bodies and health. I do, however, understand the desire to have a beer and a pizza. BUT! You are risking long term health issues (such as those mentioned previously, including intestinal lymphoma, neurological conditions such as ataxia and pheripheral neuropathy - uncoordinated muscle movement and nerve damage in the extremities - along with muscle weakness, depression, cognitive disfunction, etc., etc). Just because you do not feel sick does not mean there is no damage being done. And every time your intestines have to regrow vili, your body will have malabsorption issues and possible vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can add up over the long term.

I know the secret hope, that one day you'll wake up and your life can go back to the way it was. Trust me, I really know. I couldn't even talk about this without crying for over a year. The good news is that the cravings will eventually go away. I have been gluten-free for three years. My health has been slowly improving, and I can't imagine going back to the way I used to feel.

There is a lot of misinformation out there, and my experience has been that doctors really do not know what this disease is all about. If you can, try to find a wholistic/alternative medicine doctor with digestive disorder experience. There is also a lot of information on the web, here at this site and the celiac sprue association (CSA). CSA publishes a binder of "safe" foods you can purchase.

For gluten-free beer, try New Grist (call your local liquor store and ask them to special order it - they distribute just about everywhere), Ramapo Valley (you can order it straight on line, but shipping is expensive) and Bard's Tale Beer (they distribute to most of the east coast and midwest, but they haven't made it to the west yet - you can also order that on-line, but again, shipping is expensive).

Of course you can make your own decision about your health. But before you start to reintroduce gluten, I would do some googling on the long term health effects of celiac disease.

Take care,

zax

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Go to www.celiacdisease.net

or www.celiacdiseasecenter.org

Both are Celiac Disease research center websites - not a forum though you were given correct information above, I understand your need to read it from medically proven statistics.

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I have a slightly different perspective. Yes, you can cheat. No one is in control of your food intake except you. You are allowed to follow the diet or cheat as you wish. No one but you will suffer the consequences of your cheating. If you do, you might feel like you get away with it and have no outward symptoms. But if you do decide to cheat once in a while, don't ever wonder why weird things keep happening to you like getting a strange rash, joint pains, kidney problems, lethargy, brain fog or other minor little problems that seem to have no relation to GI issues.

On the flip side, once you get the hang of it, you can eat just about everything you like, just made specially. You won't even feel the need to cheat. My avatar is a picture of a delicious pizza that I made and served to my family (4 kids and a guest) and they loved it. My 13 year old said it was just as good as at a pizza parlor and that I should open a gluten-free restaurant. It really wasn't that hard. If you learn to cook and bake, your possibilities are endless.

You'll get to the point where you realize that you don't want to cheat and there's no reason to.

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Man-oh-man.

Not to sound sexist,

Then don't make sweeping general statements.

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Cornhusker,

I am entitled to make whatever kind of statements I want. I also can honestly say there are differences in the ways in which men and women relate to their bodies and their health. There have been a number of studies that show men tend to delay health care more than women, that men tend to ignore symptoms that women report, and that men in general are less concerned with their health than women. SO. My attempt at a slightly humorous opening statement apparently did not go over well with you. You must be feeling a little surly today.

zax

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My avatar is a picture of a delicious pizza that I made and served to my family (4 kids and a guest) and they loved it.

I am so impressed that pizza fed 5 people - I would eat the entire thing - it looks DELICIOUS!!!! :lol:

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