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Can You "outgrow" Symptoms?
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Hello,

I'm hoping someone can help me. My husband of 12 years has mentioned he was diagnosed with Celiac's Disease as a young boy. He would become violently ill with diarrhea and vomiting anytime he ate the typical grains associated with the disease. However, he also said that he 'forced' the grains on his body in an attempt to gain a tolerance. Today, at age 33, he is completely symptom free and enjoys a normal diet.

My concern and awareness has risen dramatically since the birth of our son 7 months ago. I know the disease has a genetic predisposition, so I am trying to educate myself as much as possible to be on the look-out for any symptoms in our son. However, after doing much reading, no where in the literature have I found that a person will "outgrow" the symptoms. I understand that a person can show initial symptoms late in life; but can a person show symptoms at a young age, have them disappear later in life while eating a normal diet, and still have the disease. If so, taken from the reading, my husband should stop eating these grains immediately for his own health, even though no symptoms are present.

I have a feeling he may have been misdiagnosed as a child and perhaps had a childhood allergy to these grains. Does anyone know if that is possible?

Thanks for your help!

Cynthia

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Cynthia,

It is possible to "outgrow" the SYMPTOMS of celiac disease, but NOT the disease itself! I have read in Kids with Celiac Disease that there is often a "honeymoon period" during late childhood and adolescence when the symptoms appear to vanish--only to return later in a different guise. When this happens, the "new" symptoms are often wrongly attributed to a different disorder, such as IBS. The bottom line is that even if your husband shows no (obvious) symptoms now, his body IS still being damaged by the gluten he is eating! You are right that he should switch to a gluten-free diet immediately (but good luck convincing him of this!).

If your husband was diagnosed as a child, it would probably be a good idea to have him tested again using the latest methods--including a gene test. You could also have your son tested for the gene, so you know whether he MAY develop celiac disease at some point.

I hope this helps, and welcome to the board!

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I reacted to wheat as a child with vomiting and diareah. Doctor told my mother I would grow out of it, which I did. She tried it again later and I was able to tolerate it. I was fine until my mid twenties when I got oral lichen planus. Dentist said some get it... nothing to be done... try a different tooth paste. I was fine until about age 30 when I got this nice patch of psoriasis on my shin. Doctor gave me a cream and said it might get better, but never heal. He was right. I managed until about age 33 when I lost my thyroid. Doctor put me on synthroid - been there ever since. Through my twenties and thirties, lots of stomach trouble - thought this was what life was like; didn't know any different. Fast forward age 43, went for annual thyroid blood test... came up anemic. Doctor sent me to GI. GI gave me blood test. Antibodies were very high. Went on gluten-free diet that day. Two weeks later I KNOW what it's like to feel really good for the first time in my life. Moral: You can't know what you haven't experienced. I thought I felt good for 43 years, now I really know.

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The dermatologist's and allergist's all told my Mom "She'll just outgrow that miserable rash and all of those allergies". Well, now I'm 69 years old and they got worse instead of better. The doctor is NOT always right. Shirley

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