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How Long Do The Runs Last?

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Hi Folks,

I was diagnosed with celiac disease the end of June 2003. My sister was diagnosed the month before - she had the blood work and biospy. I only had the blood work. My main symptoms were the runs - watery - often - during the night etc, fatigue that kept getting worse - I'd fall asleep at 7pm reading to my boys. Later I realized that I also had a scalp condition - improved when I got my potassium closer to normal, losing hair and a minor skin condition that cleared quickly after being on the diet. I did not take dairy out until Christmas 03. I do eat a lot of tomatoes and onions - cooked. We just found out last month that my birth control pills are not gluten free. It's funny, all the runs stuff started within 6months of getting back on the pill 3 years ago! I still have the runs - it's slowed to 2 - 3x/day, still watery. When will this let up? Is this normal or could there be another problem - ie. food allergy? I keep a food journal. It's so overwhelming, what do you eliminate? I eat a lot of white rice, Minute Rice, Enriched Rice (that Shaws says is gluten-free), Balsamic and Jasmine Rice. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I've never gone more than 17hrs w/o runs. I actually felt worse the first 2 weeks I was gluten-free, then I felt my energy come back. I've been able to keep my potassium up - lots of gluten-free OJ and some bananas (not my favorite). My blood levels for Igg and Iga are coming down.

I don't consume alchol, tobacco or caffiene. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! My family does not eat gluten-free, I wash my hands, utensils and counters alot!

Thanks! T


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Unfortunately everyone is different and so there is not set time frame for how soon the symptoms will completely disappear. It sounds as if you are feeling better, but since you were still getting contaminated by the b/c pills until last month, that was probably the reason for the diarrhea to remain. Now that you are (probably) totally gluten free, at least the foods you are intentionally eating, it may be an issue of cross-contamination from your family. Here are some questions to ponder.

1. Are you sure your family is keeping gluten foods off the counter?

Gluten particles are microscopic and even a few specks can cause symptoms in a sensitive person. Maybe the kids aren't wiping the counter after they set down a piece of bread or some crackers or cereal?

2. Are you using the same toaster/toaster oven for your gluten-free foods?

Ditto on the microscopic particles, only more prevalent since there are crumbs and such sticking inside.

3. Are you using any cast iron pans that have been used for years (or even once) for a gluten-containing food?

Cast iron is great to use, but you must replace with a new one for your gluten-free diet. And make sure it stays gluten-free!

4. Are you using the same old plastic storage containers you use for gluten foods?

Plastic storage containers can contaminate your food, since particles of gluten can seep into the plastic and be released into the gluten-free food stored in it.

5. Do you use the same cooking utensils (plastic, wooden, metal) as your family?

The metal is not as big an issue (inless it doesn't get cleaned after use, or very well), but the plastic and wood will absorb the gluten and release it later when you are cooking. Cleaning them won't get rid of the gluten.

6. Is any one in your house double dipping?

If you use the same peanut butter, jelly, mayo, etc. for your gluten-free, and your familie's non-gluten-free foods there is a chance someone may have gotten some crumbs into those foods.

7. Does you husband always brush his teeth or gargle with mouthwash after eating, and before you kiss?

Kissing is an issue when you are with a non-gluten-free person. Particles of gluten can get stuck in between the teeth, and can be a source of contamination.

I know there is more, but I can't think of what they are right now.

And it may also be an issue of another food intolerance. If you are already dairy free, then it is probably not that, unless you are getting hidden sources of dairy. Not every non-dairy item is dairy-free. In fact most aren't they still contain casein, a milk protein, and many people are casein intolerant, especially celiacs.

Well, that's a lot to think about, so I'll stop for now.


God bless,



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To Tcorbett,

When I was diagnosed with IBS, before the wheat allergy, my

GI doc started me on fiber caplets, I take Citracel, to stop the diarrhea.

He said they are good for constipation and diarrhea. They helped me,

but don't take any until you check with your own physician


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