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    • Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This 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 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 Store. For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity

Article: Terrible Disease Found To Be Common

5 posts in this topic

This is one of the best articles I have read in quite a while. Has tons of info in one short article. -Jessica :rolleyes:

Posted on Sat, Mar. 19, 2005

Terrible disease found to be common


Knight Ridder Tribune News Service

Graduating medical students are sometimes told: "Half of what we have taught you is wrong . . . we just don't know which half." As amusing as this sounds, it rings true for a complex condition called celiac disease.

For decades medical students were taught that celiac disease is rare, that it affects the digestive tract and that afflicted children grow out of it. All these myths have now been disproved.

Celiac disease was once thought to affect only one child in 5,000. That would make it so uncommon that few doctors would ever make the diagnosis. With such statistics, a pediatrician might see a handful of cases in a lifetime.

But now researchers have found that celiac is actually quite common, affecting one person out of 100. Because genetics play a role, a person with a family member who has celiac disease has one chance in 22 of being affected.

Millions of Americans are afflicted, but most don't even know it. It might take years or even decades for the problem to be diagnosed. By then, it could be too late to undo the damage.

In celiac disease, the immune system reacts to a protein called gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. This triggers an inflammatory response in the small intestine that can interfere with efficient absorption of nutrients. Early recognition of digestive-tract involvement led doctors to pay attention to symptoms such as stomachaches and diarrhea.

But many patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome might not realize that their discomfort could be due to celiac disease. One study found that 12 percent of patients with IBS were gluten-intolerant.

Many patients don't have classic symptoms, however. Chronic fatigue and anemia that can't be attributed to other causes might well be signs of celiac disease. Other immune conditions, such as type-1 diabetes and thyroid disease, may be associated with celiac disease. A chronic, itchy rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis is another odd sign of an immune reaction to gluten.

People with gluten intolerance cannot absorb adequate amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron or other essential nutrients from food. As a result, their bones become weak and brittle.

New research shows that celiac disease is common among adults with osteoporosis, affecting more than three in 100 (Archives of Internal Medicine, Feb. 28, 2005). The investigators conclude that anyone diagnosed with osteoporosis should be screened for celiac disease.

Debilitating neurological disorders may also signal celiac disease. Some patients might appear to have early-onset dementia. Others experience chronic migraine or peripheral neuropathy (pain, tingling or burning in feet or hands).

For readers who would like to learn more about celiac disease, we offer a celiac disease of a one-hour radio interview with one of the world's leading experts. The show provides information on diagnosis and treatment. It is available for $15 from the People's Pharmacy (celiac disease-455), P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.

Many physicians practicing medicine today never learned about the range of problems celiac disease can cause. With evidence mounting that it is common, patients deserve to be tested. For those who are affected, a strict gluten-free diet can prevent many complications.


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That is a very good article--describes some general symptoms--some not so common ones--how common it really is and why it was never diagnosed...and its tie to osteoporosis, anemia,'re right--it's one of the better articles we've seen.


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That article is awesome! Now if only every GP and GI doctor could read it....


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These two articles were from yesterday...not very good, but interesting to compare them to such a good article: -- this article said that people in Celiacs, the body treats gluton, a protein found in wheat like reference to barley, rye.... :D -- Can't really blame this person for not being as informative as in the other article; the celiac disease information is in an "Ask the Doctor" section.


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That article is awesome! Now if only every GP and GI doctor could read it....

I know! This is the type of article I would print out for people who don't understand, but are interested in learning more--or for regular doctors who don't know about celiac--or for confused relatives.......


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    • turkey
      Turkey is gluten-free as long as it is not stuffed. You can make a good gluten-free stuffing using gluten-free bread. Dry the bread first and add what ever spices or veggies you wish, but cook it in a separate baking dish because stuffing the bird with it can cause bacteria to breed. And gravy must be thickened with corn starch or potato starch instead of wheat flour.
    • turkey
      so you can't even cook without stuffing inside turkey and not get gluten? Sorry I'm not familiar with turkey and wondering if I can have it while rest of family gets stuffing? In other words is turkey gluten free?
    • Numbness, Tingling in limbs & Joint Aches
      Hi Ender, Although you didn't get a complete thyroid panel, from what I see you are hypothyroid.  Most Dr's only care about TSH and yes yours is in the range, but when mine is that high I get terrible joint aches.  I feel best with mine around 1.  Your free T4 isn't just a tad low...most people feel best with it around 50% of the range.  I think you could benefit from some thyroid replacement medication.  You should also get a full thyroid addition to what you've had done a free T3, TPOAB and TgAb.   The last 2 are antibody tests.  Hashimotos is found fairly frequently with celiac.   Low vitamin D can also cause aches.  It would be really good to have your levels checked again.  Until you are healed you may not absorb it well enough so it's good to keep supplementing.  It took me a year and a half gluten free to get mine to an acceptable level for my Dr and he's keeping me on 2000 daily for maintenence.  For the numbness and tingling my Dr had me add magnesium as I was having horrible tingling in my feet and my B12 was good.  I have to say it has helped a lot. I hope you are able to get this figured out...I would definitely start with a complete thyroid panel and recheck of Vitamin D.  Here's a bit of reading on thyroid stuff if you have time.  Hugs!
    • Positive & Increasing TTG -- questions re: testing & history
      I'm a 31-year-old high school teacher (currently on disability) who has been dealing with 4 years of major gastrointestinal problems, which resulted in major surgery for a rectal prolapse & redundant colon last August, prior to which I had lost about 20 pounds. The source of all my gas, bloating, distention & diarrhea has remained basically unexplained though ("lets trust the surgery resolves your obstructed defecation and in turn your gas... d'oh it made both  worse"  ) , and my symptoms have only gotten significantly more severe since surgery. I'm facing a permanent ostomy. I've also, for the first time in a lonnng time, been eating a lot of gluten every day... primarily out of depression and (misguided?) attempts to gain weight and keep stool soft. I've been typically slightly underweight for 10+ years. Suffered anorexia for a period 10 years ago, and since recovering have "naturally" maintained a low weight and low-wheat lifestyle (I've always been put off by heavy wheat items like bread, sandwiches & pasta, *shrug*). As a child I had crazy severe & unexplained constipation issues. I've also had strong teeth discoloration & marked enamel defects (& two missing adult teeth(?)) since childhood. Depression & anxiety have been longterm issues. I have osteoperosis, which was perviously explained by me being anorexic from 19-22. Everything changed 4 years ago upon the onset of all my (severe) classic-IBS symptoms (gas/bloat/d+c). On a low-gluten diet, TTG bloodwork came back "low-positive" repeatedly. A biopsy showed no damage, but my gluten intake at the time was limited to 2 cookies a day, or occasionally 2 cookies and a piece of pizza. Would this have been enough to show damage? I trialled going gluten-free for a few months, and didn't find a ton of relief... so assumed I was just FODMAP intolerant... however I was eating lots of oats and lactose that whole time, which I have subsequently identified as major triggers... not to mention just lots of gluten-free junk food. Wheat was obviously a significant gas trigger since this hit, but that seems typical for gut illness in general. Since my major surgery and the continuation and worsening of symptoms, I've connected with an internist who has again and again pushed me towards eating wheat as a method towards weight gain and healthy non-anxious eating. I also found that a high-wheat diet would provide the proper consistency (i.e. very loose diarrhea every day) to allow colorectal function (the surgery I had went very poorly and caused major obstructed defecation). I have not had success gaining weight, and have found my digestive system feeling assaulted like never before 24/7 by bloating, gas and discomfort, despite a relatively low-residue diet and constant elimination. My appetite has never ever been worse. I just had a fourth TTG test, and after this high-gluten diet I am now testing POSITIVE as opposed to BORDERLINE. Questions: 1) I suspect my first biopsy's gluten challenge wasn't quite heavy enough in terms of gluten content (couple cookies a day). Thoughts? 2) Could being underweight alone cause an elevated TTG? How about simply having colorectal surgery? "IBS" or the supposedly non-pathogenic gut bacteria blastocystis hominis which I've been diagnosed with? I haven't been diagnosed with any other autoimmune condition, and I'm so confused. So far everyones just shoving the TTG off on IBS/anorexia, which doesn't make sense to me at all. 3) I really don't know what to do right now. I'm 20 pounds underweight, in digestive hell, with most of my medical support still suspecting I'm merely acting anorexic. I most assuredly am not. They want to put me on a tube. I would really like to get off the gluten in order to ease my system and gain weight, as I'm clearly reacting to it and have been deluding myself for the past year trying to recover from this surgery, but I'd also *REALLY* like some diagnostic confirmation so my doctors & family all stop looking at me like I'm crazy, and that so I can act with appropriate caution/freedom in my dietary future. 4) Do my childhood experiences line up with any celiac sufferers? I've heard about enamel defects, but missing teeth or crazy constipation? Obviously osteoperosis could connect, and doesn't *really* line up with my anorexia considering I was already fully grown. 5) Is there any way to get EMA/HLA blood tests done in Canada (BC)??? It's really frustrating that my only chance for any confirmation is waiting months and months here for another biopsy, especially considering how dire the need to improve my digestion is ASAP. I imagine if I could get an EMA test & it came back positive I would just take that as my confirmation and be able to move on with confidence here. 6) Is it common for celiac sufferers to find themselves reacting to FODMAPS and/or histamines in foods while they're  still maintaining a gluten-filled diet? Gluten definitely isn't my *only* trigger right now, and that's probably a primary reason I haven't been led to eliminate it at. Sorry for all the talk & questions, but I'm in an incredibly challenging place right now, my head is just swimming and swimming, and any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!   Bloodwork Current, after six months of a heavy-gluten diet = Tissue Transglutaminase Ab IgA ---18.0 ---- <12.0 U/mL = normal
      POSITIVE -Probable celiac disease but this should be confirmed with a small bowel biopsy. [Tested by a multiplex flow immunoassay
      (BioPlex) method.] 

      6 months ago = Tissue Transglutaminase Ab IgA ---13.0 ---- <12.0 U/mL = normal
      BORDERLINE - Borderline anti-tTG. Suggest repeat if clinically indicated.Consider the possibility of celiac disease - a small bowel biopsy may be required. [Tested by a multiplex flow immunoassay
      (BioPlex) method.]

      2012, prior to negative biopsy = Tissue Transglutaminase Ab IgA ---24.0 ---- <20.0 RU/mL = normal
      Weak positive anti-TTG. Consider the possibility of celiac disease - a small bowel biopsy may be required.  
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