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Cheating
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A friend just found out one of his co-workers has celiac. The co-worker says that she doesn't check for specific ingredients when eating foods, and just avoids bread and pasta. She says that since she's been doing this her blood work has changed and become completely normal, and the doctor says everything came back normal. If this is true, is it really bad to have a slice of a pizza once in a while? If the blood work comes back normal after doing this, what is wrong with it? The obvious answer is not to risk it, or that it's not worth it, but if the blood comes back normal, than doesn't it mean it did no damage? I'm not saying I will cheat at all, because I'm very strict about the diet, but just curious for an opinion.

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Blood tests do not show if there is damage done to your intestines.

WHENEVER gluten is eaten their will be damage done.

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I doubt that such a thing is true. Maybe her doctor didn't read the results correctly or maybe she's just saying that to feel....less guilty or make you cheat? And you can never cheat....not because of the antibodies (after all, those don't do anything to you, they're just a sign of whether you're fully gluten-free or not)...but because your intestines will be torn up and they'll have to heal all over again. And frequent phases of cheating will put you at risk for those terrible complications listed so many times on here. Additionally, if you heal yourself, then cheat, then heal again, then cheat right away, you're not helping yourself much at all because just as you get back to normal, your villi get demolished and your body can't even really feel the effects of a gluten-free diet.

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Maybe being off the major wheat sources brought her blood count down but even if her blood tests came back normal there will be damage done. All gluten will give you damage. Even if you just have it now and then not only are you damaging yourself..you are pretty much setting an early death date for you by ignoring the diet...she is very ill informed and must have a not so good doctor either.

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As everyone else has said, the blood counts will not reveal damage. This is one reason why blood tests, which don't show false positives, DO show false negatives. You have to do a lot of damage to your intestines to get antibodies showing up in your bloodstream.

Untreated celiac - and cheating means untreated - decreases your average age of death and increases your risk of SO many things. It's not worth it.

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Do you think a person who keeps on a gluten free diet will still have a reduced life compared to an average person?

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Yes, because it means you are being unhealthy and it leaves you open to more dieseases and illnesses.

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gliX, the studies show that fully treated celiac does not impact length of life nearly as severely as being untreated, but the chances of lymphomas, osteoporsis, anemia, and so on are all DRAMATICALLY reduced when the gluten-free diet is maintained. interestingly, some studies still show reduced quality of life, but when you consider than less than a third of celiacs are truely compliant, and many have a lot of trouble implementing their diet in their lives (be it eating out or dealing with family or having to cook), it's not quite as surprising.

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OOPS! I thought Glix was asking a person with Celiacs who does NOT stick to the diet!

No, it won't imapct life span.

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When you are fully compliant to the gluten free diet then I don't think life spans are affected. If life span is affected it is definitely not like it is when you don't follow the diet.

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I'm quite surprised that person who cheats doesn't get really sick upon doing so! My spells get worse the longer I am gluten-free when it's accidentally ingested.

I hate feeling that sick! No piece of pizza is worth it!

I think either that girl just has a wheat allergy instead of intolerance or her doctor knows absolutely nothing about celiac disease.

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A lot of people are asymptomatic - even though damage is being done. I don't get severe symptoms myself, though some discomfort. It varies a lot from person to person - one reason why some people do find it harder to remain compliant.

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When I have accidently gotten gluten, I sometimes end up in the hospital and sometimes just get the bad stomach cramps and diarrhea. I never know how severe my reaction will be. I agree, it's not worth the risk.

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    • I eat them with no issues and know several other Celiacs that eat them with no issue.
    • I am sorry that you are sick! i think you need to really adhere to a gluten free diet that consists of ONLY whole foods (no processed gluten-free foods) and do not go out to eat, until you start to see improvement.  Each tiny gluten exposure can set you back.  It sounds like you really became even more ill after the gluten challenge.   I was just anemic when diagnosed.  I waited seven weeks for my endoscopy due to work issues, so i took the time to consume lots of gluten.  Like a loaf of sourdough per day not to mention all the cakes, cookies that I loved.  (Okay, I just ate a few out of each package......)  by the end of seven weeks, I knew I had celiac disease.  I had a bloated stomach visible under my left rib cage, pinching when I bent over, indigestion, etc.  Not to mention some weird Fibro pain my my shoulders, tingly legs, etc.   Most resolved, but it took about two years. If you  ask for thyroid panel, be sure it includes testing for thyroid antibodies.   
    • My daughter, who is almost 21 and has celiac disease, was diagnosed with Epilepsy a year ago. Hindsight being 20/20, we realized she had been having seizure since she was a teenager but the random passing out and feelings of being 'out of it' were attributed to dehydration or poor nutrition and sleep habits during numerous trips to the emergency room. In our reading about Epilepsy, I have found some mention of celiac and gluten issue connections and even where a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet provided a lot of improve the with frequency and severity of seizures.  I would be interested to know if anyone else shares this experience.
    • I have also reacted to various Planters products, believing them to be safe because gluten is not listed in the allergens but have had almost identical reactions to yours.  It did not occur to me that I might be getting zapped from them until just recently when I ate some of their Salt and Vinegar almonds and became really ill and then recognized that I had reacted to them before. I have notice in the past few months that the 'Hermans' brand nuts, which have never mentioned wheat in their allergens now carries the 'processed in a plant that processes wheat' disclaimer.  It makes me wonder if all nuts are processed in the same manner and if all nuts and nut products should be considered unsafe? I know that I will not trust the Planters brand any longer regardless of whether wheat is listed or not.
    • I've heard some people say that they're gluten free, and some say they're not.. I had a container of planter's cashews that I ate a few days ago and I haven't been feeling that great since then. I thought I was fine, but yesterday I woke up with a headache and was feeling really gassy all day. Then since last night, every once in a while I'll have some stomach cramps. They last for a few minutes and then go away.. that has happened 3 or 4 times since last night. It seems weird that I wouldn't have a reaction right away though.. or at least within a few hours of eating them. I ate some on thursday and on friday, and I didn't really start to feel sick until saturday. It's been a while since I last got glutened though, so maybe my reaction has changed? Or maybe I'm being paranoid and I just ate too many cashews haha. But that's the only thing I've eaten in the past like 2 weeks that was different. Has anyone else had a problem with planter's nuts?
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