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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.

Will I Hurt My Baby If I Cheat?
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17 posts in this topic

To give some information before I get yelled at I would like to say that I do not have Celiac, however I have gluten and dairy intolerance. When I eat dairy I get the same symptoms as when I eat gluten. I have been struggling off and on with other intolerances that I can't pinpoint exactly. I have been gluten and dairy free since May and I plan to stay that way.

I am 7 weeks pregnant and the cravings are really starting to get to me. Surprisingly enough I have not been craving gluten that much although soft, warm French bread has crossed my mind several times. However, I am craving cheese like nobody's business. I have been ignoring the cravings for the most part, but lately they are getting the best of me.

The sucky part is that my stomach has been horrible lately and I don't know if it is pregnancy symptoms or if it is something else I'm eating. I have all the digestive gluten symptoms; the big D, bloating, pain, indigestion. Think of the Pepto commercials and that is me. My problem is that when I feel crappy it makes me want to cheat even more since I already don't feel well. So I am dealing with major cravings and already feeling bad and my resolve is just about gone.

My concern, and the only thing not letting me cheat at this point, is that I am worried about harming my baby or increasing my risk of miscarriage. I know they say the risk is for people with Celiac, but I worry that it could also be for people like me too especially since I had marked intestinal inflammation that was caused by the gluten/dairy. I am also just thinking of eating dairy, not gluten so I don't know if that would be as bad, but like I said, my dairy symptoms can be worse than my gluten symptoms.

Oh, and to everyone that will suggest soy cheeses, I am not sold on how much better that would be. I have done enough research on soy to know that it shouldn't be consumed in large amounts, so I don't think eating soy would be any better than just eating dairy.

Please give me your thoughts and suggestions and anything else that might help.

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Forget the cheating. Think of how you baby will feel when you cheat--the same as you.

Have you changed to a prenatal vitamin that might not be gluten/dairy free?

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My theory is this - there is no way to know if you are "just" gluten intolerant, or simply not damaged enough to test positive for celiac disease. ANY test they run for you has subjective tolerances, and it is entirely possible that there is a missed diagnosis. (Even with a gene test - not all the genes that cause celiac have been identified.)

Beyond that, it is in no way clear exactly what happens, biologically, in the case of "just" gluten intolerance. Clearly, there's some variety of immune response, but how extensive... we don't have scientific studies on it.

Do you want to take that risk with a fragile thing at the most fragile time?

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This will be the first of many sacrifices you'll make for your child.

I believe cravings have a root cause. Are you short on calcium or fat on your diet? Look for a substitute that can fill those.

Absolutely agree with tarnalberry about the gluten-free/intolerant theory.

And, I know you've thought about this, what if you did cheat and the unthinkable happened?

Don't do it. Have any other delicious food you want!

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Dont do it, its not worth it. BUT, here's an idea for your cheese craving: I have recently discovered raw foods. We have several Raw/vegan restaurants nearby, and vegan nut cheese is really good! I've had macadamia, cashew, pine nut and almond cheese. You just soak the nuts in water for 8-10 hours, the blitz it in a food processor or vitamix with a bit of water. You can add herbs,etc. to your liking. It's really great on veggie pasta, rice pasta, I think it would even be good in enchiladas :D

Just google "raw vegan nut cheese" I hope this helps!

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If you have gluten intolerance--celiac or otherwise--eating gluten can cause you to make antibodies to yourself (skin, thyroid, intestines, joints, etc.). Do you really want to take the risk that it might cause you to make antibodies to your baby?

You may be craving dairy products for the fat--fat is important for brain development. Are you sure you are consuming enough healthy fats in your diet? Coconut oil, nuts, and olive oil are all healthy sources of vegetable fat, and salmon is a good source of fat as well.

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If you haven't been gluten-free for too long, then it's normal to miss and crave the foods you can't eat--the longer you're gluten/dairy free, the less you will crave the things that are so bad for your system. It's also perfectly normal to crave things that aren't the best idea when you're pregnant. I wanted crab in the worst way at 6 weeks, but let's just say it was a very bad idea that I will never repeat during pregnancy.

However, I agree with everyone else that it's simply not worth the risk that you might be doing some damage. I'm 12 weeks now, and in the beginning I was craving lots of fat and protein--I loaded up on chicken, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, milk, etc. I also had D along with my nausea, and that did not necessarily curb all of my cravings. Just try to have safe substitutions for the things you're craving and realize that this will all pass within a matter of weeks, and then you'll be on to a new set of challenges and benefits to pregnancy. I feel your pain, but imagine how much worse it would be if you cheated and got unbelievably sick and worried about the health of your baby as a result. The pain and guilt would not be worth the momentary satisfaction of having something you want. If you like, write down a list of all the things you'd like to think about cheating with after you deliver--by the time you do, you probably won't even want them anymore, but at least you can aim toward a goal if things get overwhelming.

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As a mom with food allergies, with kids with food allergies (my first the most severe), I wouldn't cave. I seriously wonder all the time if I'd been diagnosed years ago if my kids would have the issues they have now... I will never know, but at least you have the oppurtunity to be aware of it.

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Regardless of antibodies or anything else that may or may not directly cause harm to the baby, if your intestines are damaged because you're eating foods you're intolerant of they won't be able to absorb all the nutrients and vitamins that you and the baby need. And the only way to know for sure that your digestive problems are from the pregnancy is to completely cut out the foods you know you're not supposed to be eating.

I know it's hard to resist those cravings, but you have to find substitutes. One way to decrease pregnancy nausea is to constantly eat throughout the day rather than have three big meals. Find foods that you like and you can tolerate and eat nothing but them if you have to. I spent two weeks eating nothing but fruit, vegetables, beans, and rice because it was all I could stomach. Now, at 7 weeks, I've been able to reintroduce meat and dairy in small amounts. (I'm not dairy intolerant.) From what I've read, this early on, the nutritional needs of the baby are actually quite low. It's taking everything from you, so you may feel depleted, but the baby is not. You need to worry about your own health and nutrition to keep your strength up and have a good foundation for when the baby starts to grow more and needs more from you.

I try to think positively. I like to think we have an edge on all those "regular-eating" mothers who don't know their bodies as well as we know ours.

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What a great thread! Thanks for such reassuring messages.

Like the person with the original question, I too am "only" gluten and dairy intolerant (endoscopy and blood tests all neg) but have been Gluten-free Casein-free for over two years now. Now 7 weeks pregnant and unknowingly getting "glutened" for the past three weeks by my supposedly gluten-free prenatal vitamin (it contained oats). Now that I figured it out and am feeling better, all I can wonder about is how much I may have set my own body back, not to mention whether I have done some kind of irreparable damage to my pregnancy. My intolerance used to play havoc with my hormones, and that's all you need to jeopardize a pregnancy.

It pays to be extra diligent and to avoid cheating right now.

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Starting in the second trimester, they are finding that babies can have allergic reactions, so since chances are your baby may inherit gluten intolerance, you are better of not "cheating" as yes, they are finding those with gluten and/or peanut allergies, if the baby shares these, can react in starting in the second trimester.

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While I have never beed pregnant, I have done research on the topic because i plan on someday haveing children. What I have found is that the best way to keep from miscarrying your baby (especially in the first trimester) is for YOU to be as healthy as possible. No drinking, no smoking, and eating as healthy as possible. For us, this means adhering to our diets with a strong resolve. Make the decision to do it, and then look at those foods you're craving as though they are poisonous. Allowing yourself to think they "won't hurt you that much" is wrong. Don't take that risk, even if you weren't pregnant, do that for yourself as well. good luck and i hope you found something that will satisfy your craving.

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Hey! This might be a long shot, but here is my suggestion ...

If your craving cheese it might be the calcium that you are after.

In dairy products, there needs to be equal amounts of magnesium to be able to absorb the calcium. But, in milk and cheese there isn;t enough magnesium so you don't really get the full benefits of the calcium!

The best source for mag and calcium is dark, green leafy veges. Why don't you try making up a raw 'smoothie' with some dark green leafy veges and some frozen berries to cover up the green taste.

Side note: I have these daily and my body it totally addicted to them.

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Please give me your thoughts and suggestions and anything else that might help.

Please don't cheat. I read online of a study they did with birth weight and celiac disease. Those with celiac disease that stayed on a gluten free diet actually had less chance of miscarriage and higher birth weight babies than pregnant women who ate gluten. I hope this reassures you, and gives you the momentum to stay strict on your diet! :)

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I too am pregnant -- 10 weeks. I had a miscarriage 4 months ago and craved bread with olive oil, so I ate a lot of this. After the miscarriage I began the Paleo Diet to find if maybe my hormones were off from some kind of food allergy. My body was off. I was gluten intolerant. 

I tried incorporating gluten back into my diet after the month of Paleo eating, as suggested in the book. I developed extreme anxiety where I would shake uncontrollably. I saw a doctor trained in Chinese herbs. She highly suggested cutting out the gluten. Apparently 95% of the U.S. population is gluten intolerant because of the GMOs and pesticides used on all the crops. 

I cut out the gluten and found my complexion clearing up after 18 years of acne and my anxiety vanish. My body began healing! Please, do not consume gluten if you are gluten intolerant and pregnant. Your body's hormones are important to the well being of the little human inside you.

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5 minutes ago, Ksue said:

I too am pregnant -- 10 weeks. I had a miscarriage 4 months ago and craved bread with olive oil, so I ate a lot of this. After the miscarriage I began the Paleo Diet to find if maybe my hormones were off from some kind of food allergy. My body was off. I was gluten intolerant. 

I tried incorporating gluten back into my diet after the month of Paleo eating, as suggested in the book. I developed extreme anxiety where I would shake uncontrollably. I saw a doctor trained in Chinese herbs. She highly suggested cutting out the gluten. Apparently 95% of the U.S. population is gluten intolerant because of the GMOs and pesticides used on all the crops. 

I cut out the gluten and found my complexion clearing up after 18 years of acne and my anxiety vanish. My body began healing! Please, do not consume gluten if you are gluten intolerant and pregnant. Your body's hormones are important to the well being of the little human inside you.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!  I sincerely wish you well.

You may very well be gluten intolerant or have celiac disease.  But, no, 95% of the of U.S. population is not gluten intolerant.   It is a shame your doctors did not properly test you.  But testing now (8 to 12 weeks of eating gluten daily) might be harmful to you and your baby.  So, that means you really need to keep gluten out of your diet.  It is hidden in so many places like soy sauce, lipstick, etc.  I would not eat out at all until after you deliver.  I would push for a gluten free home and replace my toaster, all wooden, plastic and porous kitchen ware.  I Never kiss my hubby before he brushes his teeth after he had some beer (no worries about this though as he's been gluten-free for 14 years). 

So, not to scare you.  But if you are serious, you have to act like someone who has celiac disease.  The stakes are high.  If you do have it, miscarriage is a very real symptom of it.  This is time to do as much research as possible about celiac disease.  The University of Chicago Celiac Center has a great website.  They are a leading research center for celiac disease.  

Later, consider testing.  Celiac disease is genetic.  

Best wishes to you.  

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Celiac disease is an auto-immune  disorder (where the body attacks itself)  triggered but eating gluten.  If you have any symptoms after eating gluten this could mean you have celiac disease.  Many people with celiac disease cant digest milk. Oats and other processed foods are also problematic for a lot of people with celiac disease. 

I don't know if there are any risks associated with milk and pregnancy. It is a totally different mechanism though and I would be much much more concerned about wheat. 

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