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How Long Do Celiac Patients Live?
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I read a lot of posts, but most people have been newly diagnosed or haven't been gluten free for more than 10 years (at least very few that I have read about!) Does anyone know of anyone with Celiac Disease that is in their late 60's or 70 years plus of age? Just wondering if people with Celiac can live to be 80 plus? And I know it depends on how well you do staying gluten free, but I haven't heard of any elderly people with this! Is this because people with Celiac Disease may die sooner than someone without Celiac? :o

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No, I think it is just because most older people have never been diagnosed. I am sure both my parents had it and both lived to be 80 plus without diagnosis. My sister who is self-diagnosed just turned 75. I am a few years behind her (but still what you think of as "old") but only self-diagnosed two years ago. Don't forget the blood test was developed only 10 years ago and up until that point doctors thought celiac was a very rare disease. You would be amazed how many elderly people are walking around with "IBS" :o:lol:

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Another reason you may not find alot of people in the 65 and older age group posting (especially those that are in the 70-80 year old range), is that not as many people in this age group are computer "savvy" and they may not use computers.

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Another reason you may not find alot of people in the 65 and older age group posting (especially those that are in the 70-80 year old range), is that not as many people in this age group are computer "savvy" and they may not use computers.

Excellent point!

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I have a friend who is 80+ with Celiac. She calls it Celiac Sprue, because that's what they called in back in the old days. Most current docs don't know diddly about Celiac, so I am fairly sure they didn't know much about it way back when. Lots of undiagnosed old folks, is my guess.

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I'm pretty sure my grandfather had it and he lived to be 96. He also suffered with severe arthritis from his forties on, was overweight and had memory and coordination problems. He ate fried eggs bacon and white toast every day of his life for breakfast too. I think Celiac is just part of the picture and not neccesarily the determining factor in how long someone lives.

I read a lot of posts, but most people have been newly diagnosed or haven't been gluten free for more than 10 years (at least very few that I have read about!) Does anyone know of anyone with Celiac Disease that is in their late 60's or 70 years plus of age? Just wondering if people with Celiac can live to be 80 plus? And I know it depends on how well you do staying gluten free, but I haven't heard of any elderly people with this! Is this because people with Celiac Disease may die sooner than someone without Celiac? :o
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My friend who finally convinced me to try this diet is 67, and still travels at least 280 days a year for work. I am convinced both my mother and grandmother have it, and they are both over 60 (grandma is 85).

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My dad will be 90 in May. He's celiac and never gone gluten free. Will say his wife if Japanese so he eat more Asian than American.

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No need to get paranoid. My father is 78 and wasn't even diagnosed until he was 70.

As someone else pointed out, older folks are less likely to be on discussion groups like this.

richard

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Thank you everyone for your posts. Paranoid is exactly how I have been feeling. Good to know we can still live as long as the average person. It's been hard because I feel so embarrassed going in to restaurant after restaurant and explaining my situation. It's embarrassing to cry in a restaurant and have to put your sunglasses on. I will try to relax more and take it day by day! :)

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Just the very fact of your diagnosis and quitting eating gluten has increased your longevity odds immensely :D I really don't think you need fear an imminent demise. We eat more healthily than the rest of the population and may well outlast them all. :rolleyes:

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I read a lot of posts, but most people have been newly diagnosed or haven't been gluten free for more than 10 years (at least very few that I have read about!) Does anyone know of anyone with Celiac Disease that is in their late 60's or 70 years plus of age? Just wondering if people with Celiac can live to be 80 plus? And I know it depends on how well you do staying gluten free, but I haven't heard of any elderly people with this! Is this because people with Celiac Disease may die sooner than someone without Celiac? :o

My mom!!!! She nearly died from celiac because it hit her in her mid 40's, back in the 1960's. She got to the point where she weighed 89 lbs (her normal weight would be 115 or so). Her intestines were smooth as a billiard ball, they said. Anyhow, luckily she met a doctor who had encountered celiac and suggested she get tested for it, and that was it! She went on a gluten free diet (hard to do back then) and she's about to celebrate her 89th birthday. She's healthy as can be, looks far younger than her years (most people think she's in her early 70's). She's sharp as a tack and still drives her car, and she has no real health problems at all. She remains very very sensitive to gluten, however, even after all these years. A microscopic smidgen of gluten anywhere and she'll be vomiting violently and sick as a dog. This aspect of celiac has never changed for her, and in fact, after so long avoiding gluten any exposure to it seems worse than in younger years. By the way, she turned out to have TWO celiac genes, and I'm thinking that might make your reactions worse. I have one celiac gene and one gluten sensitivity gene, and my reactions are nowhere near as severe as hers.

So the answer to your question is that IF YOU GO GLUTEN FREE, and especially if you find out you have celiac disease before you are beset with other autoimmune health problems as a result of untreated celiac disease, you will live a completely normal life. I'd say my mom is in far better health than those who eat gluten (and other junk), to be truthful. As a result of the celiac disease, she has always been a healthy and careful eater. This has served her very well.

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I am 104.

Really??? Whoa, cool!

I think how long we live probably depends on how gluten effects us. I came close to death when I was younger because my gum/skin lesions got horribly infected and my immune system just collapsed basically. The infection spread to my blood and I ended up delerious with 105 degree fever. It was really scary, I barely even remember some of it. They had to physically cut infected tissue from my gums (not fun) to help prevent the infection from spreading any worse and I was on antibiotics for a month and in bed for two weeks trying to recover. The doctors said I would have died had I not come into the hospital when I did... There was a second time my DH/gluten lesions/whatever they are got infected with staph and it was pretty scary and VERY painful. I honestly believe if I went back on gluten again Id be dead within a month... so it just depends.

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I am so happy to see this topic and the positive post. Just made my day. This has been my biggest concern. I was dx March 2009 and will be 70 in May. I have always tried to live a very healthy and active life and this has been hard. I hope to be dancing until the end which I hope is a long way off :rolleyes:

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I did 4 'quotes' but they didn't show uo...anyway

agree with so much said,esp. the years of the IBS dx!

I'm 68 wasn[t dx'dtill 5 years ago with now multipale auto immune issues

all we can do is be greatful we finally got the dx and are trying daily to get our health back

I'm sure my Mother had too

Judy in CA was (Philly)

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My grandma is 80+ with what she calls Celiac Sprue and is as healthy as they come!

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    • Mnoosh,    Can you give us a link to the article you read about the increased risk after being diagnosed and maintaining a strict gluten-free diet??       IMO,   You are over reacting to a misprint or most likely a misread article.
    • Yes!  With dairy, celiacs can often have a temorary lactose intolerance due to damaged intestinal villi (where the enzymes normally are released to digest lactose).  Of course you could be naturally lactose intolerant based on race or age.  It is best to stick to a whole foods diet while you are healing.  Really, is ice cream or potato chips going to provide you with nutritional value?  Stick with naturally gluten free foods like meat, fish, fats,  veggies (even those with carbs like sweet potatoes or winter squash) and fruit.  Avoid that processed junk as you may react to the additives right now.  Later, you can add back in dairy (test) and other foods you miss and crave.   Good luck!  
    • Take a deep breath and calm down!    The incidence of cancer with Celiac Disease is rare.......it can happen but the vast majority of people never have that experience.  You may have somewhat enlarged lymph nodes due to inflammation from undiagnosed Celiac but that will all calm down and go away once you get going on the diet.  Believe me, there are many of us that have things happen during the diagnosis and early recovery period and everything turned out just fine.  There is an elevated risk for some cancers with Celiac but that risk goes back to that of the general population after a couple of years on the gluten-free diet. I cannot remember the exact time frame but it is somewhere between 2-4 years, I think.  So many of us went years without a diagnosis and when it was all figured out, we have gone on to be healthy with little complications.  Really...do  not worry about this.  Concentrate on learning all the ins and outs of this disease and how to live gluten free happily.  We are here to help you and guess what? The diet is not as bad as some make it out to be. Many things can be made gluten free and are every bit as good as their gluten counterparts. The diet may not be convenient but it is not hard. I would not lie to you!   
    • Well....one common symptom that most celiacs have when they are diagnosed (or undiagnosed) is anxiety.  So, there is a risk of cancers, but science has demonstrated that that risk goes down on a gluten free diet (if you have celiac disease).  In goes down to the same risk as those without celiac disease.   I kind of was a basket case.  I drive my family a bit crazy because I was anxious.  I felt a bit stupid too.  I guess I had a little brain fog going on too.  All that resolved after I healed. Welcome to the fourum.  Read our Newbie 101 thread under "Coping" (pinned at the top of the page) and learn about hidden sources of gluten and cross contamination.  I think most of us do not worry about cancer. We mourn the freedom to eat anything anywhere!   I did not have swollen lymph nodes, but I am sure others have and they did not have cancer.  Hopefully, they will chime in and set your mind at ease.  If not, you can search for "lymph nodes" at the top of the page (little magnifying glass).  There are lots of members with the same issue!  
    • I was recently diagnosed as having celiac and to be honest the part I'm having the most trouble with isn't the change in food or lifestyle. I'm really upset about what I've read about the risk of cancer increasing with celiac disease. I think this is playing into my fears because I currently have lymph nodes all over my body-my Doctor says they are not considered swollen or concerning, but I don't usually feel nodes. The lymph nodes and horrible diarrhea for the last 3 weeks were what got me into the the doctor for lab work. My blood work came great so I'm wondering if anyone else experienced lymph nodes reacting when they found out they were celiac? Also how do you deal with anxiety surrounding the increased risk of cancer? Thanks!
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