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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.

New Here, Have Some Questions
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5 posts in this topic

I'm new to this forum and have some questions for all of you with more experience. Briefly, I'm a Type I diabetic, have hypothyroidism and asthma. My cousin let me know that they'd recently discovered that she has celiac, as well as another cousin, all following the one bloodline. So since I guess statistically I'm at a higher risk I had bloodwork done. I don't know what test the dr ordered; I requested a celiac screening. The blood test came back negative, which from my research is not conclusive one way or the other. (For instance, my cousin had 2 negative blood tests, but her biopsy was positive. Another friend can't get a definitive dx with any test and she had a host of symptoms if she ingests gluten.)

I don't seem to have the glaringly obvious symptoms. Occasional intestinal issues, some other possible symptoms like depression, anxiety, some slight edema, fatigue, etc. All of which had previous been attributed to other things. I've been gluten and dairy free (oh, I already have a long history with dairy and know that I don't do dairy well) for a couple of months. There have been some times where I got some gluten (malt vinegar and other small exposures) and my kitchen is not 'kosher' in that I still share utensils/cutting boards/toaster, etc. I'm mostly gluten free, I guess. My intestines seem to be like they always have been mostly fine with the occasional hiccup (could this be because I'm still sharing utensils?), but my blood sugars have been doing much better, and the edema, anxiety and depression all seem to be some better. My asthma had been doing MUCH better, but we've just had a bit of cold weather and people are using wood stoves again, so have had to take some of my inhalers again this week.

I'm not even sure what my questions are! Sorry. I need some input on things to consider, I guess. I know that statistically a relatively large amount of people with celiac have no symptoms, and some have very few and more mild symptoms. I also know that statistically speaking a fairly large number of Type I diabetics are also celiac. However, I don't want to have an intestinal biopsy, since medical procedures are difficult for me to do (the diabetes/asthma thing)and there is always the possibility of a false negative there, too. Since my symptoms are not as obvious, should I pursue this further or not?

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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Welcome to the board. :)

If you have celiac disease, "mostly" gluten-free won't cut it. Every bit of gluten does damage. You also heal continuously on a gluten-free diet. What you need to do is keep the rate of healing running faster than the damage caused by accidental ingestion of gluten. Deliberate ingestion of gluten will set you back in the race. Any value you perceive from it is completely false.

I am a type 1 diabetic. My repeated hypoglycemic incidents led me to ask questions. Sometimes, after food, my blood sugar would rise, but sometimes it would continue dropping. What the **?

Some carbs are absorbed in the stomach. I was getting those ones (juices, fruits), but others do not get absorbed until they are in the intestines (complex carbs such as bread).

It took years, and a random discovery by my wife, to realize that: (1) there is a correlation between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease; and (2) all of my mystery symptoms could be caused by celiac disease.

My PCP told my that is was a rare childhood disease, but agreed to have me tested for it. I had a very strong positive on the biopsy. I knew then what was causing my sickness, and have never intentionally eaten gluten again.

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Barki- had you already been eating "mostly gluten free" at the time of your bloodwork?? this would make your tests very unreliable.

also, there are several different tests that can lead to a celiac dx... plus there's false negatives.

celiac and diabetes 1 have been linked before- dont give up on this thought process you're on-> MOST of us have experience with negative or inconclusive results.

good luck :)

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When I say "mostly gluten free" I mean that I have not knowingly ingested anything containing gluten for the last two months. I wasn't super vigilant with the peanut butter, and since it's a communal container for family use (and I have kids...) I'm thinking I may have gotten some exposure there. I've been trying to stick to metal utensils, I've been careful about cross contamination, etc., but there's no way I'll ever feel like I can say with supreme confidence that I've not had ANY gluten exposure. (And I'm wondering about some of the stuff that is even labeled as "gluten free"...one had soy as an ingredient, which made me wonder.)

No, I wasn't gluten free prior to the blood draw. I quit after my test was done.

As a diabetic I've not notice anything like having low blood sugars at odd times or anything like that. As I mentioned, ALL of my (possible) symptoms can, and have, been explained by other things.

I'm tired, though, of having everything chalked up to the diabetes/thyroid and it never resolves, no matter what I do. Fatigue and edema are two relatively mild problems (in the big picture)that I can't get resolved. And I do work on it! Since I've been eating gluten free, though, I've had more energy and my poor puffy feet and legs are doing better.

I guess I'm just a little frustrated because celiac seems to be, for some people, a bit hard to pinpoint. It's tough to talk with people and the medical professionals I deal with when I don't have some whiz-bang, concrete, 100-proof something to point directly to celiac. Nope, no tummy pain, no unexplained weight loss (I WISH!), nothing like a nice trail of definites to hand out and back up my choice to go gluten/casein free. I suppose I'll stick it out until my next dr. appt and see what my most recent labs suggest. UGH! If only the human body wasn't quite so complex! (...but then, maybe that wouldn't be so good, either! :D)

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untill you DO get clear answers on a Celiac diagnosis or not- you should follow your gut and stay gluten free-

i just saw this tonight on facebook-> (i follow greenmedinfo on twitter & facebook- and they just started a new site exclusively for wheat & gluten)... they always have informative articles. this one is about wheat & diabetes:

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-article/habitual-consumption-wheat-gluten-may-be-contributing-factor-pathogenesis-type-1

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    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richard Glad you are feeling better!   Sorry - DX is an abbreviation for diagnosis.   Thanks so much  for the info about MSG, broccoli and IBS.  Like you say, there is v. little bad press about broccoli. My aunt, who is a farmer's wife, put forward another theory that it might not have been the broccoli itself but rather some insecticide a farmer sprayed on it.   I just can't bring myself to try organic broccoli however...  Thankfully cauliflower is fine.  I just can't figure it out as I thought they were the in the same vegetable family?  So maybe it is MSG. Regarding anemia, there can be a link with iron anemia and anxiety. http://www.livestrong.com/article/471225-iron-anxiety/ And I was definitely breathless before my diagnosis; I remember finding myself  walking up a hill behind a  huge crowd of friends on a church walk, and many of them were at least 20 years older than me, and wondering why I was in last place! My B12 levels were very low at DX and I found B12 supplements helped enormously with anxiety.   I remember drinking Berroca and feeling so much better within hours of drinking it, on more than one occasion, before even understanding the link. I have just been told however that I can't take any more iron because my hemoglobin is on the high side.  It is a good thing my doctor was monitoring my supplementation as I gather too much iron can be dangerous.  Have you been told to supplement by your doctor?  If you are supplementing make sure you get your levels monitored. All the very best - and welcome to the forum!    
    • Weird Reaction
      Thank  you Flowerqueen and Cristiana for your replies. I'm actually feeling much better today. I got my appetite back yesterday lunchtime (a few hours after I typed the original post) and managed to keep in/hold down some chicken and lettuce!!! I also had a "fat" coffee (as I call it) before work with MCT Oil and butter (your probably going "yuk" right now but it's really nice...really haha) and started feeling a bit better after that. The nausea went away almost immediately after that although just the thought of having all that fat nearly made me sick but I just wanted to get back to normal asap. I usually have a lot of fat in my diet anyway which is normal for me so the coffee choice isn't unusual. Plus it was also the third day which was when I started feeling better after the first time. I didn't eat til lunchtime and I was good and hungry by then so I knew I was coming out of it. That nausea and trembling feeling is something I don't want ever again. I think after the workout and tearing down muscle tissue (which is a form of stress) and then not being able to hold the nutrients in for repair affected my nervous system. My theory only but to me it makes sense. Although Vitargo also comes in flavors I always get the Natural / Unflavored one so the barley is the only ingredient. As for there being something wrong with that particular batch, well, you be on to something there. Also I'm not knocking the product because as I said, I have used it before and it did exactly what it was supposed to do. But, I will never have it again. Cristiana, my last blood test revealed I had slight anaemia which really surprised me with the amount of red meat I've eaten during my life and the anxiety thing is also new as I'm usually a happy, positive person. Life is good but after this recent reaction I think it is an indirect cause of the glutening. I'm also surprised at how sensitive I've become to it and how quickly. Also what is DX? I also follow a FODMAP eating plan (I can give you more info if you haven't heard of it) which also eliminates certain foods. It's a plan directed mostly at IBS but is well worth looking into if you are suffering any gut health, digestion issues or any ailment you may have which you can't get to the bottom of. Broccoli was one of the foods which I have cut back on and I've eaten HUGE amounts of broccoli so it is a superfood for some but apparently not for others. (I even think I read somewhere it has MSG naturally in it) It's hard to find any bad articles on broccoli so this also really surprised me. It also answered a few other questions I had. Many, many thanks again to you both for your replies. It actually settled me just reading them. I'm glad I found these forums so I don't think i'll be a stranger around here for long.   Richard
    • Confused
      Okay, I get that you are not going to follow the advice from some stranger on the internet, but please read the links that I gave you.  Your doctor is not following the standard level of care.  I am dead serious.  I have Kaiser.  My own GP doesn't have a clue about celiac disease, but my Kaiser GI does.  Please, I urge you to get properly diagnosed.  All celiac testing requires you to be on a gluten diet.  If you go gluten free even for two weeks (it will take time to get the referral and appointment), it will mess up the tests.  Your GI will put you back on a gluten diet (called a gluten challenge) for 8 to 12 weeks.    Chances are (almost 100%) you will feel more miserable!  That will just delay your diagnosis.   Symptoms not bad you say?  I had pretty severe anemia, but no tummy issues.  Two months after my diagnosis, I fractured my back DOING NOTHING!  Yep, I have osteoporosis from undiagnosed celiac disease and I am an athlete!   Please take this seriously!    
    • Silent Celiac or Non-digestive symptoms
      Oh, you might learn how to tell if you had been glutened.  I just had anemia as my main symptom.  I did not have any tummy issues at all.  I was in shock when my doctor even suggested testing me for celiac disease!   Glutenings can vary as we are all different.  For some it is just a few days, others a few weeks and others months (that would be me).  My last official glutening as supported by follow-up antibody testing lasted for three months.  Guess what?  I had vomiting, abdominal pain, the works!  Funny how celiac disease can change and evolve over time.   Welcome to the forum!  Have some patience and learn all that you can.  The good news is that you can feel better and no medications are required!  
    • Confused
      Thank you for the information. I've been not sure if I should eat gluten or not right now. Dr. said I should watch what I eat when I emailed him the question. My symptoms aren't very bad (I understand that doesn't matter for celiac disease), so I can definitley tolerate the food. But I have been starving myself the last few days due to not knowing what the heck is going on. Thanks again.
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