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The Flu As A Trigger?
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I have heard several people mention that their Celiac manifested itself 'after getting the flu'. This was my case ... I had been having problems for months, but it wasn't until after I had a 3-Day fever/flu that I got so sick I was eventually diagnosed with gluten intolerance.

Could this be the Flu acting as a trigger? Or could a high fever/flu-like symptoms be part of the body's autoimmune response at its peak?

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Any kind of major stress can be the trigger. For me, the major trigger that led to diagnosis was getting c.difficile and then not getting better after the c.diff was clear. But looking back, I think the real start of symptoms was the first marathon I ran. So any kind of stress - illness, physical stress (marathon!), emotional stress, etc.

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HelpMe is right. Anything that puts a stress on the immune system can be a trigger to activate celiac disease. Flu and mononucleosis are commonly reported, as is childbirth. Emotional stress, such as loss of a job, death of a loved one, or breakdown of a marriage have also been reported as triggers.

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My celiac symptoms started 13 months ago. I caught the flu and was sick for about 3 days. A few days later I was back to commuting to work on my mountain bike, and a very stressful event happened on my ride home. I was biking 35 mph in the bike lane and some people threw a 6 lb rock at me. It missed me because I was braking hard (love those hydraulic brakes). The police said it would only have been a misdemeanor had they caught them. A week or two later the GI, brain fog, stiff joints, muscle aches, and aching feet started. So, my gluten problems seemed to kick in with the virus and stress. I went gluten-free soon after this, and the celiac panel a few months later (while gluten-free) was negative. The 1 endoscopy biopsy was negative 6 months later (GI had me 1 week on a gluten challenge). I have HLA-DQ8 and no symptoms while gluten-free, but now very sensitive to cc. I am 56; the symptoms can start at any age. ;)

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Flu made me much worse. That's when the gluten started really affecting my mind as well as my GI system.

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I had a bout with the flu in late 2003 that without a doubt kicked my Celiac into high gear. I was never the same after that.

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I was talking with a friend yesterday whose SIL got the flu, followed by Lupus. I suggested she mention the gluten-free diet to her SIL, in case she was sensitive to the proteins and abstinence helped the Lupus symptoms.

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    • Hi everyone, I've been reading this forum sporadically and have some questions of my own. I'm in my 40s and was diagnosed with celiac last December by biopsy and blood work after months of tests by my primary and then a gastro. My husband, around the same age as me, was dx'd with stage 4 cancer a month later, so admittedly it's took me longer than I'd have liked to learn about celiac. Now I feel pretty on top of my diet. I mostly make my own food - proteins and veggies, with some certified gluten-free snacks in the mix - and am pretty strict about what I will/won't eat at friend's houses or in restaurants (I prefer to go to dedicated gluten-free kitchens whenever possible). I'm doing okay on the diet, but still getting glutened every so often, usually when I let me guard down outside the home. I also periodically see my primary and a naturopath (who happens to have celiac!), but still, I have many questions if anyone would care to answer:

      -FATIGUE. I'm still so tired, fatigued so much of the time. My doctors blame this on the stress of my husband's diagnosis and my periodic trouble sleeping. But even during weeks where I'm sleeping enough (8-10 hrs a day), eating right, exercising as I can, trying to keep stress at bay, I'm still so bleeping tired. Maybe not when I wake up, but by late afternoon. Often my legs even feel weak/wooden. Has anyone else experienced greater fatigue early on after being diagnosed? This will pass, yes? I know I could cut out the sweets and that could help, but also, being a caregiver is hard and sometimes it's nice to eat your feelings between therapy sessions.  

      -SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY FATIGUE? Sometimes I'll have other "feels like I've been glutened" symptoms if I haven't gotten enough sleep, though I'm trying so hard to sleep at least 8 hours a night these days. Hasn't happened in a while thankfully, but there was a point this summer where my insomnia was bad and my arms were achy and I had some crazy flank/back pain I'd never experienced before. For weeks. Doctor ordered me to sleep sleep sleep, taking Benedryl if needed. I did, and the symptoms went away, but weird, yes? Has this happened to you? I ask because I want to make sure I'm getting all strange pains tested to the full extent if there's a chance it's something other than celiac. I do sometimes still feel that strange side stitch after a CC incident.

      -SKIN PROBLEMS. I have had a smidge of eczema since I was a teen and it - and the dermatitis herpetiformis I've acquired with my dx - are out of control right now. I recognize the connection with stress, but also, has anyone found any great natural remedies for DH to stop the itching? I've tried so many useless ointments and medicated creams, a number of them given to my by a dermo months ago. I see my naturopath this week, but thought I'd ask here too.

      -MOSTLY gluten-free KITCHEN GOOD ENOUGH? My husband is supportive of my diet and mostly eats gluten free meals with me, but we still keep a gluten-y toaster for him and the gluten-y dog food in a corner of the kitchen and he still makes the occasional meal with gluten for himself on his own cookware (ravioli, pizza, mac n cheese, etc). Or sometimes I make eggs/toast and the like for him when he's too sick to move. Otherwise, we're militant about how we cook, which cookware we use, etc. He even has a kitchen nook off our den where he makes sandwiches. But sometimes I wonder if having two separate sponges in our shared-ish main kitchen is enough and I should just banish all gluten whatsoever from the kitchen. I can't be the only one with a mixed kitchen, right? How do you do it if you have a mixed-eating family?

      Thank you so much!  
    • Celiac disease--the inability to tolerate food containing gluten--has long ... Lactobacillus were able to detoxify the gluten and remain symptom-free. View the full article
    • Hang in there!  Count your blessings.  Do something you like to do and relax. I know that is hard to do as a young mother (as I sit here in the kitchen sipping coffee quietly as my teenager is sleeping in after a late football game last night where she marched in 90 degree plus weather in full uniform).   But seriously, take a few minutes to relax!  
    • Meredith, this is very true. A colonoscopy is for diagnosis of the lower intestine, endoscopy for the upper intestine.  How did your doctor interpret the tests? I suggest you read the link Cycling Lady gave you because it contains a lot of good information. 
    • Sorry, but this product (supplement) is not even certified gluten free.   Seems odd that a product geared to Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance would not take the extra step of getting certified.   I guess I am a Nervous Nellie, especially after the reports that several probiotics were contaminated with gluten.   https://celiac.org/blog/2015/06/probiotics-your-friend-or-foe/
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