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The Flu As A Trigger?
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7 posts in this topic

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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