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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.

Vitamin/mineral Levels Normal With Gluten Intolerance?
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Hi all! I am still somewhat new here and haven't posted a lot. In August 2010 my GI doctor told me I might have gluten intolerance/sensitivities. From what I have read a lot of people with Celiac/gluten intolerance have deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. I have blood drawn a couple times a year and they always come back fine. No anemia, thyroid fine, all levels completely normal, even though I don't take multivitamins and don't always eat too healthy. How is this possible? Is this normal for people with gluten issues?

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Vitamin deficiency is common in celiacs, but is not universal. Depending on the level of damage to the villi, you may absorb enough nutrients to not test as deficient. I would guess, though, that you are at the lower end of the "normal" range.

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I think it really depends on how much damage has been done to your intestines...it's different time frames for different people, it seems. My symptoms have progressively gotten worse over the years, this last year being particularly awful and with significant weight loss. I think it's possible that maybe your insides aren't that damaged, yet...but trust me, you don't want to get to that point! Will your doctor send you for the blood test for gluten sensitivity?

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I had some kind of tests done in May. They were in-depth tests and they came back indicating that something was amiss, but my endoscopy was totally normal. I even have the pictures! Unfortunately I do not have a copy of my test results.

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My iron always came back normal, but "a little on the low side." And I've never had other bloodwork come back abnormal until the celiac blood panel, which was very positive.

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Actually, I did have blood work done about a month ago to test vitamin/mineral/blood sugar, but my doctor never called and told me the results like she said she would...

I can only assume everything was normal, like usual.

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All of my vitamin and mineral levels checked out too

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Actually, I did have blood work done about a month ago to test vitamin/mineral/blood sugar, but my doctor never called and told me the results like she said she would...

I can only assume everything was normal, like usual.

We can never ass-u-me anything. I make it a point to always pick up a copy of my lab work. You're entitled to copies of all your test results.

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I agree with Sylvia. Your readings can be strictly interpreted as normal, but you can be on the very bottom rung of the ladder, barely hanging on. With most nutrients that gluten intolerants become deficient in, you need to be mid-range, not at the lowest possible level of normal :huh:

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Next time I see my doctors I will ask for copies. How long does blood work take? I can't imagine it would take a month to test fir vitamin, minerals, and blood sugar, especially when there are several labs nearby.

What is lower "normal" range? Is it good?

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Well, I guess what I was trying to say is, if a hypothetical range of normal for Vitamin D is 32 to 320, and you measured 32 on the test, you would not be at optimum health and it wouldn't take much to push you under. Also, what is being measured is what is circulating in your blood stream only, not what is actually contained in your cells, which could be lower. So it is a real warning flag that you need some more Vitamin D. A better reading would be around 200, which is a lot different than 32. Vitamin D controls so many functions in the body, including the making of bone, and you want to make sure your bones are as strong as possible, I would think.

Some tests take longer to process than others, some cannot be done in house and have to be sent to specialized labs. I believe Vitamin D is one of these.

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Well, I guess what I was trying to say is, if a hypothetical range of normal for Vitamin D is 32 to 320, and you measured 32 on the test, you would not be at optimum health and it wouldn't take much to push you under. Also, what is being measured is what is circulating in your blood stream only, not what is actually contained in your cells, which could be lower. So it is a real warning flag that you need some more Vitamin D. A better reading would be around 200, which is a lot different than 32. Vitamin D controls so many functions in the body, including the making of bone, and you want to make sure your bones are as strong as possible, I would think.

Some tests take longer to process than others, some cannot be done in house and have to be sent to specialized labs. I believe Vitamin D is one of these.

Yeah and a lot of doctors just look at the range and if you're 'normal' you're ok. I don't think that gives the whole picture. For what reason are we at the bottom of the range? My doctor isn't worried about my iron levels, but I'm sitting on the very bottom rung of that ladder.

Also there are unrelated issues that could cause problems in the future. My B12 was within the normal range but I'm taking a drug that can cause B12 levels to deplete (Metformin) so they could get worse despite me being gluten free. The "normal" results might only be at a moment in time, not necessarily indicative of ongoing good health.

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    • 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.
    • Could this possibly be related to celiac or a gluten intolerance?
      If you did actually have celiac disease, it can take weeks, months and years to recover from some of your symptoms, especially neurological ones.   Best to get screened for celiac disease.  It's a simple blood test.  Any medical doctor can do it.  But a GI doctor is needed for a diagnosis, since an endoscopy is part of the diagnostic procedure.  BUT you have to be consuming gluten to get accurate results! http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ http://gi.org/guideline/diagnosis-and-management-of-celiac-disease/ Keep on researching.  I wish you well!    
    • Confused
      Your doctor is woefully mis-informed.  First of all you did get a positive on both (barely on the TTG IGA).  That does not mean you should be referred to a dietician.  You should be referred to a GI to run either the full celiac blood panel (your GP can not order it at Kaiser) and schedule you for an endoscopy to obtain four to six biopsies to confirm celiac disease which is the GOLD standard level of care. Read the research here: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ Ask your doctor for a GI referral.  Show them the print out out from the University of Chicago.  Be nice, but they'll do it.   Also, did your GP run a IGA deficiency test?  Do you have those results?   Best to email your doctor.  Reqest a GI referral.  Once it is in writing, your doctor has to act.  Let him know that what is required for a proper diagnosis per leading celiac research centers and the American GI Association. http://gi.org/guideline/diagnosis-and-management-of-celiac-disease/ DO NOT GO GLUTEN FREE UNTIL ALL TESTING IS DONE!  This is so critical.  Otherwise the tests will be invalid.  Then you'll be in diagnostic limboland!   After your GI consult, you can ask to be tested for vitamin and mineral levels.  Spend time learning about celiac disease and the gluten diet.  Learn about cross contamination and hidden sources of gluten. Again, DO NOT GO GLUTEN FREE YET!  You can do anything you like, of course, but get the facts first!     
    • Could this possibly be related to celiac or a gluten intolerance?
      I too have more neuro than gastro symptoms...its so weird. I hope we both find answers soon!
    • Silent Celiac or Non-digestive symptoms
      My celiac diagnosis started with me seeking medical attention for an ongoing migraine problem. This lead to MRI's that showed white spots on my brain which lead to blood work that showed a positive ANA (1:640) and a trip to the rheumatologist. The rheumatologist suggested the biopsy and a referral to a GI specialist after he felt confident that I didn't have lupus. The funny thing is that I don't have severe tummy troubles. I have some bloating occasionally and gas along with differing bowel patterns but that's about it. The most annoying and troublesome symptoms for me are migraines, fatigue and sometimes I get a little achy. My results for the prometheus test were high, blood anti-bodies were present and my biopsy revealed Grade B2 villi damage (the worst classification according to Corazza, Roberts, Ensari). Anyway I guess what I am wondering is how long after being "glutened" will I have a migraine, vitamin deficiency or other neurological symptom so that I will know that I am in trouble? I feel like if I had the tummy trouble to go with this I would know when I have eaten something that has been cross-contaminated. I just want to heal soon and not risk further intestinal damage or lymphoma. Thanks for your reply!
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