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Will Trace Amount Of Gluten Complelety Ruin All You Have Been Dieting For
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I have heard that even trace amount of gluten will damage your small intestines. I have not been diagnosed with celiacs but I have constant cankers sores (literally i have multiple canker sores in my mouth 20 days out of a month). I have received no help from the doctors about my cankers sore so I have decided to try a gluten free diet to see if this will help. I also am very underweight (6'2 135 lbs. male), so I am hoping that gluten is the culprit of my canker sores underweight problem. I really have no stomach problems just these two symptoms along with anemia and anxiety.

So my question is if somehow I consume trace amounts of gluten in my diet is it going to ruin my intestine and make all my dieting in vain? I just don't understand this because I use to consume large amounts of gluten so I would expect this to ruin the whole lining of the villi in my intestine. So then I would assume if I had just trace amounts in my diet then it would only ruin a small portion of the villi in my intestine, leaving the majority of the villi fine. Is this correct to assume or not. I would appreciate the expertise of a doctor on this topic but if anyone else know anything I welcome your help.

Thanks

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What damages our bodies is the antibodies we form from gluten. Early on in recovery many find they are more sensitive to trace amounts than after they have been healed for many years. It takes a while for the antibodies to leave the system, in the skin for example it can take up to two years. Trace amounts can make the antibodies flare into action and cause a severe flareup of symptoms. That is why we need to avoid sharing stuff like toasters, strainers and condiments with gluten eaters. Some are more sensitive to trace amounts than others. The best thing to do in the beginning is to go with as much whole naturally gluten free food as you can to give the antibodies the chance to leave your system. Will a trace amount like a shared line ruin all the progress you have made? Well trace amounts can keep the antibodies active and prevent you from healing fully. Would one or two accidental injestions send you back to square one I don't think so but it could take you weeks to get over it and have the antibodies subside again.

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Why don't you push for the celiac blood work? Most doctors will do that....also all four of the symptoms you mention could be celiac related....I have a friend whose only symptom is anemia, no other celiac symptoms. The blood work & endoscope was done & boom celiac!

Plus for meone must be 100% gluten free tohave the best results & without further damaging your body. If a person does it half way then one never knows if the gluten-free is or is not helping.....As Dr. Fansano says " Can one be half pregnant" don't think so......

hth

mamaw

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Thanks guys for your help, thats good to know. Im just starting my gluten free diet and it seems a little overwhelming but Im sure in time I will get use to it. I have been avoiding getting blood work because Im terrified of needles so Im just gonna do a test run at being gluten free and if it makes the canker sores go away I will happily give up gluten forever. No need for me to know for sure by getting the blood work/biopsy done if I find that this gluten free diet gets rid of these symptoms. Thanks again for your help

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I'm in the same boat as you are Justin. I'm about 5 weeks into gluten free. Last night I had some gluten free bread my mom made me, but it was made in a pan that was used for regular baking and it seems to have set me off. Not as bad as I used to get, but when you've been feeling perfect for a week, it's pretty easy to tell if you've been "glutened". I'm not planning on going to get blood work done either, for the same reason... I don't like needles, or doctors for that matter. I'd give you the same advice given to me though... If things get too bad, just suck it up and go to the Dr... It's not worth putting yourself at risk to avoid a needle.

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I have had negative blood test and skin biopsy results. But I don't need an official diagnosis to convince me to stop eating gluten. When I have it, I feel terrible...when I don't, I feel better. Good enough for me! Since going gluten free, I put weight back on (which is good but it happened rather quickly which was a little of a bummer - time to get back in the gym!!), I can eat a full meal without being uncomfortable, and my energy level is much better. Oh, and my skin condition (which I was told was not DH), magically cleared up on it's own. Whatever doctors - I don't need your diagnosis. I feel better and that's what keeps me from eating that donut in the break room! :-)

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My daughter's canker sore problem was diagnosed at Mayo Clinic as an iron malabsorbtion problem. Finding an iron supplement that she could absorb has helped the problem.

Her celiac blood panel was negative.

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I'm in the same boat as you are Justin. I'm about 5 weeks into gluten free. Last night I had some gluten free bread my mom made me, but it was made in a pan that was used for regular baking and it seems to have set me off. Not as bad as I used to get, but when you've been feeling perfect for a week, it's pretty easy to tell if you've been "glutened". I'm not planning on going to get blood work done either, for the same reason... I don't like needles, or doctors for that matter. I'd give you the same advice given to me though... If things get too bad, just suck it up and go to the Dr... It's not worth putting yourself at risk to avoid a needle.

Once you are gluten free your test will not come up positive and the test is not valid. You must be eating large amounts of gluten to have a valid result. So the original poster has to decide now if he wants testing before he goes gluten free.

All of your symptoms can be celiac. Not all of us have GI symptoms. And yes you must get rid of all gluten even trace amounts. But that doesn't mean that one little crumb will ruin all of your dieting. Getting glutened makes you sick but it doesn't undo weeks, months or years of healing from the diet.

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Even a trace of gluten will often give me a canker sore. I used to have them all the time eating lots of wheat.

There are lots of studies on how much gluten it takes to do damage. The answer is very little, and it depends on the person. A crouton a day is too much for all celiacs. Some might be able to eat a crumb every now and again with no damage. Other people will react to traces of gluten with very strong symptoms and they can't even eat the tiny traces of gluten that sometimes sneak into gluten-free breads and pasta.

Your idea of small amounts causing small damage is not quite how it works. It's more like a threshold response. A certain amount of gluten (that is different for everyone and can change from time to time) switches on the immune system and then ALL your small intestine is a potential target for damage. A slice of bread would definitely turn on the immune system more dramatically and for longer than a crumb, but a crumb can do the job just fine. The damage accumulates, so eating a few crumbs every day for a month might do more damage than a single slice of bread.

The really bad thing about celiac is that every time you turn on the autoimmunity, your immune system might learn to attack new and different things. You can end up with nerve damage, thyroid problems, dermatitis herpetiformis, or joint pain. The less often you eat gluten and activate autoimmunity, the better. This is why it's worth putting up with the blood test if you can stand it. You have a better idea of whether you have an autoimmune disorder, or just a food intolerance, and how big a deal it is when you do eat gluten.

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Thank you guys so much this really clears up the questions I had. I will try the iron supplements as well and lets you know if this helps the canker sores go away.

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Thank you guys so much this really clears up the questions I had. I will try the iron supplements as well and lets you know if this helps the canker sores go away.

Do get your iron levels checked before taking any more than is in a multivitamin. Iron can be toxic in large amounts.

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    • I havent used it, not much of a baker tbh, but this one looks good: http://alittleinsanity.com/gluten-free-pie-crust-recipe/
    • As you say, there's no test, it's diagnosed by exclusion, so there's no metrics to check to assess compliance other than anecdotal response to symptoms. Conversely, I've not seen anything that says that NCGI can resolved or be cured either.  This paper gives a good summation.  Basically, there's not much research period! That is changing though, I think there's research underway which could help give answers.
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    • I see no one has responded to your query.  Unfortunately I have yet to try making a pie crust.  It was something I never mastered before going gluten free.  Have you looked on Pinterest?  You might find something there.
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