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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.

Psoriasis?
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I have been suffering from psoriasis for about 8 years now. It started out mild but in the last year or 2 it has become worse. I've also had chronic joint pain in my toes and fingers. Dermatologist basically diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis but blood tests came back as negative from rheumatologist. My mother has Celiacs and I am being tested this week. I started gluten free yesterday because they now feel that even though I have no stomach issues, the gluten can be causing the psoriasis and joint pain. Anyone else have such issues? I also have terrible fingernails and toenails.

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I hope that you will report back any benefits of your gluten free diet, because there are many people who post on this forum with symptoms that don't sound like classic DH, but could be caused by gluten.

Please note that if you aren't consuming gluten, your test for celiac disease will probably come back negative. You need to be consuming quite a lot of gluten for the test to work.

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I have been suffering from psoriasis for about 8 years now. It started out mild but in the last year or 2 it has become worse. I've also had chronic joint pain in my toes and fingers. Dermatologist basically diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis but blood tests came back as negative from rheumatologist. My mother has Celiacs and I am being tested this week. I started gluten free yesterday because they now feel that even though I have no stomach issues, the gluten can be causing the psoriasis and joint pain. Anyone else have such issues? I also have terrible fingernails and toenails.

Hi Emily, and welcome to the Board.

What tests did your rheumatologist run for you? Did he do the celiac blood panel or did he just test you for Rheumatoid Factor? If you have psoiratic arthritis, as I do, your RF will most likely be negative. I was never tested for celiac because I figured it out myself and stopped eating gluten - in fact told my doctors that's what my problem was. My new rheumy said, "Well, it's too late to test you now." So, in the event he didn't do the celiac panel you should have it done right away. If you did have the celiac tests it would be useful to see the results posted here with the ranges the lab uses. Sometimes tests that are really borderline are called negative :unsure:

Now, that being said, it is also possible to have problems like psoriatic arthritis caused by gluten and not test positive on anything, even the CRP or ESR, let alone the celiac panel. I did have the GI issues, not the major issues some posters on here have, but other sometimes alarming symptoms and the only one I attributed to food was my reaction to lactose which I realized was an intolerance but did not know of its association with gluten.

So what took me to the rheumatologist was pain in my shoulders wrists, fingers, toes, balls of my feet. Many rheumatologists are ignorant of the relationship between gluten and joint problems and do not think to test you. I did not develop the psoriasis until later, so had had joint symptoms for a couple of years before diagnosis. I see now, going back to your post, that you are being tested for celiac this week. Try to get them to run the full panel, which consists of the following:

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG

Anti-Endomysial (EMA) IgA

Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA

Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP) IgA and IgG

Total Serum IgA

Often doctors will run only the tTG and total serum IgA, but the newer DGP seems to be the most specific, reliable test so far developed. I would specifically request that they run that one. And it is best if you stay on the gluten until testing is finished (they may want to do an endo with biopsy) because it is important that you keep the antibodies active because that is what the tests are looking for.

Good luck with your testing and do let us know how things turn out. :) By the way, my fingernails and toenails have gone to hell, and they used to be my star feature :D

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My Mom had psoriasis, and for thirty years she was under a dermatologists's care. Then in 1985 or so, after years of digestive problems, she was diagnosed with Celiac. After she had been gluten free for a while her psoriasis cleared up completely and permanently. And she had it BAD.

So, when I started with psoriasis that kept getting worse, I went gluten free. I saw immediate relief (within two days it started healing.) Unfortunately, I also discovered that corn causes it to flare badly, and I recently discovered that almonds do it to me too. The same may happen to you. There are often other intolerances that are masked by the gluten. I'm still learning and I'm sure over time there will be problems with other foods too.

Start out with plain cooked whole foods - meat, brown rice, and vegetables. But try to stay away from bagged salads and baby carrots - they are washed in a citrus wash derived from corn. I didn't even eat fruit at first because of all the fructose (which can be another thing that causes problems).

You will most likely start to heal and then have ANOTHER problem pop up, just like I have, but try not to get discouraged. You are DEFINITELY on the right track. If you need any more advice on the "psoriasis diet", feel free to PM me.

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    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie I've put the above in quotes as you have described in the first and second sentence how I felt six months prior to my DX.   In my own case, in the end I concluded it was anxiety after consulting Dr Google!  It was such an alien feeling to me, I couldn't even think what it was, particularly as life was pretty good at the time.  Anxiety is a problem for a lot of celiacs prior to diagnosis, and often after glutening after going gluten-free. You mention breathlessness, this of course can be for reasons such as anaemia (again a common celiac problem, I had this prior to DX) but of course also can arise if you are anxious.   Re 'gluten free' - Flowerqueen is right, from what I have read on this forum some people really do seem to react with less than 20ppm.    But perhaps some other things to consider...  could there be something wrong with the batch you have consumed?  Might it be worth contacting the manufacturers?   That said, you could , as Flowerqueen suggests, have a problem with another ingredient, in the product or something else you consumed. In the past I have had a terrible reaction - fever, trembling, diarrhea, stomach cramps that lasted up to three hours the last three times I ate..... broccoli, of all things.    Who would have thought that possible?  I have often thought I should try it again, just to be sure it was the broccoli, as it is a 'super food' that I ought to have in my diet, that I like very much, but the thought of having such a reaction again has put me off. I do hope you will find some answers soon.  
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie,  I've not heard of this drink before, as I live in the UK, but any drink made from barley is something you should avoid.  There's a brand in the UK that makes lemon and barley water and orange and barley water and Coeliac UK say it is not safe for people with Coeliac disease.  (Our labelling laws in the UK changed a couple of years ago).  You say the drink you had was under 20 ppm, which is acceptable (usually) for coeliacs, but a lot of people are super-sensitive to gluten even in very small amounts.  I recently had a similar problem with something which was supposed to be okay for coeliacs, but when I checked the website of the product, for all it said there were no gluten containing ingredients, it was produced in an area where gluten was present, which was enough to put me off and must admit, the symptoms you describe sound very much like I experienced at the time.  (Personally I'd be avoiding that particular drink like the plague from now on). One other thing though,  have you checked the ingredients to see if there could be anything else in it which you may be intolerant to? 
    • Confused
      I have not. I'll talk to my doctor about it
    • High Positive Test Results - Your thoughts please...
      With blood results like these, your husband most definitely has Celiac Disease.  The biopsy is just to check to see how much damage.  Keep in mind that even with high, high test scores like these, damage can still be patchy. Although I would be very surprised if they didn't find enough with numbers like these!  Thank goodness he was able to have a definitive diagnosis and reason for his symptoms!  Good luck!
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