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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.

Tired Of Having Frequent "colds"
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15 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

I am really tired of getting colds. In the last two months I have had four colds that have lasted five or more days each.

I get influenza like symptoms and my sinuses are causing me a lot of facial pain. I am quite certain that this is not triggered by gluten, but is the result of a super low functioning immune system.

I was officially diagnosed with celiacs disease 2 months ago, and have been 100 % gluten free for four months.

Before I got the diagnosis I had the same problem with frequent colds. But they are not improving.

I went my GP today and I suggested I had a low immune system as a result of celiac. He looked at me funny and said "Oh, does the immune system get affected by celiacs disease?" Safe to say I am feeling very discouraged at the moment.

I am taking vitamin B, B12 in addition to multivitamins and probiotics. Any thoughts to as why my immune system is failing me?

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You poor thing. I totally sympathize! You have definitely probably got these colds because of your low immune system... or exhausted immune system! Also, don't forget your body is trying to clear all the toxins out that it has accumulated over the period you were eating gluten. This can manifest in flu/cold type symptoms. Warming foods and herbs would work well to boost your body's own natural defenses without making it work too hard. Ginger and garlic are fantastic for warming the body, peppermint is great also for warming and helping digestion. Liquorice is fantastic for adrenal fatigue, which is one of the reasons you may not be fighting things adequately. Don't take too much and if you have high blood pressure poss. better to keep away from it. I depend on a lot of herbs and cooking spices/herbs for supporting my body as it heals. A lot of the supplement herbs are quite harsh on an already stressed body and digestive system. Hope that these help a little.

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I had constant colds, flu, even pneumonia before I started thyroid meds (this was years before I went gluten-free). If you haven't had your thyroid checked, and been checked for Hashimotos Thyroiditis, it would be a good idea. Hashis and Celiac patients have a lot of overlap in symptoms.

You need a full thyroid panel (not just tsh), including TPO.

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actually, Celiac is an auto-immune disease, which means your immune system is OVER active, not low functioning!

This doesn't mean of course that you're safe from cold and flu viruses, or even more susceptible. I'd hazard a guess that you've just come into contact with a lot of them lately. To ward them off, wash your hands often after/when you're out in public, get lots of sleep, and eat properly.

I'll also add that before I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease (also an auto-immune disease) my sinuses were stuffed up beyond belief for about a year and a half. I couldn't breathe, couldn't sleep, it was horrible! You might want to look into thyroid disease, as pricklypear suggested above.

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actually, Celiac is an auto-immune disease, which means your immune system is OVER active, not low functioning!

This doesn't mean of course that you're safe from cold and flu viruses, or even more susceptible. I'd hazard a guess that you've just come into contact with a lot of them lately. To ward them off, wash your hands often after/when you're out in public, get lots of sleep, and eat properly.

I'll also add that before I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease (also an auto-immune disease) my sinuses were stuffed up beyond belief for about a year and a half. I couldn't breathe, couldn't sleep, it was horrible! You might want to look into thyroid disease, as pricklypear suggested above.

Of course the immune system is over active to your own body... my mistake. But not to invaders such as colds/flu/other viruses... I kind of corrected myself by saying it was 'exhausted'. The adrenals as well as thyroid should be tested for too. To be honest, a lot of diseases stem and are aggravated from a condition like this of things like thyroid, graves, leaky gut, PSC, AIH, etc. Tests are fine but the underlying whole body needs to be addressed, not just an individual disease, hence the holistic approach of herbs. Acupuncture is also really very helpful at getting the body to stop fighting itself and fight the true invaders like colds/flu.

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I agree the whole system is a mess. In my case, the thyroid supplementation made a HUGE difference, though.

In retrospect, the one thing the meds did perfectly was relieve cold/flu episodes. Gluten relieved the rest.

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Thank you all very much for your answers. They are very helpful and encouraging. :)

I had my thyroid checked a few months ago, but tomorrow I

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Hello all- this seems like a good place to ask. I had my TSH looked at in May and it was quite within the normal range, nothing to worry about. My severe onset of celiac symptoms, although in retrospect being at a low level for most of my life, became quite severe around the june, july, august timeframe. I've been gluten free for about a month and a half now.

Do you all think it's worth getting the thyroid rechecked NOW for Hashimoto's (full panel), or wait until May, which is when I have it regularly scheduled? I'm still experiencing pretty severe hair loss, despite D and K supplementation. My Doctor said yesterday that it could take some time to reverse that trend, so it was worth waiting.

And Rebekka, I'm totally with you on the crap immune system. I seem to get every bug that goes through the workplace, and the most severe forms of them, too.

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If you had vitamin blood panels run, you probably know your deficiencies. If not, I'd ask to have them run.

I am on the side of "fix it and be happy" - so if I suspected thyroid I'd get it checked asap. Remember, some tests have a big range .5-5.5, and the new trend is to lower "normal" to .5-2.5....so get a copy of your tests and insist on the TPO for Hashis.

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This is really interesting re. the Thyroid. I think that mine goes up and down as sometimes my acupuncturists picks it up and sometimes she says it's fine. My bloods last January were 0.82mu/l where normal is (0.35-4.94). This is a UK test so the parameters may be different. Does anyone from the UK know if my reading is normal... it would seem on the low side to me?! There are other things that came up in the bloods like a fairly low potassium and calcium reading, but I was drinking coffee at the time like it was going out of fashion so I suppose that could skew results too.

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you don't want to "boost" your immune system though, if you have an auto-immune disease. Taking herbs like echinacea and the like, can actually make you feel worse and make an already over active immune system even moreso.

Having a healthy diet, proper sleep patterns, and washing your hands regularly is really the best you can do to ward of colds and 'flu.

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you don't want to "boost" your immune system though, if you have an auto-immune disease. Taking herbs like echinacea and the like, can actually make you feel worse and make an already over active immune system even moreso.

Having a healthy diet, proper sleep patterns, and washing your hands regularly is really the best you can do to ward of colds and 'flu.

This got me thinking. It sounds really logical!

Thank you for your advice ;)

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Pricklypear- thanks for the advice! I shall have it looked into.

Reba- The autoimmune portion of my immune system is overactive, yes, hence, Celiac. Too much self-recognition going on there. However, the fact that I get every passing bug seems to indicate that something else is going on with the rest of the immune system. Longitudinal studies have also indicated that celiacs are MOST likely to die from respiratory diseases, not cancer. This seems to indicate DEPRESSED immune function.

Luckily, I think there's a fairly easy explanation for that, malabsorption and long term nutrient deficiencies.

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Pricklypear- thanks for the advice! I shall have it looked into.

Reba- The autoimmune portion of my immune system is overactive, yes, hence, Celiac. Too much self-recognition going on there. However, the fact that I get every passing bug seems to indicate that something else is going on with the rest of the immune system. Longitudinal studies have also indicated that celiacs are MOST likely to die from respiratory diseases, not cancer. This seems to indicate DEPRESSED immune function.

Luckily, I think there's a fairly easy explanation for that, malabsorption and long term nutrient deficiencies.

Saintmaybe, I totally agree. I think it is important to understand the immune system. Auto-immune means that the body is too busy fighting itself to fight the real invaders. Echinachea as someone mentioned above absolutely should not be used in this type of disease... absolutely right. There are other mild and supportive herbs though, particularly for liver, spleen and kidney support, hormone production and gut reconstruction... all of which can be used without any effects on the efficacy of the immune system's ability to fight external invaders.

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and the malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies can be remedied by eating entirely gluten free and a healthful balanced diet, which includes healthy fats, proteins and moderate carbohydrates. It will take a while for the gut to heal yes, but as it heals the body will absorb more and more nutrients and vitamins from the foods. Avoid manufactured packaged foods, and go for the stuff that Nature made naturally healthy and gluten free.

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