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Could I Still Have Celiac?

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Posted 17 March 2004 - 06:55 PM

hey all,
i am twenty years old and have had food problems since i was born. i was on a special rotational diet when i was a child, and was diagnosed with lactose intolerance, and a host of other allergies. As i grew up, i grew out of most of my allergies, but still had pretty bad digestive problems that have always been attributed to IBS. About three years ago i was diagnosed with Anorexia and as i have been on the road to recovery, trying to find foods that i had stopped eating, that would not make me sick now was a big issue. My mom suggested i go wheat free because as i child i had had a biopsy done, at 18 months, which came back negative, but as i have gathered from research, that does not necessairly mean i don;t have a problem. I have read research that eating disorders could help with the onset of diseases such as celiac because your body goes with out gulten for a long time, and then you try and reintroduce it, and your body just says no essentially. Well i have gone wheat free and my depression went away within two days, no joke, and i just felt so much better overall. I ocassionally "cheat" and will have crackers once a week, majority of the time i get sick, other times, my body doesnt seem to care. Sorry for the long history, but i would really like your opinions. My doctor has been of NO help, and i was wondering basically if i could still have celiac disease even though i can tolerate gluten once in a great while in a handful of crackers form. Thanks for your help in advance.

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 03:21 PM

Hi Laura,

You say "wheat free" - is that the only gluten product you have avoided? If so, it is more likely that you have a wheat sensitivity, and not Celiac Disease.

If you are completely gluten free (meaning no wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, etc.) then it is my unprofessional opinion that you should not be gluten free right now. It will be very difficult to get a diagnosis if you remain gluten free.

I would suggest you take a two pronged approach if you are completely gluten free: First, start trying to slowly re-introduce gluten in your diet. Second, if you have not yet seen a gastroenterologist, go see one. If you have seen one, get a different one! Call around and find one who is experienced with Celiac. Inform him/her of your situation of being relatively gluten free so they do not waste a blood test on you right away. I'm thinking you will need to be on gluten for at least a month or two before the blood test can give accurate results.

Depending on those results and your doctor's impressions of your situation, you may then undergo an endoscopy to get biopsies of your small intestines. For that test, you may need to be on a gluten containing diet for several months!

It seems horrible to have to go through all of that, I know, but it is the only way to get an accurate diagnosis that will be legally and medically recognized.
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Best wishes,
Marion, IA

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