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Boyfriend Getting Gluten-Sensitive As Well?
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This is my first time posting here, so let me introduce myself here first :) I'm a girl, age 27 from the Netherlands. Please excuse me if my grammar is off at times, English is my second language.

Here's the story, and my question:

After a long period of medical hide-and-seek I finally got my diagnosis 1,5 years ago. My boyfriend is very supportive, we've been living together for 3,5 years now and he has been there for me throughout the whole diagnosis process. Most of our evening meals are gluten-free and he also loves gluten-free muesli and snacks. Because of this he doesn't eat a lot of gluten anymore.

Of late he has had intestinal problems like cramps and flatulence, and he's often tired or has trouble concentrating. That must raise an alarm with most of you, as it did with me the last time this happened, about a year ago. When he started to display these symptomes we immediately started with a diagnosis process, but he had no antibodies or atrophy. Coeliac disease was out of the question.

So celiac disease is ruled out, but every time he eats bread, pizza or drinks beer he gets these problems. Can non-coeliacs become gluten-sensitive if they don't eat a lot of gluten for a longer period of time?

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Hi, and welcome, Ellie.

I think the short answer to your question is that if you have no problem with gluten you can stop and start eating it any time and it will not affect you in the least. If you eat no, or very little gluten, and then suddenly ressume eating gluten and have problems with it, it means you are gluten sensitive. There are many people who are gluten sensitive who do not have celiac disease. And there are many people who can continue eating gluten and not realize it is a problem for them until they eat very little or none, and then start eating it again.

At the time your boyfriend was last tested, he may not have been eating enough gluten to raise his antibody level to the testing threshold, or to have caused atrophy in his small intestine. It does not necessarily mean that celiac disease is out of the question. Those who have been gluten free or gluten "light" are recommended to go on a full gluten diet for 2-3 months before blood testing and endoscopy to get a definitive test result. So if he wanted an accurate test he would need to eat the equivalent of 3-4 slices of bread per day for two to three months.

So I believe it was not the lack of gluten that made him gluten sensitive; it was just that his body had had a rest from having to deal with gluten and did some healing from it, and then rejected the gluten once it was reintroduced.

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So if he wanted an accurate test he would need to eat the equivalent of 3-4 slices of bread per day for two to three months.

Ah, he usually eats 2-3 slices a day, which is quite a small amount for a big eater like him. He supplements it with other foods like dinner leftovers, fruits, yoghurt and nuts.

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