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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.

Constipation Please Go Away
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48 posts in this topic

I've been struggling with constipation for about a year now. (Suspected celiac, working with doctor. ) Some days it is worse than others and I seem to be on a streak of the bad days. :( It's such an awful feeling I just wish it would go away. I took some senacot last night, which helped a little. Mirolax does not work for me. I read somewhere that chronic constipation can indicate a magnesium deficiency - I don't know if I am deficient in magnesium (I haven't had it checked), but has that been the case for some of you?

Also, I eliminated gluten 3-4 weeks ago and have been so super careful to avoid CC. Last night I had a bowl of rice chex with 1% milk for the first time in 2 weeks (I had been feeling pretty good during those 2 weeks) and got really nauseous. Wondering if I should eliminate dairy. If so, what kind of milk is your favorite? I'm thinking coconut or rice (don't like almond and soy bothers me).

THANK YOU!

~Laura

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We love vanilla almond breeze for our sereal..

Take the miralax at least twice a day until you getting going. Mineral oil also ........Lots of water...I was in hospital twice for not being able to go....weeks at a time... miralx is one of the safest as well as mineral oil...

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It took 9 weeks of gluten-free for it to improve in my daughter. Lots of water, probiotics and lots of veggies.

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I've been struggling with constipation for about a year now. (Suspected celiac, working with doctor. ) Some days it is worse than others and I seem to be on a streak of the bad days. :( It's such an awful feeling I just wish it would go away. I took some senacot last night, which helped a little. Mirolax does not work for me. I read somewhere that chronic constipation can indicate a magnesium deficiency - I don't know if I am deficient in magnesium (I haven't had it checked), but has that been the case for some of you?

Also, I eliminated gluten 3-4 weeks ago and have been so super careful to avoid CC. Last night I had a bowl of rice chex with 1% milk for the first time in 2 weeks (I had been feeling pretty good during those 2 weeks) and got really nauseous. Wondering if I should eliminate dairy. If so, what kind of milk is your favorite? I'm thinking coconut or rice (don't like almond and soy bothers me).

THANK YOU!

~Laura

You can take a magnesium supplement..it's not harmful. Magnesium citrate isn't absorbed very well, so look for Magnesium glycinate or Magnesium lysinate. Drink lots of water too.

For milk I use So Delicious coconut milk. I get the vanilla flavored because it's great with cereal.

If you have trouble with soy..the Rice Chex have some tocopherol added for vitamin E. That can be made from soy. . Try the corn Chex instead and see if you do better with it?

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WATER, WATER, WATER -- :) that is the key to getting bowels moving

(celiacs are dehydrated)

and

PROBIOTICS

Give your system some time to straighten out.

Fibrous vegetables.

Dairy could also be contributing to your problem, but most people experience D, bloating and nausea instead of C from a lactose problem.

Many take dairy out the first few months as well as the gluten as lactase is produced in the tips of the villi and your digestion of it may be compromised. Your tolerance for it will return. So Delicious Coconut Milk is delish! High in calcium.

Yes, magnesium deficiency can contribute to constipation, but overly supplementing with mag can cause DIARRHEA and loose stools.

(you know the Phillips milk of magnesia commercials? it has a laxative effect and that's what is in it-- magnesium)

If your doctor has run blood work, the magnesium level is on there.

If senekot and miralax is not doing the job, I would go with the most likely cause first = Unbalanced gut flora.

Take the probiotics and drink half your body weight in water a day.

Let us know how you make out. ;)

I alternated between awful D and C my whole life. Cannot say which was worse. :(

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Do you have any suggestions for brands of probiotics?

I am eating a lot of fruits and vegetables - staying away from the processed gluten-free foods for now. Going to try the coconut milk!

I checked the blood work and could not find a magnesium level, I'll have to ask about it when I go in tomorrow.

All of your advice is SO appreciated. Will keep you guys updated.

~Laura :)

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Some people have chronic C it never gets better....I drink over a 1/2 gallon of pure water daily, take probiotics & digestive enzymes, eat a clean healthy diet with a large amount of fruits & veggies & also raw juices.... I have tried everything in the book but still have the problem. Being in the hospital twice for long periods of time I have seen many doctors. The bottom line is some people not just me have this problem..

Miralax is better than something like X-Lax or a stronger type thing...like ducolax.... Mineral oil is also better for your system than others. the main thing is not to become dependent on a laxative...Miralax & mineral oil do not ........I have learned now to take the miralax every other day & it works for me... But when I couldn't go in the hospital they were giving me it four to six times a day plus stronger drugs..I called it a poop cocktail........

once you find . your routine it all works out in the end! sorry for the pun....

I also have tried every home remedy that has ever been on the internet.net.. what works for some , not so much for others....

I take solid gold digestive enzyme & alternate probiotics monthly....Dr. Ohirra's, pearls, sustenex & others...

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I have to take miralax daily, one capful before bed time. I found it does not work so well if i eat any thing after taking it. Also it takes 2-3 days to start working. Before i had my colonscopy i had to drink a 17.9 oz bottle mixed with 64oz of gatoraid, drink 12oz every 30 mins. A doctor told me it would be ok to do that once a month to clean yourself out but i have had no problems unless i forgot my daily dose. For me the miralax works but its not a overnight thing, it takes time. Good luck i know your pain all so well.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Do you have any suggestions for brands of probiotics?

As MAMAW suggests, some people have a continuing problem with C no matter what they try, so if this does not help and the miralax does not help, you may want to be checked for hypothyroidism.

Chronic constipation is a major symptom of that and often accompanies celiac.

but do give these suggestions from all the others a try first. :)

Best wishes!

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Hi everyone,

Well I've made some progress. It got worse after I posted

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Magnesium citrate is what they give people before a colonoscopy and YES! that should clear you right out. :)

Stay home if you take that stuff. You will need to be near the bathroom.

Hope you get answers soon.

Because you have been gluten-free for several weeks, your biopsy may not be valid. Celiac is diagnosed by biopsy, not just by a scope. Be sure to discuss this with the gastrointestinal doctor .

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So I saw my primary doctor today - he ran an IgE RAST test for eggs, casein, wheat, soy and a few other things. He's repeating the CBC, checking my vit. d and running a bunch of thyroid tests. He did tell me that I don't have Celiac because my blood-work came back negative, mentioned possibly IBS or food allergies. However, he referred me to a GI doc. so I guess I'll see what happens. Oh

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I've been struggling with constipation for about a year now. (Suspected celiac, working with doctor. ) Some days it is worse than others and I seem to be on a streak of the bad days. :( It's such an awful feeling I just wish it would go away. I took some senacot last night, which helped a little. Mirolax does not work for me. I read somewhere that chronic constipation can indicate a magnesium deficiency - I don't know if I am deficient in magnesium (I haven't had it checked), but has that been the case for some of you?

Also, I eliminated gluten 3-4 weeks ago and have been so super careful to avoid CC. Last night I had a bowl of rice chex with 1% milk for the first time in 2 weeks (I had been feeling pretty good during those 2 weeks) and got really nauseous. Wondering if I should eliminate dairy. If so, what kind of milk is your favorite? I'm thinking coconut or rice (don't like almond and soy bothers me).

THANK YOU!

~Laura

I like Active and Fit Vanilla Soy. I never thought I'd like soy milk until my Asian boyfriend (many asians are lactose intolerant) introduced me to it.

I can related to the chronic constipation. I take a Ducolex stool softener two or three times a week. My sister is an herbalist and gave me a tincutre called Yellow Dock. I was vey apprehensive at first because the other meds she has given me were not helpful at all. Yellow Dock got me going. It was a miracle! If you can get your hands on some I'd try it.

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Thank you!

So I did the ducolax, mirilax/gatorade cleanse with some success...

I began having really terrible back and abdominal pain yesterday which continued through the night.. However, I did try to get through the night (I had taken some advil which helped). Didn't make it and ended up going to the emergency room.

Result? Kidney stones.

So far 3 doctors say scope and 1 says: "You don't need a scope for C, you just need something that will clear you out!" The ER doctors are winning...

Sorry for all the venting

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So I saw my primary doctor today - he ran an IgE RAST test for eggs, casein, wheat, soy and a few other things. He's repeating the CBC, checking my vit. d and running a bunch of thyroid tests. He did tell me that I don't have Celiac because my blood-work came back negative, mentioned possibly IBS or food allergies. However, he referred me to a GI doc. so I guess I'll see what happens. Oh — he also told me that I shouldn't need a scope for C, just something to help clean everything out. :blink:

Very interested to hear back from him on these tests — My grandma on my mom's side died from complications of heart disease... she had many of the same symptoms as I do (GI wise).

I'm not sure what I'll do about the scope and gluten-free thing...

Thanks again,

~Laura :)

A celiac panel can be falsely negative for many reasons. Mine was and I have Celiac. I think the estimated number of false negatives now is 30%.

A RAST test is for diagnosing allergies. Those are IgE mediated.

Do you have allergies?

It will not diagnose gluten intolerance or Celiac. It may tell you that you have a wheat allergy, but this is not the same as being intolerance of gluten.

And I am not sure how allergy testing will help with your chronic constipation.

In your first post you said you "felt better off gluten."

This implies a gluten sensitivity or intolerance. This is not the same as having an allergy.

People think celiacs have a "gluten allergy". This is not the case. Celiac is an autoimmune disease.

You may wish to read about the differences between a wheat allergy, a gluten intolerance/sensitivity and Celiac Disease.

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/whatisceliacdisease/f/AllergyVsAutoim.htm

I hope you find relief from your chronic C (as we call it on here) and I hope you will consider some of the suggestions we have offered.

RE: kidney stones? There is an association of kidney stones with gluten/celiac. I, myself had a bout with them in my 20's, just before my gall bladder went south and had to be removed. That was just the beginning for me. :huh:

Here:

http://glutenfreeworks.com/blog/2010/11/17/kidney-stones-renal-calculus-causes-treatment-in-celiac-disease/

http://celiaccorner.com/celiac-gluten-free/link-between-urinary-stone-disease-kidney-stones-and-celiac-disease/

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/symptomsofceliacdisease/a/complications.htm

Best wishes--I hope you get the medical help you need.

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Thanks IrishHeart!

I have done tons of reading (as I am generally interested in the field of medicine) on celiac, gluten intolerance, allergies and more generally, autoimmune diseases. I have many environmental allergies however, I am doubtful that the RAST testing will show anything. I do get very violent reactions to certain foods (muffins, cake-y things...go figure, lol) which is why the doc. wanted to run the IgE RAST testing. I suspect the thyroid results will hold the most value though.

The constipation is better: I definitely appreciate all of the suggestions — they helped a lot! I want to do whatever I can to make digestion an easier process for my body.

Wow, the links are great!

I thank every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

~Laura :)

P.S. IrishHeart: I'm so sorry you had to go through the kidney stones. :(

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Just got a call from the doctor's office this morning with the results from the blood work. Thyroid, chemistry, IgE RAST and H. pylori testing all came back normal. Vitamin D level was low — nurse said the doctor told me to take 1000 IU's a day. Told me to follow up with the GI but that my doctor said it was likely Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

If doctor's diagnosed Celiac as easily as they do IBS, there might be less undiagnosed and misdiagnosed out there. It makes me mad. I'm going to get my hands on those results and look them over myself — can't trust the doctors to look beyond the "ranges." GI appointment March 14th. Nervous: if I hear another garbage dx of IBS I am going to lose it.

On the bright side, I think I have an inkling as to why I have been struggling with constipation. I tend to get pale (very light??), smooth, small (narrow) and soft stools. So narrow, in fact, that my intestines have a hard time grabbing on, consequently, allowing build ups. Who knew D (some form) could cause C?

Thank you,

~Laura :)

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So I FINALLY got the most recent blood test results. A few things that stick out:

Potassium is good — 4.8 Ref. Range (3.4-5.1)

Calcium is also good — 9.1 Ref. Range (8.4-10.2)

Sodium — 139 Ref. Range (135-145)

Chloride — 102 Ref. Range (98-107)

CO2 — 25 Ref. Range (21-32)

ANION GAP — 17 Ref. Range (10-20)

Creatine is slightly elevated which makes sense given the kidney stone issues which surfaced the next day.

Vitamin D 25 OH — 28.3 Ref. Range: (30.0-100.0)

WBC — 4.8 (4.2-11.0)

RBC — 4.14 (4.00-5.20)

Hemoglobin — 12.7 (12.0-15.5)

Hematocrit — 38.0 (36.0-45.6)

And the IgE RAST testing...

Alpha-Lactalbumin, Casein, Egg white, egg yolk, soybean, and whey were all <0.10 (Ref. Range: <0.34) Wheat was 0.27 with the same ref. range.

The ONLY thyroid test he ran was the FREE T4 which was 1.1 (Ref. Range: 0.8-1.5) Is that test sufficient or should he have ran others as well?

Anyhow in related news: I am having nearly normal BM's!!!! Except for the chocolate I had last night. (Trying so hard to keep dairy out... caused me D...) Woohoooo!!!!!

Thank you everyone!!

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You actually need the full panel of thyroid tests including TSH, free T3, free T4, reverse T3, TPOab (thyroid peroxidase antibodies). The last test can diagnosed Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune hypothyroid condition which is highly correlated with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. You may need to see an endocrinologist to get all the tests you need, but at least try to persuade your current doc to give you a complete panel of thyroid tests.

Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism (low thyroid function). I had chronic constipation all my life. I followed all the constipation advice (more fluids, fiber, probiotics, eliminate gluten and other delayed reaction food allergies, resolve any gut bug (parasites, bacteria, yeast) infections, take massive doses of magnesium, etc., etc.) None of those practices gave me consistent normal stools.The only time I had consistently soft stools was when I had c-diff, which gives most people bad diarrhea. I finally resolved my constipatioin after I got effective thyroid supplements. Even while I was treating hypothyroidism with thyroid supplements, constipation was my first clue that my dose was not high enough or the supplement wasn't resolving my hypo symptoms. (My other hypo symptoms were feeling cold when others are warm and feeling fatigued even when I got more than enough sleep every night.)

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Thank you! I didn't think the one test would suffice, but I am new to the thyroid world! This may be a silly question but: does the normal FREE T4 value have any predictive qualities with regard to the other thyroid tests? More simply: is it common to have a normal Free t4 value but abnormal counts for the other thyroid tests?

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Thank you! I didn't think the one test would suffice, but I am new to the thyroid world! This may be a silly question but: does the normal FREE T4 value have any predictive qualities with regard to the other thyroid tests? More simply: is it common to have a normal Free t4 value but abnormal counts for the other thyroid tests?

Yes, my free t4 was in normal range, but my free t3 was below normal and my TSH was higher than normal. You can also have normal ft4, ft3 and tsh, but have very high tpoab (Hashimoto's antibodies). Those results say that your antibodies can be attacking your thyroid, but you haven't had enough damage to significantly affect your other thyroid hormone test results. If you continue consuming gluten and/or enough time passes, the damage can continue and lower those other test results.

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Thank you so much! Luckily I have another very supportive PCP (albeit clueless) who would most certainly be willing to order the entire panel. I stopped consuming gluten about 5 weeks ago and am avoiding dairy most of the time

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If it matters, my body temp is always low--96.7 --even lower at times :blink: ---and my thyroid works normally. If my temp is 99, I have a fever and man, am I sick! :rolleyes:

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Thanks

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The period thing gives me some hope! I'm 23 now, and I've been on birthcontrol since I was a teenager. I have awful, long, painful periods. They usually last at least a full week (I had one a couple months ago that lasted 3 long painful weeks) but everything is just fine as far as my ovaries and everything goes. Hoping maybe if my doctor figures out what's going on with me, I'll get a similar result. How nice would that be? I'm also in the same boat of "You tell me 'you have IBS' I might punch you in the face' hahah

But that's awesome for you! I'd be shocked too

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