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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.

Maybe I'm Not Celiac After All...
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16 posts in this topic

I think it's been almost a month since I went gluten-free. I had a positive tissue transglutaminase antibody test, but a normal biopsy. So my GI sent me a letter saying he personally did not believe I have celiac disease, but that it wouldn't hurt to try the diet. I have been vigilant about avoiding gluten. However, my family doctor did a blood test last week and the tTG and IGA and other tests were all normal. He said that doesn't mean that I don't have it, since I did have the positive test before.

But besides those negative test results, I'm still sick as hell. I have severe diarrhea and abdominal pain & distention. I sleep all the time and feel dizzy. This diet is not working. So maybe the GI was right, and this is just garden-variety IBS. If that's the case, I can't do a thing about it and am considering suicide.

Any thoughts? :(

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I think it's been almost a month since I went gluten-free.  I had a positive tissue transglutaminase antibody test, but a normal biopsy.  So my GI sent me a letter saying he personally did not believe I have celiac disease, but that it wouldn't hurt to try the diet.  I have been vigilant about avoiding gluten.  However, my family doctor did a blood test last week and the tTG and IGA and other tests were all normal.  He said that doesn't mean that I don't have it, since I did have the positive test before. 

But besides those negative test results, I'm still sick as hell.  I have severe diarrhea and abdominal pain & distention.  I sleep all the time and feel dizzy.  This diet is not working.  So maybe the GI was right, and this is just garden-variety IBS.  If that's the case, I can't do a thing about it and am considering suicide. 

Any thoughts? :(

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It takes longer sometimes. I did not feel alot better for 3 months and was not normal for about 8 months.

I would believe the blood test...tTG is a very accurate test and biopsies can rule celiac in but not out because they can easily miss damage.

Have you changed lipsticks and other cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, lotions, etc?

Make sure all of that is gluten free. Also, since you are new to the diet it is easy to get hidden gluten in. I had many incidents at first where I thought the food was gluten free but it had it hidden.

Just don't expect results so fast..it takes time to heal.

Just stay gluten free and try to keep positive. Thinking of suicide is serious so maybe you need to talk with someone about that if you have seriously been considering that because that is not something to mess with either. Feel better soon :D

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I think it's been almost a month since I went gluten-free. I had a positive tissue transglutaminase antibody test, but a normal biopsy. So my GI sent me a letter saying he personally did not believe I have celiac disease, but that it wouldn't hurt to try the diet. I have been vigilant about avoiding gluten. However, my family doctor did a blood test last week and the tTG and IGA and other tests were all normal. He said that doesn't mean that I don't have it, since I did have the positive test before.

But besides those negative test results, I'm still sick as hell. I have severe diarrhea and abdominal pain & distention. I sleep all the time and feel dizzy. This diet is not working. So maybe the GI was right, and this is just garden-variety IBS. If that's the case, I can't do a thing about it and am considering suicide.

Any thoughts?

OK...

1) One month is not nearly enough to see results. Some people will feel better in one month, for some people it might take two, three, or four. But definitely do not give up after one.

2) While it may be that you just need more time on the diet to feel the effects, there are a number of other reasons why you might not be getting better: It could be that you are still ingesting gluten. Have you checked everything? All the food you eat, preparation (if you live with someone who eats gluten), make up (if you're female?), shampoo, toothpaste, etc. It could be that there's one more thing. I was gluten-free for one hellish year with no improvement--I actually got worse. My intestine had healed so they couldn't understand why I was still sick. Finally after a ton of testing, we discovered that I had another intestinal problem, malrotated intestines (which is rare--and occurs in infancy--I'm nearly 15 now). Surgery in February and I was fine. See? In my case I was gluten-free, but we have to remember that there are other possibilities besides celiac--just because you discovered a problem doesn't mean you discovered the only problem.

3) There is a 50/50 chance you have celiac in my opinion (me being only 15 and not a doctor, so don't take me TOO seriously). The tTG is a good test, but it can give false positives. However, if it is a true positive, it could just be that you have gluten intolerance that's not yet developed into celiac, so you don't have intestinal damage. You still need to follow a gluten-free diet if you have that. The tests should be normal or a little closer to normal if you've been following the diet and you have celiac...that is a sign that you're healing and following the diet, so that is not a bad thing at all.

4) Do not give up yet. I was REALLY sick for 14 full years and I wanted to die and just have it over. I would never have gone so far as to purposely do it, but I just wanted the pain to be gone... I hung in there and now I'm healthier than I've ever been before...I got through it. Don't give up. ;)

-celiac3270

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Hi, celiac3270,

I've read a lot of your posts and respect your opinion; it's hard to believe you're only 15!

Regarding your malrotated intestines, I had a doctor diagnose me with volvulus of the splenic large intestine once. He didn't suggest that there should be anything done about it, though. From what I understand from reading and from other doctors, that is a medical emergency that causes vomiting, fever, and acute symptoms. My symptoms are chronic and have occurred over many years. I'm quite confused about that subject. :blink:

You probably have suffered a lot over the years. In the last few months, I've lost my job, had a hysterectomy, and my husband left me. He couldn't stand my being sick anymore. I thought that I would get better on this diet, but I can't look for work now. I can barely tend to the children. I see no hope, but probably wouldn't really kill myself.

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Hi, celiac3270,

I've read a lot of your posts and respect your opinion; it's hard to believe you're only 15!

Regarding your malrotated intestines, I had a doctor diagnose me with volvulus of the splenic large intestine once.  He didn't suggest that there should be anything done about it, though.  From what I understand from reading and from other doctors, that is a medical emergency that causes vomiting, fever, and acute symptoms.  My symptoms are chronic and have occurred over many years.  I'm quite confused about that subject.  :blink:

You probably have suffered a lot over the years.  In the last few months, I've lost my job, had a hysterectomy, and my husband left me.  He couldn't stand my being sick anymore.  I thought that I would get better on this diet, but I can't look for work now.  I can barely tend to the children.  I see no hope, but probably wouldn't really kill myself.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

"Volvulus" is twisting of the intestine. I find it very odd that a doctor would diagnose someone with that and not do anything about it. (Malpractice) Did you have upper GI to diagnose that problem?? Very serious issue you are talking about if infact that is what you have...life threatening if not taken care of in time.

See attached website on malrotation and volvulus. http://www.chw.org/display/router.asp?DocID=2809

Do seek professional help for all your issues!!

Feel better!

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When it comes to celiac celiac3270 and Katie run circles around all the "real doctors" out there.

One month is not long enough. I felt better right away but that is a relative term. "Better" for me would still be really sick for anyone else. It was a good three months before I really felt like I was on the right track. It was a year before I really felt healthy for the first time in my life. Double check to see if you are not getting any hidden gluten. You shoudl look into the possibility if you have any other food intolerances like dairy or soy. Soy can be a problem for me in large quantities. I was sick for 36 years so don't give up. I was days away from losing my job and this ended my marriage but that was a good thing. My life has never been better but it was a struggle to get there but if I can do it anybody can.

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I know how you feel. When I first got sick I had to go on disability...then I lost my relationship...thought I might lose my house at one point. For awhile I was so sick and depressed that I prayed every night that I just wouldn't wake up...it was a really rough time. I've been on the diet almost as long as you have and I cant say that I'm anywhere near 100% yet. I know it takes some time. I agree with the others stay gluten-free..make sure you're not missing anything. I was getting reactions from a couple things that are suppossed to be gluten-free...don't know what the problem was but I'm avoiding those products now. You could be having trouble with something your eating other than gluten or you could still have gluten slipping in. Also like celiac3270 said...there could be something else going on as well as the gluten intolerance. Be patient..there will be better days. I'm in a MUCH better place than I was in April...I actually had a head start on the gluten-free diet because I was 95% gluten-free since April while on a candida diet...the last few weeks I'm 100% gluten-free (trying to be anyways). Hang in there...it'll get better. :)

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Not even 15, lol. My b-day is in late January.

Absolutely...this should have been taken extremely seriously. Here's a quote from the link in my signature for malrotation:

Malrotation and Volvulus

Symptoms of malrotation and volvulus may include vomiting, pain, a swollen abdomen, bloody or loose stools, rapid heart rate and breathing, little or no urine, and fever.

Malrotation occurs when the intestine or bowel does not fold or rotate properly in early fetal development.  Malrotated intestines may “flop” around since they are not properly attached to the abdomen wall.  This can result in the intestines twisting around one another.  This is called volvulus.  As this happens, the duodenum may be twisted shut which can induce vomiting with or without pain.  If the intestines twist further, they may compress the blood supply.  This can cause severe pain as the blood supply to the small intestine is cut off.  Sometimes, the twist relaxes and the pain resolves.  However, with each episode there is the chance that the blood vessel compression will last too long and the intestine will die.  Unfortunately, the entire small intestine is usually involved, with the exception of the top few inches and the lower half the colon.  When this much bowel is lost, most children require intravenous nutrition for the rest of their lives. 

Malrotation is diagnosed by having the child swallow barium.  It is important to track the barium as it travels through the first part of the small intestine to make sure the intestine passes correctly from right to left.  Sometimes barium enemas are used to see the location of the beginning of the colon.  Because malrotation can be a life-threatening emergency that most commonly occurs in childhood, pediatric radiologists are often more familiar with its subtle forms and more aggressive about watching barium long enough to make sure malrotation is not present.  For this reason, we recommend that studies done to evaluate vomiting in children be done by pediatric radiologists whenever possible. 

Malrotation is a medical emergency.  If volvulus is not present, i.e. the bowel is not blocked from twisting and the blood supply is not being compressed, surgical correction is usually done within a few days.  If vomiting is present and x-ray studies show that volvulus is present, surgical therapy should occur immediately.  The surgeon will untwist the bowel and try to determine if any bowel has died.  Once dead bowel is removed, the remaining intestine is attached to the back of the abdomen to prevent further volvulus.

Don't give up. Just think that if you're at the bottom, there's nowhere to go but up. It will get better--if he wouldn't stick by you in sickness, your ex-husband wasn't someone you would want in your life, anyway. You will get your health under control. When I was sick I thought about the future--like, if I keep getting sick like this for the rest of my life, how could I hold a job when I got older? Don't worry about that stuff right now--once your health is under control, you can get a job and everything will fall back into place.

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I'm sorry you aren't feeling better yet, but don't give up. Since your first test was positive and your recent ones weren't, I believe you do at the very least have a gluten intolerance. You may be having other food intolerance's as well. Dairy, Soy, Yeast and so on... I would stay away from any processed prepared gluten free foods, and stick to a very plain diet for a little while. Fresh Fruits and Veggies (stay with the milder ones at first like Bananas and Applesauce, Green Beans and Peas..) Fresh Meat seasoned only with salt and pepper and a small amount of olive oil and then baked. Plain rice (seasoned with S&P) or Plain Potatoes... Gradually add other whole foods in one at a time (several days in between each) and watch for any symptoms.

Hope that helps you. When you have been sick for a while, sometimes you have to keep it very simple at first. I had to do that because of 34 years of undiagnosed damage. I started to feel better fairly quickly after that. I still have trouble with a lot of the gluten free processed foods.

My daughter on the other hand, does just fine with the processed gluten-free foods, but I have to keep my diet very plain and simple.

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To echo nini-

Stay away from the processed foods at all cost. Only when I started that type of diet (SCD) did I get better. You could look into it at www.breakingtheviciouscycle.com. I have never felt this good...EVER

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right after i was diagnosed, i noticed i suddenly became more ill than before i was diagnosed. i was vomiting more and there was seemingly no explaination. i decided to look at my brand new diet, as i thought that maybe something new i was consuming was making me sick. it turns out i was right. i'm allergic to buckwheat. not only that, but i'm allergic to corn as well. though i'd never had a reaction to corn before, i also never consumed as much as i do now since it's such a major replacement grain for gluten free products. what my doctor told me was that with minor allergies, you can eat it and be fine up until a certain point before you get sick. basically, there's a threshhold you have to reach first.

anyway, try looking at some of the newer things you are consuming and get tested for allergies to them. also, like others have said- be patient. you're not going to get well overnight. if you are also having thoughts of suicide or are suffering from depression, it might be wise to see a counselor. celiac disease is a major lifestyle change, and you could use the support.

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Hang in there- it is REALLY hard and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I've been gluten-free since February and at first, I noticed massive improvement and then I had a slide- a big one. I've felt hideous since July and I'm trying to figure out what it is- I think I've isolated some things I can't have like much dairy, no distilled products and probably no alcohol. I'm going to go way down low and eat very basic for awhile and see what happens.

It's like you think, "Ok, I'll go gluten free and everything will be fine." but that's not always the case. There maybe other problems and it takes on average 6 months to a year to heal.

The worst part, for me, anyway, is the feeling like you just can't take it anymore. It would really help if you could find a support group (if online with us isn't enough) or someone to talk to. Sometimes you just need someone to say "Everything's gonna be OK" and IT WILL. It just takes time. Hang in there, Beverly

PS Even if you don't have Celiac's, the gluten free diet is good for so many things!

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Hi there Kate. Boy, can life be really tough sometimes, and usually all the bad things seem to happen at once. I hope you will soon be over the worst and can enjoy life again.

Some of us were still reacting negatively to the gluten-free grains and have started a diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. If interested you can check out the posts in SCD Support Group under Gluten-Free Diet & Weight Issues at this forum. I must say my digestive system has never felt so normal in a very looooooong time. I was still having a great deal of digestive discomfort from the gluten-free grains so this diet has been a life-saver for me. I noticed improvement very quickly.

Please search, and search again for answers/solutions. There is a reason for your symptoms and sometimes we have to function as a mini-detective :blink:

Be strong and take good care of yourself, Misa :)

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I was just wondering how you're doing. I know what you mean. It's not really that you want to die or anything, you just want the pain to stop. Whether or not you have celiac, you've got a lot of the same symptoms and the people here really understand what you're going through. Just knowing you're not the only one helps sometimes, ya know?

Hang in there...

Nancy

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I think it's been almost a month since I went gluten-free. I had a positive tissue transglutaminase antibody test, but a normal biopsy. So my GI sent me a letter saying he personally did not believe I have celiac disease, but that it wouldn't hurt to try the diet. I have been vigilant about avoiding gluten. However, my family doctor did a blood test last week and the tTG and IGA and other tests were all normal. He said that doesn't mean that I don't have it, since I did have the positive test before.

But besides those negative test results, I'm still sick as hell. I have severe diarrhea and abdominal pain & distention. I sleep all the time and feel dizzy. This diet is not working. So maybe the GI was right, and this is just garden-variety IBS. If that's the case, I can't do a thing about it and am considering suicide. Any thoughts? sad.gif

:(

I am so sorry you are going through this... you are not alone though and many of us on this board have experienced what you are going through. Please don't feel alone in this and many people here on this board including myself would love to help you out.

The fact that you had a positive tissue transgluamase test, means that you would most likely have celiac disease. How high were your results? When the doctor took the biopsy, he may have missed damage since it can be sporatic.

Like the others have said, one month is not enough time for most people to get better. Some people are lucky and feel better right away, but other takes months and even years. Personally, I was having problems for just over a year on the diet.

Also, make sure everything that goes near your mouth is 100% gluten free. Even things are are gluten free can be contaminated so you have to be careful. I have even messed up... About 6 months ago, I found out that I was eating humpty dumpty chips that were gluten free, but contaminated with gluten from the lines. I believe that this was one of the reasons why it took me so long to get better on the diet. Also, I was eating maple leaf gluten-free hotdogs last summer and stopped eating them for awhile, When I started eating them this summer, I started getting gluten reactions, so I contacted the company and they said that they could be contaminated with gluten from the facility. I believe that I didn't really notice the reaction last summer because I still having problems.

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Nancy- well said and thank you for saying what I was thinking. It's not that you want to die- you just want the pain to stop. I've finding this disease painful both physically and emotionally but every morning I wake up and hope that today will be the day that I feel even just a little better. Lately, I've been trying to focus on what is good about my life and what I CAN do and it helps. It's that small bit of hope every morning that helps. Find it wherever you can and keep to talking to us. We're all in the same boat (unfortunately, it can be a ver smelly, uncomfortable boat sometimes :blink: Beverly

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