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I'm Celiac, Could My Sis Be Gluten Intolerant?
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Hello everyone!

Since you are all so incredibly knowledgeable and have helped me out so much thus far, I'd figure I'd throw this one out there...

In May I found out that I was Celiac - I definitely was the atypical kind since I didn't experience GI symptoms before diagnosis. We found out that my mother has the DQ2 gene and my younger sister had the Celiac panel done and tested negative. I started the Primal diet (I posted about it in another section) and after seeing my success with it, my sister decided to go along with me to help her lose weight. She had been on the Primal diet for about two weeks and decided to have a cheat day last Friday and had croutons in her salad. She became sick with abdominal pains and constipation for three days.

Could she have had a masked gluten intolerance that we didn't know about? Just like I never suspected Celiac disease for me? Is it possible for one sibling to be full blown Celiac and the other one gluten intolerant? I figured that with intolerance, it would have popped out and reared its ugly head before now. Clearly her body doesn't "appreciate" gluten now and she should just go gluten-free, but she keeps asking me if her reaction could just be attributed to the fact that her body hasn't had gluten in two weeks. She's willing to go gluten free but just wants some feedback regarding if this could be an actual intolerance or her body just re-adjusting to something just added back into her diet. Any thoughts?

I've also suggested to her to create a profile on here and start asking some questions since you guys are amazing!!!

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Hi Laura and pass a welcome to your Sis!

It is not possible to become intolerant of gluten by removing it from one's diet. I have seen a several references to this over the past year and it is not true. There are MANY foods we don't eat on a regular basis - if we developed an intolerance every time we didn't eat a particular food for some time - EVERYONE would be intolerant of seasonal fruits and vegies - EVERYONE would be intolerant of certain meats and grains that aren't in their diets on a regular basis.

There are a couple possibilities. One she is Non Celiac Gluten Intolerant. Another would be that she had "silent celiac" trigger at some point and perhaps isn't making enough antibodies yet for detection in blood. I could probably think of a few more scenarios if she needs convincing. Make sure she had a Total IgA in her Celiac Panel - if she is low on Total IgA, all other IgA tests are not valid.

I would guess she might have a few other improvements in her health given more time gluten-free &/or will become even more sensitive to gluten exposure.

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    • Another link: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/7351/PDF
    • Thanks for posting.  I know it is difficult to talk about these sorts of things even on a webforum.  It is good thing for people to be aware though about celiac disease and that it can cause mental problems.  Gluten can cause brain damage and it can cause anxiety. If the brain does heal it may take a long time. I know that gluten can cause anxiety and obsessive thoughts.  My experience has been similar to your experience. When I first quit eating gluten I had a similar constant loop and strong negative feelings. There are lots of people on this forum who get anxiety when they eat gluten. Some people also experience gluten withdrawl where they experience anxiety after giving up gluten. It can take a long time for the body to heal and for obsessive thoughts to go away.
       It is normal for people to socialize with each other and to be comfortable about it. You said you have problems still socializing and being around people. It might be a depressing thought but it sounds to me like you still have problems with anxiety.  I would recommend considering what options you have available to treat the anxiety. When I quit eating Gluten I still had some symptoms, even though I felt much better. I have been slowly recovering over a period of about three years. I had obsessive thoughts even after I quit eating gluten.  Now I very rarely if at all think about those things. My experience is that my mind would latch on to certain things that caused me anxiety and focus on those things. Sometimes my focus would shift and I would latch onto other things. My ability to socialize has also improved greatly with time. I have made some dietary changes which I believe have helped greatly. It sounds to me like you have obsessive thoughts about things and maybe some brain damage. My experience has been that my obsessive thoughts about different things went away with time. I feel my obsessive thoughts were caused by gluten and not by what people did around me or any events. As my brain healed I became more self aware and things became less stressful.  I can't give medical advice on this forum but I can talk about my current diet and my experience with celiac disease. My experience with gluten is different from a lot of other people so it is a good idea to ask other people and to talk to a doctor.  I avoid oats and avoid almost all processed foods. I buy certified gluten free food. I eat healthy and I exercise every day. I take st John's Wort as I have read studies that say it may be as effective as some other anti-depressants for treating certain types of anxiety. It is available over the counter. I started with a small dosage and then stepped it up over time. I think it helps a lot.  This is also something that you should talk to a doctor about first. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Martin_Mahoney2/publication/7426926_St._John's_wort/links/540d8acc0cf2f2b29a386673.pdf A lot of people with celiac disease have vitamin deficiencies.  Vitamin b deficiency can cause anxiety. Some people do not process the synthetic form of vitamin b (from normal pills)  very well, and do better on an activated form of vitamin b. I take:
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