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Artificial Sweetener
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Has there been any celiac disease research regarding artifical sweeteners, like Equal or Splenda???? Could it be bad for Celiacs?????

I use a ton of it: in my coffee and sugar free foods, diet soda......

I use it because I like to stay thin, so I tend to avoid sugar (sugar can be really, really bad for you (with or without Celiac)

Artificially speaking: flavoring, colors, etc. Are they too bad for Celiacs?

Any info would be appreciated.

Happy gluten-free Eating Everyone

:D

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Many artificial sweeteners are gluten free but seriously they are horrible for everyone.I learned some pretty nasty stuff about artificial sweeteners in a course for college I am in now.

There are 2 natural ones that are pretty good and those are Stevia and Xylitol....those are the best things.

Regular sugar is better for you than the artificial sweeteners though.

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Diet pepsi and diet coke are gluten-free... but Kaiti is right... that stuff is not good for anyone.

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I have NEVER been able to tolerate sorbitol (or any of the 'tol' artificial sweetners). I get immedate symptoms which are very much like my gluten contamination symptoms (bits of broken glass stuck in my intestines, excruciating pain, gas, bloating and eventually diarrhea, although I usually don't get D from contamination expisodes). I read somewhere (I'm sorry I can't find that source right now) that reactivity to artificial sweetners is related to 'leaky gut syndrome' which is very common among celiacs. I don't have any reaction to aspartame or saccharin, but I'm not sure about splenda. I think we had to just observe what happens when we consume those sweetners. Some people react and some don't. I also must limit the amount of sugar I consume, because I get hypoglycemic reactions to unbalanced (higher carb) meals and too much sugar at one time.

BURDEE

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I have VERY bad reactions to aspartame. I never had a problem with it when I was healthy but now I don't even chew gum anymore. I'm still traumatized from the reactions I got more than 2 years ago. :blink:

I've never tried any other artificial sweeteners...I don't drink/eat diet products.

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Many artificial sweeteners are gluten free but seriously they are horrible for everyone.I learned some pretty nasty stuff about artificial sweeteners in a course for college I am in now.

There are 2 natural ones that are pretty good and those are Stevia and Xylitol....those are the best things.

Regular sugar is better for you than the artificial sweeteners though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Jury is still out on wether or not Stevia is safe,it is not even approved as a sweenter here in the US yet. They have to sell it as an "herbal suplliment" to get around that rule. I am sure it will turn out to be fine, but just figured that should be mentioned. If it was cheaper I'd try it.

Splenda is great for most ppl. Its derived from sugar directly, and not an pure artifical creation like Sweet and low/etc.

And the white crap that ppl call sugar is much worse for you then splenda, or prbly Stevia (which the Candian FDA like ppl HAS approved).

In most cases.. just leave all the sweetners out. You better off. :) I pefer the "no sugar added" varties of food when I can find them. Just liek I never ADD salt to foods, I rarely add a sweenter.

Honey is another good alternative...

And if you INSIST on sguar, at least use the "raw" unproccessed, unbleached stuff. Hard to call that white crap "natural".. by the time it reachses you is prccessed as almost much as splenda is.

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Jury is still out on wether or not Stevia is safe,it is not even approved as a sweenter here in the US yet. They have to sell it as an "herbal suplliment" to get around that rule. I am sure it will turn out to be fine, but just figured that should be mentioned. If it was cheaper I'd try it.

Splenda is great for most ppl. Its derived from sugar directly, and not an pure artifical creation like Sweet and low/etc.

And the white crap that ppl call sugar is much worse for you then splenda, or prbly Stevia (which the Candian FDA like ppl HAS approved).

Honey is another good alternative...

According to many sources...including one of the textbooks of which I am reading in my course....artificial sweeteners are very toxic...even more so than regular sugar. It's not only been linked to some brain tumors but cancer as well and even other things.

Aspartame is by far the worst out of everything though. It contains 10% methanol, which is a wood alcohol. (Methanol depletes the body's oxygen and can cause dizziness, memory loss, vision loss, and seizures)The body does not have enzymes to detoxify it and then in the body's attempt to eliminate it, it converts to formaldehyde, which is an embalming fluid and is a Class A Carcinogen.

White sugar is also considered very bad for you but artificial is by far the worst.

Honey is a good alternative.

Stevia has no side effects so it is safe. There has been debate about it contributing to fertility but according to my book that was never proved and is considered safe and all natural.

Xylitol and Stevia do not contribute to any disease and does not deplete your body of anything. Stevia has no calories and Xylitol has very little calories. They are actually ok for diabetics and hypoglycemics.

Now it is very political with approving things...alot of the herbal supplements are way better than some of the stuff that the U.S approves but that's a whole different subject there.

Here are also some articles you should consider reading if you think Splenda is safe:

http://www.truthaboutsplenda.com/

http://www.holisticmed.com/splenda/

http://www.mercola.com/2004/jan/10/splenda_questions.htm

http://www.mercola.com/2003/aug/23/splenda.htm

http://www.mercola.com/2000/dec/3/sucralose_dangers.htm#

If the stuff we had was so safe then why are we #1 in the world for all kinds of diseases and cancer and #17 for longevity? It's because of the food and ingredients. They alter the natural state of the food and put in additives and make alot of the food at almost no nutritional content and then there are medications we go around popping that causes many problems and depletes the body of different vitamins and minerals( I am not saying meds are never needed though because in some cases they are but they are way over used)

ok end of my rant now...I'm hugely against the artificial crap...can you tell.

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Artificial sweeteners are no less safe for celiacs than non-celiacs, but that's not to say they're safe. Many people do not tolerate them well, digestively, with headaches being one of the more common side effects of aspartame and gas/intestinal pain being one of the more common side effects of the -itols.

Here's the thing, though - you shouldn't consume excesses of anything. A lot of artificial sweeteners is not a healthy thing for your body, from a chemical perspective. But it's also not a healthy thing for your body, from a weight gaining perspective. Some studies were done last year that showed that the use of artificial sweeteners - particularly the regular use of artificial sweeteners - interferred with people's ability to consume the appropriate number of calories. The brain gets used to doing estimations on the taste of the food about how many calories are in it. Something sweet should have some calories from sugar in it. When you start using artificial sweeteners, however, and relying on them, your brain adjusts and says, "hey, it's sweet, but it's got fewer calories". If you eat other things in the day that have natural sweetness to them, your brain will not realize that it's gotten as many calories and will think you should have more of the item to get the energy it needs. That's over eating.

Beyond that, by focusing so much on sweetening things, you lose the senses for the natural variety of flavors in your foods. So, yeah, I would suggest dropping some of those artificial sweeteners (particularly the ones that come with a number of chemicals your body doesn't need - like soda)

And finally, sugar itself, is not really really bad for you. Ever eat a bit of rice? It gets turned into sugar in your body. Ever eat fruit? It's mostly sugar as is. An excess of sugar is the problem. The body runs on glucose, the brain in particular, but connecting sugar intakes to obesity isn't saying "sugar is bad". One major problem with extra sugar is (even in a calorically steady diet) that other nutrients (protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals) are being excluded where sugar is brought in. The second major problem with extra sugar is that it drives up blood sugar levels quickly, which drives up insulin production quickly, which repeated over time makes the body less sensitive to insulin, leading to type 2 diabetes. Like most things, it's all in the dosage.

Of course, even a healthy diet consists of plenty of sugar from fruit and indirectly from starches, so there's not really any need for added sugar. A bit here and there won't hurt you, artificial or not, but due to the issues cited above about how your brain reacts to artificial sweeteners, I would encourage the use of natural sweeteners. My preference, actually, is fructose in baked goods which call for sugar and nothing else will do (because fructose registers as sweeter on the tongue, you can use about 2/3 of the amount of sugar called for, or less), but much more so, either honey or (if you don't mind the price) agave, which is sweeter than honey (so you use less) and has a lower glycemic index (so it raises blood sugar levels a bit more slowly).

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I'm with Kaiti on this one. Artificial sweetners are not good for anyone. I have heard people try to tell me "well, you use so little of actual Splenda (sucralose) that it can't hardly hurt you..." Um, they tell this to a person who is gluten intolerant? Uh, no, that argument doesn't hold water.

I have never been as sick as I was when I was chewing aspartame gum daily. Then I was all over Splenda for a while there, but I was getting so sick, lethargic, migraines, feeling just like crawling in a hole and dying. Somehow made the connection and stopped and felt better in two days. Tried it again the next summer (1/4 carton of Ben & Jerry's Carb Karma, twice a week for two cartons) and was sicker than a dog. Had forgotten what that stuff does to me. I also went back and tried drinking diet Rite, ugh, was sick after that, too.

Sweeteners that end with "ol" are not artificial sweeteners. They actually exist in nature, and are processed or refined but not created in a lab. For example, xylitol is made from birch tree. Sorbitol is in many fruits, but also has a reputation for giving people diarrhea (all of the "polyols" or "sugar alcohols" as they are classed are known for this - they aren't well digested by people so the bacteria in your gut goes nuts digesting instead, which can cause bloating, diarrhea, and other gastro symptoms). Many have a slightly cool mouth feel, or taste slightly minty. Most are not quite as sweet as sugar. But many have alternate benefits - xylitol, which is commonly found in toothpaste and gum fights cavities as well as some evidence of it helping ulcers heal and battling h. pylori bacteria.

I try to use xylitol with a little stevia mixed in to make the right sweetness when I bake. I also use honey, agave nectar (great for diabetics and hypoglycemics, does not raise blood sugar levels like most sweets), brown rice syrup, molassas sugar and unsulphered molassas, and concentrated fruit juice sweetener. I have also used bananas as part of the sweetener in baked goods, like brownies.

Glycerine is also a sweetener that does not impact blood sugar levels - sometimes hard to find (I found it at Michaels craft store in the candy making section) but it's not totally palatable straight up. It's good to mix into baked goods to help maintain moisture.

I have been booed off of low carb forums (back when I frequented them, before finding out gluten was my problem) for saying I get sick from Splenda. Splenda-lovers are very firm believers in this product, which has had even less testing than stevia. The reason stevia has not made it on the market as a sweetener in the US is because Monsanto, the company that created aspartame, has lobbied the government to keep it in testing. Diet Coke, in Japan, is sweetened with stevia. You can buy stevia plants and grow them yourself - it's kind of cool. It's already in many teas, like Good Earth tea (why it tastes sweet). If you have a sweet tea, check the ingredients, it will likely have stevia in it.

End of my rant/lecture.

Stephanie

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mandigirl--

you probably got more than you bargained for here, huh?! i also echo the sentiments on bleh to artificial sweetners. i go for real sugar or honey when i can. and i second tiffany that yeah, too much of the real stuff isn't good either and can cause a host of issues. at least it came from a plant and not a "laboratory" though ! :blink:

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as I said stevia is PROBABLY safe, and I would personaly consider it, IF it was not so balsted expensive. HOWEVER there are studies(sory no link handy ) that suggest its NOT safe. They are few and far between, and might not be valid, but as I asid the jury si still out. I am not arguing against it, just putting fair infomation out. As soon as the price falls I'll try it.

Sugar in the quanities it exists in NATURAL foods, like oranges, etc, is find.. however, the quanties it is ADDED to is very bad. Americans eat somthing like 500mg of sugar A DAY (have exact number at home, but Im 867 miles way right now...), Just 100 years ago Americans were eating more around 100mg a day. Thats a 500% increase, DAILY.

So ya, America has deiseas problems, and some of its is from food additives for sure, I personaly try to to eat as close to natural as I can, BUT the sugar is a REAL problem that is way understated beacuse of the way over stated fears of good alternives such as Splenda, Stevia, Honey, etc.

NOTE I AM NOT A DOCTOR, CHECK WITH YOURS BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY DIETARY CHANGES BASED ON MY POSTS. :D

And lets not for get stuff like cocains, pot, arsnic, lead, and many other deadly substances are "all natural" :) So "all natural" does not = good for you. :) Less of course you want to let a Water Moccasin bit you, and inject its all natural venom in you. LOL :D Soory getting silly... have to be with whats going on out here....

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Look, I do not want to fight and defend artifical sweetners :) I hate how It seems like I get backed in to that around here. Realy annoying... esply since I am AGAINST adding junk to food. lol!

MY PERSONAL ADVICE IS TO NOT ADD SUGAR TO YOUR FOOD (AND BUY NO SUGAR ADDED VERSIONS), and/or look for alternitives such as fruit juice, honey, etc. Stevia which is a root, and I hope does turn out well, will be a great option too. I know next to nuin about Xyitol... so I wont commnet on it. :)

The closer to the way the food was grown that you can get the more nutriton you will get. IE an orange pulled fomra tree and eaten has more nutrtion then it does when you get it from a jug of minite maid. Real beef is much better then that junk on the McDonalds burgers, etc.

Thats my NON_DOCTOR opinion. :)

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Argh... Mercola... I read that "questions about splenda" page. the man needs to take a chemistry class; he is spreading SUCH misinformation it's walking the line of unethical.

1: the methanol issue - yep, aspartame increases methanl load by, on average, the same amount of methanol that is normally present in the body. and yes, it gets converted to formaldahyde, which is a carcinogen. but the body NATURALLY PRODUCES methanol itself, in normal metabolic processes. as do a number of other animals and plants in the world, so we're exposed to low levels environmentally as well. just because a lot of it is bad, doesn't mean a little is. (everything, even the water we need to survive, is toxic at high doses.)

2: the chlorocarbon issue - it's a pretty big jump to go from methane and and ethane based chlorocarbon properties to the properties of a six-member ring base chlorocarbon. a huge jump. a not-allowed if you want to pass your chemistry class jump. yes, a number of those C1 and C2 chemicals are BAD for you and the environment. really really really bad. but small chemical differences make HUGE functional differences. such as in the following point:

3. the chlorine issue - all of us consume chlorine molecules on a regular basis - it's half of table salt. the OSHA handbook that is referred to on that site is for chemical chlorine, which is - again - different than chlorine as bound up in items like salt. just because it's got chlorine in it doesn't mean it's all bad. (the further argument that "just because it's stable at various pH's and temperatures when tested in rats doesn't mean it's safe in humans" is *nonsense*. you don't test for pH and temperature stability in vivo, and it doesn't suddenly change properties in a different animal. that's basic physical chemistry there.)

4. the statement that anything put in the body will be assimilated - dude, how'd he get to be a doctor? insoluble fiber is put in the body and not assimilated. his comparison to plastic, here, was mildly useful, in the sense that sucralose doesn't get digested because the chlorine molecules modify the chemical structure enough that the sucrase enzyme which usually breaks the bond between the two units of glucose that make up a sucrose molecule can't recognize the sucralose molecule and can't metabolize it. but in that case, you'd have to say that insoluble fiber was like plastic too, to be fair to the analogy.

5. the 600 times sweeter question - he doesn't answer this one at all - the answer is the rate at which it can activate taste buds, and keep them active; it's more efficient than sugar at this for the sweet taste buds

And finally:

Q: The corporations say sucralose is safe.

A: They said the same thing about aspartame, and look at the rampant disease and obesity taking over America since aspartame was put into the food supply over 20 years ago.

Oh my god! This is such a specious statement! It is the equivalent of me telling my husband he must be cheating on me if my dad cheated on my mom. Perhaps he should take a logic class after the chemistry class.

ok...

all that being said, please, please note that I did not anywhere state that Splenda WAS safe. I simply said that the reasons given so far, applied as they have been, do not prove that it is unsafe. Failing to prove A does NOT prove the antithesis to A. (Though *that* is something that the corporate junkies would have you believe in cases like these, and that does an EQUAL discredit to the population as the misleading statements in the first place.) personally, I don't consume splenda. as Kaiti mentioned, these things are insanely political, and I don't think we can get a good clear picture out of that. besides, why go for something artificial when you can stick with natural foods?

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Argh... Mercola... I read that "questions about splenda" page.  the man needs to take a chemistry class; he is spreading SUCH misinformation it's walking the line of unethical.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thank you, I was planing to type somthing like that up, but you did it for me :)

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We use Splenda. I make Kool-aid with it and I try baking with it sometimes. It doens't always work with gluten-free baking in my opinion. It is gluten-free. Is it good for you? Probably not, is sugar good for you, probably not. You have to make decisions for yourself based on how something makes you feel. If you try Splenda in your tea and try nothing else new for a certain amount of time and you feel bad, stop using it. I have researched artificial sweetners, my daughter has diabetes, and you can find articles very supportive and very negative in regards to using artificial sweetners. So you have to make the decision. The last time I checked Stevia does have carbs, just not as much as sugar. (I could be wrong it was right after my daughters dx)

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Splenda is an isomer of sugar. Basically, our body can "recognize" and then process or use the calories from regular sugar because it knows it is there. WIth splenda, it is an isomer that the body doesn't recognize and thus passes through the body without being detected, thus it is "Calorie Free".

Obviously too much of anything is a bad thing, but I personally do not think splenda is a bad product, in fact I think it is remarkable.

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OK, just a couple of more things about stevia.

First of all, real stevia does not have carbs - when it's blended with maltodextrin or other things (like xylitol or lactose) it does have carbs. It depends on what it's mixed with.

Second, it's not a root, the leaves are what are used. That's why it was called by natives of Paraguay and those who have used it for centuries "sweet leaf." I have had a plant and taken and dried the leaves and used them in teas. You can grind them up and bake with them, however they don't assimilate as well in foods. The most conecentrated stevias on the market are also the most processed. I have found the most useful are the extracts with eyedroppers. THey have the best "sweet" taste. All stevias are not equal. My favorites change, the eyedropper ones are all a little different.

BTW, I am not trying to debate anyone here about this, I am just trying to educate. :) I don't like using splenda or aspartame because they cause me side effects. I don't have any side effects from stevia, but I don't love the taste of it, either. I don't love the taste of xylitol. But I try to refrain from using real sugar as much as possible. Agave nectar is my favorite of the somewhat healthy sweeteners, and can be used as honey in any recipe. It is pricey but the price has come down quite a bit.

I try to eat as much whole food as possible and there's no way I could justify artificial sweeteners with this policy. I think everyone is better off without sugar, but that's not going to happen for the majority. I have seen some of those stats that VydorScope pointed out - how much sugar people eat in a year or their lifetime, average, and it's like 200% of what they did 100 years ago. Scary! It's been an exponential curve since the 1900s, with the 70's being when the curve started shooting straight up. They put sugar in everything! Why is it in mayonaise??? I remember as a kid thinking, "I can taste the salt in Wheat Thins more than the sweet, but sugar comes first in the ingredients. How is that?"

Anyway, good topic.

Stephanie

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Second, it's not a root, the leaves are what are used. That's why it was called by natives of Paraguay and those who have used it for centuries "sweet leaf." I have had a plant and taken and dried the leaves and used them in teas.

BAH sorry, dunno why I said root... grr... need more coffee I think

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Splenda is an isomer of sugar.  Basically, our body can "recognize" and then process or use the calories from regular sugar because it knows it is there.  WIth splenda, it is an isomer that the body doesn't recognize and thus passes through the body without being detected, thus it is "Calorie Free". 

Obviously too much of anything is a bad thing, but I personally do not think splenda is a bad product, in fact I think it is remarkable.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's not strictly an isomer, as three of the hydrogen atoms in the sucrose molecule are replaced with chlorine atoms. But the effect is the same, the body can't break it apart.

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Thanks everyone. :)

I really appreciate all of your input. A lot of things made sense to me and Ive come to the decision to stop using Equal, and limit the Splenda. I guess if you think about it, there is true meaning behind the word "artificial"---its a substitute, fake, its not the real deal.

Theres so much stuff we do not know for sure about when it comes to government labeling, or things of the such. It is political. Its like the whole pesticide on veggies and fruits debate. If supermarkets have "permission" to sell it to the public, and it does contain pesticides, and we're consuming them, then we're in deep trouble. That may also contribute to so many health-related deaths in this country.

You know, the more I think about it---our government allows the sale of cigarettes!!!!!!!! :angry: I was a 10 year, pack a day smoker myself. Thousands of people get very sick, suffer and/or die from it. Our government clearly knows this, so why do they allow it? If this is possible (on such a larger scale) then we cant be 100% certain about things with artifical sweeteners, now can we????

:o

Again, thanks for the help!!!!!!

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I have never been able to tolerate artificial sweeteners.  It makes me feel shakey and like im having a nervous break down.  I recently tried crisp apple cider and didn't noticed that back sweetener was listed in the ingredients. Never heard of it. I looked it up and its artificial sweetener [it didn't say what kind it was.  Last week I thought I was having a nervous breakdown.  This time I choose Jonny apple seed cider with sugar, a few more calories but that's not an issue. It is also glutenfree.  Has anyone else had these reactions to artificial sweetener?

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I use Splenda sparingly. I never used artificial sweeteners in the past because they gave me (and my Dad) headaches. That was aspartame, I think. Overall, real sweetners are best, but I have diabetes now, and that will kill me faster than artificial sweeteners.

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If I may, Id like to comment on this 9½ year old (until yesterday) thread. I'm not a food chemist, or expert, so this is just my opinion.

 

I don't use artificial sweeteners. Not because of any health concerns, but because they don't taste good to me. I just can't abide 'em. lol. However, I'm very fond of Truvia. This is not an artificial sweetener, it's an "alternative" sweetener. Yes, it's a processed product, but to one extent or another, so is sugar, agave nectar, molasses, etc. I can't stand any other stevia product, too bitter. But Truvia solves that problem. They extract only the palatable part of the steeped stevia leaves. Then blend with some sugar alcohols (which are also "natural"). The result being a processed, but not artificial sweetener. 

 

Walmart sells a similar, generic product with the same taste, as far as I can tell. But, I don't like it because it's a very fine powder. When  you pour it, you get that floating powder taste in your nose. Truvia has crystals about the same size as sugar.  

 

best regards, larry mac

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tarnalberry, Thank you so much for a sensible, science-based reply. So much of what people believe about food (and other things) today is based on faulty or intentionally misleading "science". If I "feel like" it is bad for me, it must be. No, not really. If it sounds like truth, it must be. No, not really.

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This whole thread is 10 years old! Until it was bumped up yesterday. Most, if not all of those original poster's aren't still around. So....um...don't expect a response from them? :)

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    • I'm glad I found these forums!  I will spend some more time this evening reading through them.  But I wanted to get my question out there just to see if anyone else might have answers quicker than I can sift through the forum for them.      I've been feeling terrible for about a year, and after an elimination diet last month, figured out that if nothing else, gluten/wheat is a problem.  After lots of research, I abandoned the elimination diet and added gluten back in, so that I could get tested for Celiac.   I was off gluten for 3 weeks, from mid-June until early July.  I've had it back in my diet for almost 3 weeks now.    My question is this: Since I was off gluten for 3 weeks, and now back on for almost 3, is that enough time on to yield a positive Celiac blood test, if that indeed is what I have?  All the research I've done says 4-6 weeks for a gluten challenge, but is that really necessary if I was only not eating it for 3 weeks?  I am desperate to get this testing done and over with.  I feel terrible all the time and getting through the day is a struggle.  My doctor ran allergy panels already and everything came back clear except for a mild wheat allergy.  So if nothing else, I'll have to give up wheat for sure at the end of all this.  I get the feeling she doesn't know a ton about Celiac though, so I'm doing a lot of the research on my own. Any advice or information would be so appreciated! 
    • Hi Michael, That's quite a spike in blood pressure!  I haven't tested that myself and don't want to if it means I have to eat gluten.  Blood pressure testing to identify food reactions is something that has come up before.  It sounds like it might be possible but I don't know how much study has been done on it.  Probably not much since it is such a simple, straight forward idea. Welcome to the forum!
    • Hi Megan, Did the doctor test you for celiac disease?  You really shouldn't go gluten-free until all the testing for celiac disease is completed.  It is a little odd for a doctor to tell you to go gluten-free for no reason IMHO.  Did he/she explain the reason for it? Personally, I have learned over the years what I can eat safely and what I can't.  Occasionally I get hit but it is rare.  Simplifying your diet is a good first step.  Avoiding processed foods for a while and dairy also is good.  I suggest any change you make last for a month at least. Then try the food again. If you are eating 100 random ingredients/foods each day it is hard to figure these things out.  If you reduce it to a much smaller number of foods then things become simpler. Welcome to the forum!
    • Finally, proof that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is real. ... for the 30 percent of consumers who choose to buy gluten-free products and the 41 percent of ... View the full article
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