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Just Tested....still Don't Know What's Wrong
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I went to my doctor about 2 months ago. I was advised to be gluten and dairy free for a month and a half and then start eating gluten again. During that time, my symptoms were nonexistent and I felt better. But when I started eating gluten again, my symptoms returned and I felt that my previous symptoms were worse. I just had blood tests to test for allergies to wheat, milk, etc, including Tissue transglutaminase IgA. I just received the results and it seems that they are negative. Could they have come back negative because after being gluten free, I only started eating gluten for 2 1/2 weeks? It is frustrating that the results came back negative and my symptoms are back. I just want to know what my diagnosis is or if its something else. My doctor didn't seem very knowledgable about gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, which from reading from many posts is very common. What should my next steps be? (I 'm waiting to hear from my doctor as I just got my results a few hours ago). In a way, having the test come back positive meant that at least I knew what was wrong but having them come back negative, it just feels that I am back to square one.

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Hello, and welcome.

I always feel so sorry for those whose doctors do things in reverse -- cause the medical reactions to go aay and then test for the medical reactions. It is absolute insanity. Test first, quit gluten second is the mantra we preach over and over. The blood tests are looking for antibodies to gluten, which start fading away once they are no longer exposed to gluten. And the sad part is, he could do an endoscopy with biopsy to test for intestinal damage, but after six weeks that may also be negative because sufficient healing may have taken place to take you out of range of the testing. There is great dispute about how long it takes on gluten to make the testing results valid, but the majority of doctors tend to underestimate the time required. Six to eight weeks for those not severely compromised seems to be a reasonable estimate -- YMMV.

You can continue eating gluten for a sufficient time for your results to be positive (if it is not too painful for you); you can ask for an endoscopy with biopsy to see if you can get a positive result from that (and make sure he takes at least six samples), or you can just try the gluten free diet and see how it works for you -- how did it work for you??

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I agree with mushroom. I would only add get written or electrinic copies of all test results.

Was the tTG-IgA the only celiac antiboody test run? If so, remain on gluten - if you can - and have the full celiac panel along with nutrient testing. Nutritional deficicies is another indicator of the malabsorption found in Celiac Disease.

Let us know if you have more questions. Iit is unfortunate that this diagnosis process is often extremely frustrating.

Hang in there :)

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And if all else fails and not eating gluten solves your problems, well, I think you know the rest.

richard

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Thank you for that information. It just comes to show that doctors do not have sufficient knowledge on this condition. I didn't have symptoms when I was gluten free and I felt better. Now with eating gluten, the biggest difference is that I am even more tired. It was difficult in the beginning eating gluten free. My doctor didn't really give any helpful advice to what to eat (I lost 10 pounds about less than 2 weeks because I didn't really know what to eat). I have actually had to educate myself on celiac disease because I wasn't reallly obtaining information from my primary doctor and the allergy doctor that reqested the testing.

I have also read about people being non celiac gluten sensitive but that there isn't a blood test, etc to test for this. I don't know if that is something to consider that I could have. I did hear back from my allergy doctor....he said to try gluten free and that there are no other tests to do. I was really disappointed to receive that response. I am considering contacting a local celiac clinic and getting a second opinion. I'm just concerned about the cost for additional testing.

Hello, and welcome.

I always feel so sorry for those whose doctors do things in reverse -- cause the medical reactions to go aay and then test for the medical reactions. It is absolute insanity. Test first, quit gluten second is the mantra we preach over and over. The blood tests are looking for antibodies to gluten, which start fading away once they are no longer exposed to gluten. And the sad part is, he could do an endoscopy with biopsy to test for intestinal damage, but after six weeks that may also be negative because sufficient healing may have taken place to take you out of range of the testing. There is great dispute about how long it takes on gluten to make the testing results valid, but the majority of doctors tend to underestimate the time required. Six to eight weeks for those not severely compromised seems to be a reasonable estimate -- YMMV.

You can continue eating gluten for a sufficient time for your results to be positive (if it is not too painful for you); you can ask for an endoscopy with biopsy to see if you can get a positive result from that (and make sure he takes at least six samples), or you can just try the gluten free diet and see how it works for you -- how did it work for you??

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I was tested for wheat, milk, eggs, etc. and the tTG-IgA only. The response from my doctor was that I should limited gluten but not totally eliminate it right away and to test what my body can tolerate. Maybe I need to accept that I won't likely get a diagnosis and limited gluten based on the fact the effects of my symptoms decreased. But I don't know what internal damage if any I might have. That is what also concerns me.

I agree with mushroom. I would only add get written or electrinic copies of all test results.

Was the tTG-IgA the only celiac antiboody test run? If so, remain on gluten - if you can - and have the full celiac panel along with nutrient testing. Nutritional deficicies is another indicator of the malabsorption found in Celiac Disease.

Let us know if you have more questions. Iit is unfortunate that this diagnosis process is often extremely frustrating.

Hang in there :)

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...

The response from my doctor was that I should limited gluten but not totally eliminate it right away and to test what my body can tolerate.

...

For anyone who IS an actual celiac (regardless of what limited/insufficient testing says) this is horrible terrible horrendous malpractice-level bad advice.

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I had limited gluten for years as I was wheat free 9 years. Gluten free is so different. My life is transformed.

Dreadful advice you got there.

Hope you find a way through, keep asking questions

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    • Hi Laurabella, Yes, you could have celiac disease!  It is important to keep eating gluten until all testing is completed, including an endoscopy with biopsy samples if the doctor recommends it.  The doctors usually do want the endoscopy.  The biopsy samples of the small intestine lining (4 to 6 samples) are checked for microscopic damage that indicates celiac disease.  Gall bladder problems can happen with celiac disease.  Your pain could also be from intestinal damage in any part of the small intestine. Some things you could try while you are waiting for your tests to be completed are stopping all dairy, and taking peppermint tea for gas in the stomach.  Celiac disease damage makes it hard to digest dairy sugar (lactose) and that can cause bloating and pain.  Constipation and diahrea are also possible fun symptoms. Welcome to the forum!
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