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Asymptomatic Celiacs- Where Are You?
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I have been following this forum for 3 months - since my diagnosis. Most people write about their various symptoms. I found this diagram fascinating - the article that went with it said that about 2/3 of people with celiac have no symptoms - such as myself. Most of these people get diagnosed in a round about way - in my case ruling out celiac being a contributing factor to my osteoporosis - surprise - it was ruled in! However - reading this forum, I feel well in the minority - so needless to say, I was surprised to see that I am actually in the majority.

http://cdn.livingwithout.com/media/newspics/the_celiac_iceberg.jpg

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Interesting you posted this today. I have celiac (symptomatic)...and just found out today my mother is on the edge of being osteoporotic. Also, she has some Italian blood (not sure if that contributes to the risk factor, think it might). Of course, asymptomatic, too. Good informational post but makes me worried for those who could have it and not know. Have you started following a gluten free diet and what was your reaction when you found out? Does celiac run in your family?

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I find the chart interesting, but take it a slightly different way.

Many of us have symptoms that are not "classic" celiac symptoms until the damage is quite severe. For me the really severe abdominal bloat came only a couple years before my diagnosis although I had a multitude of other symptoms my entire life - most I thought were just a bit of this or a bit of that -- I tried to dismiss them because the tests my doctors chose to run were all "normal" -- these minor symptoms got worse each decade. So perhaps I was asymptomatic until my 30s.

Only one of my children/grands had "classic" gastro symptoms -- we have all had different symptoms....so what is Asymptomatic? for classic symptoms? gastro symptoms? You had symptoms that led you to have celiac ruled out as a cause.

Much of the talk on this board is from folks like me that became very ill before celiac was considered or they found their key was gluten without the aid of doctors, but I have seen many, many posts from members that have no reaction to gluten ingestion -- it is quite common to hear members that talk of their concerns of not knowing when they may have ingested small amounts of gluten.

Stick around -- we come in all shapes, sizes and disease presentations.

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I have been following this forum for 3 months - since my diagnosis. Most people write about their various symptoms. I found this diagram fascinating - the article that went with it said that about 2/3 of people with celiac have no symptoms - such as myself. Most of these people get diagnosed in a round about way - in my case ruling out celiac being a contributing factor to my osteoporosis - surprise - it was ruled in! However - reading this forum, I feel well in the minority - so needless to say, I was surprised to see that I am actually in the majority.

http://cdn.livingwit...iac_iceberg.jpg

Oh so true and nice to hear - I'm 58, and have lived with anemia, arthritis, migraines, and now osteoporosis. My Celiac was only found while looking for an unrelated problem. I couldn't believe it took all these years for someone to finally hit the nail on the head. But all my life I have been the one known for having an "iron stomach". Nothing really bothered me like what the other celiacs are describing, and I have no clue if I've been "glutened". It's like walking around with blinders on !
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I am thinking that symptoms are a good thing! Couldn't osteorporosis and other problems be symptoms of celiac? I guess these wouldn't give you the instant confirmations, but perhaps a long trail of results?

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I am classed as a Latent Coeliac, DD2 is classed as a Silemt [Asymptomatic] Coeliac, and DD1 is a [symptomatic] Coeliac. We all adhere to the gluten-free diet, but our 2x non-coeliacs eat any gluteny stuff they like, but household meals and baked products are all gluten-free.

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My diagnosis, too, came while looking for something else--it was quite a surprise. That said, my diagnosis is very recent so I am not sure how differently I will feel as my body adjusts to the gluten-free diet. My list of symptoms over the years are all very mild in nature and (outside of celiac) likely causes have been eliminated. Symptoms: migraines (stopped when I adopted a low-carb diet... long before my celiac diagnosis), mild swelling in legs, mild neurological/neuropathy type symptoms, palpitations, etc. OK, the migraines are/were not mild, they are/were debilitating but, at least in my case, low-carb seems to be trick for them. I think I might remember digestive-type symptoms before going low-carb (not gluten-free), but I was also heavy, out-of-shape, and ate very poorly. Since then, but before my diagnosis, my weight is better, my fitness is better, and I do not seem to have any such symptoms. Certainly, I did not seem to be experiencing any of the classic symptoms of abdominal pain, malabsorption/malnutrition, etc.

I, too, have read much about the (new?) trend of diagnosing more and more people with celiac disease who are not experiencing the classic symptoms of the disease.

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Interesting you posted this today. I have celiac (symptomatic)...and just found out today my mother is on the edge of being osteoporotic. Also, she has some Italian blood (not sure if that contributes to the risk factor, think it might). Of course, asymptomatic, too. Good informational post but makes me worried for those who could have it and not know. Have you started following a gluten free diet and what was your reaction when you found out? Does celiac run in your family?

I have been gluten free since diagnosis - but for me it would be hard to really know how successful I am doing at it. I am looking forward to having another blood test and endoscopy in a few months ( 6 months from diagnosis) and am hoping that it will show some improvement.. My reaction when I found out - a bit of shock - it was just so unexpected. Celiac does not run in my family - however when hearing the news, my brother got himself tested - and found out that he has the gene, but not the elevated antibodies.

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I was asymptomatic in terms of gastro symptoms but I've had anemia and other issues for quite a while. What finally led to the diagnosis was when I went to the GI after having some red stool, but that just turned out to be red food coloring from a slushie that I had the day before. Now after starting the gluten free diet I've become much more sensitive to gluten and can usually tell when I've had something that I shouldn't. I found that chart really interesting - I'm in nursing school and I need to do a teaching plan about a GI condition and naturally I picked Celiac disease. I plan on using that chart to demonstrate to the rest of my classmates that you don't always need to have abdominal pain to suggest Celiac disease. Thanks!!!

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I was severly anemic for years, and my low calcium caused tetany in my hands and feet and I was in the hospital for a week while they tried to figure out why...saw specialists for 4 years. Then this year, who came up with the idea that it could be Celiac? My best friend, who is not a doctor.

Craziness...

So I was asymptomstic gasto-wise (except maybe bloating here and there), but the anemia and malabsorption were my issues. Doctors were quick to blame periods or not eating right. (I was).

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    • Couldn't have said it better!  
    • If you are going for an endoscopy, then please ask for a celiac antibodies COMPLETE panel.  This will help you determine if you have been diet compliant (zapped by hidden sources of gluten or accidental cross contamination) and if your doctor misses the (possible) damaged areas during the procedure.    That way you can rule out celiac disease and THEN worry about the possibility of other AI issues.   I did this last summer.  I got really sick.  My GI thought SIBO right off the bat.  But I asked just to be tested for celiac disease.  Sure enough, I had elevated antibodies.  No need to test for SIBO or anything else at that point.  I just waited a few months for symptoms to subside.   Good Luck to you!  
    • That's good Megan, that you were tested.  Many people have the genes, but only some develop the disease.  Your doctor is right about celiac often appearing after some kind of physical stress or illness. The tricky thing about eliminating one food is that you body may be reacting to multiple foods.  So not getting better could mean you just eliminated one problem instead of 3. It's not unusual to have digestion issues for quite a while after going gluten-free.  Our guts are damaged and that damage has to heal.  But it can't heal until the immune system stops it's attack.  The immune system attack/reaction can keep going for weeks to months.  So it can be a slow recovery.  Often people report getting better and then getting worse and going back and forth on symptoms. What doesn't help is that our bacteria in our guts can get really screwed up by the disease process.  We can't properly digest things so there is more undigested food for bacteria to thrive on.  Avoiding sugars and carbs can help with that issue. Here are some starting the gluten-free diet tips for the first 6 months.  Some of these you have already taken care of: Get tested before starting the gluten-free diet.
      Get your vitamin/mineral levels tested also.
      Don't eat in restaurants
      Eat only whole foods not processed foods.
      Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.
      Take probiotics.
      Take gluten-free vitamins.
      Take digestive enzymes.
      Avoid dairy if it causes symptoms.
      Avoid sugars and starchy foods. They can cause bloating.
      Avoid alcohol.
      Watch out for cross contamination. Helpful threads: FAQ Celiac com
      http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/forum-7/announcement-3-frequently-asked-questions-about-celiac-disease/ Newbie Info 101
      http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/
    • yes, I was tested for it. They said after stomach surgeries and other major things causing that much stress on your body you can become intolerant to gluten. It happened to my aunt as well who was in a horrible car accident. They said you can always carry the gene in your body and having that much stress on your body can start it.
    • A new study confirms a link between intestinal viral infections and celiac disease. View the full article
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