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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.

Is Celiac Always Doing Damage Even Before The "trigger?"
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7 posts in this topic

I have been wondering for a while and havent been able to find the answer anywhere: if one is predisposed to celiac disease, is damage being done before symptoms are present or does the damage to the small intestine begin once symptoms occur?

For example: I ate gluten normally for 20 years and was then exposed to my trigger event, only after did I have symptoms. was my diet for those 20 years doing damage to my intestine or only after the disease was "triggered."

Just wondering :)

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Dunno. It's very clear that in some people damage can occur without symptoms, a known phenomenon called silent celiac. At the same time I've heard that celiac disease can strike at any time, that you don't need to have that same reaction from birth. It's possible you've been a celiac with damage for many many years, or at the same time you started noticing symptoms was when it actually started to happen.

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I for sure don't have an answer to that one but just wanted to say it's a really good question!

I wonder that myself because my own case of gluten intolerance came on quite suddenly last year. I was happily eating all the wheat I wanted before that... or so I thought.

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From what I understand......the damage is going on and steadly becomes worse until a trigger throws it into a fiull blown attack. I may be wrong..... but from what I have read it is slowly going on. From my own experience I can say that eating gluten slowly started to make me sick. I would have a sandwich and then feel sick maybe once a week, then it was twice a week....and so on. Interesting quesion

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There are some folks with celiac who have no intestinal damage at all. Folks with DH are an example of this. While most of the attention to celiac damage is focused on the damage to the GI system it is an autoimmune disease that can impact pretty much any organ in the body. So IMHO yes it can be impacting folks before the GI symptoms appear. A couple examples of symptoms not often thought to be celiac related would be migraines, psychiatric issues like depression and anxiety, joint and muscle pain and skin problems like rashes. Many don't realize they are celiac related until after celiac diagnosis when the problems disappear gluten free.

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Many don't realize they are celiac related until after celiac diagnosis when the problems disappear gluten free.

Or when they don't entirely disappear, but are so much better. I didn't even know what my 'rash' was for all those years and didn't explore it because it didn't bother me, until it suddenly exploded into full-blown psoriasis :unsure:

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I for sure don't have an answer to that one but just wanted to say it's a really good question!

I wonder that myself because my own case of gluten intolerance came on quite suddenly last year. I was happily eating all the wheat I wanted before that... or so I thought.

To my understanding, food allergies can genuinely come and go, basically out of nowhere. I'm not super-clear on whether you "always have celiac" but don't necessarily know until some kind of triggering event, or if you just have the predisposition for it and don't actually have the disease until it's triggered, either.

I suspect more often than not, people who are diagnosed celiac "had" the disease before they had overt symptoms of it, but that doesn't answer the core question. I know my more obvious symptoms got a whole lot worse after a period of intense stress, but personally, in retrospect, I suspect I've always had the disease, but that it was less severe/more "silent"/had diferent symptoms when I was younger.

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