I am a diagnosed celiac. I was off gluten for four months and then had my biopsies done so started my gluten challenge. I actually made a list of the things I wanted to enjoy one last time (I believe there were 87 things on the list - many, in retrospect, are now in my gluten free repetoire). So, I literally pigged out on gluten for three entire months. To be honest I enjoyed it very much. I did not get sick even once. I felt no different whatsoever. BUT after my biopsy results came back I went gluten free strictly and have been doing so now for about 20 months. Sometimes I still wonder, too. But I will not stray because I know the damage it gluten can cause inside, even if I did not get sick. (Who knows? Maybe now I would.) Anyway, I keep thinking of my future. I do not want other diseases or illnesses as a result of consuming gluten.
I DO get sick from eating soft cheeses and milk so I drink lactose-free milk and no longer eat soft cheeses. Sometimes I wonder whether the villi damage was due to that instead... It does bother me from time to time to be honest.
Hi love2travel, from my understanding the only thing that causes villi damage is ingesting gluten, then lactose intolerance as well as fructose intolerance (I have this) can occur. It's in-tact villi that are needed for these sugars to be broken down. Once the villi heal you can go back to enjoying those things again, but sometimes the healing may not be 100 percent so you would need to be careful with lactose and other sugars more permanently.
I never had lactose intolerance until this year, when all my symptoms became magnified (when I believed my celiac started). Now one serve of milk sends me running..
Thanks to the other responses, I was of the impression that I needed to be violently ill for eating one slice of bread. It obviously isn't that simple, and as someone said above (I'm not quite sure how to directly reply to more than one post) I would need to eat gluten for an extended period of time. Which when I was, before going gluten-free, I was unwell everyday.