Jump to content



Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):



Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):


  • You've found your Celiac Tribe! Join our like-minded, private community and share your story, get encouragement and connect with others.

    💬

    • Sign In
    • Sign Up
  • Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat, RN
    Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat, RN

    Did You Know: Should I Undertake a Gluten Challenge?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    My family physician diagnosed me as being neurotic, and then prescribed me a drug called Loxapine.

    Did You Know: Should I Undertake a Gluten Challenge? - Image: CC--Leonid Mamchenkov
    Caption: Image: CC--Leonid Mamchenkov

    Celiac.com 02/08/2019 - I've been reading a lot about the gluten challenge, which makes my stomach curl. It is rare that someone with celiac disease will have a negative antibody test result. If your tests were negative but you continue to experience symptoms, consult your physician and undergo further medical evaluation. Don't just continue to suffer—keep exploring. You are not alone in this "Gluten Maze". That title can be attributed to me over thirty years ago, and I am still using it, particularly when answering the phone lines at our local hospital's dietitian office. I feel so sorry for the young people who phone in regarding symptoms that seem so common to me, but not to people who are new to celiac disease. Also for those who have stopped searching after consulting only with their family physician, or after only one referral to a gastroenterologist.

    If you are frequently on a gluten-free diet your physician may recommend a gluten challenge to allow antibodies to build up in your blood stream prior to screening. Recommendations as to how much gluten to eat during a challenge range from ½ slice of bread or a cracker daily for 12 weeks, to eating 3 grams of gluten daily for two weeks. A gluten challenge should only be done under direct supervision of a physician trained in celiac disease, and one who can immediately refer you to have a biopsy done if your symptoms are severe. You should never undertake a gluten challenge while pregnant. 



    Celiac.com Sponsor (A12):






    Celiac.com Sponsor (A12-m):




    Did you know that, depending on the complaints you have listed to your family physician, your family physician may, at least here in Canada, refer you to an anatomical pathologist, general pathologist, endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, or internal medicine specialist? Medical professions have become so specialized now that you have to go into your doctor with a specific list of your symptoms, and as a new celiac your doctor has to be "on the ball" with regards to what he thinks your symptoms may represent. If they send you for blood tests they could find out that your thyroid results are out of range for your age, and could prescribe medicine to treat it and send you on your way without a further referral. If you have celiac disease your thyroid may be "out of whack" as far as the numbers show, and you may also be experiencing symptoms of celiac disease, but without a list of ALL your symptoms you cannot blame your family physician for not assessing you for it. 

    To make things more complicated most people with celiac disease do not have any symptoms. Those “lucky” enough to have symptoms will hopefully get a blood screening for it, and then a referral to a gastroenterologist.

    My Doctor Experience

    When I first reported my symptoms of abdominal pain, diarrhea, and terrible sores with intractable itching all over my head, thighs, shins and upper arms, my family physician diagnosed me as being neurotic, and then prescribed me a drug called Loxapine. It was a drug given to the elderly in nursing homes to sedate them, and in many cases caused them to move their mouths in horrible ways that looked like they were mentally ill. Eventually their tongues stuck out of their mouth in a clockwork way that completed the picture with me. It could have gone on to the head movements and feet stamping and the inability to type properly because of shaking hands. This situation caused me to retire from my full time nursing job because I could not take blood pressures, or draw up medications in a syringe, so basically to me it ruined my life. 

    My Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis Diagnosis

    Once I was diagnosed with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, it was a great relief. There were many steps to become what I call “my new normal.” I eventually did get back to the nursing I loved, but in a totally new way. I loved writing medical articles, and I enjoyed volunteering in schools and hospitals, and regained some of my self worth lost through this experience. 

    I had never been neurotic, I may have been a perfectionist, but, particularly for women in their middle years, and often what are called the menopausal years, I was wrongly diagnosed and sent on a quest for over ten years to rid myself of tardive dyskinesia caused by prescribing the wrong drug to me, a drug called Loxapine that will forever change my life. 

    My Treatment and Recovery from Celiac Disease

    After being put on a gluten-free diet to treat my celiac disease, I recall being thrilled to even have a diagnosis, so I diligently followed the diet, carefully reading all labels at stores, asking questions whenever I was invited out, and seldom going out to restaurants, at least until some restaurants came out with gluten-free menus. 

    I came up with rules for attending restaurants or going out for meals at the home of friends, and began purchasing gluten-free items from grocery stores. It is a learning curve, and occasionally I still make mistakes, and I am still learning. Luckily there are now so many more gluten-free foods available in stores, and they no longer taste like softened cardboard, or bread-like frosted rice flour that was not fully cooked and needs toasting to even resemble bread.

    Above all, I hope you learned not to write yourself off when doctors tell you that you do not have celiac disease. There are other possibilities like gluten-sensitivity or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. May you never have to go on a challenge! 



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Thank you so much for posting this, I sincerely appreciate you sharing your powerful story.  

    I have lived with Celiac Disease my whole life and was finally diagnosed 9 years ago in my 30s.  We must learn to trust ourselves and our bodies and allow ourselves to do some deep thinking when it comes to our symptoms. I’m no doctor but I’ve never heard of ANYONE becoming malnourished or worse going gluten free.  If it makes you feel better, do it.  

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About Me

    Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat, RN

    I am a freelance journalist and a retired registered nurse and live in Canada. I write regularly for Celiac.com's Journal of Gluten Sensitivity and several secular magazines, as well as for five or six religious magazines, both Protestant and Catholic. Since retiring as a nurse, journalism, my second university major, has been a life saver for me, both my poetry and articles.


  • Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):
    Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):





    Celiac.com Sponsors (A17-m):




  • Related Articles

    Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat, RN
    Celiac.com 08/05/2017 - I was told that I had irritable bowel disease about thirty years before being diagnosed with celiac disease. I avoided hard to digest foods such as corn, broccoli, beef and other foods difficult to digest, and instead I would, for instance, eat the bun of a hamburger, avoid steaks but eat the buttered buns and the gravy with a main meal and wondered why I was still having the gut and bowel reactions!
    Did you know that even in the absence of fully developed celiac disease, gluten can induce symptoms similar to FBD (Functional Bowel Disorder)? Doctors such as Elena F. Verdu, David Armstrong and Joseph Murray describe celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as the "no man's land of gluten sensitivity.”
    Celiac disease is a condition traditionally characterized by chronic inflammation of the proximal small intestine resulting in villus atrophy and malabsorption. Irritable bowel disease is a clinical syndrome defined in the most recent Rome III consensus by the presence of abdominal pain or discomfort, at least three days per month in the last three months, and two or more other symptom features: 1) Improvement in defecation, 2) Association with a change in stool frequency, and 3) Association with a change in stool form or appearance. Other GI symptoms, such as bloating and distension are also considered to be consistent with a diagnosis of FBD (Functional Bowel Disorder) such as IBS.
    Did you know IBS has a prevalence of about 10% and is the most common GI disorder in our society, imposing a very high economic burden in North America? Did you know that there is an overlap between IBS and celiac disease? It has been reported that testing for celiac disease in patients with diarrhea-predominant IBS is cost effective if the prevalence of celiac disease is above 1%. Not only do the symptoms of IBS and celiac disease overlap, but epidemiological studies also suggest a greater than by chance association (4 - 5 fold increased risk).
    By convention, a patient with confirmed celiac disease is no longer considered to have IBS. It has never been determined whether celiac disease and IBS cannot co-exist, and there is no reason to think that a diagnosis of celiac disease necessarily precludes a diagnosis of IBS. Dr. Fasano has concluded that about 3% of patients with a "clinical" presentation of IBS were subsequently diagnosed with celiac disease. I would wager that many of you with confirmed celiac disease may also have the symptoms of irritable bowel disease. I cannot be alone in this! I can check off the symptoms of IBS on many occasions and yet I have diagnosed celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. In Dr. Fasano's report: "they have concluded that gluten induced Patho-physiology may constitute an underlying factor in symptom generation in a proportion of patients with IBS like symptoms." A lot of this wording may seem like Greek or a "little over ones head" so to speak, but I believe what they are saying is though we define gluten sensitivity as a condition of some morphological, immunological, or functional disorder that responds to gluten exclusion and NOT a true disease. Gluten sensitivity changes that occur with IBS because of exposure to gluten are eventually going to show up positive for celiac disease.
    Why would a person who has been diagnosed and KNOWS that they have irritable bowel disease continue to ingest gluten when Fasano et. al., have concluded that about 3% of patients with a "clinical" presentation of IBS were subsequently diagnosed with celiac disease?
    Did you know that in July of 2016 teams of researchers at Columbia University published a study confirming that wheat exposure response is, in fact triggering a systemic immune reaction and accompanying intestinal cell damage. "It is estimated that the impacted population is equal to or even exceeds the number of individuals with celiac disease, the vast majority of whom remain undiagnosed" Dr. Armin Alaedin confirmed. Finally they are reporting that a person with irritable bowel disease may have gotten that way from ingesting gluten.
    Celiac Disease and Dermatitis Herpetiformis – Did You Know?
    15 - 25% of individuals with celiac disease experience dermatitis herpetiformis? Dermatitis herpetiformis is a skin manifestation of celiac disease and is part of the abnormal immune response to gluten; Affects more men than women? Dermatitis herpetiformis generally starts in adulthood. It is not common to see dermatitis herpetiformis in children, but it can occur; Only about 20 percent of people with dermatitis herpetiformis have intestinal symptoms of celiac disease, however, biopsies show that 80 percent have some degree of damage to the small intestine, especially if a high gluten diet is maintained; If you suspect dermatitis herpetiformis you may have celiac disease; Iodine is something that a person with dermatitis herpetiformis should definitely avoid; One of the oldest checks for dermatitis herpetiformis was putting some iodine on ones thigh; Dermatitis herpetiformis sores tend to run in a line, or stay in a cluster; Dermatitis herpetiformis treatment consists of a gluten-free diet for life, just like in celiac disease? The skin's response to the gluten-free diet is much slower compared to the healing of the intestines in those with celiac disease. It may take about six months to achieve improvement, though with my own dermatitis herpetiformis spots daily dapsone was miraculous. It did take up to a year for the sores in my scalp to heal. Dr. John Zone, M.D. Professor and Dermatology Chair at the University of Utah and CDF Medical Advisory Board member states "There is little question that ingestion of large amounts of iodine dramatically worsens dermatitis herpetiformis," he continues, "iodine does not cause dermatitis herpetiformis. It worsens dermatitis herpetiformis. Gluten causes dermatitis herpetiformis." Dr. Zone explains that through seeing hundreds of celiac disease patients over the years, he has found that some react to highly concentrated solutions of iodine in cough medicines, shellfish, and kelp, which is often found in Sushi. He also cautions that dietary supplements may contain large amounts of kelp or iodine (usually in the form of potassium iodide or sodium iodide) which can worsen dermatitis herpetiformis.
    I can share with you that I was incorrectly told over 25 years ago by an internist that I could take up to five dapsone, going 5- 4 - 3- 2 -1, and if the spots had not totally disappeared I could repeat the process. Taking too much cased a blood disorder called Methemaglobinemia, a rare but dangerous response to taking too much dapsone. It is a blood disorder in which an abnormal amount of methemoglobin is produced. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells (RBCH's) that carries and distributes oxygen to the body. Methemoglobin is a form of hemoglobin, with it the hemoglobin can carry oxygen, but is not able to release it effectively to body tissues. It can either be passed down through families (inherited or congenital) or be caused by exposure to certain drugs, chemicals, or foods (acquired).
    My nephew was on dapsone, which is, according to the Head of Dermatology at the University of British Columbia, the true test of dermatitis herpetiformis. By taking Dapsone for three or four days the lesions (itchy/sore blisters that beg to be itched, and when you do you break open a lesion that appears to contain liquid...they burn, then they crust, and if you continue to pick off that crust they scar your skin.) almost disappear like magic.
    My nephew thought it was permissible to cheat once in a while and thought that he could get away with it. He used to eat hamburgers every time the craving for a "Big Mac" overcame him! He ate one, or maybe two, until he found out he had dermatitis herpetiformis sores on the soles of his feet and was limping from the pain. Who knows what damage he was doing to the villi in his bowel!
    It is a vast no man's land out there, but if you are a celiac and have dermatitis herpetiformis or are gluten sensitive you need to step into that “land” and learn more about the diseases and what is going on in your body!


    Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat, RN
    Celiac.com 05/03/2018 - Time to spring into action and take control of your celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis! This means I have to "Scare you Silly" about not fully conforming to the gluten-free diet. Anemia, tiredness, and vitamin deficiency will continue to dog you if your gluten-free diet is non-compliant. You know those "just can't resist" items in your diet, the ones where the ingredient list does not actually say it is gluten-free, which may leave you open to cross-contamination that is common in the food industry?
    There is an estimated three million Americans with celiac disease, yet the vast majority still remain undiagnosed. The prevalence of celiac disease in Canada and the United States is growing, not diminishing! The high prevalence of celiac disease is also found in individuals with other disorders such as Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease and Down Syndrome. The prevalence of celiac disease in Type 1 diabetes around the world is 3 – 16%. According to Shelley Case, Author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide: "Studies by Columbia University in New York and the Canadian Celiac Association revealed that adults suffer from the disease for an average of 10 - 12 years before being correctly diagnosed." The rare, but wise, physician who has diagnosed celiac disease correctly also sends the patient to be checked for diabetes and thyroid disease. 
    Do you know what Gluten Ataxia is? Ataxia is a symptom in many conditions that affect the nervous system. Ataxia causes clumsiness or loss  of balance and coordination that is not due to muscle weakness. Ataxia symptoms can be worrisome, and more so if you have been cheating on your celiac diet. Symptoms may vary but can include:
    Trouble using fingers, hands, arms and/or/legs Trouble speaking Trouble moving eyes Poor coordination and/or balance Tingling in extremities Gait problems Damage to the cerebellum (the part of the brain that controls coordination). Gluten ataxia is a rare immune-mediated disease in which the body's immune system attacks the nervous system as a reaction to the ingestion of gluten. It is a rare condition, but it can be related to celiac disease as well as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Those with gluten ataxia often do not always have digestive issues or other symptoms. A strict gluten-free diet usually improves symptoms for those with gluten ataxia. Early diagnosis and treatment through the gluten-free diet can help stop progression and further cerebellum damage. 
    People who have dermatitis herpetiformis know only too well what that gluten-containing doughnut or tart can do to their bodies. The DH sores are so itchy, and well, just sore, that prior to my first diagnosis I thought I had head lice and self-treated myself it on three separate occasions! Though DH is a miserable disorder to have, and the sores appear in the same places time and time again leaving scars, it at least leads to a faster diagnosis once a dermatologist sees the itchy sores, which often appear in bunches on your scalp, upper arms, shoulders and shins.  While other people are watching television you are itching at sores in your head, picking off scabs, and in general feeling very miserable until the DH sores eventually heal. A biopsy of one of the lesions by that dermatologist can show dermatitis herpetiformis, but sometimes only after two or even three biopsies. The IgA deposits remain under the skin and that is why the DH sores keep coming back to the same place in your body. They are still there, and just come to the surface when you ingest gluten. 
    Some with DH have to remain on dapsone for the rest of their lives. I have been on dapsone for over 30 years, even though I attempted on several occasions to stop taking it. To me it is a wonder drug, but one that I have to be careful not to abuse, because dapsone can cause anemia, and something similar to anorexia because when you ingest it regularly you do not feel hungry, and thus lose weight. To heavy people this may seem like the perfect weight loss program. Believe me, it isn't. It can also cause Methemaglobinemia which, when ingesting will prevent your arteries from functioning as an oxygen carrier and can seriously affect your body so that oxygenated blood does not reach your starved blood cells. You either carry a SAT Machine to measure the oxygen levels in your blood, or go to the Emergency Department where they can check your saturation levels. If below 90 they will admit you, run a battery of tests, and you may be put into a side room somewhere to get an infusion of Methane Blue to flush out your blood system, and you may need to have a blood transfusion. If you are away on holidays this can be a very serious condition where you are unaware you have Methemaglobinemia, except for a feeling of being out of breath, and NEED to get to hospital as soon as possible so your SAT levels can be monitored. 
    Scaring you straight means not cheating day after day and then hoping a few dapsone will improve the condition. It won't—if you have passed the safe guideline of one pill daily. It is not simply a matter of taking dapsone in a 5 - 4- 3 - 2 - 1 as I was advised to do by an internist when I was first diagnosed with dermatitis herpetiformis. Ingestion over five days will no longer help you, and to my chagrin, can cause the condition to worsen. It is a serious condition; you can actually die from lack of oxygen in your blood!
    These few descriptions do not cover the fall out (of your hair) and the scarring of the sores on your legs and upper arms the Prednisone that they want to give you can cause a "roid rage" similar to what weight lifters have when they purposely ingest Prednisone to build up their muscles and become extremely irritable because of the Prednisone. ONE helpful clear lotion that I have to buy across the border in the U.S.A. is Scalpacin or Renewal, the latter being the generic name for Salicylic Acid (3%) which lessens the intense itching when applied directly to the sores (not to be ingested!). It says only 3% Salicylic Acid and I will confess that when I first "latched" onto this amazing "scalp itch and Dandruff relief liquid" I often applied twice daily to all the sores in my scalp and on my body.
    Did you know that approximately 3% of the general population in the U.S.A., according to Dr. Peter Green, have celiac disease? Once a patient develops one autoimmune condition the odds of developing another are greatly increased. Autoimmune disorders run in families, and different diseases may affect different parts of the body. A friend of our grandson was diagnosed as having celiac disease simply because she went to her doctor with complaints of a stomach ache. The doctor could have easily asked her if she had exams coming up, sent her for a blood test to rule out an appendicitis and left it at that, but he was a wise doctor who asked more questions and ordered the celiac blood tests. When that cameback positive he actually followed it up with a biopsy of the jejunum. She, as a teenager, was positive for celiac disease, but that doctor could have easily not ventured past the  stomach ache at that first visit and gone no further with his investigations. Fortunately, vigilance paid off this time. 
    He was thorough enough to refer her to a dietitian, but you know, she still cheats! I believe the reason she cheats is because she does not suffer from any of the symptoms of celiac disease right now, and does not have dermatitis herpetiformis. Amazing how vigilant you become with your diet when you break out in painful sores over 25% of your body, and experience diarrhea, stomach aches, nausea and vomiting!
    We never got into the other diseases she could possibly get from cheating on the gluten-free diet. Sjogren's Disease, Turner Syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, Williams Syndrome, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, lactose intolerance, migraines, peripheral neuropathy, liver disease, are but a few of the disorders that can be connected to celiac disease. Have you ever looked up the symptomatology of these autoimmune diseases? Time you did!
     
    Did you know that there is a Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University which is one of the leading authorities for unexplained infertility issues, and that the prevalence of celiac disease in women with unexplained fertility is higher than the general population? Celiac disease may also be asymptomatic, meaning you show no symptoms at all. This is one of the reasons why it may be difficult for some people and their doctors to connect the dots between celiac disease and unexplained fertility.  
    I worked with obstetrician/gynecologists for years and never found one that, when doing the laboratory testing, included a test for celiac disease, yet it is common knowledge now that a celiac disease screening should definitely be part of the work-up that is done for infertility issues. People of reproductive age spend an enormous amount of money, time and energy trying to become pregnant and carrying the baby to term. There are more women depressed because they cannot conceive or those that cannot bring a baby to term. Several studies over the past ten years have found a link between celiac disease, infertility and spontaneous abortion. It is not known yet whether the nutritional issues (malabsorption) that occurs with untreated celiac disease is the cause of the reproductive issues, or if the immune system may be to blame.
    Many doctors define infertility as the inability to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. In women, fertility difficulties often result from a problem with ovulation, while in men, infertility usually occurs because the man does not produce enough sperm or produces abnormal sperm. Note that undiagnosed or untreated celiac disease can lead to a host of seemingly unrelated problems, including osteoporosis, depression, and anemia. Medical researchers “along with some observant obstetrician/gynecologists are realizing that undiagnosed celiac disease may also be a cause of otherwise unexplained infertility in both men and women."  A study undertaken in England, which has one of the world's largest celiac populations, indicates that fertility often returns after you start the gluten-free diet. 
    There are many causes for infertility, but up to 30 percent of couples who are infertile will be told that no specific reason for their infertility can be found. When this happens a diagnosis of unexplained infertility is given. In recent years, awareness of celiac disease has increased. You may not be able to quote "Celiac Disease is a chronic autoimmune disorder", but it is a good sentence to spread around to those who ask you, "Do you follow the gluten-free diet because it is trendy or you want to lose weight"? As awareness for celiac disease has increased, some researchers have started looking at a possible like between celiac disease and unexplained infertility.
    Some of the known causes are:
    Low sperm count, - sperm with mobility or motility issues Enlarged veins in the scrotum called varicocele. Klinefelter syndrome, a genetic disorder.  Although Klinefelter syndrome carries with it the risk testicular cancer, autoimmune diseases have been associated with this disorder, which is a chromosomal disorder. KS might increase the risk of some autoimmune diseases. It has been suggested that some autoimmune diseases may be more common in people with Klinefelter syndrome than in others, but the evidence so far is sparse. A research paper out of Oxford, England entitled "Associations between Klinefelter's Syndrome and Autoimmune Diseases” came to the conclusion that those with Klinefelter syndrome have increased risk of some autoimmune diseases. 
    If you have the test for celiac disease, at least the blood test, and if your partner has the ultrasound done for it you can go into the obstetricians office with a list of questions, including family history, research you have undertaken yourself.  I have seen so much heartache while nursing, watching a couple lose their baby prior to delivery, and those than cannot conceive but cannot afford invitro- fertilization. The damage that undiagnosed or untreated celiac disease can result in ongoing gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, chronic diarrhea, stomach pain, and cramps. A number of these symptoms may also affect the reproductive system of women, for example:
    Delayed onset of menstruation Irregular periods No periods at all, known as amenorrhea Chronic pelvic pain And yes, endometriosis (where part or parts of the uterine lining attaches itself to the uterus and begins to grow) needs to be mentioned here. Many women who have this painful disease have been told that their only way of ridding themselves of this very painful disorder is to get a total hysterectomy. This is not always the case. There are now medications to help rid the uterus of endometriosis. Many obstetricians will perform a laparoscopy to determine the extent of the endometriosis, endeavour to lyse the adhesions from the wall of the uterus. Often this is all that is needed to ensure an introduction from the egg to the sperm and conception takes place. Other, more difficult cases can be referred to an infertility specialist, but be prepared for large costs. Many infertility specialists will tell you that if you can obtain a pregnancy while still struggling with endometriosis it often alleviates the problem. 
    Did you know that men with celiac disease may have gonadal dysfunction, which could complicate fertility issues? (That was a big learning surprise for me!) This ultrasound test can be ordered by your family physician, a gonadal ultrasound to rule out a cystocele. Finding out that your husband has a cystocele is not Earth shattering—it involves a small corrective surgery. 
    Did you know that Semen issues (specifically sperm morphology) found in men with celiac disease improved after following a gluten-free diet? Few studies have been conducted on celiac disease and male infertility. There is also a lack of scientific information and research studies on the potential link between non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), also commonly referred to as "gluten intolerance" and infertility. While research needs to be done, those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity are thought to possibly be at an increased risk of reproductive issues. However, the connection between NCGS and infertility is not yet known or proven.  One case review did suggest that a strict gluten-free diet may improve fertility for those with NCGS. 
    According to Healthline experts do not fully understand the effects of celiac disease on the reproductive system. The effects may be caused by malabsorption of nutrients, the impact it has on the immune system, or another currently unexplained reason. Some studies have noticed a link in untreated celiac disease in the mother and recurrent miscarriage, pre-term birth, and low birth weight.  In a meta analysis that looked at studies on infertility and celiac disease, researchers noted that women with infertility were over three times more likely to have celiac disease than the control group. You have to admit that is a large number, and what upsets me is the fact that numerous obstetrician/gynecologists do not automatically send this part of the women's population for celiac disease screening. 
    Yet women with unexplained infertility, were six times more likely to have celiac disease than women in the control group. Despite these studies, not all experts in the field are convinced about the connection. They state that more research is needed. BUT wouldn't you want to know that there is strong evidence that infertility and celiac disease are connected, and at least make your own decision with regards to getting tested? The tests undertaken by people with infertility are difficult to endure, are not only embarrassing but invasive. If celiac disease or gluten sensitivity runs in your family, or you suspect you have celiac disease, make a list of your symptoms. You'll want to discuss your concerns with your doctor and ask to be screened for celiac disease. A Reproductive Endocrinologist is who you would be referred to here in Canada, but you may have another title in the United States.
    If you are vigilante about eliminating gluten from your diet, you will stop the damage celiac disease is doing to your body. This may include lessening or eliminating the impact it may be having on your reproductive system.
     
    Sources:
    https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pubmed/25564410 Celiac Disease A Hidden Epidemic,  Dr. Peter H.R. Green American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Resource Center: http://www.acog.org American Society for Reproductive Medicine: http://www.asrm.org  Reproductive Changes Associated with Celiac Disease: https://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3001971/  Healthline https://www.ncbi.nml.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600520/ 


    Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat, RN
    Celiac.com 08/03/2018 - Do you know that there are numerous sites on the web to help you with the symptoms of getting glutened, and other suggestions to prevent you from ever getting "glutened". There are tips to help heal gluten exposure even for the gluten sensitive or person with dermatitis herpetiformis to speed up the process of getting the gluten out of your system. The dermatitis herpetiformis sores can be assisted with some simple home remedies that can ease you through to the scabbing and eventual disappearance, save for the scarring which is slower to heal.. First, we need to really "get" the fact that this is a disease that you will not grow out of despite what some advertisers attest. There are fewer people being mis-diagnosed today because of the blood test being readily available. Most physicians have crawled into the 21st Century and know about the symptoms of celiac disease, but some are still at a loss when looking at a severe outbreak of dermatitis herpetiformis.
    The United States and Canada have different laws concerning allergy labeling. A recent survey presented at the AAAAI Allergists' Convention in Los Angeles in March revealed that 40 percent of consumers avoiding one or more allergens when buying foods "Manufactured in a facility that also processes allergens.” Beyond buying habits the researchers also found a lack of awareness of labeling.
    Another problem occurs with differences in the food laws between the United States and Canada, and with the fluctuating Canadian dollar many Americans close to the border are taking advantage of the savings and shopping in Canada. 45% of people were unaware that precautionary labeling is not required by law. In Canada, labeling regulations require manufacturers to clearly indicate if major allergens are ingredients of a product. But there are no legal guidelines on how companies should identify products that may have come into contact with food allergens during manufacturing. 
    I did a survey of six bakeries this past month that baked gluten free products. Out of the six, four cleaned their ovens and pans by pressure washing and only baked gluten-free on one particular day a week. Even their gluten-free home made noodles were made on a separate day and had to be ordered ahead of time. Recently Health Canada recommended companies limit the advisories to the phrase "May contain", but even that is not yet a legal issue, just a precautionary one I was told. A recent study tested 186 products with precautionary peanut labels and found 16 (just under 9%) contained the allergen. It becomes very serious after a 22 year old Minnesota man, with a peanut allergy died in January of anaphylaxis after eating a chocolate candy with a label that it had been made in a plant that also processed peanuts. "Not the same', you say but it brings to the foreground the fact that there are too many different types of wording, says author Dr. Susan Waserman, a professor of medicine in the division of allergy and immunology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. "Patients assume that differences in wording imply a lower level of risk, which they don't. " Gupta and Waserman would like to see precautionary labels reduced to one or two clearly defined phrases. For instance, Dr. Gupta says if a "May Contain" label meant that the food might have up to 100 milligrams of an allergen, then the patient could work with their doctors to find out just how much of their allergen may be safe to consume and purchase foods accordingly. The study shows that there is already research "underway to develop thresholds for such labels."
    Did you know that the outward manifestations of getting glutened may be different for everyone, and can cause a variety of symptoms such as brain fog, diarrhea, constipation, headache, rash, weakness, joint pain, swelling, vomiting and fatigue. Inside your body gluten is perceived as a
    toxin that causes inflammation and damage to the intestines. Ridding yourself of this toxin, reducing inflammation and healing your gut from the damage are essential to recovering as quickly as possible.
    Did you know that digestive enzymes help speed up the breakdown and absorption of micronutrients. Be sure to take an enzyme that includes dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP-IV) and or AN-PEP, both of which help to break down gluten. In fact several sites recommend that those with celiac and gluten intolerance take enzymes with DPP-IV and/or AN-PEP when dining out.
    Activated charcoal and bentonite clay rid toxins and help reduce gas and bloating. It is best to increase water intake when taking either of these to avoid constipation, which will only delay healing. Speaking of water intake, it is one of the biggest ways of removing gluten from your body. Cleanse, don't drown yourself, but drink as much water or a pure juice, (not pop) is one of the fastest ways of doing a body cleanse from a celiac outbreak, whether a diagnosed celiac, gluten sensitive, or those afflicted with dermatitis herpetiformis. I have been nagged so many times to drink more water when experiencing a dermatitis herpetiformis outbreak. You can try coconut water, which contains electrolytes that may have been lost through vomiting or diarrhea.
    Decreasing inflammation occurs naturally in our body when there has been an insult or inflammation to it. Decreasing inflammation is essential in healing your gut. 
    10 tips may help you reduce inflammation and recover quickly should you accidentally ingest gluten:
    Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oils, flax and chia seeds are full of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. It is recommended to take 1 - 2 grams of omega 3 oils daily. You can go up to 4 grams a day for a week after an accidental gluten ingestion. Never play guessing games with celiac disease, or cheat. In the scheme of things it is NOT worth it, and deep inside when you are really suffering you know that sneaking a regular donut is definitely not worth it. The man that said to me, "Every time I come back from Japan to the U.S.A. I have to have Kentucky Fried Chicken and to heck with the consequences", I noticed the last sabbatical when he came over for a visit he did not succumb to his favorite Kentucky Fried Chicken. He now had dermatitis herpetiformis, which is basically celiac disease of the skin. I have been told it can often be caused by extreme stress or constantly cheating on the gluten-free diet. If you think being a celiac is "The Poor Me Syndrome" think again! Dermatitis herpetiformis on your scalp can give you an extreme desire to shave your hair off, and pick the itchy sores off your legs until they not only scar, but look like a shark attack. Don't do it!    And I am not even telling you about what it does to the lining in your bowel and the nutrients that are flowing through your body right down the toilet. Ginger has high levels of gingerol, which gives it a natural spicy flavor and acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body. It also has potent anti-nausea properties and can ease stomach cramping, Drinking warm ginger tea is a great idea. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family that contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Try an anti-inflammatory smoothie with turmeric. It is a great drink to help you quickly recover from getting glutened. Did you know that nearly 70% of our immune system is in our gut? Having a healthy gut is crucial for optimal health. Probiotics. Many researchers suggest or recommend taking a highly concentrated probiotic (24-100 billion units a day). Amy Myers, M.D., is a renowned leader in functional medicine and a New York Times best selling author of "The Auto-Immune Solution".She received her doctorate in Autoimmune Diseases and has several books on celiac disease and its mystifying complex symptoms. Celiac disease reacts differently with each person, and childhood celiac disease symptoms are often different than adult onset celiac disease. L-Glutamine. It is an amino acid that is great for repairing damage to the gut, helping the gut lining to regrow and repair, undoing the damage caused by gluten. Dr, Myers recommends 3 -5 grams a day for a week after exposure. *MY ADVICE to you all is to write these suggestions down and show them to your general practitioner, research them on the internet, Do not take my word for it or the words of these authors; check and re-check your facts. It is your body, and just like you would change grocery stores if they sold you a bunch of out-dated food products, you would complain and possibly shop somewhere else. You have a right to read about new things and be heard. Slippery Elm. It contains mucilage, which stimulates nerve endings in he gastrointestinal (GI) tract to increase its secretion of mucus. Mucus forms a barrier in the gut to protect it and promote healing. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). DGL is a herb that is being used for more than 3,000 years in Marshmallow root is a multipurpose supplement that can be used for respiratory or digestive relief. Like slippery elm, it contains mucilage, which eases the inflammation in the stomach lining, heals ulcers and treats both diarrhea and constipation by creating a protective lining on the digestive tract. Bone Broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino-acids glycine and proline. The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract that may et disrupted by being glutened. Baking Soda Remember, be your own researcher and look into each of these before trying them.
     


    Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat, RN
    Celiac.com 10/26/2018 - Did you know that a new study shows people with celiac disease are more likely to suffer nerve damage? Jonas E. Ludvigsson, a clinical epidemiology Professor in Sweden, discovered that women with celiac disease are 2.5 times more likely to develop neuropathy or nerve damage. There is a real association between celiac disease and nerve damage. "We have precise risk assessments in a way we haven't had before" he stated last year. Yet even Sweden has its quandaries. 60% of women in Sweden who have celiac disease have neuropathy and they do not totally know why! Statistics vary from country to country, and even vary between specialists within that country. Nerve damage is no laughing matter, it presents with numbness and tingling of exterior areas (extremities).
    Basically, numbness in the nerve endings of the fingers and toes and other frustrating areas. Just try picking up pencils, or something hot out of the oven. If you do not feel the heat you will know that you may have nerve damage. Following a rigid gluten-free diet, however, can alleviate this problem to a certain degree, and that is why we keep repeating the mantra: “Eat Clean & Gluten-Free!” However, sometimes accidents happen, and people who have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or dermatitis herpetiformis get exposed to gluten.
    How to Recover From Accidental Gluten Exposure
    Kathy Holdman, M.S., R.N. and Certified Nutritional Therapist lists numerous ways to recover after gluten exposure. You need to take into account  the amount of gluten exposure, length of time from last exposure, degree of gluten intolerance present, health of the digestive tract, existing inflammation or infection in the body and overall health status. Some  people say they can recover in a few days, others say they may experience significant setbacks in their health that lasts weeks to months. For those with positive celiac disease it may take years for complete healing of the small intestine after gluten exposure, although "outward symptoms" may resolve sooner. 
    Nurse Holdman suggests the following 10 tips to help alleviate symptoms from gluten exposure, and hopefully speed up recovery:
    Drink plenty of water, and this cannot be emphasized enough. Water is an essential nutrient for every cell in the body for proper function. Many people live in a state of chronic dehydration, which of course results in constipation. Then they take something to rid themselves of constipation and take too much and lose potassium, magnesium and throw out the balance of the salts in their body. When you have celiac disease you learn something new every week. Last week an Internist told me, after incurring my second bladder infection in eight weeks, that it could possibly be from the diarrhea following being glutened, and not totally washing myself. That made me a little sick just thinking about it. But, she told me an interesting fact about urinary tract infections and celiac disease. Celiacs do incur more frequent urinary tract infections due to more frequent diarrhea, no matter how meticulously clean we are. Taking four or five "Craisins" with each meal several times a day can limit the amount of bladder infections. I told her that I was also taking Cranberry tablets and she told me to throw them out because they are "useless."  She said that you do not need to buy fresh cranberries, as they are  "sour and expensive." Just buy a bag of the dried Craisins and eat some either before or after meals. Ingredients in the pure dried cranberries helps prevent bladder infections from occurring. Studies done in several Nursing Homes where many incontinent patients lived were given five Craisins either alone or in a salad twice daily and the decrease in urinary tract infections was nothing less than amazing. Get extra sleep and rest. Sleep is the time your body repairs itself. Avoid strenuous exercise, (the type that causes you to sweat). Exercise in moderation is what I think she wants to tell us. Drink bone broth. It is rich in minerals and gelatin and other nutrients that are soothing to the digestive system and nourishing to the entire body.  Another health benefit of bone broth is hydration, and the more liquid intake the better. You can dress up bone broth with onions and garlic to improve the taste.  Take epson salt baths. They contain magnesium, a mineral that can help the body to relax. The sulphate minerals found in Epson Salts are detoxifying, and they can stimulate the lymphatic system and support the immune system. Nurse Holdman also urges us to take digestive enzymes which can help modulate the symptoms of celiac disease. Take digestive enzymes. If taken immediately following the accidental consumption of gluten, some people believe that digestive  enzymes can help to modulate the symptoms of celiac disease. It is well known that digestive enzymes soothe the stomach lining and ease the abdominal pain. Drink ginger or peppermint tea. They are both known to help relieve nausea and can be soothing to the digestive system. Drink a cup if you are having nausea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Take activated charcoal. It is an over-the-counter-supplement that may be beneficial if taken immediately after an attack. It helps by binding with the offending food and preventing it from being absorbed into the body. This supplement can bind with medications so be sure to consult your licensed health care professional prior to taking it, especially if you take medications for other diseases or conditions.  Eat fermented foods. Who knew!? Possibly the Koreans and their staple Kim Chi, or the Ukrainians/Romanians with their fermented red cabbage coleslaw of course! Fermented foods are high in nutrients that nourish the entire body. Start out with a small amount of fermented food and slowly increase it. Drink nettle leaf tea. It is an antispasmodic with antihistamine properties. It can help relieve muscle and joint pain, and relax your body naturally. Neither gluten intolerance nor celiac disease are mediated by histamine, but some people report that nettle leaf can help relieve symptoms of rash and itching following gluten exposure. It is a gentle diuretic and can be detoxifying. So if you experience dehydration symptoms it is time to drink more water. Get acupuncture treatments. It may relieve inflammation, especially in the abdominal area, and it can be relaxing. Only you can tell how many treatments are beneficial, and you need to take into consideration the cost factor because most health insurance plans do not cover acupuncture. Tips to Help People with Dermatitis Herpetiformis Recover from Accidental Gluten Exposure
    A suggestion from Me: If you have itching from dermatitis herpetaformis, try Scalpacin. I have been using it for years and nothing stops the itching in such a short time span. Once the sores start to appear, even just a slight "itch" is like a doorbell warning you ahead of time. I apply Scalpacin lotion, which is not a cream, but is a clear liquid. At first it stings but that is how I know that I have an impending outbreak. It is a non-fragrant liquid. You can use it on your scalp without totally ruining your hair style. Don't wash you hair with it, search out the spots, or, if you have a partner, they may be able to help you with the sores in your scalp, and you can point out itchy areas. 
    For dermatitis herpetiformis itch you can also try a mix of baking soda and water by making it into a paste. This is not great for your scalp and hair, but it will ease the itching. It can be a little messy when it dries and the white powder flakes off on your floors, but you do not have to use it for hours at a time; it is a temporary method for temporary relief.
    You can also ask your physician if he or she will prescribe the prescription drug "Atarax" for you. It is a strong allergy medication and must be taken exactly as directed. It really helps the itch, but it can be sedating, especially when first trying it. Don't over-use the prescribed dosage. I would not suggest driving a car while taking Atarax, but if the itching, scabbing and bleeding have become so severe it definitely is the one allergy medication that helps with the itching from dermatitis herpetiformis. I have tried Benadryl, Claritin and other over the counter  allergy medications, and nothing works as well as Atarax.  Talk to your family physician about a prescription and read the instructions carefully.
    Hopefully these tips will prove helpful in the unfortunate event that you ever get cross-contaminated by gluten. I certainly hope this never happens to you!


  • Popular Now

×
×
  • Create New...