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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      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 Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    CELIAC DIAGNOSIS: WHY DO ONE IN FOUR SUFFER A DECADE OR MORE?


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 09/02/2010 - About a quarter of people who suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance spend a decade or more complaining to doctors before receiving an accurate diagnosis, according to a poll conducted by Coeliac UK.


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    According to the poll, nearly 25 percent of sufferers consulted doctors about their symptoms for over a decade, while eleven percent of people with celiac disease sought help from doctors for over 20 years before receiving a proper diagnosis.

    People with gluten intolerance and celiac disease often suffer from persistent diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain that is triggered by the body's immune system fighting gluten as a foreign invader. Women are twice to three times more likely to develop celiac disease than men.

    The poll also revealed that nearly 60 percent of the nearly 1,600 poll respondents had also been mistakenly diagnosed with anaemia, without even a follow-up test. Almost six in 10 were misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.

    Women being to there times more likely to develop celiac disease than men, coupled with 60 percent general misdiagnosis for irritable bowel syndrome means that women are likely being disproportionately misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.

    Doctors also commonly misdiagnosed gluten intolerance and celiac disease as anxiety and depression, gastroenteritis, gallstones, ulcers, ME or chronic fatigue syndrome and appendicitis. Many patients reported being accused of being hypochondriacs.

    Not surprisingly perhaps, one in three respondents rated their GP's knowledge about the disease as poor or very poor.

    Coeliac UK's CEO Sarah Sleet said guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) should be pushing up rates for celiac diagnosis.

    'But with around 500,000 people currently undiagnosed in the UK there is still a long way to go and it will be another 30 years at the current rate of progress before we crack the problem,' she said.

    As celiac disease runs in families, the Nice guidelines also encourage screening for blood relatives, yet nearly 8 out of 10 people polled said this had not occurred in their families.

    Why do people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease have to wait ten or twenty years or more to get properly diagnosed?

    How long did you have to wait? How did your doctor do with diagnosis? Slow diagnosis? Misdiagnosis? Tell us and we'll be sure to include some of your responses in a follow-up article.

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    Guest Glenn Ribotsky

    Posted

    Think the under-diagnosis might have to do with the fact that the only treatment for the condition is dietary, and not only are physicians generally woefully undereducated about diet but the profession does not stand to make money by diagnosing celiac/gluten sensitivity, as there are no drugs/procedures to prescribe for it?

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    My first symptoms appeared in early childhood. I was suddenly clumsy (ataxia) and developed Dh that was misdiagnosed as many different things over the years from poison ivy to atopic dermatitis, the skin equivalent of IBS. Since home life was not good all stomach issues were 'nerves'. In the last 15 years before diagnosis I became extremely ill and was thought to have everything from MS to 'you want to be sick' to 'it's all stress. My neuro considered my brain lesions to be insignificant and my GI never listened when I told him I woke every night for 2 to 3 hours of excruciating pain when my system cleared itself. I was finally diagnosed at age 46, 6 months after my dear daughter told me the family would understand if I killed myself. She was only 14 and my children grew up literally watching their mother die day by day. Am I still angry and mistrustful of doctors? You bet. It was 40 years from first symptom to diagnosis for me. If I had all the money we paid for testing and drugs over those years I could now buy my own island instead of struggling to survive because my college education was cut short leaving me in my 50's only minimally able to support myself. We desperately need to get knowledge of this disease and full screening in the US. It would save millions of health care dollars and many, many lives.

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    In my opinion it is conspiracy. Doctors are following standard procedure without using brain (most of them have a little of it). Gluten is driving engine of US economy. Public would learn of toxicity of gluten, would create panic. That is why doctor do not in diagnostic instruction testing for gluten intolerance. Governments were able to make cigarette smoking deadly, despite it is not as bad as gluten, which depress immune system. Than all bacterias, viruses and other germs have free ride. I am 75 years old; smoking package cigarettes a day. Despite of all in addition eating read and fat meat, I am in perfect health with normal weigh; blood pressure in range 75/120. I do white water kayaking, bicycling and other outdoor activities. However, I am gluten free last 15 years.

    For everything is one reason only. In this case it is governments conspiracy. If they can do with smoking, they could do same wit gluten.

    Best wishes to you all!

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    Looking back I've had symptoms most of my life but was simply told by mom that I had the family stomach and it was "normal" for us. It didn't occur to me to say anything to a doctor until I was 40. At that point I was very ill and had tried everything I could come up. Gave up coffee, after all it is hard on the stomach, nope, how about dairy, didn't help, must be stress, but hmm life is good other than being miserably sick so that can't be it. Time to go to the doctor. She said what most do with one MAJOR exception. It is probably IBS but lets do a blood test to make sure it isn't celiac. I'm sure it isn't but it is more common than we used to think... One week later I had a biopsy and confirmed what the blood test said. Since then (3 whole months) I've been eating gluten free and feeling much better, except when I get cross contaminated that is.

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    Doctors don't make any money from us purchasing gluten free food. They also only received 20-30 minutes of education on celiac in the seven years of medical school! No wonder they can't figure out what is wrong. We have to do this research ourselves. With the internet at our hands, get to work! I,too, went misdiagnosed for over 15 years. I was convinced along with my family I was a hypochondriac. I am not and now they all know, there really was something wrong. Pay attention to what your body is telling you.

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    My son was finally diagnosed with celiac when he was 17 and missed most of his senior year of high school. He was lethargic and could hardly get out of bed. When ever he would eat gluten he would get sick to his stomach but we never made the association with wheat, rye or barley.

    Finally his doctor, who coincidentally had a brother who suffered from celiac disease, suggested a blood test. When it came back positive she suggested that the rest of the family be tested and I discovered that I have it too.

    I was 52 at the time and had been suffering from dermatitis herpetiformis for about ten years. I had been to both an internist who referred me to a dermatologist. She took a biopsy and said that it was related to eating foods with yeast such as beer, blue cheese and bread. I cut those items out of my diet, yet the sores persisted until my son was diagnosed.

    We then immediately went on a gluten free diet and our symptoms disappeared. My son is a healthy junior in college living independently cooking for himself.

    I attribute early misdiagnosis to lack of awareness of the disease not some cynical plot that doctors may have because they can't prescribe a costly pill to solve the problem.

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    I think the slow and under diagnostic numbers are due primarily because physicians are given so little, if any, information about celiac sprue in school. They also don't pay much attention to dietary needs other than vitamin/mineral deficiencies. I was symptomatic from birth and not diagnosed until I was 50, at my suggestion to my doctor. I suffered all of the typical diagnoses people get when their physicians can't figure out what's wrong.

    While this may not have a huge impact on getting people diagnosed sooner, I was adopted from a state that continues to keep adoption records sealed. Considering the hereditary aspects of celiac, the monetary burden a slow diagnosis puts on health care and the patient, and the suffering of patients and families, perhaps we need to consider mandated testing. It's true that a disease that's treated almost exclusively via nutrition might influence some physicians' actions, I believe that most doctors go into medicine to help people and consciously avoiding a diagnosis that is treated by diet alone is not the primary reason behind slow diagnosis.

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    I suffered 26 years. Before that, doctors in Brazil even sent me to psychologist/psychiatrist, thinking that I was a hypochondriac and that no one experiences so many symptoms at once. A dermatologist found out... go figure!

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    This is an excellent article. I have 17 people in my family with either celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis. My sister has been dignosed since 1962 after many years of illnesses. We have several in that group with gluten sensitivity which is harder to get diagnosed than celiac disease. We are all doing very well on the gluten free diet and instead of complaining I am telling my family to be thankful for all the new foods and information.Be proactive with your Dr.Take info with you from Dr Joseph Murray of the Mayo Clinic.He put my family in a study.It is a healthy diet and I am healthy on it.Also,this is a wonderful website. Cudos to Celiac.Com.

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    My first symptoms appeared in early childhood. I was suddenly clumsy (ataxia) and developed Dh that was misdiagnosed as many different things over the years from poison ivy to atopic dermatitis, the skin equivalent of IBS. Since home life was not good all stomach issues were 'nerves'. In the last 15 years before diagnosis I became extremely ill and was thought to have everything from MS to 'you want to be sick' to 'it's all stress. My neuro considered my brain lesions to be insignificant and my GI never listened when I told him I woke every night for 2 to 3 hours of excruciating pain when my system cleared itself. I was finally diagnosed at age 46, 6 months after my dear daughter told me the family would understand if I killed myself. She was only 14 and my children grew up literally watching their mother die day by day. Am I still angry and mistrustful of doctors? You bet. It was 40 years from first symptom to diagnosis for me. If I had all the money we paid for testing and drugs over those years I could now buy my own island instead of struggling to survive because my college education was cut short leaving me in my 50's only minimally able to support myself. We desperately need to get knowledge of this disease and full screening in the US. It would save millions of health care dollars and many, many lives.

    Krista - my story is quite similar to yours. I found out at 42 years of age after suffering terribly my entire life. I was extremely angry at first. As I tell people "celiac disease does not bother me, it's that I spent a life time so sick & developed many other health issues that plague me daily". It all could have been prevented. Two of my children were born 2 & 3 months premature, now they know why!

    I do know diagnoses is getting better, which is encouraging - but we still have a long way to go. A rheumatologist was the doctor that diagnosed me 6 years ago - I think of him often and what a blessing it was that I ended up in his office. I often wonder if I would have had a diagnoses yet or not if I had not happened upon him. My endoscopy showed severe atrophy of the small intestine - the gastroenterologist said I definitely had it as a young child. I also had iron deficient anemia as young as 7 & 8 years of age.

    I am encouraged with the amount of publicity Celiac Disease is getting and realize the day is coming that people no longer end up spending a lifetime sick & spending undo dollars trying to find out what is wrong. However, that said...I do think people viewing this as a fad diet is comical! I would love to go shopping with them & see if they really are educated at reading labels, including everything we put into our mouths ex; medications, etc.

    Thanks to Celiac.com and many other great celiac websites, we are all gaining more knowledge everyday.

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    Guest Janice Morris

    Posted

    All my life I suffered from stomach problems. When I was just a baby, my Mother was told that I was allergic to wheat. Supposedly, I outgrew this "allergy". I was told I had IBS, nerves and things I can't remember. At one point I was treated like a hypochondriac housewife. I just knew there was something wrong and I wanted to fix it and feel good. Through the years, the bouts were on and off until the summer/fall of 1991. That's when I became so incredibly sick and was unable to eat the least little bit of food without suffering constant diarrhea. I was experiencing excessive weight loss, very low blood pressure and severe leg cramps. I was so anemic they thought I was bleeding internally. At one point I lived on nothing but jello. I had never heard of this disease and didn't associate the fact that every time I ate a piece of toast it would start all over again. My children were afraid to even hug me due to my extreme frailty. Finally, my family doctor started consulted with an associate - a gastroenterologist - about my case. The gastro doctor said that it sounded like what he called "tropical sprue" but said that it was very rare disease. Long story short, I collapsed at work and ended up in the hospital and they decided to do two tests - a bone marrow biopsy and an endoscopy. Fortunately for me, when the gastro doctor saw me (he said I looked like a concentration camp victim) he decided to do the endoscopy first. FINALLY - a diagnosis - you have Celiac Sprue. That was January, 1992 and it hasn't been an easy ride but at least I feel good. Since then, a sister, a cousin and her two sons were diagnosed with celiac. Now one of my nieces is being checked for this disease as the reason for all of her problems (after I wrote a letter to the hospital - a teaching hospital by the way which I won't name). Doctors know nothing about this disease and I think it should be the first thing ruled out especially in a family with so much history. With all the information out there now no one should have to suffer for years. I was 42 when I was diagnosed in 1992.

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    I had a decade of misery. My doctor's niece started a gluten-free restaurant so he suggested I try the diet to see if it would help. Happy coincidence for me. And my daughter, who was developing similar symptoms.

    The problem is a general lack of knowledge, which is changing. Gluten-free food manufacturer are becoming more common and profitable. They'll be the ones driving awareness.

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    Guest Roselyn

    Posted

    I was not diagnosed until I was 60, after years (over 30) of 5 GI series, being told it was my nerves (I'm a calm person), etc. They discovered a stricture in my esophagus, so a doctor doing an endoscopy discovered that I had no villi and diagnosed me and blood test was positive. Going so long without being diagnosed, I also developed collogenous colitis, so I feel wonderful but still have diarrhea. I never did feel bad, other than always scoping out the nearest bathroom, and being very thin and anemic. I am now a normal size and have loads of energy.

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    Guest Lisa Mcgrath

    Posted

    I suffered for over 20 years until I was diagnosed as celiac. I can remember when I was very little being sick all the time and my Dr telling my mom that I just had a nervous stomach! As a young adult my stomach always hurt and I would go to the washroom 10+ times a day.. I finally found out the reason when I was 36 years old. I am so thankful that I found out and could start healing, but I wonder what damage could have been prevented. I am also a diabetic and have an autoimmune thyroid condition which resulted in my thyroid being removed.I most likely would not have those conditions if this was found out when I was little.

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    Good lord, it took 45 1/2 years before a doctor diagnosed me with celiac, and then I had to request the test, myself. He laughed at me, initially, until the test results came back. And I have been to so many doctors over the years, I've completely lost count of how many failed to help me. Come on, who had really heard of celiac Disease until about six years ago? It wasn't in the mainstream media. Since I was 17 years old, I researched diligently to find out why in the heck I felt so bad most of the time, but my symptoms were all over the page. My personal library is full of books on medical conditions, with little if anything written on celiac Disease. And I never considered I had the disease until I prayed about my problem and then read an article on About.com regarding a connection between Hypothyroidism and celiac disease in early 2005. (So, lovely, now I have not one but two diseases.) I suppose we give doctors too much credit for being intelligent and looking out for our well being.

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    Guest Sherida

    Posted

    Article worth contemplation, but I have few complaints as I had only been having symptoms about 7 yrs. before diagnosis at age 60. It was after I retired from teaching early, went through menopause with various sleep disruptions, and refused to take various hormone treatments that I was finally tested as Hypo-thyroid. After this was treated with Synthroid, I still was having diarrhea symptoms, especially after eating oatmeal, so I stopped that. My thyroid seemed stable, but was still treated for severe acid reflux, with endoscopes every 2 yrs. Finally, my GP referred me to my GI doc when blood tests showed anemia. They both were looking for celiac when I was diagnosed in '07.

    The endoscopy included a biopsy, pictures of flattened villi, and the celiac sprue blood antigen test. I sometimes still have symptoms, but once I ate gluten free I've taken the blood tests & been normal (3)every time.

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    As a child I had stomach aches, but I didn't like a lot of the foods other ate. I ate Rice Krispies, not Wheaties, I never ate pizza, just liking the cheese on top, and I never ate sandwiches, liking salads better. Pasta, only rarely, not something I liked. Was it instinct? I don't know. However, I never met a brownie I didn't like, and quite a bit of gluten still came my way, with my delight.

     

     

    I had skin problems, and my father said I was chubby, though now looking back I see a bloated belly. I didn't do sports like the rest of my family. I was a bit depressed as a teen.

    But generally, I was smart and well liked. Life seemed "normal."

     

    Looking back everything takes a different tone. My height is less than the rest of my family. My legs always felt weak (from poor nutrient absorption). My pimples on my chin were all related to nutrition troubles, poor absorption.

     

    At 35 I had a terrible fracture of my foot /ankle while playing touch football game with parents and kids. I asked them "do I have bone density issues." AT 32 no one was interested in testing, and they said no. At 50, I discovered I do have low bone density, and when endocrinologist did a celiac blood test (tTg) normal was 0-19 mine was 181. No other testing for bone issues was positive. My bone health seemed to be completely celiac related. Since then I have been gluten free. Skin is improved, though now other parts of my face get autoimmune reactions. I am finding gluten-free not quite enough, though it has helped many minor symptoms, the years of irritation to my body make some things slower to heal.

     

    Dermatologists were the worse, just saying an area of persistent itch was just dermatitis. And they didn't know about DH and didn't know how to do proper biopsy.

     

    I have lost faith in the expertise of doctors. I do lots of research and do my best to help myself and sort this out.

    Purified vit C from BEYOND HEALTH has helped me alot to heal.

    Still looking for more answers.

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    My son was finally diagnosed with celiac when he was 17 and missed most of his senior year of high school. He was lethargic and could hardly get out of bed. When ever he would eat gluten he would get sick to his stomach but we never made the association with wheat, rye or barley.

    Finally his doctor, who coincidentally had a brother who suffered from celiac disease, suggested a blood test. When it came back positive she suggested that the rest of the family be tested and I discovered that I have it too.

    I was 52 at the time and had been suffering from dermatitis herpetiformis for about ten years. I had been to both an internist who referred me to a dermatologist. She took a biopsy and said that it was related to eating foods with yeast such as beer, blue cheese and bread. I cut those items out of my diet, yet the sores persisted until my son was diagnosed.

    We then immediately went on a gluten free diet and our symptoms disappeared. My son is a healthy junior in college living independently cooking for himself.

    I attribute early misdiagnosis to lack of awareness of the disease not some cynical plot that doctors may have because they can't prescribe a costly pill to solve the problem.

    You are so right. I believe it is now getting a wider attention and there is a greater awareness even in the food industries. You can get gluten free cereal, pasta, even medications have it on their labels. I'm sorry for those who feel it is a plot among doctors because they "don't make money off their disease." I see patients get tested for this disease all the time in my field, I'm sure it's because of a greater awareness.

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    Guest Corinne

    Posted

    I suffered a miserable childhood with the diarrhea and anemia, depression and weight loss. As a teenager I was accused of being bulemic, and/or on drugs. As an young adult I was 97 pounds after having a baby, and what made the diagnosis was the fact that I worked as an assistant to a GI doctor, and found the information about celiac disease in one of his textbooks. I pushed the issue and finally he agreed to test me and thank you very much found that I have it. Now as a nurse, I had my whole family tested and half of us are now on a gluten free diet and thriving. I was misdiagnosed with IBS prior to that, but also did have ulcers and gallbladder problems. Its all inter-related.

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    Yup...suffered for years and always thought it was a "nervous tummy". Finally met a functional medicine doctor who's first words out of her mouth were "I'll bet you are gluten intolerant". Sure enough, but even when I went back to my HMO doctor with the test results and some info - he still refused to diagnose me with anything other than IBS...needless to say, I do not share this info with any HMO docs and I monitor my diet carefully.

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    I have gluten sensitivity, and was able to self-cure once I found that out. But it took 5 years of going to 7 different doctors, including a gastroenterologist, before I received a food allergy test after mentioning my problems to my CHIROPRACTOR. And yes, the other doctors kept giving me pills instead of helping me find out what was going on (all said I had "irritable bowel syndrome". Even my allergist's "gold standard" test for celiac disease came back negative, but eliminating gluten for months saved my life. One thing that I don't hear mentioned on celiac.com, however, is something regarding the fact that this sensitivity coincides with childbirth for some women. It did in my case (first surfaced after birth of first child, went in remission during pregnancy, resurfaced after birth of second child), and I have heard of it happening with other women after childbirth. Sounds like a similar pattern as other immune system related diseases. Any studies on this?

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    Guest Dawn Carseldine

    Posted

    Same issue with me. My Coeliac started when I was 21.

    I was told I had IBS..... then when I lost so much weight due to malnutrition (42kgs was my weight at one point) I was told I was anorexic and just didn't want to admit it to myself... no one believed me, especially my family.

    When I told them I was eating, they then decided I was Bulemic It was hell.

    I was put on all kinds of necessary anti depressants.

    I even lost a job due to the fact that I was sick so much.

     

    I later found out from the other side of my family that one of my distant aunts had it.... so I asked the doctor to check for it.

    He didn't think it was necessary, but I managed to convince him.

     

    8 years later and I've been on the diet for a long time now.

    I'm a million time better than I was, but I still suffer from vitamin deficiencies and all the problems that go with it, no matter how careful I am, not matter how I add vitamin rich food into my diet, and I take gluten free multivitamins every day.

     

    I live in New Zealand, and the doctors here don't even think to check for this unless there's a documented event of it happening in the family, and even then they look at you like you're crazy until you convince someone to test for it.

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    Think the under-diagnosis might have to do with the fact that the only treatment for the condition is dietary, and not only are physicians generally woefully undereducated about diet but the profession does not stand to make money by diagnosing celiac/gluten sensitivity, as there are no drugs/procedures to prescribe for it?

    That is it exactly! Shameful, but true.

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    Guest Andrea D

    Posted

    I waited about 12 years wherein I was repeatedly misdiagnosed with stress, IBS, dumping syndrome, Bile Salt Diarrhea and moreover, just had my symptoms ignored. I lost 3-4 years of work during that time because my diarrhea was so bad, I couldn't leave the house. Usually, these episodes would follow my having contacted a stomach virus that hung on for literally months and months or, a cold that just completely knocked me off my feet. No one seemed to take me seriously until I developed severe Colitis two months ago following a stomach virus. The doctor I had been seeing was not in his office and fortunately, the PA who filled in for him ordered the blood tests. Thank goodness, my 5-6 bouts of daily diarrhea stopped once off gluten! I am having a host of other/new problems concerning digestion, fatigue, skin rashes and allergies to other foods I never knew bothered me before, but I no longer have my old problems. Looking back, I can't imagine why during all my visits to the doctor and between all the blood tests and trips to the dietitian, no one ever mentioned gluten to me before. I was so lost. This disease robbed me of my forties.

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    Guest Charlou

    Posted

    I think the reason many people aren't diagnosed is because doctors have celiac disease linked in their mind with "failure to thrive," which means a fat lady like me couldn't possibly have celiac disease...right? I was self-diagnosed when my sister called to tell me she had it -- I stopped eating gluten and my "irritable bowel syndrome" went away, my "fuzzy brain syndrome" went away (except when I accidentally get cross contamination), my feeling that every cell in my body was sick went away. The other day I found a paper I typed up and gave to a gastroenterologist ten years ago (after about 20 years of IBS). He did a colonoscopy, told me I had a few small diverticuli, and sent me home with instructions to eat more fiber. The more fiber I ate, the sicker I got, so that only lasted a couple of weeks. Looking at the paper I gave the doctor, it is a classic list of symptoms of celiac disease, but I had to suffer for 10 more years before my sister was diagnosed, and she passed the word to me.

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    Once again, for those planning to prepare a gluten-free turkey dinner, here are some helpful tips to help it go smoothly:
    Start your gluten-free holiday dinner with a gluten-freeturkey. Not all brands of turkey are gluten-free. Some contain glutenin their additives—so, as with everything else, check the ingredientsand use our Gluten-Free Ingredient Lists or our Gluten-Free Shopping Guides to help you shop. Demand gluten-free stuffing! Accept no substitute. Don’t risk putting non-gluten-free stuffing in your turkey. Instead, try Celiac.com's favorite gluten-free stuffing recipe. Top that stuffing with simple, delicious gluten-free gravy from either a gluten-free gravy mix, or a gluten-free gravy recipe. Remember, some bouillon cubes contain gluten, so be sure to use gluten-free bouillon cubes. Tip: Thicken your homemade gravy with either corn starch or arrowroot flour. Prepare easy, tasty gluten-free side dishes by browsing Celiac.com's extensive listing of gluten-free recipes, where you will find side dishes to impress even the snootiest gourmet. Nothing says holidays like the smell of baking. Load up on your gluten-free baking ingredients and other hard-to-find items like prepared gluten-free pies  gluten-free cakes, brownies and baking mixes ahead of time.
    Keep your loved ones happy and spend more timewith friends and family and less time in thekitchen! Many excellent prepared gluten-free products can now beordered and delivered directly to your door from places like the Gluten-Free Mall.Don't forget those gluten-free cookies and crackers. Nothing anchors out the holiday snack selection like a good cracker. Choosefrom a wide selection of gluten-free crackers for your family andguests. Pair them with your favorite wines, cheeses, and hors d'oeuvresfor a smashing holiday spread.

    And who can get through the holidays without nibbling on a cookie.Not Santa, that's for sure! Keep plenty of gluten-free cookies andcrackers on hand this holiday season, and remember to leave a gluten-free cookie for Santa!



    Gluten-free Gift Ideas
    Updated Gluten-free Food and Drug Lists are a great way to makesure your gluten-free loved ones are current with the latestgluten-free ingredients and products.
     
    For those who like to stay abreast of the latest research on celiac disease and gluten intolerance, may we suggest the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

    Books on gluten-free living, diet, recipes and other issues make great holiday gifts. This season, celiac.com suggests Elisabeth Hasselbeck's gluten-free DietRemember, gluten-free personal body care products and gluten-free gift vouchers make great for your gluten-free loved ones.
    Meantime, for those looking for more great gluten-free holiday food and meal suggestions, including celiac.com's Best Ever Gluten-free Stuffing, and Gluten-free Pumpkin Pie, click on the links.
    Celiac.com wishes you and your loved ones a safe, healthy, and happy gluten-free holiday season!


    Jefferson Adams
    02/01/2011 - Imagine having a dog that was specially-trained to sniff out even the tiniest amounts of gluten in food and warn you ahead of time. There are scores of people with celiac disease severe enough that the slightest trace of gluten can make them painfully ill. Hollie Scott is one of them. Scott is a University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine student is also lucky to have her dog Elias is a champion Beauceron and a gluten-detecter extraordinaire. The handsome Beauceron comes from a 400-year-old breed that became almost extinct serving as messenger dogs in Europe during two world wars. Even though he is just only 2 years old, Elias is the first male Beauceron to receive the title AKC Grand Champion. His full title is: GCH CH Elias Mes Yeux Vigilants RN. But Elias' regular job is working as a gluten-detection service dog for his twenty-two year old owner, Scott, a first-year student in the program.
    To become so accomplished at gluten-detection, Elias spent weeks in Slovenia undergoing intense gluten-detection training, and now he can detect and warn her away from anything containing gluten, hot or cold, in all its many forms. Teaching a dog to be alert to the scent of gluten is more challenging than other scent-detection training, precisely because gluten comes in so many forms. When it's time for Elias to do the sniff test for Scott, she places a cover with holes over the item, and the dog takes a sniff. If Elias smells gluten, he tries to pull the item away from her; if it's safe, he just looks away. To help Elias keep his edge, Scott tests him daily with known gluten-containing foods, and adds in products she hopes are gluten-free.
    Scott was diagnosed with celiac disease about two years ago after spending much time "in and out of hospitals" She's now acutely vigilant about checking labels and trying to avoid cross-contamination. "You can't drop your guard for even a minute," says Scott, who likens an attack to "a really extremely bad case of stomach flu" from which her body doesn't recover fully for nearly three weeks. That's where Elias works like a charm.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/08/2011 - In the face of steadily rising numbers of people with celiac disease, very little information exists on the economic costs and impacts associated with celiac disease.
    A team of researchers recently set out to assess the impact of celiac disease diagnosis on health care costs and the incremental costs associated with celiac disease.
    The research team included K. H. Long, A. Rubio-Tapia, A. E. Wagie, L. J. Melton III, B. D. Lahr, C. T. Van Dyke, and J. A. Murray.
    They are affiliated variously with the Division of Health Care Policy & Research, the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the Division of Epidemiology, and the Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics at the College of Medicine of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
    To carry out their population-based cohort, the team used administrative data on celiac disease cases and matched controls from Olmsted County, Minnesota.
    They compared: 1) direct medical costs one year before and one year after celiac disease diagnosis for 133 index cases and for control subjects; and 2) cumulative direct medical costs over four years for 153 index celiac cases and for control subjects. Their analyses did not include diagnostic-related and outpatient pharmaceutical costs.
    They found that a diagnosis of celiac disease lowers the average total costs by $1,764 in the year following diagnosis (pre-diagnosis cost of $5,023 vs. $3,259; 95% CI of difference: $688 to $2,993).
    They found also that, over a 4-year period, people with celiac disease faced an average of $1,457 in higher outpatient costs (P = 0.016), and an average of $3,964 in higher total costs of $3,964; (P = 0.053), compared with the control group.
    Men with celiac disease bore the brunt of those higher costs, with excess average total costs of just over $14,000 compared to costs of $4,000 for male controls; 95% CI of difference: $2,334 to $20,309).
    Costs associated with celiac disease pose a significant economic burden, especially for men with the disease.
    Early detection, diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease lowers medical costs, and will likely benefit patients and health care providers alike.
    Source:

    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Volume 32, Issue 2, pages 261–269, July 2010

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/15/2014 - Systech Illinois, which makes gas analysis instruments, has struck a deal with Ultrapharm gluten-free bakery to monitor Ultrapharm’s modified atmosphere packs.
    Ultrapharm will use Systech’s oxygen and carbon dioxide headspace analyzer to make sure their products are properly sealed, and to test the inert packaging atmosphere for maximum shelf life.
    Beth Faulkner, marketing manager, Systech Illinois, told FoodProductionDaily that Ultrapharm is the first gluten-free bakery to partner with Systech for atmospheric quality assurance testing. Systech’s Gaspace Advance uses a probe that is inserted into the gas pack to measure levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The results are then shown on an LCD display.
    Ultrapharm opened its gluten-free baking facility in Poland in 2005. Nearly all of the company’s gluten-free products are exported from the Polish manufacturing site to Italy, Germany, France, UK and Ireland.
    The baking facility uses modified atmospheric packaging to extend shelf life of up to six months for its frozen breads, rolls and filled pastries and pies. Testing the modified atmospheric packs helps to assure proper shelf life, and to keep the product looking its best.
    Systech Illinois also produces oxygen permeation and water vapor permeation analyzers for packaging film, finished package and PET bottles.

  • Recent Articles

    Tammy Rhodes
    Celiac.com 04/24/2018 - Did you know in 2017 alone, the United States had OVER TENS OF THOUSANDS of people evacuate their homes due to natural disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis? Most evacuation sites are not equipped to feed your family the safe gluten free foods that are required to stay healthy.  Are you prepared in case of an emergency? Do you have your Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag ready to grab and go?  
    I have already lived through two natural disasters. Neither of which I ever want to experience again, but they taught me a very valuable lesson, which is why I created a Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag (see link below). Here’s my story. If you’ve ever lived in or visited the Los Angeles area, you’re probably familiar with the Santa Ana winds and how bitter sweet they are. Sweet for cleaning the air and leaving the skies a brilliant crystal blue, and bitter for the power outages and potential brush fires that might ensue.  It was one of those bitter nights where the Santa Ana winds were howling, and we had subsequently lost our power. We had to drive over an hour just to find a restaurant so we could eat dinner. I remember vividly seeing the glow of a brush fire on the upper hillside of the San Gabriel Mountains, a good distance from our neighborhood. I really didn’t think much of it, given that it seemed so far from where we lived, and I was hungry! After we ate, we headed back home to a very dark house and called it a night. 
    That’s where the story takes a dangerous turn….about 3:15am. I awoke to the TV blaring loudly, along with the lights shining brightly. Our power was back on! I proceeded to walk throughout the house turning everything off at exactly the same time our neighbor, who was told to evacuate our street, saw me through our window, assuming I knew that our hillside was ablaze with flames. Flames that were shooting 50 feet into the air. I went back to bed and fell fast asleep. The fire department was assured we had left because our house was dark and quiet again. Two hours had passed.  I suddenly awoke to screams coming from a family member yelling, “fire, fire, fire”! Flames were shooting straight up into the sky, just blocks from our house. We lived on a private drive with only one way in and one way out.  The entrance to our street was full of smoke and the fire fighters were doing their best to save our neighbors homes. We literally had enough time to grab our dogs, pile into the car, and speed to safety. As we were coming down our street, fire trucks passed us with sirens blaring, and I wondered if I would ever see my house and our possessions ever again. Where do we go? Who do we turn to? Are shelters a safe option? 
    When our daughter was almost three years old, we left the West Coast and relocated to Northern Illinois. A place where severe weather is a common occurrence. Since the age of two, I noticed that my daughter appeared gaunt, had an incredibly distended belly, along with gas, stomach pain, low weight, slow growth, unusual looking stool, and a dislike for pizza, hotdog buns, crackers, Toast, etc. The phone call from our doctor overwhelmed me.  She was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I broke down into tears sobbing. What am I going to feed my child? Gluten is everywhere.
    After being scoped at Children's Hospital of Chicago, and my daughters Celiac Disease officially confirmed, I worried about her getting all the nutrients her under nourished body so desperately needed. I already knew she had a peanut allergy from blood tests, but just assumed she would be safe with other nuts. I was so horribly wrong. After feeding her a small bite of a pistachio, which she immediately spit out, nuts would become her enemy. Her anaphylactic reaction came within minutes of taking a bite of that pistachio. She was complaining of horrible stomach cramps when the vomiting set in. She then went limp and starting welting. We called 911.
    Now we never leave home without our Epipens and our gluten free food supplies. We analyze every food label. We are hyper vigilant about cross contamination. We are constantly looking for welts and praying for no stomach pain. We are always prepared and on guard. It's just what we do now. Anything to protect our child, our love...like so many other parents out there have to do every moment of ever day!  
    Then, my second brush with a natural disaster happened, without any notice, leaving us once again scrambling to find a safe place to shelter. It was a warm and muggy summer morning, and my husband was away on a business trip leaving my young daughter and me to enjoy our summer day. Our Severe Weather Alert Radio was going off, again, as I continued getting our daughter ready for gymnastics.  Having gotten used to the (what seemed to be daily) “Severe Thunderstorm warning,” I didn’t pay much attention to it. I continued downstairs with my daughter and our dog, when I caught a glimpse out the window of an incredibly black looking cloud. By the time I got downstairs, I saw the cover to our grill literally shoot straight up into the air. Because we didn’t have a fenced in yard, I quickly ran outside and chased the cover, when subsequently, I saw my neighbor’s lawn furniture blow pass me. I quickly realized I made a big mistake going outside. As I ran back inside, I heard debris hitting the front of our home.  Our dog was the first one to the basement door! As we sat huddled in the dark corner of our basement, I was once again thinking where are we going to go if our house is destroyed. I was not prepared, and I should have been. I should have learned my lesson the first time. Once the storm passed, we quickly realized we were without power and most of our trees were destroyed. We were lucky that our house had minimal damage, but that wasn’t true for most of the area surrounding us.  We were without power for five days. We lost most of our food - our gluten free food.
    That is when I knew we had to be prepared. No more winging it. We couldn’t take a chance like that ever again. We were “lucky” one too many times. We were very fortunate that we did not lose our home to the Los Angeles wildfire, and only had minimal damage from the severe storm which hit our home in Illinois.
      
    In 2017 alone, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) had 137 natural disasters declared within the United States. According to FEMA, around 50% of the United States population isn’t prepared for a natural disaster. These disasters can happen anywhere, anytime and some without notice. It’s hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent of a gluten free family member. Now, add a natural disaster on top of that. Are you prepared?
    You can find my Gluten Free Emergency Food Bags and other useful products at www.allergynavigator.com.  

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/23/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to learn whether celiac disease patients commonly suffer cognitive impairment at the time they are diagnosed, and to compare their cognitive performance with non-celiac subjects with similar chronic symptoms and to a group of healthy control subjects.
    The research team included G Longarini, P Richly, MP Temprano, AF Costa, H Vázquez, ML Moreno, S Niveloni, P López, E Smecuol, R Mazure, A González, E Mauriño, and JC Bai. They are variously associated with the Small Bowel Section, Department of Medicine, Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo Gastroenterology Hospital; Neurocience Cognitive and Traslational Institute (INECO), Favaloro Fundation, CONICET, Buenos Aires; the Brain Health Center (CESAL), Quilmes, Argentina; the Research Council, MSAL, CABA; and with the Research Institute, School of Medicine, Universidad del Salvador.
    The team enrolled fifty adults with symptoms and indications of celiac disease in a prospective cohort without regard to the final diagnosis.  At baseline, all individuals underwent cognitive functional and psychological evaluation. The team then compared celiac disease patients with subjects without celiac disease, and with healthy controls matched by sex, age, and education.
    Celiac disease patients had similar cognitive performance and anxiety, but no significant differences in depression scores compared with disease controls.
    A total of thirty-three subjects were diagnosed with celiac disease. Compared with the 26 healthy control subjects, the 17 celiac disease subjects, and the 17 disease control subjects, who mostly had irritable bowel syndrome, showed impaired cognitive performance (P=0.02 and P=0.04, respectively), functional impairment (P<0.01), and higher depression (P<0.01). 
    From their data, the team noted that any abnormal cognitive functions they saw in adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease did not seem not to be a result of the disease itself. 
    Their results indicate that cognitive dysfunction in celiac patients could be related to long-term symptoms from chronic disease, in general.
    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar 1. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001018.

    Connie Sarros
    Celiac.com 04/21/2018 - Dear Friends and Readers,
    I have been writing articles for Scott Adams since the 2002 Summer Issue of the Scott-Free Press. The Scott-Free Press evolved into the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. I felt honored when Scott asked me ten years ago to contribute to his quarterly journal and it's been a privilege to write articles for his publication ever since.
    Due to personal health reasons and restrictions, I find that I need to retire. My husband and I can no longer travel the country speaking at conferences and to support groups (which we dearly loved to do) nor can I commit to writing more books, articles, or menus. Consequently, I will no longer be contributing articles to the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. 
    My following books will still be available at Amazon.com:
    Gluten-free Cooking for Dummies Student's Vegetarian Cookbook for Dummies Wheat-free Gluten-free Dessert Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Reduced Calorie Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults (revised version) My first book was published in 1996. My journey since then has been incredible. I have met so many in the celiac community and I feel blessed to be able to call you friends. Many of you have told me that I helped to change your life – let me assure you that your kind words, your phone calls, your thoughtful notes, and your feedback throughout the years have had a vital impact on my life, too. Thank you for all of your support through these years.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/20/2018 - A digital media company and a label data company are teaming up to help major manufacturers target, reach and convert their desired shoppers based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free diet. The deal could bring synergy in emerging markets such as the gluten-free and allergen-free markets, which represent major growth sectors in the global food industry. 
    Under the deal, personalized digital media company Catalina will be joining forces with Label Insight. Catalina uses consumer purchases data to target shoppers on a personal base, while Label Insight works with major companies like Kellogg, Betty Crocker, and Pepsi to provide insight on food label data to government, retailers, manufacturers and app developers.
    "Brands with very specific product benefits, gluten-free for example, require precise targeting to efficiently reach and convert their desired shoppers,” says Todd Morris, President of Catalina's Go-to-Market organization, adding that “Catalina offers the only purchase-based targeting solution with this capability.” 
    Label Insight’s clients include food and beverage giants such as Unilever, Ben & Jerry's, Lipton and Hellman’s. Label Insight technology has helped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) build the sector’s very first scientifically accurate database of food ingredients, health attributes and claims.
    Morris says the joint partnership will allow Catalina to “enhance our dataset and further increase our ability to target shoppers who are currently buying - or have shown intent to buy - in these emerging categories,” including gluten-free, allergen-free, and other free-from foods.
    The deal will likely make for easier, more precise targeting of goods to consumers, and thus provide benefits for manufacturers and retailers looking to better serve their retail food customers, especially in specialty areas like gluten-free and allergen-free foods.
    Source:
    fdfworld.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/19/2018 - Previous genome and linkage studies indicate the existence of a new disease triggering mechanism that involves amino acid metabolism and nutrient sensing signaling pathways. In an effort to determine if amino acids might play a role in the development of celiac disease, a team of researchers recently set out to investigate if plasma amino acid levels differed among children with celiac disease compared with a control group.
     
    The research team included Åsa Torinsson Naluai, Ladan Saadat Vafa, Audur H. Gudjonsdottir, Henrik Arnell, Lars Browaldh, and Daniel Agardh. They are variously affiliated with the Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Karolinska University Hospital and Division of Pediatrics, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institute, Sodersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Diabetes & Celiac Disease Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden; and with the Nathan S Kline Institute in the U.S.A.
    First, the team used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to analyze amino acid levels in fasting plasma samples from 141 children with celiac disease and 129 non-celiac disease controls. They then crafted a general linear model using age and experimental effects as covariates to compare amino acid levels between children with celiac disease and non-celiac control subjects.
    Compared with the control group, seven out of twenty-three children with celiac disease showed elevated levels of the the following amino acids: tryptophan; taurine; glutamic acid; proline; ornithine; alanine; and methionine.
    The significance of the individual amino acids do not survive multiple correction, however, multivariate analyses of the amino acid profile showed significantly altered amino acid levels in children with celiac disease overall and after correction for age, sex and experimental effects.
    This study shows that amino acids can influence inflammation and may play a role in the development of celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS One. 2018; 13(3): e0193764. doi: & 10.1371/journal.pone.0193764