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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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Hala

Can Sugar Cause Heart Palpitations?

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I'm prescribed high-energy supplement drinks (I have complex malabsorption issues and pancreatic failure) which are really sugary.
Anywho, after I have these drinks I quite often feel dizzy/sick and get mild heart palpitations/tachycardia. Even when I sip them really slowly.This happens with sugary food as well.

They're definitely gluten-free so it's not a coeliac reaction.
Is it common for sugar to have this effect on the body? :/

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Interesting. If you notice a relationship between these drinks and heart palpitations I think it's not a question of if but why? You have already noted a link between the two, now look at the ingredients and try to identify what is associated with your symptoms.

Caffeine? Food dyes? Additives and preservatives? Or just so much sugar you can't tolerate the acidity? 

At the least, and with your history, you should call your doctor. If you are having heart palpitations in new, different or increased ways, it's a reason to let the doctor know.

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Yes. Google hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.

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I'm not sure but fizzy drinks can deplete potassium levels and low potassium can cause palpitations.

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Thanks for the advice everyone.

I've never been tested for diabetes but I've had a lot of blood tests recently so surely they would have picked up diabetes or hypo/hyperglycaemia?

Then again, I am ALWAYS thirsty even though I'm definitely not dehydrated because I pee all the time and it's always clear in colour.

The doctors here are rubbish and it's IMPOSSIBLE to get appointments though :/.

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And there's absolutely no history of diabetes on either side of my family.

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No, unless you get a copy of yr tests and check, there is no reason to assume that they've checked for all of these things. And hypoglycemia is hard to test for on a single test (particularly reactive hypoglycemia, which could match some of those msymtptoms).

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I would stop taking the energy drink immediately until discussing the symptoms you mentioned above with your healthcare provider.  If he doesn't seem concerned, I would consider a second opinion on that one.  Energy drinks are not evaluated for safety in relevant clinical trials.  They have no contraindication labeling or drug to drug interaction labeling.  5 Hour has been linked to 13 deaths in the US.  Monster I believe is 11.  There are better ways to get sugar without all of the caffeine that comes with these drinks.

 

Heart irregularities are not something to be unsure of when you are consuming energy drinks.

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No, unless you get a copy of yr tests and check, there is no reason to assume that they've checked for all of these things. And hypoglycemia is hard to test for on a single test (particularly reactive hypoglycemia, which could match some of those msymtptoms).

Okay, thanks for the info, I didn't realise you could be hypoglycaemic without diabetes. I tried to book a blood test but my surgery's fully-booked for now so I ordered a home glucose urinalysis test to do first. Probably not accurate but I thought I'd check before trying to book an appointment again.

 

I would stop taking the energy drink immediately until discussing the symptoms you mentioned above with your healthcare provider.  If he doesn't seem concerned, I would consider a second opinion on that one.  Energy drinks are not evaluated for safety in relevant clinical trials.  They have no contraindication labeling or drug to drug interaction labeling.  5 Hour has been linked to 13 deaths in the US.  Monster I believe is 11.  There are better ways to get sugar without all of the caffeine that comes with these drinks.

 

Heart irregularities are not something to be unsure of when you are consuming energy drinks.

 

Hi, sorry I should have made myself clearer. These are medically-prescribed nutritional supplements tailored for disease-induced malnutrition/maldigestion. They can't be bought commercially. By high-energy I meant calorie, they do not have any caffeine and are not fizzy. They contain electrolytes, minerals etc but. to be honest, they seem like dressed-up sugar to me, ha.

I've talked with my dietitian over how crap I've been feeling and how the supplements seem to make things worse but she didn't really comment and I ended up apologising for complaining at her (which I always seem to end up doing!).

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You can't really do a single blood testto check for reactive hypoglycemia. Look it up - its an issue with not just the level of your blood sugar being too low (or high), but rather the characterization of how it changes over time in response to ingesting carbs. In some people, it's also partly the rate of change (how fast or slow the change happens) instead of the magnitude (how big or little). You can check on it with a blood sugar monitor (the finger prick kind), but you need to take many reading (like every 20-30 minutes for two or three hours) after eating a somewhat carb-heavy meal, while tracking your symptoms. And then you need to properly interpret it.

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Hello Hala,

Do doctors give copies of the test results in the UK?

I once read in my Celiac book and online that there is an association
with pancreatic damage and Celiac.

.........................................................................................................

"There has been some suggestion wheat plays a role in juvenile diabetes as antibodies to the non-glutinous seed storage glb-1 (a globulin) are implicated in crossreactive autoantigenic antibodies that destroy islet cells in the pancreas.[37]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_immunochemistry

.........................................................................................................

In view of your pancreatic issues can you ask your doctor to send you
to a specialist and don't be shy to ask. It's for you not for her.

If the supplement is high in sugar and you are peeing a lot
that sounds like diabetis so do get tested.
(fasting glucose and A1c, fasting insulin)


With your problems with your pancreas I worry if that sugary supplement is hurting your pancreas.

Can you get more calories from fatty foods like adding olive oil and avocadoes, coconut cream, and cheeze?

For your heart palpitations maybe you could ask for an ECG.  It only takes minutes to do.

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I'm prescribed high-energy supplement drinks (I have complex malabsorption issues and pancreatic failure) which are really sugary.

Anywho, after I have these drinks I quite often feel dizzy/sick and get mild heart palpitations/tachycardia. Even when I sip them really slowly.This happens with sugary food as well.

They're definitely gluten-free so it's not a coeliac reaction.

Is it common for sugar to have this effect on the body? :/

 

I don't think that effect is common. HOWEVER, I experienced heart palipitations and mild tachycardia after eating sugar for many years. Then I took an ELISA  (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay) blood test for food allergies.  I had a very high IgG mediated reaction to cane sugar. So i started avoiding cane sugar. i could still eat honey, beet sugar, agave, etc., almost any natural sweetner except cane sugar. The palpitations and tachycardia disappeared ... until I accidentally consumed some cane sugar (e.g. Tylenol or products which changed their ingredients by adding cane sugar).  So you might actually have an allergy (IgG or IgA mediated) to cane sugar.  Try avoiding all sources of cane sugar and see whether your symptoms disappear.  You'll have to carefully read labels. Cane sugar is widely used in processed foods.

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You can't really do a single blood testto check for reactive hypoglycemia. Look it up - its an issue with not just the level of your blood sugar being too low (or high), but rather the characterization of how it changes over time in response to ingesting carbs. In some people, it's also partly the rate of change (how fast or slow the change happens) instead of the magnitude (how big or little). You can check on it with a blood sugar monitor (the finger prick kind), but you need to take many reading (like every 20-30 minutes for two or three hours) after eating a somewhat carb-heavy meal, while tracking your symptoms. And then you need to properly interpret it.

Thank you. I looked up hypoglycemia but a lot of the symptoms seem really severe, I've only been experiencing a few of the milder ones. The monitors look pretty expensive but I'll shop around and see if I can get one cheap.

 

Hello Hala,

Do doctors give copies of the test results in the UK?

I once read in my Celiac book and online that there is an association

with pancreatic damage and Celiac.

.........................................................................................................

"There has been some suggestion wheat plays a role in juvenile diabetes as antibodies to the non-glutinous seed storage glb-1 (a globulin) are implicated in crossreactive autoantigenic antibodies that destroy islet cells in the pancreas.[37]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_immunochemistry

.........................................................................................................

In view of your pancreatic issues can you ask your doctor to send you

to a specialist and don't be shy to ask. It's for you not for her.

If the supplement is high in sugar and you are peeing a lot

that sounds like diabetis so do get tested.

(fasting glucose and A1c, fasting insulin)

With your problems with your pancreas I worry if that sugary supplement is hurting your pancreas.

Can you get more calories from fatty foods like adding olive oil and avocadoes, coconut cream, and cheeze?

For your heart palpitations maybe you could ask for an ECG.  It only takes minutes to do.

Hi Marcus :). Unfortunately my body is really awful at digesting fats. I have pancreatic enzymes to take with food but the drinks are specifically fat-free so that I absorb more of them. I hope they're not damaging my pancreas, it's already crap enough :(. I haven't had the drinks much at all lately, I told the dietitian this and she seemed okay with this.

I don't think I'd be able to get hold of most of the test results because they were done in hospital, rather than at my GP surgery, so they'll be lost in some folder somewhere (that's what seems to happen to all my notes!). I feel like I've bothered the doctors so much and had so many tests done I'm worried I'm annoying them or that they will stop taking me seriously :(. It doesn't help being aspergic either, because I just can't explain myself properly! :P

 

I don't think that effect is common. HOWEVER, I experienced heart palipitations and mild tachycardia after eating sugar for many years. Then I took an ELISA  (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay) blood test for food allergies.  I had a very high IgG mediated reaction to cane sugar. So i started avoiding cane sugar. i could still eat honey, beet sugar, agave, etc., almost any natural sweetner except cane sugar. The palpitations and tachycardia disappeared ... until I accidentally consumed some cane sugar (e.g. Tylenol or products which changed their ingredients by adding cane sugar).  So you might actually have an allergy (IgG or IgA mediated) to cane sugar.  Try avoiding all sources of cane sugar and see whether your symptoms disappear.  You'll have to carefully read labels. Cane sugar is widely used in processed foods.

Oh dear! I'm glad you found out your allergy so you could start feeling better :). Doctors don't offer ELISA tests where I am, did you order yours online? Do the products specifically state cane sugar or is it just listed as glucose? Thanks for the info :)

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Does hypoglycaemia cause night sweats? Most nights I wake up at least once drenched in a cold sweat. I don't think I'm getting too hot because I don't feel hot and I very rarely get too hot (wore jumpers in Africa during the summer). Anyway, it's pretty annoying and gross :P

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    • You could very well have celiac disease, but there are 200 symptoms attributed to celiac disease and those often overlap with other illnesses.  You could get tested, but all celiac testing requires you to be on a full gluten diet for 8 to 12 weeks prior to a blood draw (it can take time for antibodies to ramp up and spill into the bloodstream).    You have been off for a month and it is possible that you could have healed.   Consider getting back on gluten and get tested.  Since you have Gastritis, maybe you can get a GI referral and an endoscopy to biopsy the stomach and the small intestine.  Only two weeks on a gluten diet is required for that procedure.      Learn more about testing: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/  
    • I'm a 30 year old female. All of my life I've had extreme bloating after eating. About 4 years ago I started having upper stomach pain. It's dead center below my rib cage where the diaphragm is located. As the years have passed the pain became more intense and more frequent until it was daily and affecting my ability to function. I had 2 drs say it was gastritis but prilosec did nothing to help. My head got to where it always hurt and I was exhausted constantly. If the pain and head fog wasn't already enough my joints started to hurt and swell making it hard to get out of bed. I'm 4ft 11 inches and was 130 pounds and my blood pressure was staying 160/105. I've always suffered with spells of constipation then episodes of D. I was getting mouth sores and had random rashes and itching mostly on my legs. I've also suffered anemia. When my stomach pain is at its worst I have foul smelling stools. All my liver and pancreas testing have come back normal. I tested negative for h pylori but am currently on carafate for ulcers. I'm going for another gallbladder ultrasound in 3 days as 9 years ago the ultrasound showed sludge so the dr is wanting to recheck. I've done research for a while now on gluten and have cut it out for over a month. I have noticed a significant improvement since stopping it and only have flare ups if I accidently consume gluten. So my question is does this sound like anything you've experienced and been positive for celiac? I also have numbness and tingling in my feet and hands 
    • Welcome!   With a sister who has celiac disease, you are at a much higher risk of developing it.  I would go for the complete 12 weeks.  Why?  Because doctors recommend anywhere from six to 12 weeks for the blood tests, but there has not been many long term studies to back up the claims.  Best to play it safe.  It sounds like you are not suffering too much (I had no GI symptoms and just anemia when I was diagnosed).  Ask your PCP to run the full panel, including  the DGP and EMA tests.  Why?  Not all celiacs test positive to the TTG, like me!  If your Kaiser doc refuses, please ask if you can be referred to a GI and select one who handles celiac patients.  Some celiacs are even seronegative!  In that case, going to an endoscopy is necessary.  Keep in mind that you might just be developing it or know that if everything negative now, you can still develop it in the future.  First-degree relatives should get tested every few years even if there are no symptoms.   What if your PCP refuses even after you show him the printed data supporting your claims (and the ones I made...so hit Dr. Google)? Get to another PCP or put your request in writing  via the patient portal or a registered letter.  Be nice.  Support your claims.  Ask for the full panel or to be referred to a GI.  In writing, they have to respond.   I do know that the TTG catches most celiacs, but not all.  If celiac disease is still suspected, you should move to the next series of celiac tests.  Unfortunately, to keep costs down, Kaiser just orders the TTG for initial screening.  You have to get around that.  I found that out when family  went in for testing and they had Kaiser.   Advocate for your health!  Document!  Save and print all test results and maintain file.   Take care!  
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