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phil76

Does Reducing Gluten But Not Eliminating Provide Benefits?

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Hello Everyone, 

I am a first time poster. I have not been diagnosed with Celiac or as gluten sensitive, but have experienced IBS type symptoms for most of my life. I feel a close look at my gluten intake might be beneficial.

 

My question is, does reducing gluten intake render any benefits, or is it an "all or nothing" sort of thing, whereas the same amount of gluten antibodies remain in your system if only trace amounts of gluten are ingested. 

 

I ask this because even if I for the most part eliminate gluten from my diet, there will be those times when I have dinner at a friend's or at a restaurant without gluten-free options. 

 

Thanks!

 

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Welcome to the board. It would be a good idea to ask your doctor to do a celiac panel before you go gluten free. If you are celiac and later on decide you want to be tested if you are already gluten free you would need to do a challenge. If someone needs the diet that challenge can be pretty miserable.

If you are celiac you are producing antibodies as a reaction to gluten. Even a small amount will cause the antibody reaction so you do need to be strict.

It can take some getting used to the diet especially as far as eating outside your home goes but the trade off of good health is well worth the hassle.

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Ditto Ravenwoodglass. Before I knew that I had celiac disease, there were periods in my life where I was eating gluten-light and I did notice that I felt a bit better BUT that was just in my symptoms. There was an autoimmune reaction and increased inflammation in my body regardless of what symptoms I had at the time. Some celiacs do not have any noticeable symptoms but their gut could be getting permanently damaged and the increased inflammation could later trigger more autoimmune diseases, heart disease or cancer.

 

Basically, symptoms don't tell the story of what is going on inside. Everytime a celiac eats gluten they are becoming ill even if their symptoms aren't reflecting that fact.

 

Get tested and then try the diet.  I hope it works for you.

 

Oh, and don't worry about eating out and staying gluten-free. Sometimes you may need to bring your own food, and you may end up eating salads more than you every wanted to, but with some prior planning and a bit of research, we can usually eat out without damaging our bodies for the next few weeks.... That's how long the effects linger, so if you eat gluten a couple of times a month, and you are gluten sensitive, you will experience inflammation and damage that entire month.  :(

 

And on that happy note...Welcome to the board.  LOL :)

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I believe you are smart to look into a gluten intolerance.  I hope you will get definitive answers.

 

Before I knew about my intolerance, I didn't eat wheat and ate instead lighter gluten grains.  I almost died!  The damage just kept getting worse.  Gluten light won't do it if you do have celiac!  I didn't have family history.  But my genes were totally positive.  I hope you will find out if you do have celiac.  I hope you will learn to follow the diet if you do.  After you begin the diet 100% your body probably will complain when you slip!  Friends can usually accommodate you when you come with your own food if necessary.

 

D

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I agree with the other posters to get tested for celiac disease before going gluten free.  I have celiac disease... my sister was told she has IBS however often this is a misdiagnosis.  Luckily my sister is so far celiac disease free, however as the symptoms can be confused it is worth checking.  She does find that cutting way down on gluten (especially wheat) has helped, however she is safe to have some when she wants it whereas I am not.

 

If you do indeed have IBS rather than celiac, there are other dietary recommendations which apparently can assist with IBS, most notably the FODMAP diet.  http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/  

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I agree with the other posters to get tested for celiac disease before going gluten free.  I have celiac disease... my sister was told she has IBS however often this is a misdiagnosis.  Luckily my sister is so far celiac disease free, however as the symptoms can be confused it is worth checking.  She does find that cutting way down on gluten (especially wheat) has helped, however she is safe to have some when she wants it whereas I am not.

 

If you do indeed have IBS rather than celiac, there are other dietary recommendations which apparently can assist with IBS, most notably the FODMAP diet.  http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/  

Thanks. Downloading the FODMAP smartphone app.

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Just to make sure you get the right blood work when you go to your doc; here is the FULL current celiac blood panel. anything less than this is not a complete test for celiac disease. Get copies of your test results when they are back & look them over yourself to make sure everything was done right. You have to be your own health advocate. Docs will say they did the full panel but if they don't know what the full panel is then...... and many do not know what the full panel is. Continue a FULL gluten diet until all testing is completed.

 

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA
Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG
Anti-Endomysial (EMA) IgA
Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA
Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP) IgA and IgG
Total Serum IgA 
 
The DGP test was added recently to the full panel.
 
 
Also can be termed this way:
 
Endomysial Antibody IgA
Tissue Transglutaminase IgA 
GLIADIN IgG
GLIADIN IgA
Total Serum IgA 
Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP) IgA and IgG

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I agree with the others that you should first be tested for Celiac, but that said, to answer your original question - yes, if you do not have Celiac I believe there is a benefit to reducing the amount of gluten intake even if you don't go completely gluten-free.  Think of it as being similar to sugar in this regard.  Would it be best to avoid all sugar consumption?  Probably.  But most people can tolerate a moderate amount of sugar, as long as you don't over-do it.  What constitutes "over doing it" varies from person to person.

 

If you don't have Celiac, I suggest you try going completely gluten-free for a couple of weeks and see if you feel better and your IBS symptoms ease up.  If they do, and they then get worse when you eat gluten again, you'll know that you really shouldn't be eating it.  It then becomes a matter of determining how much you can eat without feeling icky.  So maybe eating it outright wouldn't be good for you, but you might not have to worry so much about minor cross-contamination issues, etc.

 

If you do have Celiac, everything I just said goes out the window and you need to be 100% gluten-free.  No exceptions.

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If you are Celiac, its all or nothing.  If you suspect a connection, get a Celiac blood panel from your doctor and go from there before you stop or reduce your gluten intake.  If you stop eating it, feel a difference, then go in for the test it can yield a false negative.

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