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Christina.V

Newly Dx - How Do I Tell If I've Been Glutened?

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I was recently diagnosed thanks to a fluke test ran by my doctor. I have ZERO GI symptoms but definitely have the disease. I don't want to cheat, but I have to admit it's tough to maintain my willpower! I've read over the posts on why not to cheat and so far I'm still motivated to maintain gluten-free. Fortunately my community has many many grocery store options as well as gluten-free restaurants.  :)

 

I have battled acne my entire life, and magically my skin is glowing after just a week gluten-free, so that's pretty awesome. However, if I don't have GI issues how can I tell if I've screwed up? I've been keeping a detailed food diary and will be going over it with a nutritionist but am in need of a little bit more guidance from those of you with experience.

 

Thanks in advance

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If you don't have overt symptoms, I don't know how you will know if you get glutened. My advice would be just stay super alert to anything that goes in your mouth. Perhaps your skin's condition could be a signal.

 

I get very nauseated and have diahrrea, so there is no doubt. However, the reaction may not come for a couple of days, so I, like you, never know for certain what the culprit was. Constant vigilance is my only weapon. Sounds like you are doing a good job. Just keep it up.  

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My diagnosis was similar in circumstance to yours.  My doctor was checking out something else and discovered the Celiac by accident... my small intestinal damage was minimal and she said I am lucky it got caught early.  I don't get GI symptoms from being glutened, either.  Every once in a while I will get questionable GI stuff but I haven't been able to conclusively link it to gluten consumption.  Some people will start to get glutening symptoms long after being away from gluten, but the few times I have verifiably mistakenly eaten something contaminated, I could not tell.  People like us are sometimes called "Silent Celiacs" in the community.   I did have anemia and unexplained peripheral neuropathy that have gone away after being on a gluten-free diet, so I think those were my symptoms after all.

 

Like you have said, the plus side is no sidelining and bathroom trips, but the huge down side is the worry that you could be glutening yourself and not know it.  It makes me go completely nuts about making double sure everything that goes in my mouth is gluten-free, and taking even better caution to prevent cross contamination.  I like to re-verify things as gluten-free each time I buy them if it isn't on the label, and double check at restaurants even if I ordered a dish the previous time.  One thing that is important to do and becomes more important if you don't have outward symptoms is going back to your GI doctor for regular checkups and getting your vitamin levels and antibody levels checked.  If you have a major screw up it is likely to show up there.

 

Overall, I am very grateful my Celiac disease was found by accident early into the disease progression.  There are some nice people on the forum here that suffered through a whole lifetime of problems from being undiagnosed and had a very long healing time after going gluten-free.  Overall I think you are doing great, and as time passes, your anxiety and difficulties will even out to a new normal.  Welcome to the Silly Yak club :)

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I was asymptomatic when diagnosed - I don't count osteoporosis as a noticable symptom. I had a follow up blood test and endoscopy six months after diagnosis - with good results. I then had only a follow up blood test a year following that - also showed normal antibody ranges - and it also showed there was no inflammation going on in the body. I am on schedule to have yearly blood tests. I am so happy to do so - since it's the only way for me to know if I am keeping the diet. 

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