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Celiac Vs Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Symptoms

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I have been gluten free for six years now after being very ill for about a year and tried a gluten free diet.  I got better and never looked back.  I went to see a GI doctor and he didn't run any tests since I was already on the diet.


Six years later I got the wrong bun at a restaurant and got very ill.  As bad as I was before finding out I can't eat gluten and I went to see a different GI doctor and he did the blood tests and an endoscopy.  I remained on the gluten free diet but I was thinking since I got so sick maybe the test would show something.  All tests came back negative.  I don't know if I should consider that to mean I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or the tests didn't work since I wasn't on a gluten challenge (I refuse to eat gluten intentionally). 


So my question is are there some symptoms diagnosed celiac's have that don't appear in non-celiac gluten sensitivity people? Or vice versa?


When I get glutened my symptoms are







Gas and Bloating 

Weight Loss

Brain Fog


I just want to know because I know that with a celiac diagnosis you need to be aware that it is associated with other autoimmune diseases and a higher risk of certain cancers.  I just don't want to rule celiac out and not be vigilant about my health concerns.





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A one time exposure to gluten after being gluten free for six years is not going to result in a celiac disease diagnosis. It takes a while to ramp up the autoimmune response that causes damage to your intestinal tract when you have celiac disease. Your GI doc should have known that you must be consuming gluten (1 to 2 slices of bread or the equivalent) a day for 8 to 12 weeks prior to the blood test and a few weeks prior to en endoscopy. This is called a gluten challenge.

I am sorry that you are in limbo land. Symptoms of celiac disease or NCGI can be the same.

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I've been gluten free for 5 years with no diagnosis. I just play it safe and assume that I'm celiac when it comes to cross contamination, safe foods, etc.

Better to be safe than sorry!


Gluten free since 2/14/2010 after suffering a rare and serious complication from my gluten challenge







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Almost every celiacs will have negative blood tests after being gluten-free for a few years, even if they accidentally ate gluten by mistake very recently.  There is no way to tell if you have celiac disease or NCGS based on the tests you ran.


You could try the genetic tests but that won't tell you if it is celiac disease either, just if you are part of the 30% of the population that has the same genes that most celiacs have.  Other autoimmune diseases in the family could indicate a higher likelihood of it being celiac disease, but that isn't reliable either.


Those with NCGS and celiac disease have pretty much the same symptoms, and severity of symptoms can vary widely.  Some celiacs are symptom free but others with NCGS will become very ill from gluten exposure - again there is no way to tell from symptoms.


Unless you do a gluten challenge for a few months, you won't know for sure.  Luckily the treatment for celiac disease and NCGS is the same.  ;)


Best wishes.


"Acceptance is the key to happiness."

ITP - 1993

Celiac - June, 2012

Hypothyroid - August, 2012


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