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Arasmas

The Flu and celiac disease

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Okay, I'm hoping someone else has experienced this or has an answer for me.  Can the flu provoke a Celiac flare up?  For the past 12 days I have been battling a terrible flu-bug (not the stomach flu, a respiratory flu: fever, cough, fatigue...).  This flu did come with a lack of appetite and some stomach distress, which is not typical for the flu, but also not unheard of.  My nephew and mom both had the same flu and also experienced stomach distress (no vomiting, but diarrhea and loss of appetite).  My nephew and mom went to the doctor and tested positive for the flu, so I know it isn't something else.

It is 12 days since I got sick.  I'm mostly over it, aside from a lingering cough, some sinus trouble and fatigue.  But, my stomach is still really messed up.  Still having diarrhea, some mild cramping and pain and passing mucus.  Is it possible for the flu to have cause a Celiac flare up?  I feel like I've been glutened, but I know I haven't.  I really don't want to waste time/money going to the doctor, just to get the normal shoulder shrug, but I'm starting to worry.  And, I'm tired of feeling like crap.

I have not gotten a viral illness since my diagnosis last winter, so I'm wondering if this kind of flare up after getting sick is normal-ish.  How long will it take to pass? 

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Chances are, your celiac disease is not flaring provided that you are sure you did not get a gluten exposure (check those OTC medications).  However, a huge chunk of your immune system resides in your gut.   Researchers claim that a large percentage of celiac disease patients are not healed even after a thinking they are maintaining a gluten-free diet (20% for kids).   So, you might not be completely healed even after a year.  You might have some "leaky gut" issues going on (google dr fasano and zonulin as those little gatekeepers might be temporarily whacking out).

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23426535

The bottom line is science is still learning about the gut genome.  Who really knows?

Now, some advice from a Mom:

1.  Drink plenty of liquids.

2.  Rest.

3.  Consider probiotics that are gluten free and preferably certified.

4.  Eat a Whole Foods diet that is well cooked.  Stew meat in a crockpot and eat well-cooked veggies.  Have chicken soup -- whatever is easy to digest. 

Soon, you will feel better.  Looks like the virus attacked your weakest spot -- your gut.  If my Grandma got the flu it really hit her lungs hard.  Everyone is different.  Healing rates vary.

Now, read some books, binge watch your favorite shows, and let chores go!  Use common sense.  If things get worse, see your doctor.  

Hugs!  

 

 

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Thanks, that makes sense.  I generally just avoid OTC medication because it's so hard to tell what is/is not gluten-free.  I've only taken Target brand naproxen and DG brand cough drops, both gluten-free.  Before getting sick, I had been feeling so well and my diet had been so good.  It can be so discouraging feeling like I'm taking 2 steps back.  The thought of the flu attacking my weakest spot didn't really occur to me.  When my stomach acts up, my brain immediately goes "AHHH Celiac."  I didn't think about it in terms of damage from the Celiac. 

Can you recommend a good gluten-free probiotic?  I started taking one last spring and it made me sick, which scared me off of them.  Suppose it couldn't hurt to try again. 

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My doctor recommends Bio-K which has choices of rice, soy or milk bases.  It is drinkable and found at Whole Foods or Sprout-like retailers.  I use that after an antibiotic and call it the "big guns" because it is not cheap!     It is certified gluten-free.  I also have used Country Life (also certified) which is shelf stable.  

Here is another one also used by a celiac who is also a MD.

http://www.thepatientceliac.com/tag/celiac-disease-and-probiotics/

i am sure there are other recommendations that could be made by our members.  If you can consume dairy, eat plain yogurt or have some other fermented food.  

I tend to play it safe, especially when I am not feeling well.  

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A lot of over the counter medicines now are labeling things as gluten free... like Top Care brand labels if their medicines are gluten free.  I notice the pharmacy medicines are the ones that won't claim they are gluten free or not.
Anyway, I was just thinking Celiac is an autoimmune disease so I wouldn't be surprised if there could be a trigger. When I get the flu shot it always seems to set me off some for a few days.
I was also wondering if maybe you might be eating something different.  Something as simple as broth can sometimes contain gluten.. I know when I'm sick I tend to try to eat light foods.

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3 hours ago, flutegal64 said:

A lot of over the counter medicines now are labeling things as gluten free... like Top Care brand labels if their medicines are gluten free.  I notice the pharmacy medicines are the ones that won't claim they are gluten free or not.
Anyway, I was just thinking Celiac is an autoimmune disease so I wouldn't be surprised if there could be a trigger. When I get the flu shot it always seems to set me off some for a few days.
I was also wondering if maybe you might be eating something different.  Something as simple as broth can sometimes contain gluten.. I know when I'm sick I tend to try to eat light foods.

@flutegal64

Off topic....do you play the flute?  

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Where do they sell the Top Care brand?  I always have a hard time finding gluten-free meds when I'm sick.  A lot of the Target brand stuff (Up&Up I think) is labeled gluten-free, but the nearest Target is 30 minutes away, which feels like an eternity when you have the flu. 

With the autoimmune trigger, I was wondering the same thing.  If the flu taxing my autoimmune system could set off a Celiac-like reaction.  Or if I'm more susceptible to stomach distress with the flu because of Celiac - CyclingLady's explanation of this made sense to me.  I'm sure I didn't eat anything with gluten, I'm so careful with my diet, and only eat fresh foods or things that are certified.  Really, for the last couple of weeks I've just been eating bananas, pears, gluten-free oatmeal, applesauce, chicken, white rice, baked potatoes and gluten-free crackers (Breton brand, certified gluten-free).   

I actually was starting to feel better the last couple of days, got my appetite back, started eating more.  Then ended up in the hospital yesterday with horrendous, fetal-position stomach pain that lasted for hours.  The pain abruptly disappeared while I was sitting in the hospital (leaving me feeling like an idiot).  I think it might have been a gallstone or something (never had one, but my stepsister has, and said that's what it sounded like), which might help explain the stomach troubles I've been having.  Not really sure, once the pain subsided, the doctor shrugged it off and said it probably wasn't anything serious.  Sure felt serious, but I'm okay today.  Just feeling tired and a little nauseous.  At this point, I'm more frustrated than anything.  Sick of being sick.

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17 minutes ago, Arasmas said:

Where do they sell the Top Care brand?  I always have a hard time finding gluten-free meds when I'm sick.  A lot of the Target brand stuff (Up&Up I think) is labeled gluten-free, but the nearest Target is 30 minutes away, which feels like an eternity when you have the flu. 

With the autoimmune trigger, I was wondering the same thing.  If the flu taxing my autoimmune system could set off a Celiac-like reaction.  Or if I'm more susceptible to stomach distress with the flu because of Celiac - CyclingLady's explanation of this made sense to me.  I'm sure I didn't eat anything with gluten, I'm so careful with my diet, and only eat fresh foods or things that are certified.  Really, for the last couple of weeks I've just been eating bananas, pears, gluten-free oatmeal, applesauce, chicken, white rice, baked potatoes and gluten-free crackers (Breton brand, certified gluten-free).   

I actually was starting to feel better the last couple of days, got my appetite back, started eating more.  Then ended up in the hospital yesterday with horrendous, fetal-position stomach pain that lasted for hours.  The pain abruptly disappeared while I was sitting in the hospital (leaving me feeling like an idiot).  I think it might have been a gallstone or something (never had one, but my stepsister has, and said that's what it sounded like), which might help explain the stomach troubles I've been having.  Not really sure, once the pain subsided, the doctor shrugged it off and said it probably wasn't anything serious.  Sure felt serious, but I'm okay today.  Just feeling tired and a little nauseous.  At this point, I'm more frustrated than anything.  Sick of being sick.

Ah, this may not be related to the flu at all!  It would be wise to follow-up with your GI.  I had a non-functioning gallbladder (no stones) that caused off and on symptoms for years.   Nothing on an ultra sound.  Then while on a business trip, I went to ER.  Admitted due to infection (thought it was appendicitis.   The HIDA scan caught my non-functioning gallbladder which was infected and rotting at this point.  It took years for doctors to figure it out despite my family all mumbling, "It's the gallbladder family curse." ?

Oh, TopCare is just a plain label brand used by many stores (like my local supermarket).

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I've never had any gallbladder issues before this, but it's the only thing I can think of that makes any sense.  I don't have a GI (no insurance, can't afford to walk in the office, unfortunately).  But, I made an appointment with my PCP.  She's pretty thorough and does what she can to keep my costs down.  Already $250 in the hole from the hospital trip yesterday.  Before the celiac disease diagnosis, my PCP had tested my digestive enzymes (bilirubin, I think), and said my gallbladder/liver and stuff seemed to be functioning fine.  I definitely had the flu.  I don't know if it could have set off the gallbladder thing.  I know dropping weight rapidly can lead to gallstones, and having not eaten much in 2 weeks, I lost about 8lbs that I really didn't need to drop.  Hoping it was just a fluke.  I'd really like to keep all my parts. 

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Hi Arasmas,

I see you are still eating oats.  You might not know that some of us react to oat gluten like we react to other gluten.  The same immune reaction happens.  To find out if they (oats) bother you, you can eliminate them for a month and see what happens when you try them again.

Edited by GFinDC
Translating to English grammer

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2 hours ago, GFinDC said:

Hi Arasmas,

I see you are still eating oats.  You might not know that some of us react to oat gluten the like we react to other gluten.  The same immune reaction is happens.  To find out if they bother you, you can eliminate them for a month and see what happens when you try them again.

Really good catch, gluten-free in DC!  Oats!  Some 10% of celiacs react to oats.  It is worth eliminating for a few weeks.  

Edited by cyclinglady

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20 hours ago, Arasmas said:

I've never had any gallbladder issues before this, but it's the only thing I can think of that makes any sense.  I don't have a GI (no insurance, can't afford to walk in the office, unfortunately).  But, I made an appointment with my PCP.  She's pretty thorough and does what she can to keep my costs down.  Already $250 in the hole from the hospital trip yesterday.  Before the celiac disease diagnosis, my PCP had tested my digestive enzymes (bilirubin, I think), and said my gallbladder/liver and stuff seemed to be functioning fine.  I definitely had the flu.  I don't know if it could have set off the gallbladder thing.  I know dropping weight rapidly can lead to gallstones, and having not eaten much in 2 weeks, I lost about 8lbs that I really didn't need to drop.  Hoping it was just a fluke.  I'd really like to keep all my parts. 

Hey, I am not a doctor.  Just saying it might not be flu-related!  I completely agree about keeping your body parts.  Bet I would have my gallbladder (despite the family curse), if my celiac disease had been diagnosed years ago.  But like so many, it went undetected for many years.   I hope you feel better soon.

MY own kid has the flu.  Day 6, fever free for 24 hours and heading  to school after the holiday break.    She feels so weak.  We'll see if she lasts the day.  Missed one day.  It is hell these days to miss a day of high school.  

 

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I have seen a lot of people comment that they can't eat oats.  I eat oatmeal for breakfast most mornings.  I've removed it from my diet a few times and added it back in, but have never seen any difference.  I think they're safe for me.  It's a good thing.  Without gluten, dairy or eggs... breakfast is challenging.

The flu bugs are so vicious anymore.  My healthy 7 year old nephew had this same flu (I caught it from him).  It knocked him on his butt for almost 2 weeks and it put my mom in the hospital with pneumonia.  Fortunately, he's feeling much better and school doesn't start here until next Monday.  I really intended to get a flu shot this year, but kept putting it off.  Stupid me, paying for it now. 

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3 hours ago, Arasmas said:

I have seen a lot of people comment that they can't eat oats.  I eat oatmeal for breakfast most mornings.  I've removed it from my diet a few times and added it back in, but have never seen any difference.  I think they're safe for me.  It's a good thing.  Without gluten, dairy or eggs... breakfast is challenging.

The flu bugs are so vicious anymore.  My healthy 7 year old nephew had this same flu (I caught it from him).  It knocked him on his butt for almost 2 weeks and it put my mom in the hospital with pneumonia.  Fortunately, he's feeling much better and school doesn't start here until next Monday.  I really intended to get a flu shot this year, but kept putting it off.  Stupid me, paying for it now. 

That's great that you tried eliminating oats already.  Maybe the flu is really the only problem.  I sometimes eat Quaker plain rice cakes with peanut butter for breakfast.  Bummer that you can't do eggs tho!  I am with you on the no dairy bandwagon.  Darn nasty stuff!

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I love Quaker's caramel rice cakes, they're a go-to snack for me.  They never bother my stomach and if I forget them in a Ziploc in my bag for a few days... they're still totally edible.  I can't count how many times I've found a mystery bag of rice cakes in a pocket in my bag and proceeded to munch on them. 

It's been 10+ years and I still really miss eggs.  About once a year I think "maybe I'm not allergic/intolerant anymore," and give an egg a try.  Always end up regretting it.  I seem to be okay with small amounts of egg baked into something but if I a whole egg I get these weird, distinctive stomach cramps I call "egg-pains." 

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Yep, the rice cakes are good stuff!  I like Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty gluten-free hot cereal too.  I don't eat it often, but in the winter its nice on a cold morning.  Sometimes raisins and peanut butter or a banana fall into it while it's cooking too.  Or I'll have sausage patties pre-cooked in the refrig to eat with home made corn muffins.  Lately I've made some sugar free peanut butter fudge that's not bad in the morning.  I figure with celiac it's alright to indulge a little at times... :)

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2 hours ago, GFinDC said:

Yep, the rice cakes are good stuff!  I like Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty gluten-free hot cereal too.  I don't eat it often, but in the winter its nice on a cold morning.  Sometimes raisins and peanut butter or a banana fall into it while it's cooking too.  Or I'll have sausage patties pre-cooked in the refrig to eat with home made corn muffins.  Lately I've made some sugar free peanut butter fudge that's not bad in the morning.  I figure with celiac it's alright to indulge a little at times... :)

My hubby loves that "Mighty Tasty" hot porridge with added raisins and cream.  My daughter prefers the rice porridge.  Too many carbs for a diabetic like me.    ?  I am going to make some now!  We are just getting up. Teen had a relapse (flu), so we are all taking it easy.  Besides, it is raining.  As the weather stations say, "Severe Winter Warning".  Southern Californians are so wimpy!  What?   No flips flops and shorts today?  

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3 hours ago, cyclinglady said:

My hubby loves that "Mighty Tasty" hot porridge with added raisins and cream.  My daughter prefers the rice porridge.  Too many carbs for a diabetic like me.    ?  I am going to make some now!  We are just getting up. Teen had a relapse (flu), so we are all taking it easy.  Besides, it is raining.  As the weather stations say, "Severe Winter Warning".  Southern Californians are so wimpy!  What?   No flips flops and shorts today?  

You sound like someone who would like the sugar free peanut butter fudge!

http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/3-ingredient-sugar-free-peanut-butter-fudge/

I've been adding a couple tablespoons of sugar free red raspberry jam to the fudge.

It's snowing here today!  Down to 18 here last night.   I am getting over a sinus thing myself.  Time for more fudge! :)

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I buy the little pre-packaged envelopes of oatmeal for convenience in the morning.  Usually Nature's Path Maple and Brown Sugar Envirokids oatmeal (yea, they're meant for little gluten-free kids, which is probably why they're so good).  They're pretty cheap for gluten-free, only .50 more than classic Quaker at Target.  I am fully in support of the peanut butter fudge for breakfast.  I like the idea of adding the jam - peanut butter and jelly fudge.   

We are expecting 1-3 inches of snow here in Tennessee, so everyone is stocking up on canned food and bottled water like it's the apocalypse.  I grew up in Michigan, so the reaction to "snow storms" here just cracks me up.

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