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Three months in: Does it get better?

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I've been gluten-free for three months now following years of brain fog and some GI issues, but I can't tell if I'm getting better or not. Over the course of these past few months I've cut out everything but whole foods, along with dairy, fructose, corn and soy. I'm more or less on a low-FODMAP diet. I've definitely had some good days, but I used to have good days before going gluten-free, too. The UChicago celiac site says villi regeneration can take 6-18 months, but that symptoms should start getting better within weeks. Should I give up on celiac as a possibility? I want to try eating it again and seeing what happens (last time I had a full-on gluten meal I got unbelievable stomach pain and urgent D, followed by a week and a half of general misery) but I can't risk being out of commission as finals start gearing up. What's striking to me is that when I do start to feel better I inevitably go back to feeling worse, even though I'm incredibly fastidious about avoiding gluten. Is this normal? Do symptoms come and go independent of how much gluten has been consumed? I honestly wouldn't mind waiting a few more months if I knew for sure I was going to get better, but making all these sacrifices (such as not being able to eat out with family on my birthday) and not knowing that anything will come of it is wearing me down. 

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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If you choose to go back on gluten then schedule an appointment with your gastroenterologist and get properly tested for celiac. That way you have a chance of finding out for sure what's going on. Make sure you get the full celiac panel TTG IGA and IGG, DGP IGA and IGG, EMA, IGA. If any one of those tests is positive then you need to do the endoscopy. if it turns out that you do have celiac then you could periodically get your blood tested to see if your diet is working out.



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What is a gluten challenge?

A gluten challenge is the period of time when gluten is added back into a person’s diet to assist in the diagnosis of celiac disease. Antibodies take time to build into the blood stream before they can be detected through blood analysis. For a gluten challenge we recommend eating 1/2 slice of bread or a cracker each day for the duration of the challenge.
  • Prior to blood testing we recommend 12 weeks of eating gluten.
  • Prior to an endoscopic biopsy we recommend 2 weeks of eating gluten.
In the case of a severe reaction to gluten, a medical professional may opt to shorten the 12-week challenge and move immediately to an endoscopic biopsy. May, 2013



To answer your questions, celiac disease symptoms can wax and wane.  They can change.  Recovery can be weeks, months or years depending on the issues as celiac disease is systemic.   I would remain gluten free until after school is out before considering a challenge.   

Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test (DGP IgA only) and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Repeat endoscopy/Biopsies: Healed

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You may want to start your gluten challenge after your finals are over so you can get tested over the summer. If you need to be gluten free the challenge may not be a pleasent experience but diagnosis is rather important not just for you but for family members and any future children you may have.  Do be sure to read the Newbie 101 thread during the meantime. Gluten can be sneaky as far as CC goes. I never would have thought a gluten eating/drinking significant other could make me sick from just a kiss as one example.


Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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On 4/17/2017 at 0:21 AM, glutenkid said:

I can't tell if I'm getting better or not

Keep a food journal, it's the best way of tracking down what is affecting you. ESPECIALLY if you suffer from brain fog as its really easy to lose track or to forget how you were feeling a few days ago. Just short entries, what you eat, what time and how you feel. 

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