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Always sick with colds/flu/etc - celiac?

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Hi!  I was diagnosed the first week of November.  (I know it’s too early to really feel results of the diet change but I have noticed my chronic diarrhea is a few notches better.) 

For 20 years I’ve described myself as having a poor immune system.  Always under the weather catching colds and such, but also mystery fatigue, body ache, brain fog, etc. that doctors have never been able to solve.

From what I’ve read so far, every symptom under the sun can be traced to celiac (both reassuring and suspect) but I’m writing specifically about this:

Does someone with celiac indeed have a weakened immune system?  More, and longer lasting, illnesses, particularly in cold and flu season?  From what I’ve read, an autoimmune disease means the immune system is attacking the body, not that the immune system is weak.  But both could be true!

And, followup — for those of you in my boat — what do you do to stay healthy and to cope when you’re sick?  For years I’ve taken Wellness Formula, which is a pileup of vitamins and herbs, and recently Sambucol.  But I read that because both help the immune system, THEY ACTUALLY HELP THE IMMUNE SYSTEM ATTACK OUR BODIES and thus people with celiac can’t use them!!  **head explodes**

I am so overwhelmed with the new diagnosis and diet and all my health issues (well beyond what I wrote about here.) I deeply appreciate any thoughts you might have.


Rich in NYC

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While getting a celiac disease can be a relief, it can also be overwhelming.  You are not alone. 

Did your doctor run an Immunoglobulin A (IgA) or any other Immunoglobulin tests when you were getting tested?  About 10% of celiacs have immune deficiency issues.  This could account for your catching tons of colds, etc.  You are also probably malnourished.  You should ask your doctor to run a vitamin and mineral test panel.  This is recommended by all the leading celiac disease research centers.  This will help you determine exactly what vitamins you may need. 

I was just low on iron, so I supplemented for just a few months.  When my ferritin improved, I stopped taking iron.  It was a sign that I was healing. I focused on obtaining my nutrients through a good diet that avoided processed foods, even gluten-free ones.  I also did not have to worry if my supplements were really gluten free.  At the time I was diagnosed, a celiac research center tested probiotics and found that about 55% of them contained gluten that was not on the label!  Now, researchers think unhealthy people should not take probiotics because they can can problems like SIBO which occur in celiacs often.  

One recent article about a probiotics study showing that they could populate the small intestine:


Gluten found in probiotics:


I am not a doctor, but your best bet is to follow your doctor’s advice, wash your hands, use germie gel if water is not available, get plenty of sleep, light exercise and eat real gluten-free food.  

It takes time to heal.  Be patient.  ?

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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I used to get and feel sick a lot, I think the perspective of a army (your immune system) is tired and worn out always fighting and focusing on your intestines. I know since going gluten free I rarely get sick from germs...now days just mostly allergies, food intolerance, and other AI issues.
As mentioned by cycling lady it could be vitamins and nutrient deficiencies, if your celiac your intestines villi are constantly being destroyed and are unable to absorb the vitamins you and your immune system need to function properly. I for years before dia and after had to take large amounts of B-vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C, and zinc to functionally normally and was not until years of healing could I knock doses back down, but everyone is different. Generally when sick I up the doses of B-vitamins, C, and Zinc again and focus on easy to digest and whole foods and rest. There are a few homeopathic remedies I keep in stock just in case but I forget the names.

Diagnosed Issues
Celiac (Gluten Ataxia, and Villi Damage dia. 2014, Villi mostly healed on gluten-free diet 2017 confirmed by scope)
Ulcerative Colitis (Dia, 2017), ADHD, Bipolar, Asperger Syndrome (form of autism)
Allergies Corn, Whey
Peanuts (resolved 2019), Cellulose Gel, Lactose, Soy, Yeast
Olives (Seems to have resolved or gone mostly away as of Jan, 2017), Sesame (Gone away as of June 2017, still slight Nausea)
Enzyme issues with digesting some foods I have to take Pancreatic Enzymes Since mine does not work right, additional food prep steps also
Low Tolerance for sugars and carbs (Glucose spikes and UC Flares)
Occupation Gluten Free Bakery, Paleo Based Chef/Food Catering

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