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How Long Will The Diarreha Last After Going Gluten Free?

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My 10 year old son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 3 weeks ago today. He has had diarreha for 8 months and has lost 20 pounds. At first the family practice Dr. assumed it was constipation with diarreha and had me put him on more fiber. (Apparently this is common with kids with emotional problems). I insisted that I was sure something was physically wrong and insisted on seeing a specialist. When his symptoms got worse instead of better and the weight kept going down we finally got referred.

We have had an entire blood panel done and allergy testing as well. The blood tests came back negative for Celiac Disease so we opted for a colonoscopy and endoscopy to try to find the cause of his diarreha. The biopsy came back postive for Celiac and negative for Krohn's. He was put on a gluten free diet. The trouble is that his diarreha is still present 3 weeks later! We have met with a dietician and are trying to be diligent in our efforts to provide a gluten free diet for him. That said, how long does it take for the symptoms to start to diminish when his diarreha has been so profound for so long? I would have thought we'd be seeing some change for the better after 3 weeks...

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Hi Mochalatta (that sounds like a delicious coffee!!)

Welcome to the board!

Everyone heals differently. Some see improvement almost overnight while others it can take up to 6 months to a year. It also depends greatly on how gluten-free your son is. Alot of people, when they are new to this diet, are still getting glutened in some way, either by medications, over the counter meds, vitamins, supplements, shampoo, lotions, toothpaste, licking stamps or envelopes, etc. etc. It can be very difficult to get to the 100% gluten free stage at the beginning (believe me, I know, as do most here, we have made numerous mistakes, all of which we have learned from because we share our experiences and knowledge in an effort to spare others from making the same mistake!)

Please be patient. It will come, maybe slowly, but each day he will get that much better......



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Welcome Mochalatta!

I know when I started on a gluten-free diet, I started with a very bland basic diet... bananas, apples, rice, potatoes a little chicken. I then slowly started to add other foods back in. Perhaps your son is having a problem with other foods like dairy. Many celiacs cannot tolerate dairy at first. Try putting your son on a gluten-free / lactose free diet and see if the D improves. It may be that the damage to his intestines from Celiac, is also causing him to be lactose intolerant.

Good Luck. You'll find a lot of answers to your questions on this board. I hope your son feels better soon.

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Everyone heals at different rates. Do not be discouraged! For me it took about 6-7 months for improvement with D. It also takes time to figure out the diet. Keep reading the post and search old posts for information. Welcome :)


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I have twin daughters who were diagnosed 13 months ago. Only one was showing symptoms and had the biopsies. In all honesty, it was hard at first. Those first weeks especially. I thought things were improving and then she'd have diarrhea again. I don't think that part of the disease improved until she was 4 months gluten free. I will say that those first weeks drove me crazy because I looked at everything she came in contact with to make sure she wouldn't get contaminated indirectly away from home. I think I slipped up one time but her cross contamination came mostly at school.

Please email me if you'd like to write more about this. Between the two kids, this IS hard but you can do it. That same daughter who had symptoms gained 13 lbs since going gluten-free. Alot of that came within the first 6 months. She is SO much healthier. I hope your son gets relief soon as he continues on this path of getting better!

Fingers crossed some relief comes this weekend so you guys can have some fun!


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