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lanlanonearth

When Gluten Leaves the Small Intestine and Enters the Colon

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Hello, I have two questions if anyone can share some insight 🙂

I know that gluten appears to attack the villi when it enters the small intestine. However, I've not read much on what happens when gluten leaves the small intestine and enters the colon. Does it do anything special in the colon? If the small intestine is clear of gluten, but the body is not because gluten has just moved into the colon and not out of the system yet, can I assume that one is able to start absorbing normally since the villi is no longer under attack? The reason I'm asking such questions is that gluten makes my son constipated and unable to poop for 3-4 days. I don't know if it's better to wait on his poop naturally or intervene with some fruit juice to make him go quicker so that gluten clears faster. Which leads me to the next question, if I'm certain that my son got glutened and want him to flush it out asap, when would be a good time to try to make him go? Would gluten normally move out of the small intestine and into the colon in a day? He responds really well to watermelon, pear, or passion fruit juices, but I normally try to not give him that much juice and allow his own system to work on his own. 

Thank you all.

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12 hours ago, lanlanonearth said:

Hello, I have two questions if anyone can share some insight 🙂

I know that gluten appears to attack the villi when it enters the small intestine. However, I've not read much on what happens when gluten leaves the small intestine and enters the colon. Does it do anything special in the colon? If the small intestine is clear of gluten, but the body is not because gluten has just moved into the colon and not out of the system yet, can I assume that one is able to start absorbing normally since the villi is no longer under attack? The reason I'm asking such questions is that gluten makes my son constipated and unable to poop for 3-4 days. I don't know if it's better to wait on his poop naturally or intervene with some fruit juice to make him go quicker so that gluten clears faster. Which leads me to the next question, if I'm certain that my son got glutened and want him to flush it out asap, when would be a good time to try to make him go? Would gluten normally move out of the small intestine and into the colon in a day? He responds really well to watermelon, pear, or passion fruit juices, but I normally try to not give him that much juice and allow his own system to work on his own. 

Thank you all.

I think your son should see a doctor.  Diagnosing without a medical background can be harmful.  It is obvious from your question that you do not know enough about celiac disease.    It has nothing to do with how long gluten is in your body.  Gluten triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine and is also systemic.  Other autoimmune diseases have no known triggers like lupus, Crohn’s, MS or Rheumatoid Arthritis which is unfortunate and can make healing difficult without the benefit of medical intervention and possibly dietary intervention as well.  
 

Consuming gluten (if you have celiac disease) can trigger an attack that can last for days, weeks or even months.  Your body will decide when to shut off the attack.  For some celiacs, the attack never stops despite a gluten free diet.  This is called refractory celiac disease.  It can lead to death.  
 

Your child should be seen by a pediatrician.  I say this out of concern and as a mother myself.  


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

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Okay, thank you for your reply. What can a doctor do besides prescribing a gluten-free diet which I've already done and saw significant improvement, and tell me to put my son back on gluten in order to get an "accurate" diagnosis which I will never do as a mother who foresaw what it can do?

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lanlanonearth,

One of the ways the body protects itself after ingesting something irritating or harmful to it, like gluten, is to pack it together and stay away from interacting with it.  This often results in constipation and hardened stools.  

You should make sure your son consumes water with meals.  Sipping water with meals helps distribute digestive juices.  But you don't want to drink so much water you dilute digestive juices so much they can't work.  Two to three bites of food, chewed thoroughly, putting spoon or fork down between bites, then a sip of water. Two bites of food, sip of water.  

Try feeding him warm soups.  Warm soup can help the digestive tract relax and work things out naturally.

I would be hesitant to administer juices as you suggested because that could lead to a rebound effect, where the digestive tract gets over-stimulated and results in diarrhea that won't stop.  

You can feed your son dates, fresh or soaked in warm water.  One or two for his age every morning should do.  Dates are full of vitamins and minerals and natural fiber which will help keep him regular and healthy. 

Are you keeping a food/mood/poo'd journal for your son (and yourself)?  Record YOUR feelings in there as well.  Your mood (anxiety and tension) can affect your child (making him tense and anxious and constipated).  Do something relaxing and fun with your child.  Teach yourself and your son a creative hobby.  Making and playing with sock puppets, for example. 

And do something just for yourself!  Take a moment for yourself and take some deep breaths.  You're a good mom.  You figured out the gluten connection.  You've been under a lot of stress worrying about your son.  You're learning about the diet.  Things are on course now.  

Do consider going to a doctor so the doctor can write your discovery of the gluten connection into your son's medical records to have on file.  The doctor can weigh and measure your son to make sure he's growing properly.  Perhaps a simple blood test for you and your son to spot which Celiac genes you have.  Many doctors now accept celiac genes and a positive reaction to the gluten free diet as a diagnosis.  

It's a big adjustment switching to a gluten free diet.  You're learning about it.  We're here to help.  Keep us posted on your progress! 

Knitty Kitty

 

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Thank you Knitty Kitty, yes I agree with the juice. It works but it's too sugary and stimulating. I found that if I give him more corn, beans, and okra, they help. His appetite has improved a lot since gluten-free so his bowel seems to move a bit faster compared to the past. I notice some immediate and not so immediate reactions after my son eats gluten-containing food, and somehow I have a feeling that it has something to do where gluten is. I'm getting closer to learning why so.

Thank you for the other suggestions. I've found that his major stress comes from gluten and sugar to the point that my mood doesn't really matter (I'm not an emotional person anyway so this might be untrue if I was). When he's glutened, he would get upset about the tiniest things (like a toy won't stand up still) while no one is inducing stress on him. And, when he is not on gluten, he becomes so much more tolerable and cooperative. 

Regarding everyone insisting on going to the doctor's, I still don't see any benefit at this point in time. I have no interest to go not only because it's a hassle, but I also see lab tests as unnecessary and meaningless. Yes, some gene connection might come up and maybe even some medical condition or whatnot. But I already know. Everything is cause by gluten. It's so simple. I really don't stress on it 🙂

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lanlanonearth,

That's great you're giving him more foods with lots of fiber.  Be aware, some Celiacs have trouble with corn and other grains besides the gluten containing ones, wheat, barley and rye, and sometimes oats.  Dairy can cause bloating and gas.  

You might want to keep him off a lot of carbohydrates (like the beans, sugar and juice).  If he's reacting so poorly to sugar, he may be low on thiamine. We need thiamine, magnesium, and some other B vitamins like niacin and pyridoxine, to digest carbohydrates.  Symptoms of being low in thiamine include constipation or diarrhea, and mood changes when carbohydrates are consumed, sort of like a fight or flight response that doesn't turn off, so agitation, irritability, and insomnia. 

Testing for vitamin and mineral deficiencies is something a doctor can do as part of recommended follow up care for Celiacs.  A erythrocyte transketolase test can measure thiamine level to tell whether your son is deficient.  And vitamin D level should be checked as well.  Vitamin D deficiency can cause poor bone formation and stunted growth.  

Yes, gluten can trigger other autoimmune problems and poor digestion can have effects all the way down the digestive tract.  Some Celiacs develop diverticulitis or diverticulosis, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease.  These are diseases in the large intestine and the bowel.  These can be very painful.  These can result in having  the bowel or large intestine removed and a colostomy bag placed.  These can be life threatening due to internal occult bleeding.  

Again, in the nicest way possible, and with the best intentions for your son, take your son to see a doctor.  Emergency surgery or a funeral is going to be a lot more of a hassle than putting up with tests that seem meaningless to a non-medically-trained mom.  

Knitty Kitty

 

 

 

Edited by knitty kitty
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Hi Knitty Kitty, thank you for your thoughts. They have helped me to link everything up! He must be deficient in all those nutrients which is causing all the little things I notice. For the past few months, he ate very little meat and eggs (preferring pastry over everything else) which must have been the start of the thiamine deficiency. As he regained his appetite tremendously (accepting meat and eggs) after gluten-free and gaining weight day by day, I'm confident that these deficiencies will be filled up and I will use what I learned from this forum as a marker to check. I've been trying to find all those missing links and now I think they are just nutrient links! How obvious since the issue is malabsorption with gluten. I don't really need to go through the "go to the doctors as you have been warned" episode with every thread 😛  Yes, I hear that you are all greatly concerned, but we don't have to agree on everything 🙂

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lanlanonearth,

I do agree that "Knowledge is power."  Educating yourself about  nutrition is essential in Celiac Disease.   

Since there's so much to learn about nutrition and diet in Celiac, let me recommend a book I found tremendously helpful in tying things together, for adults and children.  "The Paleo Approach" by Sarah Ballantyne....

https://www.thepaleomom.com/books/the-paleo-approach/

And another link which explains thiamine deficiency and sugar....

https://www.hormonesmatter.com/oxygen-mitochondria-thiamine/

And my favorite book about thiamine....

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073NCFNLX?ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_3v7Gzb7N0R25M&tag=hormonesmatte-20&linkCode=kpe

I hope you find these resources helpful, but remember we are here to help and support you in your journey towards health for you and your family.  Please keep us posted on your progress.  And we'll be here to help with any further questions.

Knitty Kitty

 

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Thank you, Knitty Kitty, for the links. I'll take a look. Everything seems to come together now, thank you for all the guidance along the way. If there's anything worth noting, I will update in my original thread since it has all the background information.

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On 8/12/2020 at 6:04 AM, lanlanonearth said:

Hello, I have two questions if anyone can share some insight 🙂

I know that gluten appears to attack the villi when it enters the small intestine. However, I've not read much on what happens when gluten leaves the small intestine and enters the colon. Does it do anything special in the colon? If the small intestine is clear of gluten, but the body is not because gluten has just moved into the colon and not out of the system yet, can I assume that one is able to start absorbing normally since the villi is no longer under attack? The reason I'm asking such questions is that gluten makes my son constipated and unable to poop for 3-4 days. I don't know if it's better to wait on his poop naturally or intervene with some fruit juice to make him go quicker so that gluten clears faster. Which leads me to the next question, if I'm certain that my son got glutened and want him to flush it out asap, when would be a good time to try to make him go? Would gluten normally move out of the small intestine and into the colon in a day? He responds really well to watermelon, pear, or passion fruit juices, but I normally try to not give him that much juice and allow his own system to work on his own. 

Thank you all.

There are three essential questions here

1. Is the absorption affected once the gluten passed through the small intestine? The answer to this is that change in absorption is not an on and off switch and even unless the gluten is consumed on a regular basis, a one time event does not affect the absorption but it does contribute to trigger an inflammatory reaction. 

2. Is there a problem if the gluten is still in the body but not in the small intestine?

From a celiac perspective, it is not a problem because celiac disease is very narrowly defined as a contact of the gliadin molecule with the small intestine and nowhere else in the body. The gluten containing food can still cause constipation but that is unrelated to celiac disease itself and possibly a separate issue to be considered and evaluated. 

3. Can the gluten be flushed out quicker out of the body by asking your son to go to the bathroom and/or drink liquids?

Lots of fluids can help but once the food has left the stomach and is in the intestines, the rate at which the food bolus passes through the intestines is mostly controlled by the motility of the intestines (also called peristaltic) and unfortunately, there is not much you can do to increase the speed keeping in mind that the entire length of the intestines are about 25 feet (about 20 the small intestine and about 5 the large intestine) in humans and it takes days for the food to pass through. What that means that forcing him to go to the bathroom will not help. 

 

 

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You are assuming gluten is the sole cause of the issues. I am living proof that there can be many factors.   After being Gluten Free for 11 months and feeling much better, I quickly found myself back at square one with the same issues (consipation, joint pain, rash, fatigue etc.).  My doctor immediately sent me to have tests done for both food allergies (IgE) and Food sensitivities (IgM).  It turned out I have a severe allergy to all forms of yeast and casein, and have a sensitivity to 23 other foods including beef, cranberries, blueberries, vanilla, chocolate, cod, oysters, clams, onions.

My doctor said that when you have a problem with gluten, either celiac disease or non celiac gluten sensitivity, your body spends all its time going after the gluten.  It causes water retention to try to dilute it, and of course with a leaky gut the undigested ugluten protein spreads throughout the body.  When you stop the gluten, the immune system then goes after the other foods that are problematic and you end up reacting to many, many things.

It is important to get tested to differentiate between true allergies (which cause an immediate reaction)  and sensitivities, which cause a delayed reaction.  I had traditional allergy testing and an Alcat test for food sensitivities.  I immediately cut out everything on the list and felt so much better for it.  After 2 years, the doctor suggested my gut had healed sufficiently to try to reintroduce the foods I was sensitive to, one at a time.  I found I was able to tolerate some of the foods on the list, but only once in a while, so I reserve vanilla, chocolate, cranberries and onions for special treats, but I still have to completely avoid the beef, blueberries, and all of the seafood I react to.  I can never eat gluten, dairy or yeast of any kind since the reaction is immediate and violent.

I do not think you  are doing your child any favors by diagnosing him yourself.  You need to find a doctor and get further tests and then  work together to get your child back to full health. 

 

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I agree with CL. 

Don't speculate or try different remedies without first seeking a diagnosis with a doctor.  If the doc suspects celiac disease, a simple blood test will help rule gluten reaction issues in or out.

Also, in my Gut 101 Learning Journey over the past few months, I've discovered a few surprises, including that there is a wide variation of healthy BM frequency/habits.  For some folks, BMs every 3 days is normal.  For others, 3 times a day is normal.  So if he otherwise feels fine, then perhaps he just splurged on some candy/junk food?  You don't mention your son's age but I remember being a kid and having "sluggish/bloated" days---usually after a trip to the movies or after Halloween, where I gorged myself on tons of  popcorn, licorice, and other candy that probably sent my gut into shock. 

I don't think it's possible to simply purge the body of all harmful gluten and antibodies by simply flushing the colon or having more frequent BMs.  It would be great if celiac disease/GS could be easily fixed by simply doing that!  Perhaps somewhere in the future with medical advances...  

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Celiac is an autoimmune disease. The reaction is not just controlled by how long food stays in the gut. It is systemic. Your refusal to take him to a doctor is dangerous. If he had a broken leg would you just put a splint on it and say 'well I know what it is and I fixed it'. What are you going to do when he is a teen and as teens do rebels against your 'diagnosis'? What about the need to have a 501 plan in place to keep him safe in school? I can appretiate that you don't want to put him back on gluten but are you aware how strongly genetic celiac is? Everyone in your family including yourself needs to be tested if he is celiac. Some celiacs are asymptomic but the antibodies can impact brain function, cause the body to attack other organs like the gall bladder, liver etc. Please do as so many others are urging and take him to a doctor. It is not just for his good health but also for your whole families. After my diagnosis I was able to get the doctors to test both my children and surprise both were positive even though they didn't seem to have GI issues. I wish you the best but you need to take him to a doctor he should be tested for not just celiac but also vitamin levels. If you can't stomach the thought of putting him through a challnge for diagnosis (which I understand completely) at least fill the doctor in on what is going on with him to make sure that his vitamin levels are checked and to make sure that there are no other issues going on.

Edited by ravenwoodglass

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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You're amazing to have gone this far with it in helping your son.  I understand how you feel, doctors missed all my signs since I was probably a teenager because I didn't have the so-called typical intestinal symptoms.  I finally gave up traditional docs and went to a naturopath, and in 15 minutes of conversation, he said I think you have Celiac's, we just have to prove it.  And he was spot on, super high antibodies in my blood test, and I did not go for the biopsy, he gave me an official diagnosis based on 1) blood test 2) response to gluten free diet and 3) DNA test. 

For me, although I went gluten free, it's taken 5 years to find and build back all the vitamin deficiencies that still existed and I'm finally feeling more energy.  After going gluten free, I lost 30 lbs of water in a month, then I ate like a teenager, huge breakfast, big lunch, dinner with refills.  I gradually gained some weight, but I knew it wasn't water, I felt stronger.  BUT it's not enough.

I still had some lingering issues, exhausted, severe asthma, chronic cough, bad sleep, hair loss, and more.  Unfortunately just eating a good diet doesn't fill back all those buckets of nutrients.  You need more of some and the right forms of those vitamins.

Traditional docs hardly ran any tests, not the right kinds of tests as I have later learned, and just wasn't really interested in anything more than the minimal.  Until I worked with a good naturopath to identify them, lots of experimenting, and learned A LOT about what FORM of the vitamin is better absorbed (this is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT), then we finally got some really great results.   

I just turned 64, female, I have now worked up to 20 push ups a day (it took a long time but now I can do it!!!), just shoveled over 2 yards of gravel and rock by myself over the past few weekends when it was in the 80s outside (and I positively melt when it's hot but I can tolerate it more) as a base for a new garden shed...  I never would have been able to do this kind of work for more than 10 minutes last year.

I learned a lot about vitamins, the best forms and dosages, from Peter Osborne who wrote No Grain, No Pain.  He has a youtube channel. 

But most importantly, I strongly suggest working with a really good naturopath, because it's more than just eating right to refill all his nutrients. 

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