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kathy2005

My Enterolab Test Results, Please Help

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Hi,

I just received my Enterolab results and I am hoping that someone can help me interpret the results. I have had gut issues for at least twenty years. My primary gut symptoms have been intermittent painful abdominal bloating and gas. At one point a doctor told me that I had an ulcer and I was on Tagamet for over a year. I also have had fatigue, iron deficiency anemia, low iron, and very low normal results on my DEXA scan (hips). I know I am lactose intolerant; taking a Lactaid tablet helps me with diary. For the past four years I have been on a modified Atkins type diet and my stomach problems went away (no flour products or sugar). For the past several months I had become progressively more lax with my diet and had been incorporating more and more wheat flour products into my diet. Several weeks ago I had a severe gut episode like I had before Atkins after eating a large croissant and chocolate chip cookies. After my episode I had continued abdominal discomfort that lasted at least two weeks. After the painful episode I decided to do a gluten and casein elimination diet and do the Enterolab tests. Since starting my elimination diet I am feeling so much better. My abdominal discomfort is finally gone and so is my fatigue. It is like I woke up; I am no longer tired in the afternoons. I cannot remember going so long without being tired and overly fatigued.

I really expected my Enterolab results to be more extreme since I am having such a positive reaction to my elimination diet. Should I assume that I should stay on my gluten free diet because I have a celiac gene and a gluten sensitivity gene plus symptom improvement with the diet? Should I consider myself gluten sensitive and or celiac because of my gene test results even though my antigliadian IgA was only 9? If my antigliadian IgA was only one point higher I know that Enterolab would have given me completely different advice than what is written below. Will someone help me interpret my results? Thanks :-)

Kathy

A) Gluten Sensitivity Stool and Gene Panel Complete *Best test/best value

Fecal Antigliadin IgA 9 (Normal Range <10 Units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 6 Units (Normal Range <10 Units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 83 Units (Normal Range <300 Units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow’s milk) IgA antibody 6 Units (Normal Range <10 Units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (Subtype 2,7)

C) Egg, Yeast, and Soy Food Sensitivity Stool Panel

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 5 Units (Normal Range <10 Units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 5 Units (Normal Range <10 Units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 7 Units (Normal Range <10 Units)

Interpretation of Fecal Antigliadin IgA: Intestinal antigliadin IgA antibody was below the upper limit of normal, and hence there is no direct evidence of active gluten sensitivity from this test. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, and some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have a syndrome or symptoms known to be associated with gluten sensitivity, a gluten-free diet may help you despite a negative test. If you have no syndrome or symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity, you can follow a gluten-containing healthy diet and retest in 3-5 years; or you may opt to go gluten-free as a purely preventive measure.

Interpretation of Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA: The level of intestinal IgA antibodies to the human enzyme tissue transglutaminase was below the upper limit of normal, and hence, there is no evidence of a gluten-induced autoimmune reaction.

Interpretation of Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score: A fecal fat score less than 300 indicates there is no malabsorbed dietary fat in stool indicating that digestion and absorption of nutrients is currently normal.

Interpretation of Fecal anti-casein (cow’s milk) IgA antibody: Levels of fecal IgA antibody to a food antigen greater than or equal to 10 are indicative of an immune reaction, and hence immunologic “sensitivity” to that food. For any elevated fecal antibody level, it is recommended to remove that food from your diet. Values less than 10 indicate there currently is minimal or no reaction to that food and hence, no direct evidence of food sensitivity to that specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test.

Interpretation Of HLA-DQ Testing: HLA gene analysis reveals that you have one of the main genes that predisposes to gluten sensitivity and celiac sprue, HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8. Each of your offspring has a 50% chance of receiving this gene from you, and at least one of your parents passed it to you. You also have a non-celiac gene predisposing to gluten sensitivity (DQ1 or DQ3 not subtype 8). Having one celiac gene and one gluten sensitive gene, means that each of your parents, and all of your children (if you have them) will possess at least one copy of a gluten sensitive gene. Having two copies also means there is an even stronger predisposition to gluten sensitivity than having one gene and the resultant immunologic gluten sensitivity or celiac disease may be more severe.

Interpretation of Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody: Levels of fecal IgA antibody to a food antigen greater than or equal to 10 are indicative of an immune reaction, and hence immunologic “sensitivity” to that food. For any elevated fecal antibody level, it is recommended to remove that food from your diet. Values less than 10 indicate there currently is minimal or no reaction to that food and hence, no direct evidence of food sensitivity to that specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA: Levels of fecal IgA antibody to a food antigen greater than or equal to 10 are indicative of an immune reaction, and hence immunologic “sensitivity” to that food. For any elevated fecal antibody level, it is recommended to remove that food from your diet. Values less than 10 indicate there currently is minimal or no reaction to that food and hence, no direct evidence of food sensitivity to that specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test.

Interpretation of Fecal Anti-Soy IgA: Levels of fecal IgA antibody to a food antigen greater than or equal to 10 are indicative of an immune reaction, and hence immunologic “sensitivity” to that food. For any elevated fecal antibody level, it is recommended to remove that food from your diet. Values less than 10 indicate there currently is minimal or no reaction to that food and hence, no direct evidence of food sensitivity to that specific food. However, because 1 in 500 people cannot make IgA at all, and rarely, some people can still have clinically significant reactions to a food antigen despite the lack of a significant antibody reaction (because the reactions primarily involve T cells), if you have an immune syndrome or symptoms associated with food sensitivity, it is recommended that you try a strict removal of suspect foods from your diet for up to 12 months despite a negative test.

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Kathy, this is my take on this (and I want to clarify that it is just my opinion, and I may be wrong):

You were close to being gluten-free for four years on the Atkins diet, meaning that if you had damaged villi, they could have healed in that time.

During the short time you went back on gluten, the damage wasn't significant, and healed in the short time you were back on a gluten-free and dairy free diet before you did the testing with Enterolab. Meaning, that it is possible, that even with Enterolab you managed to get a false negative (and only by one point, too).

You know that the gluten-free and dairy-free diet is making a huge difference. You obviously have the genes. So, go with your gut instinct (pun intended) and stay on this diet! It is obviously working. Why mess with success. ^_^


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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I agree with Ursula. If you have the genes for it, and you FEEL BETTER going gluten-free, you probably have it. It's just not showing up because of your low carb diet.

I know what you mean by feeling like you're awake for the first time in years.

Welcome to the board!

Nancy


The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

~Chinese Proverb

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At one point a doctor told me that I had an ulcer and I was on Tagamet for over a year.

I hope that was a long, long time ago because that isn't how ulcers are treated these days. They're usually caused by a bacteria and the treatment should be antibiotics. It might be worthwhile to seek treatment again.

I'm not sure how Enterolab deals with it, but you might have an IGa deficiency, in which case those could all be false negatives.

I think dietary results outweigh lab results any day. Stick with the elimination diet and try to figure out what is causing the problems.

BTW: I think Atkins made my gluten intolerance worse because I was eating low carb products that are high in gluten, since gluten is the protein component of wheat! Oy vey. I even used to bake using extra gluten. No wonder I was doubled up in cramps over the pot all the time. Well, I can't actually blame that on Atkins, that was just my own ignorance.

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Hi,

Thanks for all the information! The comments made me look at my calendar. I was mistaken about doing Atkins for four years, it has actually been five and 1/2 years (started Feb. 2001). It is hard for me to believe that it has been that long. I tried some of the low carb items including baking with gluten and using items with sugar alcohols and nothing I tried ever agreed with me so I gave up on the low carb items. I used to try to eat LaTortilla Factory low carb tortillas and I always got a stomach ache. I used to think the stomach ache was from the soy in the tortillas but now it seems more likely that it was the wheat. For a long time the only starchy carbs that I allowed into my diet were corn tortillas, potatoes, and pinto beans which never seemed to cause any problems. I tried to use Dr. Schwarzbein's recommendations on how to do maintenance for carb control. I think that Dr. Schwarzbein was my downfall though because her book said that it was OK to eat things like thin crust pizza (Atkins said to stick to beans and potatoes). Once I started eating just one item like that it was way to easy to incorporate other things like small amounts of pasta, ravioli, and sprouted grain bread.

My "ulcer" treatment was around 1985-86. The doctor never did any testing, he just gave me Tagamet and told me to use antacids any time I felt irritation in my gut. Looking back I know that I took an insane amount of antacids for a long time. I used to have a horrible diet back then; I was a vegetarian and ate mostly starchy foods. I think I had a fat phobia back then probably cause by my "nutrition" classes. I used to have wide blood sugar swings with that really bad diet. I remember that my breakfast used to be dry toast with orange juice--no wonder I always had a stomach ache. I had to switch my entire way of thinking about food when I started Atkins--it was a good thing for me, one of my better decisions.

Yesterday after I got my results I thought it would be OK to try dairy again. I had a small serving of plain whole milk yogurt (with some Splenda and imitation vanilla--probably not a good idea to add these items) and a baked potatoes with butter and sour cream (plus one Lactaid). A few minutes after eating the yogurt I developed a mild nagging headache that lasted the entire evening. My gut felt OK but not as good as it has been feeling with my strict elimination diet. I am hoping that the headache was just a coincidence. I used to always be able to tolerate yogurt and butter/sour cream in the past but maybe my gut is just not healed well enough yet to tolerate dairy even though I am feeling better. I wish I knew the answer.

Does anyone have any suggestions for trying to reincorporate dairy back into my diet? It has been almost a month since I started my gluten/casein free diet. I have read on the forum that people recommend waiting up to six months to try dairy again. I am considering trying it again in another week. Do you think that is too soon?

I will do some research on IGa deficiency and look for skbird's posts.

Thanks for all the great help!

Kathy

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If I remember correctly, Enterolab says high numbers within the normal range could still mean you will see results being gluten-free. You might call them for your own peace of mind. Remember to tell them you've been on Atkins for 5 1/2 years. I do think that could affect your number.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Meaning, that it is possible, that even with Enterolab you managed to get a false negative (and only by one point, too).

You know that the gluten-free and dairy-free diet is making a huge difference. You obviously have the genes. So, go with your gut instinct (pun intended) and stay on this diet! It is obviously working. Why mess with success. ^_^

I second that! (Or third it, or fourth it, or whatever :) ) My Enterolab results were negative after 8 months wheat-free and 4 months gluten-free. But the gene test was positive, and I KNOW how much better I feel off gluten than I ever have in my life, so I'm gluten-free for the long haul, tests be darned!

Jeanne

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And doesn't Enterolab suggest retesting after a year gluten-free to see if your numbers are improving? If so, this would indicate your numbers would be lower if you're alreayd eating gluten-free! I was gluten-free for almost three months when I did my Enterolab testing.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Hi,

I called Enterolab and spoke with the nurse there. She said that either I was doing really well on my Atkins diet and was not eating gluten for long enough to get a IgA reaction or that I am IgA deficient. She recommend that I get a total IgA test to make sure that I am not IgA deficient. She said that without knowing for sure if I am IgA deficient or not I cannot trust my results. Either way she does not want me to eat dairy or gluten for the rest of my life! She said that I really already know my answer because of my positive results with my gluten/casein free diet and that my headache after eating the yogurt yesterday confirms that I should be dairy free. She recommended rotating eggs, yeast, and soy and watching for a reaction. She said that Dr. Fine recommends that everyone with a gluten problem be gluten AND casein free! I know some people on the forum are eating dairy. I wonder if they know that Dr. Fine thinks that they should all be dairy free?

It was an interesting conversation. I really hate the idea of having to be dairy free. I think I have to do another dairy challenge sometime otherwise I think it will be really hard to comply (I do not know how long to wait though). If my IgA test comes back within normal limits I think it will be even harder to comply; unless I continue to feel bad after eating dairy.

I called my local lab about the total IgA test and I am going to try to go in tomorrow and have it drawn. The cost is only $25 and I will not need a doctor's order.

One thing that the nurse recommended was interesting. She said that I should not use any paper products for cooking or eating because paper products can contain gluten. Have any of you heard of that? She said not to use paper plates, paper napkins, and paper towels. She said that I should no longer cover my food in the microwave with a paper towel.

Kathy

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Kathy,

First, I never heard that about paper ... I can't imagine it is correct.

Second, I just wanted to point out that from Enterolab's website, I don't think Dr. Fine thinks anyone should consume dairy regardless of whether they have a problem with it or gluten. He mentions that no other mammal drinks another mammal's milk or drinks milk past infancy. Though he has a valid argument, my feeling is, if you don't have a problem with it, enjoy it on ocassion ... why avoid ice cream if you don't have to? I happen to be casein intolerant and have a bad reaction to it, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone else.


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Carla,

Thanks for the information about Dr. Fine and dairy. I had not picked up on that information on the Enterolab site. It makes me feel better that there may still be a chance for me to eat dairy again. I hope you are right about the paper. I think I am going to email Enterolab and ask them to clarify the paper issue.

Kathy

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I did a search on gluten paper towels and Clan Thompson said that some paper towel manufacturers use gluten to hold the fibers together. :\

Do a search on gluten in paper products... it is rather shocking. Here's a sample:

http://www.smallgrains.org/springwh/mar99/import.htm

Snippet:

Potential Products from Wheat Gluten

Hard red spring wheat is a primary source for gluten, the natural protein portion of wheat that is extracted after wheat is milled into flour. In its finished form, wheat gluten is a fine, tan powder consisting of 75 to 80% protein. Gluten has many potential uses:

Films — Gluten-based packaging films and coatings can be excellent edible, renewable, and biodegradable air barriers with good mechanical properties.

Coatings — Gluten coatings may protect flavor and shelf-life of foods.Polymers, resins and plastics-Modified gluten hydrolyzates give flexibility and elasticity to certain polymers and resins. Gluten, as well as starch, can be grafted into polymers.

Inks — Gluten in water-thinned inks can reduce drying of pen tips, while speeding drying on some surfaces.

Laundry detergents — Modified gluten hydrolyzates may stabilize enzymes added to detergents to remove stains.

Cosmetics and hair care products — Gluten hydrolyzates act as moisturizers, foaming agents, and conditioners in cosmetics and hair care products.

Adhesives — Modified gluten hydrolyzates are useful in pressure-sensitive adhesives.

Rubber products — Modified cereal flours can reinforce certain types of non-tire rubber.

Milk replacers — Partially-hydrolyzed gluten has potential as a milk replacer in animal nutrition.

Functional food products — Acid or enzymatic hydrolysis of gluten improves its emulsifying, foaming, and solubility properties for foods.

Medical products — Biodegradable elastic products containing gluten can be prepared by extrusion or coagulation. Gluten can encapsulate medicines for slow-release.Shaped food containers-Gluten can be an ingredient and water-repellent coating in shaped biodegradable food containers.

Paper products — Gluten can be a whitener in repulping newspaper, and modified glutens are useful for paper sizing.

Materials — Gluten can entrain air in concrete, can be incorporated into biodegradable packings, and can be used in ceramics.

Environmental applications — Gluten is useful for heavy metal recovery, to solidify waste oils, and in biodegradable hydrating cat litter.

Agriculture — Gluten-encapsulated agricultural agents provide slow release. Gluten hydrolyzates give preemergence weed control.

(Compiled by USDA-ARS researchers G. L. Lookhart, Manhattan, Kan.; and J.A. Bietz, Peoria, Ill.)

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Carla,

Thanks for the information about Dr. Fine and dairy. I had not picked up on that information on the Enterolab site. It makes me feel better that there may still be a chance for me to eat dairy again. I hope you are right about the paper. I think I am going to email Enterolab and ask them to clarify the paper issue.

Kathy

I can't remember exactly where it is on the website ... probably under faq's.

Distressing news about paper towels ... :(


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Oh, good grief, I guess it's possible to be glutened from my newspaper even! I'd never have guessed. Thanks for posting that.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Wow, paper products! :blink::o

Will gluten never cease? I suppose I better call some manufacturers and see if I can get an answer to the paper towels. What about toilet paper? I know there is a thread on feminine hygeine. Seems I've read Charmin isn't safe.

Kathy,

I fourth and fifth what everyone else said. I tested through enterolab after being gluten light for 1 1/2 months so that wasn't too bad. My husband has two celiac genes and is the only one not active. He's still gluten free since the rest of the family is and he doesn't want it to activate.

You could do a challenge for the dairy after 2 months. I would try and wait that long if possible. I know it's hard. I'm not dairy intolerant according to enterolab but my bloodwork for allergies showed a midline low IgG for most dairy products and IgE for a couple.

I wanted to add a copy of what my doctor gave me to read about allergies, but short of typing the whole thing (which I don't feel like doing right now), I can't do it. I scanned it so if anyone is interested let me know and I can work on typing it up on my computer and then paste it here. Most of you probably already know it. It goes over reactions, times and elimination diet. Just a 2 page paper.


Andrea

Enterolab positive results only June 06:
Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.

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I think I'm more worried about the paper towels and the napkins than the toilet paper ... at least I HOPE I don't get tp in my mouth!! :lol: Maybe I should stop using it to blow my nose if it has gluten .... but so far I've had no problem with any of it!

Where's Richard? He knows the answers to all this stuff!


gluten-free 12/05

diagnosed with Lyme Disease 12/06

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Hi,

I received a reply from EnteroLab about the paper products this morning:

Response: Dear Kathy, This is Phyllis. Not all paper products will have wheat fibers in them, but some do. If you wish to take the time to call the manufacturers of the products you use, they should be able to inform you as to whether or not their products contain gluten. Even product boxes can contain gluten, as you will see from the following update I received from the Clan Thompson group who researches these things constantly. General Mills has reformulated their Cocoa Puffs cereal and new boxes contain wheat. Read the label. If wheat is listed as an ingredient, it is NOT GLUTEN FREE. If there is no wheat listed in the ingredient label, it's part of the old formulation which may be on the shelves for the next half year or so and it is gluten free. Best wishes, Lani K. Thompson www.clanthompson.com You may wish to check out their web site for further information. Sincerely, Phyllis Zermeno, RN, BSN Clinical Manager

Thank you for allowing EnteroLab to help you attain and maintain optimum intestinal and overall health!

I buy all of my paper products from Costco (Kirkland brand). I think I need to call them now. I use paper towels for soaking up oil on my food and for covering food in the microwave all the time.

Andria--Thank you for the advice on doing a diary challenge after 2 months. I have gone almost a month already, so an extra month should be OK. I just hope that I do not need to reset the clock because of my dairy intake the other day. I think your paper sounds interesting, but I do not want to ask you to retype it. Some scanner have character recognition; your scanner may have it and make things very easy.

Kathy

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Kathy,

I'll post the paper later today. I started typing it out last night. Since I scanned the page into my works program I just have two windows open and it goes much faster.

As far as your dairy challenge....you should be ok. They say to wait longer to make your body forget but two months is the soonest.


Andrea

Enterolab positive results only June 06:
Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.

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Ok Kathy, here is the paper. It seemed like there were some typographical errors in a spot or two but I left them as the original paper had them. I found the reactions part the most interesting and the timeline associated with those reactions. Let me know what you think. :)

Food Allergies

Food allergies are a problem created by a disordered immune system. Normally, the immune system, or body’s military team, is designed to attack disease-causing germs such as bacteria and viruses. Sometimes, however, the immune system gets “confused”, and begins attacking harmless proteins such as those breathed in the air [pollens, mold spores, etc.] or ingested [proteins in our foods]. We call such a reaction an allergy. Allergy symptoms are many and diverse; the most commonly recognized being itching of eyes and nose, runny or stuffy nose and sinuses (“hay fever”), difficulty breathing or asthma, and rashes such as hives or eczema. Not as commonly appreciated is that these immune system reactions can also cause many other symptoms such as; headaches, especially migraines, fatigue, sore throat, arthritis or joint pains, stomach distress, colitis, gall bladder attacks, etc. Even such disorders as epilepsy, spontaneous miscarriages, heart attacks, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, high blood pressure, etc., may have an allergic basis.

You might say, “I feel fine nearly all the time; why should I check for allergies. While it may not be necessary, many individuals discover that they are able to enjoy even better quality of life when they avoid their “problem foods”.

How does one know which foods are “problem foods”? That can be a difficult question. Fortunately, several tests can be useful. One measures the amount of immunoglobulin G present in the blood which is specific to a certain food, another measures the amount of immunoglobulin E. Other tests check for concentrations of antigen:antibody complexes, or look for swelling in white blood cells. The test most frequently useful is that which measures the concentration of the immunoglobulin G, or “IgG”.

Depending in which type of testing is performed, the significant levels will be listed differently. If RAST testing is done, [e.g. Serolab], usually the important foods will have counts greater than 3,000 (or _____). If ELISA testing is done, [e.g. US Biotek], levels greater than “No Reaction” are usually considered relevant.

However, laboratories can make mistakes. Therefore it advisable to experiment with the “problem” foods to see if they actually do produce any problems.

The preferred method is called “elimination diet and challenge testing”. It means strictly avoiding any food which is on the “problem list” (shows an elevated level of antibodies) for about 3 weeks [at least 2 weeks]. Then testing or “challenging” each food one time only, beginning with those foods having the lowest positive [but significant] reaction. Do not eat the tested food again until all problem foods have been tested. The next food is tested after 3 days, (or 24 hours after any reaction has subsided--whichever is first). The amount of the test food is usually not critical. Any amount from 1 tablespoon to 1 quart is acceptable. Other “safe” foods may be eaten at he same meal as the test food.

Observe carefully for any symptoms, especially within the first hour, 6-8 hours after ingestion, and 24 hours after the test meal. It is wise to keep a diary or journal, so you can recall what specific symptoms were experienced, and how long it was after the test meal until they occurred. It is sometimes helpful if a family member also is observing for any personality changes or other objective symptoms.

A typical reaction to a problem food might be as follows. The “problem food” [cheese, for example] is eaten for breakfast at 8:00 am. Half an hour later, you notice some sniffling and sneezing. An hour later, you feel jittery, shaky inside. Four hours after breakfast slight nausea is noted. Seven hours after the test meal [3:00 PM], you get a headache. This continues, gradually worsening, the rest of the day. The following morning you awaken feeling very tired, exhausted. As you drag out of bed, you notice that your joints feel stiff and a little sore. They gradually “limber up” as the day progresses, but you feel tired throughout the entire day. The following morning you awaken beginning to feel more like your normal self. Just eating one problem food once could cause this 48-hour ordeal.

After all problem foods have been tested, decide which ones caused symptoms worse than the trouble of trying to avoid the causative foods. Ideally, one strictly avoids all those foods for a period of 4 to 6 months, after which they are each tested again. The goal is to assist the body in “forgetting” those foods are “problem foods” so they may be safely eaten again. This may take some time, but can be worthwhile.

Another method of dealing with allergy foods is to eat them only occasionally. Eating a problem food at intervals of 4 days or more frequently minimizes the symptoms produced. This can be easier than strictly avoiding the food, though the immune system may not “forget” to “fight” a food that is eaten intermittently. The “bottom line” rule of thumb is to be no stricter about your diet than you need to be in order to feel as good as it is possible for you to feel.

If you would like a more thorough explanation of this topic, please consult one of several excellent books that are available.


Andrea

Enterolab positive results only June 06:
Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.

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Andrea,

Thanks so much for posting the article; it is very interesting. I think that I defiantly need to start a food journal. It is interesting that for the challenge test that the amount of food can be a little as one tablespoon. One thing that is really interesting to me is that before I started the Atkins diet I used to always wake up with stiff fingers. I tried not to think about it but I was concerned that I was getting arthritis. After going on Atkins my morning stiffness went away completely and has not come back. I always wondered why I had improvement but never really figured it out. Also I used to have nasal allergies. I was on a steroid nasal spray and antihistamine and even took allergy shots for a short time. Sometime after starting Atkins I was able to discontinue my allergy medication. I always thought it was because I moved to Arizona and bought a leather couch but after reading your article maybe my stiffness and nasal allergies improved because I stopped eating grains. (I used to always get a headache if I sat on our couch, cleaning helped but never lasted very long, once we switched to leather I could finally sit on the couch without fear of a headache.)

The head ache thing is very interesting. I have had some headaches this week. I have introduced some extra foods to my elimination diet and I think that I need to pay more attention. One difficulty is that because of all the rain that we have had everything is blooming plus there is mold in the air according to the news; I do not know how to differentiate between a headache caused by allergens in the air or something new I added to my diet. I think that keeping a log as suggested in the article may help.

Thanks again for the valuable information!

Kathy

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It seems like airborne allergies are anywhere you go. I had thought Arizona would be a good place since it is so dry. My Dad lives there and he suffers from airborne allergies.....I'm starting to think food my be a part of it. He has arthritis but I don't know if it in rhuematoid or not.

I get the sniffling, sneezing if I eat dairy although I'm not casein intolerant according to enterolab. I'm allergic to it according to my IgE and IgG allergy test.


Andrea

Enterolab positive results only June 06:
Me HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0301; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2, 7)
Husband HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201; HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0302; Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,3 (subtype 2,8)



The whole family has been soy free since February, gluten free since June 2006.

The whole family went back to a gluten diet October 2011.  We never had official testing done and I decided to give gluten a go again.  At this point I've decided to work on making some gluten free things again, though healthwise everyone seems to be fine.  The decision to add gluten back in was also made based on other things I'd read about the 2nd sequence of genes.  It is my belief that we had a gluten intolerance, but thanks to things I've learned here, I know more what to keep an eye on.  If you have a confirmed case of celiac, please don't go back to gluten, it's a lifelong lifestyle change.

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Hi,

I just received good news this morning. My lab just called me with my total IgA results and they were normal. My result was 203 with a normal range of 81-463.

With my normal total IgA result in I believe that it is OK to trust my EnteroLab results now. My assumptions now are that I am OK with casein, eggs, soy, and yeast and that my Antigliadian IgA result of 9 indicated that I was doing well on my Atkins type diet, My severe gut episode with lasting pain after eating a large portion of wheat containing foods was my "challenge test" to remind me that I should never eat gluten again (along with my gene results). I am hoping that the elimination of my fatigue since starting my strict elimination diet is solely because I eliminated trace to small amounts of gluten from my everyday diet and not because I eliminated casein and gluten. I suppose I will not know unless my fatigue returns as I introduce more foods like casein back into my diet.

An interesting thing that I have discovered as I have tried to reintroduce more foods is that I believe that I am sensitive to Splenda. I never would have thought that I had a problem with Splenda but I am considering the possibly that the possible Splenda sensitivity contributed to my fatigue problem. I am not certain at this point about the Splenda but I have concerns and have totally eliminated it from my diet.

My plans are to stay off diary products for several more weeks before I try to reintroduce them again.

If anyone has any thoughts or ideas about my IgA results and diet plan I am very interested in what you have to say.

I just received my call back from Costco about the Kirkland brand paper towels and the representative informed me that the manufacturer confirmed that the Kirkland paper towels are gluten free. This makes two good telephone calls for me this morning!

Kathy

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