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Runner1978

Diagnosis Via Blood Test

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I had a positive blood test for celiac. I've been gluten-free for two weeks. I was glutened a week ago. Since being gluten-free, I haven't been symptom-free. I continue to deal with mucus in stool, nausea, dizziness. Is it possible I have something else? Should I worry about not being symptom-free? I've also been dealing with abdominal cramps these last four days. Needless to say, I'm quite worried. I'm on a waiting list for the colonoscopy but it looks like I won't undergo the procedure until end of November/December.

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Many people have difficulty with dairy when they are first diagnosed. Have you eliminated that? When I first was diagnosed, I really could not tolerate much of anything. I had to do the RAB diet (rice, applesause and bananas) for a little while until my system "mellowed out" enough to eat more complex foods.

Many reccommend a "naked food" diet at first, both to avoid accidentally glutening yourself, and to give your body time to heal. Think plain chicken, plain cooked veggies and fruits, plain rice, plain potatoes. It's boring, I know, but you need to give your guts some time to bounce back.

Also, a colonoscopy will not help diagnose celiac disease. The exam for that is an endoscopy which is down the throat. If you are waiting on an endoscopy to complete your celiac diagnosis, you need to continue eating gluten until after your test. If you don't, you run the risk of healing up enough to create a false negative.

Hope this helps.

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Two weeks on the diet is no time at all, especially if you have gotten glutened again. Consider that many people will need three weeks to recover from a single glutening, and you are essentially trying to recover from glutening yourself all your life until now. I wouldn't worry just yet, just do your best to really be gluten free. A diet of plain fresh produce and meats is a good suggestion for now, that way you don't have such a chance of cross contaminating yourself.

Pauliina

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Thanks! I read most people feel better within 3 days which is why I worry that I'm not feeling any better.

This may seem like a stupid question but from what I understand, when I eat gluten, it damages the villi. Does it completely destroy them? And when I'm glutened, what exactly happens?

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It won't completely destroy the villi in one go... for that you need to keep eating gluten for a while. The villi renew themselves constantly, they only get completely destroyed if the rate of damage is higher than their ability to repair themselves if that makes sense? But if they need to repair themselves more often than they naturally would you also have a bigger chance of abnormal cell changes where the cells don't manage to repair themselves properly ...that could lead to cancer, that's one reason it's so important to be gluten free if you have celiac. If you only get glutened every once in a while the chances aren't that bad though. We all do get glutened sometimes, it's hard to avoid, but you should try as best as you can.

When you ingest gluten your body mistakes the gluten for a foreign invader. In the process of trying to attack this "virus" the antibodies will attack your own tissue (the villi) instead. So basically it's an immune response like you would have if you caught the flu or something, but it goes haywire. There are other people on the board who can explain this better though.

Because of the way the reaction happens, it doesn't matter if you just ingest a crumb or even just a few particles of flour if you are very sensitive. All it takes is for your body to sound the alarm as it were, after that the immune reaction will run it's course even if the gluten is already gone. That is why it can take several weeks to fully recover from a glutening, it's the lingering immune reaction that is the problem.

This was a somewhat unscientific explanation, maybe some of the people who have really put time into studying it will chime in. :)

Pauliina

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I had a positive blood test for celiac. I've been gluten-free for two weeks. I was glutened a week ago. Since being gluten-free, I haven't been symptom-free. I continue to deal with mucus in stool, nausea, dizziness. Is it possible I have something else? Should I worry about not being symptom-free? I've also been dealing with abdominal cramps these last four days. Needless to say, I'm quite worried. I'm on a waiting list for the colonoscopy but it looks like I won't undergo the procedure until end of November/December.

It took me 4 months before I started to feel better. I have been sick for 25 years. It takes time to heal. Most people I have talked to including some experts have said give it 6 months to a year. I also had to get off of dairy and I think I may have some other food intolerances. Hang in there.

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There is a great book by Dr. Peter Green from Columbia University. Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. Its a great resource and might help provide an overview for you as you get started on this. Its an invaluable resource for me....wish I had it when I was first diagnosed.

And, for most people, it takes longer than 2 weeks to feel better. I saw improvements within two weeks, but was certainly not better. It took me a couple of months to get closer to normal.

What blood tests did you have, and which were positive?

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Don't be too worried about still having symptoms after two weeks. Everyone heals differently and at different times. My GI symptoms cleared up within 2 weeks, well the D anyway but some of my other symptoms lingered for awhile. Dont get discouraged, things will start to feel better. The Naked Diet is a good idea.

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