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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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Bravie

Need Help Convincing Brother To Get Tested.

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Hi everyone. I just want to say thanks for helping me whenever I needed it. I would be lost without this site. So thanks, for helping me achieve better health.

My twin brother (I am female, he is male) has been suffering from stomach problems for years and years, since he turned 15. He was diagnosed with crohn's disease at age 15, and he is 21 right now, and he looks exactly the same as he did back then. He is 6'4 and just a little over 100lbs, he cannot grow facial hair for some odd reason, he has diarrhea multiple times everyday, he also says he has bloody stools, he just feels really crappy. He says he has this low feeling, idk if he means nausea or not. He is as thin as a pole. Minus the bloody stools, he has been having the same symptoms as I had before going gluten free, for past few months.

I tried to tell him that maybe he has celiac disease as well, but he pushes me away and denies the possibilities. He still lives with my mom and she keeps saying that it's probably just attributed to crohn's disease. Help! How do I convince him that he may be suffering needlessly, and that a simple change in diet could make a world of a difference? I just don't want him to suffer anymore.

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This is a very difficult thing for all of us.

Your brother knows what you have given up, and probably thinks that the gluten-free diet is very difficult and that he could not do it. So, by avoiding being tested, he remains in denial. He can eat these foods, since he hasn't been tested and diagnosed, so he does not have (in his mind) the same problem you do.

I believe that my father has celiac disease. He has had digestive symptoms for as long as I can remember (I'm 53). I have suggested to him that he may have it, but he has told me that when his digestion is off, he gets comfort from eating things with wheat. He is 83, so maybe a major change to his diet is not something he can deal with, and if he has had these symptoms for decades, this is his version of "normal."

It is hard to watch a loved one suffer, but you can not force them to accept what they want to reject. Gently provide information in a positive sense. Remind him, when you have a chance, how much better you feel. Invite him over for dinner (just him, not mom), and mention AFTER the meal that everything was gluten-free.

Your mother may be factor in this. She may be in denial because of a perception that she is responsible for your celiac disease since it is genetic. Bulls**t! She did not choose her genes anymore than you did. But perception becomes reality...

A soft, gentle telling may work. But I can assure you that pressure will likely only lead to more intense denial.

I hope this has helped.

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maybe you could bet him or something...make it fun. i mean make him try the diet for two weeks to a month saying 'you can always go back to eating the other way. c'mon it is two weeks not the rest of your life and if it does not help you get this...' (make sure if he loses it is simple though. i mean totally give him an edge, a better deal in the end). i know it is pretty serious but have him look at things this way--what else has worked? nothing. so it is really nothing as well. and when he notices the difference in himself upon trying to return i think he will understand. you never know the miniscule biological changes until you have a wound heal for yourself.

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This is hard, I know. I am having the same issues with my family, including my DH and MIL, who fit the celiac profile better than I do. It is hard to get people to listen when they aren't ready to. Right now, I'm just mentioning it when if fits the conversation, but not dwelling or arguing about it, and leading by example. The better I feel, and the better I look as a result, the more my family is intrigued. My dad asked me how I lost all my weight, and I told him going gluten-free. And he asked if I thought it would work for everyone, and I told him it is very possible and told him about the book "The Gluten Connection." My sister, after realizing gluten-free pancakes taste normal now wants her DH with lots of symptoms to try the diet. After realizing gluten-free dinners are totally normal, DH is open to trying it,though we are waiting for a "good time" atm. I know I'm talking about trying the diet versus getting tested, but since I don't have an official celiac diagnosis, I don't think anyone on my side of the family will get tested. But I think the same rules apply to convincing your brother to get tested. The better you feel, the more he will notice, and he will want to feel as good as you do. It will take some time, but keep gently mentioning it and leading by example, you can convince him eventually.

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maybe you could bet him or something...make it fun. i mean make him try the diet for two weeks to a month saying 'you can always go back to eating the other way. c'mon it is two weeks not the rest of your life and if it does not help you get this...' (make sure if he loses it is simple though. i mean totally give him an edge, a better deal in the end). i know it is pretty serious but have him look at things this way--what else has worked? nothing. so it is really nothing as well. and when he notices the difference in himself upon trying to return i think he will understand. you never know the miniscule biological changes until you have a wound heal for yourself.

Making a bet is a GREAT idea, especially for guys! Use the month to teach him the tricks of eating gluten-free. It reminds me of this recent article http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/livi...7_fatbet28.html

I hope it works!

~Laura

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Well, here is another thought in case your bro isn't "a betting man" ask him to "help" you do some research, just know what he will find and "maybe" if his head isn't as thick as some men I know he will connect the dots and amazingly come to the possibility "all by himself" just remember not to say...

"I told you so" ;)

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I sure hope the "bet" idea will work. Might be great for a guy. I dont know anything about your brother, but it could be a "co-dependent" thing between him and your Mom. Psychological issues are very deep. It maybe that your Mom needs a "sick" kid and your brother needs to fill that role. So you def have a battle if that is the case. A good therapist could help.

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My brother also needed a lot of convincing. He had 20 years of gut complaints, and missed out on a river trip in the Grand Canyon "because I would be too far from a bathroom" and got up in the middle of the night for years to have diarrhea--he was told he had IBS, and "a twitchy gut" and "psychological problems". Then, I got diagnosed at age 43, and my then 10 year old son right after. I immediately started working on my brother to get tested. He did get tested and the tests were negative, which I'm convinced was incorrectly done tests--I feel sure he is celiac (I mean, he has the family history, all the symptoms, and when he finally went gluten-free, his symptoms resolved). The hook that finally got him was when I said, "What would it take for you to just try a 3 month gluten free trial? Intestinal cancer? Because that's probably where you're headed." He's been gt for a year now, and all his symptoms have resolved.

Another hook that might work for your brother: tell him chicks dig buff guys--maybe he'd gain weight if he were on the right (gluten-free, presuming he's celiac) diet.

Don't make it a battle: show him how well you're doing gluten free, and how it has enhanced your health. Gently lead.

good luck,

Susanna

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if you can commit to making him *GOOD* meals for a month, and being there for him, food wise and socially, for that whole month, (and if the bet doesn't work ;) ), ask him, "will you just give it a try, if I make the hard part of it easy for you? just try it to prove me wrong? one month, see if it makes any difference in your symptoms, and then I'll stop bugging you."

at the end of the day, even though he's your brother, he's an adult, and he has the right to do things that are bad for him. it's his choice. but you can ask, and the easier you make it for him, the more likely he'll say yes? the co-dependency thing might be an issue, though. that's a tough nut to crack in this case, and if he's self-aware at all, you might just mention it point blank.

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I know I'm talking about trying the diet versus getting tested, but since I don't have an official celiac diagnosis, I don't think anyone on my side of the family will get tested. But I think the same rules apply to convincing your brother to get tested. The better you feel, the more he will notice, and he will want to feel as good as you do. It will take some time, but keep gently mentioning it and leading by example, you can convince him eventually.

Yesterday I saw in an article by the University if Chicago Celiac Center that 35% of Americans carry the Celiac gene/s. Thats 1 in every 3 people! They did say 'not everyone will get it' - how the heck do they know that? It is only recently that they finally twigged that this is not just a childhood disease that is 'grown out of'!

Despite the 'negative' results, I fully believe that if your test showed ANY antibodies at all, you have Celiac Disease. The reason they set the level higher is because some of the 'control' group had the antibodies. But, as another medical reference argues, what if those control subjects also have Celiac, despite their 'healthy' appearance. I too had a 'negative' result, but as far as I am concerned the fact that I am so much better without gluten and get an extreme reaction when I eat accidentally it is enough proof to me that I am Celiac.

I have spoken to friends about this and they have all been a bit sceptical, but giving them the 1 in 3 figure has got them thinking. Sometimes people need some kind of evidence. If they realise that this is far more common than they think and certainly not the exception, maybe they will start to sit up and take notice.

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