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jshelton999

Does Malabsorption+gluten-intolerance=celiac?

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I had a strong positive result from Enterolab for gluten sensitivity: 124 (normal <10) and I've had confirmed malabsorption with very low Vit D, and problems with absorption of my thyroid med (Synthroid).

So does this mean that there was intestinal damage even if the doc didn't see anything more than gastritis in the biopsy? BTW - I have little confidence in my gastroenterologist and suspect he didn't really look for Celiac.

I've been telling my friends and family that what I have is probably Celiac rather than just gluten-intolerance because of the malabsorption issues and frankly, 'Celiac' is better understood term to them than 'gluten-intolerance'...

So what do you think? Might I have Celiac rather than just gluten-intolerance? Can you have these malabsorption issues without Celiac?

Thanks for your feedback...I'm really anxious to get this all sorted out!

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Let me preface this by saying I am not a doctor..... Now, from my understanding, gluten intolerance doesn't produce villi damage and Celiac does (that's why biopsy is the gold standard for dxing Celiac). If you are having malabsorption issues I would think you have villi damage which means you have Celiac. If I am wrong, please, someone correct me.

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I think the answer is: it's not clear. And really, it doesn't matter, the treatment is the same. If you want, tell people that you caught your Celiac disease before it had done too much damage, but you were starting to have malabsorption problems.

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Thanks for the quick replies! My instincts tell me there was intestinal damage and my doc just missed it. I didn't have a good feeling about him from day one. When I asked him before the endoscopy about looking for Celiac, he wouldn't discuss it, acting offended that I would suggest he look for it...

But if malabsorption can only occur when it's Celiac, then I definitely have Celiac.

BTW - One reason I need to have the exact condition dialed-in is that I'm on LTD and my insurance company needs a diagnostic code or they'll stop benefits. Ideally, I'll heal completely before too long and can go back to work - after 7yrs on disability!

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FWIW, I used Enterolab and tested positive for malabsorption too. But, I was told by 2 doctors that I don't have celiac, even though my endoscopy showed mild blunting of villi. I think soy was causing the villi blunting?? Leaky gut?? I really don't know, never got any real answers. I also had gastritis and my stomach lining was atrophied. I've been gluten-free for a year now. Still don't know what to say to some people sometimes - do I have gluten sensitivity? Did I catch celiac early? I have the gene so I figure even if I don't have celiac, I still need to continue eating gluten-free. I can't really answer your question, but just wanted to share my experience.

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Just like to chime in to say that I'm in the same boat with the same question. As you can read in my sig, my TtG test was within normal ranges, but i never had the full celiac panel done (stupid policy by HMO - only use the TtG test and then run the other ones if positive). But a comprehensive stool test (Metametrix) showed poor digestion and malabsorption, among other things. And Enterolab showed significantly high levels of anti-gliadin antibodies. Per naturopathic doc's orders, I've been gluten free for a little over a year.

I agree with Jestgar...it's unclear at this point. I just don't think science completely understands how gluten sensitivity/intolerance and celiac link/intereact/insert your favorite verb here. OTOH, I think it does matter for some of us what the label is. Yes, you are absolutely correct, the solution is the same. But dealing with the unknown is not something i think many human beings do very well. And there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to gluten.

FWIW, my naturopath, when i asked her to define my condition as best she could, said "severe gluten intolerance without test-proven villi damage."

Just proves how muddy the water really is.

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My doctor admitted that he usually doesn't diagnose someone with Celiac unless their villi are completely smooth. Even with a positive blood test. I told him I thought that was dangerous because if someone has completely smooth villi that means they are in the critical stages of Celiac. I asked him why he wouldn't diagnose someone who had mild blunting. He said that's what he learned in med school 30 years ago. I told him times are different now. He said he knows and he is getting updated info from his daughter who is going through med school. So, I guess it all depends on your doctor and how long ago he/she went to med school!!!

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