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rachel_gf

How Long Can I Be Gluten-Free Before It Affects Biopsy Results?

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My question for all of you is: How long can I be on a gluten-free diet before it would affect my biopsy enough that celiac disease could no longer be detected?

I am trying to get a biopsy but it is taken longer than I expected.

History: Several years ago, I suspected I had a wheat or gluten sensitivity of some sort, and reduced (but did not eliminate) gluten completely from my diet. In fall 2009, I decided to go through with testing given a family history of celiac disease and autoimmune problems. So I went on a high-gluten diet for several months.

I did the Enterolab tests (result: active gluten sensitivity, 1 celiac allele, 1 gluten sensitivity allele) and Prometheus Celiac Plus panel (still waiting for results). After seeing the Enterolab results, my specialist doctor said that I should get a biopsy.

At that point, I was absolutely miserable (both GI symptoms, bloated, body weight had increased within 6 weeks by 6-8 pounds), anxious. And I went on a gluten-free diet. And I started feeling better quickly. I thought I could get a biopsy quickly, and that a few weeks of gluten-free wouldn't affect the biopsy results. To my surprise, the doctor in the city where I live now is offering me appointments in February!

The idea of going back on gluten is, well, sickening. How long can I stay on my gluten-free diet before my gut will heal enough that I might not diagnosed with celiac disease (if I do have celiac disease)? If I do need to start eating gluten again for the biopsy, how much and for how long? I know I have a gluten sensitivity and plan to keep gluten-free after the biopsy, so I want to do the biopsy now so that I can have that information should it ever become necessary without having to re-gluten myself again at some point in the future.

Many thanks, and a happy, gluten-free new year to all.

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6-8 weeks, plus more time til your biopsy, is too long for an accurate biopsy.

There is no point of having a biopsy to look for Celiac, when you have been gluten free for over 2 months. If your Prometheus bloodwork is positive, esp for the most specific tests, then the combo of the gene+positive bloodwork+symptoms (and, improvement in symptoms) is enough to have you stay on the diet.

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How quickly the gut heals varies from person to person. Some see distinct improvement in a few weeks, others take months or more. But I certainly wouldn't expect accurate results if you're gluten free for two months prior to a biopsy!

And, honestly, you don't need one. It's fairly old-school to rely on the biopsy as the only way to conclusively diagnose. You've got multiple positive tests - stool test, blood test, dietary test. I think three for three is a good enough indication that you should stay gluten free!

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Hey there, sorry about your diagnosis, but you know what? its really not bad at all. Once you eliminate whats making you sick you will feel like you have your life back. I want everyone to know that if you stop eating gluten and your symptoms DO NOT disappear rapidly... as was the case for me, please, please pickup the book "Life Without Bread" your answers lie in that book.

I had the genetic test done and sure enough had all the genetic markers for Celiacs and had all the wretched symptoms associated with it. Going Gluten-free DID NOT help me! What did help me was applying the theory from "Life Without Bread" by Wolfgang Lutz and Christian Allen. Its truly a life saver, and is clinically proven to work. Google it!

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your replies. I really appreciate the support and advice! I've been gluten-free for 2.5 weeks now and am feeling SO much better.

I'm going to keep trying to get an appointment with this specialist doctor in my new city and see what he thinks. I'm also going to wait and see what my blood test says. In the meantime, I'm going to stay gluten-free because I just feel SO much better and was so sick before. If the doctor thinks I need to do another gluten challenge for the biopsy, maybe I will. The idea of starting to eat gluten again for some unbounded period of time is just so gross. And my biopsy may come back negative anyway and I will still know that gluten makes me sick.

I knew I had some gluten issue for a few years, and had eliminated let's say 90% of the gluten from my diet. Doing the gluten challenge really made it clear what a huge problem it is for me and is motivating me to get rid of the rest of the gluten.

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