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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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So at what degree of being Celiac is a person considered to be disabled ? Or not ?

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I would think one definition would be when employers consider that your disease is interfering with your ability to perform your job duties and "let you go."

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So at what degree of being Celiac is a person considered to be disabled ? Or not ?

Thank you for posting this -- I hope your question will receive many replies. I'll be watching! I have an interest in this from an HR perspective.

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Your question is a little vague.

Do you mean disabled to the point you get federal Social Security every month? If so, then you would need to prove that, at least for an entire year (not 6 or 9 months), you can't work any job at all - not just your current or recent job. For example, if you're a bank teller and you can't stand for 8 hours - but you could still sit at a desk at the bank or some other job - then you're not eligible. You can go to the social security website - easy to google - for info. I can't imagine that celiac disease alone is enough of a reason. However if someone had undiagnosed celiac's long enough, the OTHER diseases or medical problems caused by malabsorption or the autoimmune response could be a reason if the person's medical and physical condition is so compromised they can't sit or stand or focus for more than one hour at a time.

Or do you mean disabled to the point you get to collect on a short-term or long-term disability plan you bought through an employer (where you collect 2/3 or so of your pay during the months you're off work)? If so, then check what the plan reads. You often need a lot of paperwork filled out by your physician and prove you're very sick and can't work.

Or do you mean so you're eligible for time off from work here and there when you need it due to your celiac's without getting fired (within limits) under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? If so, then if you have been diagnosed by a physician, and there are times your celiac's would cause you to call off sick due to symptoms or treatment, then yes, that's legitimate. You would need to get paperwork from your HR at work and have your doctor sign it. However there are limits to how many days you can call off and still have your job protected - check with your HR. And your company may say you have to use your sick and vacation days, and once they're used up you'll be off without pay (FMLA doesn't mean the company pays you to be off, it just means they can't hold it against you, within the time limits.)

Not sure if you meant something else altogether. - Stacy

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Stacy, I apparently have been Celiac for my lifetime just constantly misdiagnosed. They removed my ovaries a yr ago saying i must have chronic ovarian pain and am on hormone replacement now. I have lost over 23 pounds, I have osteopenia in my spine, osteoporosis in my lumbar, my hips are shrinking and thinnned out. My vitamin d is depleated, I've gone through six ferritin infusions because i had a count of 7 when normal range is 100-500.And am also malnourished. I have sleeping problems due to chronic back and hip pain. I cant stand long enough to cook a decent dinner without bbeing in severe back pain for the rest of the evening. I cant sit for too long before i have to start constantly reposition my self. Please give me some advice, And I have been on reg disability for 2 months. Thank you for anything you can help with. Debbie

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Although celiac's may be the cause of your problems, it sounds like the osteopenia and osteoporosis (among other things) cause your pain and compromise your ability to work. If you see an orthopedic or pain management physician for those conditions, ask them how they would fill out paperwork from Social Security asking if, in their opinion, you can work any job. Social Security sends forms to any medical person you've seen asking them if, in their opinion, you can sit for long periods, stand for long periods, concentrate for long periods, etc. Another question to consider is - now that you've been finally accurately diagnosed, will the gluten-free diet slowly start to reverse any of this or not? What are your physicians telling you? What would they say to Social Security? Would they say you'll be 'cured' in 9 months? If so, you won't be eligible. If they'll say that, unfortunately, too much damage is done, you may be eligible.

You'll get your best answers from your doctors and from Social Security. Some people abuse the system, some people are eligible but get denied. Attorneys sometimes help, as long as you're prepared to share your money with the attorney.

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Although celiac's may be the cause of your problems, it sounds like the osteopenia and osteoporosis (among other things) cause your pain and compromise your ability to work. If you see an orthopedic or pain management physician for those conditions, ask them how they would fill out paperwork from Social Security asking if, in their opinion, you can work any job. Social Security sends forms to any medical person you've seen asking them if, in their opinion, you can sit for long periods, stand for long periods, concentrate for long periods, etc. Another question to consider is - now that you've been finally accurately diagnosed, will the gluten-free diet slowly start to reverse any of this or not? What are your physicians telling you? What would they say to Social Security? Would they say you'll be 'cured' in 9 months? If so, you won't be eligible. If they'll say that, unfortunately, too much damage is done, you may be eligible.

You'll get your best answers from your doctors and from Social Security. Some people abuse the system, some people are eligible but get denied. Attorneys sometimes help, as long as you're prepared to share your money with the attorney.

I actually want and desire to go back to work. I enjoyed my job very much. I,m just a little concerned and trying to do some research. The gastro that did the biopsies said my vili's are severly damaged and are not sure but hoping being gluten free might reverse at least some of the damage. " I hope ! " And my doctor said there is no reversing bone damage and that the best they can do is at least slow down the progression. My major stress is my finances du to the fact i became a single parent 9 months ago and disability is only giving me 200. every two weeks. OUCH !!!

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Although celiac's may be the cause of your problems, it sounds like the osteopenia and osteoporosis (among other things) cause your pain and compromise your ability to work. If you see an orthopedic or pain management physician for those conditions, ask them how they would fill out paperwork from Social Security asking if, in their opinion, you can work any job. Social Security sends forms to any medical person you've seen asking them if, in their opinion, you can sit for long periods, stand for long periods, concentrate for long periods, etc. Another question to consider is - now that you've been finally accurately diagnosed, will the gluten-free diet slowly start to reverse any of this or not? What are your physicians telling you? What would they say to Social Security? Would they say you'll be 'cured' in 9 months? If so, you won't be eligible. If they'll say that, unfortunately, too much damage is done, you may be eligible.

You'll get your best answers from your doctors and from Social Security. Some people abuse the system, some people are eligible but get denied. Attorneys sometimes help, as long as you're prepared to share your money with the attorney.

I am waiting for approval for medi-.cal and will for sure go to an orthopedic at that time. My primary dr. doesnt seem to be very educated on the entire Celiac disease and the Gastro seemed to be very busy but hopefully my 1 month follow up since biopsies with him will go better.

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Thank you for posting this -- I hope your question will receive many replies. I'll be watching! I have an interest in this from an HR perspective as well as a personal one.

From a HR perspective I would just like to ay that I hope more and more people become aware and educated re: Celiac Disease. This is a manageable disease, however the other complications that come along because of it are not always manageable. I'm finding this to cause alot of changes in my life, my families life, and of course my working abilities. It is very frustrating to say the least. My boss is begging me to come back asap however my health hasent improved to that ability yet. I want to work but physically cant yet. I feel like im having to choose between health/and employment. Hopefully this post will open more people up to the real life challenges that are being dealt with.

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Debbie: Since you don't know what kind of healing you'll have yet, federal social security is probably not an option - it's for permanent disability and you don't know what is permanent and what isn't yet.

I'd seek more state assistance, which would be through your county Job and Family Services. Sit down with a caseworker and lay it all out on the line: $200 is not enough. There's a lot of help if you have a child. Have you looked into BVR - the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation? There's also a lot of tax money out there aimed at helping people return to work - but based on their physical abilities. At the BVR, they'll do assessments based on what your abilities are now and try to match you up with current jobs or provide training for jobs that fit your abilities. (For example, if a construction worker hurts his back, the BVR may help that worker get training in computer repair work. I've known people with Multiple Sclerosis work with the BVR to see what options are out there if their MS interferes in their ability to do the work they were originally trained to do.)

These programs are out there in order to get USED. So do some knocking on some office doors and find out who can help you. That's what they're there for!

- Stacy

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Since you don't know what kind of healing you'll have yet, federal social security is probably not an option - it's for permanent disability and you don't know what is permanent and what isn't yet.

I'd seek more state assistance, which would be through your county Job and Family Services. Sit down with a caseworker and lay it all out on the line: $200 is not enough. There's a lot of help if you have a child. Have you looked into BVR - the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation? There's also a lot of tax money out there aimed at helping people return to work - but based on their physical abilities. At the BVR, they'll do assessments based on what your abilities are now and try to match you up with current jobs or provide training for jobs that fit your abilities. (For example, if a construction worker hurts his back, the BVR may help that worker get training in computer repair work. I've known people with Multiple Sclerosis work with the BVR to see what options are out there if their MS interferes in their ability to do the work they were originally trained to do.)

These programs are out there in order to get USED. So do some knocking on some office doors and find out who can help you. That's what they're there for!

- Stacy

Thank you for the advice . I will look into BVR for sure. Hopefully they can help. : )

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Debbie: Since you don't know what kind of healing you'll have yet, federal social security is probably not an option - it's for permanent disability and you don't know what is permanent and what isn't yet.

I'd seek more state assistance, which would be through your county Job and Family Services. Sit down with a caseworker and lay it all out on the line: $200 is not enough. There's a lot of help if you have a child. Have you looked into BVR - the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation? There's also a lot of tax money out there aimed at helping people return to work - but based on their physical abilities. At the BVR, they'll do assessments based on what your abilities are now and try to match you up with current jobs or provide training for jobs that fit your abilities. (For example, if a construction worker hurts his back, the BVR may help that worker get training in computer repair work. I've known people with Multiple Sclerosis work with the BVR to see what options are out there if their MS interferes in their ability to do the work they were originally trained to do.)

These programs are out there in order to get USED. So do some knocking on some office doors and find out who can help you. That's what they're there for!

- Stacy

Stacy,

You ROCK! You must be an HR professional -- if not, you should be. GREAT info. I am enjoying reading your posts. Keep up the good work.

Best,

Lyn

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Stacy,

You ROCK! You must be an HR professional -- if not, you should be. GREAT info. I am enjoying reading your posts. Keep up the good work.

Best,

Lyn

Thanks Lyn. I don't work in HR, I'm a therapist with my degree in social work, so I've had to become familiar with these kinds of services over the years. There's a lot of help out there that doesn't get advertised enough. - Stacy

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Bone constantly remodels itself, and gets replaced by new bone cells, only the rate slows done as you age or after you hit menopause, so the doctor was not correct that bone damage "can't" be fixed- otherwise broken bones would never heal.

A good diet, gluten free vitamin and mineral supplements, careful, weight bearing exercise, and healed gut lining can help to make bones stronger and healthier.

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