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More Susceptible To Illness?

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My understanding of Celiac is that the damage to the gut wall means that proteins from other foods and other ? can pass into the body and be seen as invading pathogens. Usually foods are broken down and absorbed before they pass through the gut wall, and so do not appear as invaders by the immune system. This adds stress to all the systems, alows opportunistic things like candida to take hold, and also means that the body does not get enough nutrients required for a healthy immune system. The organs get stressed, like the liver whose role is to break down the toxins. The net result is that there is a tendency to get a systemic breakdown, our immune systems are less effective, so we are more susceptible to illness, and gluten appears to be a fundamental culprit behind this. Other food intolerances like lactose, soy etc often appear to be made better by fixing gluten issues. I also suffer from allergies to dust mite and cold water urticaria (hives), and it appears these are linked to the damage caused by gluten. Unravelling the cause and effect chain is not easy but it seems like a very sure bet if you can succesfully get gluten out of your diet, over time (6 months to 5 years), overall health should improve. As you get older the longer it takes to recover. It is critical to be disciplined with gluten and other foods for at least 6 months - 1 year, gluten avoidance needs to be lifelong, other foods might be tolerated after time. I have been working through this for around 3 years, and made numerous mistakes and assumptions by being over confident, ignorant or ill disciplined, yet I have have had moments of excellent health that give me hope I will get on top of this. Forums like this where we exchange experiences are invaluable.

Thank you for your informative and thoughtful reply. I wasn't as strict as I should have been over the holidays (remained totally gluten-free but didn't adhere to IBS restrictions) and I'm still paying for it. I'm changing doctors and have heard excellent things about my new one. My appointment is on the 20th and I'm counting the day. I did finally get over the bug I had but think I was CC'd at the New Year's party I attended. in the future I'll bring a ziplock bag of food. it was the first time we met everyone in our neighborhood (we just moved to a new city and state in June) so I was concerned about looking batty. When it comes to health I don't think it should matter and I learned my lesson.

Wishing all of you a healthy and happy New Year,


P.S. my old GI in NJ thought that my Celiac had gone undiagnosed for decades.

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On 12/28/2010 at 12:58 PM, Gemini said:



Low white cell counts are entirely normal for people with autoimmune conditions, especially multiple autoimmune problems. I have had life long low white cell counts, which did not improve with the gluten-free diet. Even though all my nutritional deficiencies are now gone and it's been 6 years gluten-free for me, I still have low white cell counts yet I am never sick. I don't catch colds, I have never had the flu and have been around sick people for the past month and haven't become ill. All of their illnesses are highly communicable also. I attribute this to an awesome diet, lots of exercise and the fact I do not share food or drinks with anyone, due to risk of CC for gluten.


It sounds like you are still in the healing process and it does take time for things to improve. It took me 3 years, total, to get back to normal. I didn't get sick that much before diagnosis, which is bizarre considering I was suffering from advanced malnutrition. However, now I seem to do very well, even with exposure to germs and bacteria. You'll get there....be patient!

OK...old posts but I thought I would update.  I have been gluten-free for 13 years and had my blood work done recently.  I was gob smacked to see that, for the first time in my adult life, my white cell count is in the normal range!  I asked the doc if they mixed up my blood with someone else's.  :lol:  The scale starts with normal being 3.8 and that is what mine was.  OK, I just barely passed but I always had counts in the 2's, up to 3.0 for a high.  So, I think you can raise them up, I just didn't expect to see it take this long but I am almost 59 so probably the age thing.

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