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Debbie B in MD

I Can Handle All Of This But

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Celiac, gluten-free and all that is a lot, but I can handle it. The thing that scares me now is the last couple of sentences of the main page here about the huge increase in cancer risk. I am wondering what you thoughts are on how long do you need to be gluten-free before you can start to worry less about this. I have had celiac symptoms for at least a year, maybe as many as 10. Who knows? Do you think chances of these major complications go down after you adopt a glutenfree lifestyle?

Thanks.

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I don't have any scientific evidence to cite, but here are my thoughts.

The longer you go on consuming gluten, the more the risk of related cancer increases. As soon as you go strictly gluten-free, it begins decreasing. I have heard that after an average of five years, your risk is the same as that of a person without celiac disease.

The connection between smoking and lung cancer is similar, as I understand it. As long as you smoke, the risk increases with every time you smoke. Once you stop, it begins to slowly reduce (unless you have already got cancer).

I smoked off and on (more on than off) for almost twenty years. I quit for good 21 years ago. My smoking-related cancer risk is now about the same as someone who never smoked at all.

The risk of complications begins going down as soon as you adopt the diet. It is a slow process, but does get progressively better each day you stay gluten-free.

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I don't know from a study viewpoint of a large sample.

I have already outlived one parent by 10 years -anecdote. Had a couple of scares.

Also, so many other symptoms went away or were mitigated, if tomorrow it turned out differently, and random fate bit me, I'd still would have thought it worthwhile to at least have my overall health improve that dramatically during the last part. Not dead yet ! B)

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As I understand it if you fix your leaky gut and adrenal glands your body should be able to fight off cancer on its own. Many Celiacs heal their villi damage but never heal up the cracks in their intestines. There may be a link there for sure. No concrete studies to point to on my end just lots of reading here and there

I remember that the 2010 Celiac Forum DVD summed much of it up nicely. :)

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I have read studies, unfortunately I didn't book mark them, but after 5 years gluten free it is thought that your chances of developing a celiac related cancer go down to that of the nonceliac population. I was an undiagnosed celiac for over 40 years and very, very ill for the last 15 but hadn't developed cancer during all those years and now almost 9 years gluten free I don't worry about it all.

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I read the "5 years" thing too.

I actually think you will end up having a LOWER risk because (and this is only after being gluten-free for 10 days, no expert here) you diet is likely to be MUCH healthier than the average person. Avoiding gluten helped me avoid a lot of crappy, processed food that I shouldn't be eating anyway. My gluten-free diet had more fresh vegetables and healthier snacks (nuts, fruits, etc. rather than crackers, cookies, etc.) and waaaaaaay less eating out and fast food.

Cara

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