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Unfit For Military Service....

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I actually have thought about the whole military thing a lot. My 9 year old has talked of nothing but going into the military since he was 5 years old. I am not sure they would take him, not only because of the gluten issue, but also because he has some other problems that require him to take meds EVERYDAY. I haven't mentioned my concerns too him, since I figure he can handle the dissappointment better when he is older, and you never know, I could be wrong...

I have heard that they do have gluten free MRE's since there are obviously people who get diagnosed with celiac disease while they are in the military, and I don't think they could discharge you for that. They would probably reassign you to a homeland position and not allow you to be sent overseas. But again I could be wrong. Maybe they could medically discharge you for having celiac disease. I don't know. I guess I'll find out for sure when my son is in high school. If he wants to actively pursue a military career then he might be in for the fight of his life just to get in! :blink:

My grandson has celiac disease and he is in the navy. He was diagnosed after returning from his duty in Iraq. We're thinking the stress triggered it.The navy has only said he would not be deployed anymore. He is making a career in the medical field. According to him, there is no such thing as a gluten free meal, in the military :P . I am gluten intolerant with double genes, which means his mother, my daughter, has at least one gene for it. She has no symtoms of it, so far. We do not have the celiac gene, but to me there isn't any difference, you still can't eat gluten in any shape or form, <_< I wasn't diagnosed until the age of 65, but realize now, that I had signs of it, most of my life. Still recovering....

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There's been a lot of interesting discussion on this topic, as well as a great deal of speculation. My hubby has been in the Air Force for 22 years now. It took 12 years for his Celiac Disease (and Dermatitis Herpetiformis) to get diagnosed. Celiac Disease has two main periods of onset--either when you're a young child or when you're around the age of 19.

I feel a need to state unequivocally that Celiac onset is NOT the result of stress. Nor does it result in swelling of the throat or extremities (which is the result of anaphylaxis, not a malabsorption syndrome). Celiac patients are more susceptible to drug and food allergies, migraines, and high blood pressure (this because of constant inflammation). They can more easily develop urticaria, but bear in mind that certain blood pressure medications will cause this as well--especially Losartan, as we discovered.

Hubby's disease manifested itself as Dermititis Herpetiformis (DH) when he was 19, as I mentioned. He continually consulted physicians to find out what the problem was. For years, civilian and military docs claimed the rash was just pseudofolliculitis. It wasn't until he was attending Air University for his masters that he received an accurate diagnosis; he had been in the military 12 years at this point. He made yet another appointment with a dermatologist and had only to walk in the door for this doctor to say, "I know exactly what that is." A skin biopsy was taken (this is the ONLY way to test for DH), and voila! we now knew what had been causing him years of discomfort. By the way, I have no idea what this EnteroLab claim is about, but diagnosis of Celiac Disease must be determined by very specific blood tests (IgA and IgG antibody screenings) and intestinal biopsy via endoscopy.

Several times through the years doctors have asked him if he would like to be boarded for the Celiac Disease. He has always refused, because he knew he would likely be medically retired. But the point is, the decision was his to make. There was never any question that he would be boarded without his consent. We have managed his condition very well over the years, and as more and more knowledge is gained, and the number of people who have Celiac is recognized, it becomes much easier to manage his diet. There are gluten free MREs. They can be purchased from the following website: http://www.aaoobfoods.com/KosherMREshelfst...#Allergy%20Free.

And as far as worldwide TDY and deployment qualification are concerned, my husband just had to turn down a 365-day TDY to Iraq because he had just submitted his retirement papers. And yes, his Celiac Disease is well-documented in his military medical records. The last four years, he has been TDY nearly every month, and he always manages his diet very well.

Good luck to all you Celiacs out there!

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I feel a need to state unequivocally that Celiac onset is NOT the result of stress.

I beg to differ, at least in part. You are correct that stress, as generally thought of (emotional stress), is not usually the trigger for celiac onset, but it CAN be.

In most cases, the stress we speak of is not emotional stress, but stress placed on the immune system by an infection, or an infectious disease such as mononucleosis or influenza. The immune system overloads and and becomes confused. The process for triggering type 1 diabetes is similar--onset usually follows an infection that stresses the immune system.

I am pleased to hear that your husband was able to continue his military career despite being diagnosed as having celiac disease. For those who are diagnosed prior to joining the service, the prospects of being accepted seem grim.


Diagnosis by biopsy of practically non-existent villi; gluten-free since July 2000. I was retested five years later and the biopsy was normal. You can beat this disease!

Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes diagnosed in March 1986

Markham, Ontario (borders on Toronto)

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator since 2007

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By the way, I have no idea what this EnteroLab claim is about, but diagnosis of Celiac Disease must be determined by very specific blood tests (IgA and IgG antibody screenings) and intestinal biopsy via endoscopy.

The tests that you consider the most specific miss up to 30% of celiacs and many miss entirely the folks that are compromised neurologically or with skin issues but mild GI symptoms. Celiac is in reality a spectrum disease, it can effect many differently and can damage many more organs than just the gut. Enterolab checks for antibodies to gluten in the stool. They do NOT diagnose celiac disease, they simply tell you whether you are throwing antibodies. Your body will not form antibodies to something it does not consider toxic. Enterolab, while they can not diagnose, can tell you whether gluten is an issue, perhaps before the most extreme damage is done and thus avoiding full blown celiac disease. I am a seronegative celiac who was close to death because I do not show up in blood testing and no one looked any furthur. It wasn't until 5 years after I was diagnosed that I did Enterolab tests, mainly to see what genes I carry as one child had been gene tested and told she couldn't have it because she didn't have one of the two recognized genes. Turns out I don't either so these tests were very valuable to us in showing her that just because she didn't have one of the two recognized genes (there are at this point 9, seven more were found) didn't mean her diagnosis was in error.

Courage does not always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying

"I will try again tommorrow" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis

All bold resoved or went into remission in time with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

 Gene Test Aug 2007

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

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