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Dolphins1992

Help With Family Member With Possible Celiac?

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Hi, I myself have Celiac (among many other health issues) and I got to thinking. My dad has had IBS symptoms all his life. I looked it up and found a possible connection with Celiac and IBS. Since I myself have it, I told my dad I thought he should be tested for it. When it was discovered I have Celiac, he was STRONGLY in favor of me giving up wheat because of the damage it was doing to my villi. Well, since he has no other symptoms besides ones similar to IBS (he has called it IBS his whole life) he doesn't think he could have it. He says he would be in worse shape by now if he had it (he is in his 40s). He did admit he doesn't want to be tested because he doesn't want to give up wheat if he does have it. But I think I read somewhere where the only symptoms of Celiac some people had were similar to IBS. Any help with this?

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All first degree relatives should (at least) have their blood screened for celiac - regardless of symptoms. This would be your parents and siblings and any children you have or may have. Second degree relatives should be tested if they have any symptoms (Aunts, Uncles, cousins, etc.)

I find it odd that people think that it is OK to continue to eat gluten as long as they haven't been diagnosed with celiac disease. If he is in fact positive and he continues to eat gluten, he is risking some pretty huge health issues - including cancer and other irreversible damage.

I was diagnosed at age 44, my son at age 5. While giving up wheat sounds hard at first, it really hasn't been too big of an issue for us (over a year gluten free). It is a small price to pay for continued good health.

Now, my 84 year old mother-in-law shows every sign of celiac disease but says she is too old to change her ways . . . I don't lecture her.

Cara

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Yes, I am in the camp that is of the opinion that IBS is a symptom and not a disease. When doctors diagnose patients with IBS, it's because they don't know what's wrong or have given up on finding a correct diagnosis. Pharmaceutical companies produce the medical tests used at medical schools, and they would rather train doctors to treat symptoms, such as IBS, rather than teach them to find the cause. Many symptoms are now classified as diseases (e.g., restless legs syndrome, fibromyalgia, anemia, etc.). It's very possible your dad does, in fact, have celiac....and he faces risks to his health if he continues to eat gluten. I was 47 when I was diagnosed, and even though I suffered numerous nutritional deficiencies throughout my lifetime, I felt I could live with them. However, at 45 I began to have hormonal issues and severe diarrhea. The damage can build up over a lifetime, and I wish that my celiac had been diagnosed much earlier. Your dad has that opportunity, and I hope he doesn't pass it up.

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