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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      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 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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Wonderful Friends

The last few weeks have been a bit fraught over here with uni finals and The Job Hunt beginning, to the point where I ducked out of a dinner and night out with old school friends on Saturday because I didn't want to join in with the chat about uni and jobhunting, or to once again grill waiters in front of my friends. My friends are fine about it, I just hate having to do it. So just as I was planning a night in on my own with a tub of ice cream my boyfriend's friend rang and invited us to a gathering at theirs. They run a stage school and often get given bottles of fizzy stuff by the kids' parents after performances, but they don't drink it so once in a while have a gathering to use it up... Already sounding much more inviting than the other option!

So I ate beforehand and we went, intending to go for a few hours. I didn't realise but the host had made the whole evening gluten free - 'I read EVERY SINGLE LABEL!' bless her - without even checking if we were definitely coming for food (hence eating beforehand)! It was such a nice surprise. A few of the others had also given up gluten and it was really nice not to have to explain it to anyone and to swap recipes. I've been sceptical (and still am, in some ways) of those who give up gluten for more lifestyle than health choices, but these guys were more Paleo diet than gluten free super-processed products so we had a lot to chat about. I didn't have to defend my 'fussiness' or the taste of gluten-free bread or explain what 'autoimmune' means once! The few hours turned into a night and half the next day (gluten free pancakes all round in the morning). Just thought I'd share my nice surprise (and also my boyfriend has heard me retell it several times...hehe).

Just as an observation, I was really thinking about giving up eating out as no matter how reputable/reliable the restaurant (lucky enough to be near some really good ones) I was getting cramps afterwards. At our friends' house - no cramps. I'm now wondering if the cramps are in fact more to do with anxiety than gluten...
So I collected my blood test results after three months gluten free. When I was diagnosed my ttg IgA was >128u/ml, with 'normal' being <7. Today it is at 22u/ml! Poor doc was a bit confused because for many people this would be high, but obviously for me it's a massive improvement. I wasn't expecting it to be that good, as I live between three non-gluten-free houses and although I do my best with CC, I know it could be better (Hopefully just a few more months til I get my own place!)

I'm also really relieved because for various reasons I decided not to have a biopsy done - and I had begun to think 'oh my God, what if it comes back the same, and I've wasted everyone's time and I don't have it..?!?'

So I just wanted to share that. I feel so, so much better than before I was diagnosed and this forum has been invaluable for support, information and a giggle :D I wouldn't have had the confidence to be my own advocate in situations like eating out, family meals and with doctors without it.

Cheers guys :) I'm off to celebrate with gluten free pancakes!