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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.


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Pegleg84 last won the day on December 1 2016

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About Pegleg84

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  • Birthday 04/14/1984

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    hunting for good GF beer and perfecting that GF/DF/SF alfredo recipe
    (Celiac, dairy/soy intolerant)
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  1. Belgium trip report! I just got back and had a great time. As far as I can tell, 0 glutenings. I did get into some dairy a couple times, but the effects were minor and short lived. The worst trouble I had was after a very delicious and entirely gluten-free bowl of brown rice and curried chickpeas. My body has decided it does not like that much fibre and got my IBS going. I had no problems asking at restaurants since everyone speaks English, and everyone seemed to know what gluten-free meant. Labeled menus are also common in bigger cities. Anyway, some observations and recommendations: Fries: they take their frites seriously here, and it seems to fry anything other than fries in the fry fryer would be sacrilege, so they are most likely to be gluten-free. Always double-check though. Do note that they're usually fried in beef/animal fat, so not good for vegetarians. Sauces: to be safe, always ask for meat/fish/etc without sauce. I do think a lot of them are cream based, so you can ask about the ingredients, but easier and safer to go without. A steak or grilled fish, frites and salad is a good option just about anywhere. If you can eat dairy, there is cheese aplenty. Portions tend to be on the larger side, so don't got for the large of anything unless you're starving or sharing with someone. If there's somewhere you want to go, make reservations, even for lunch (especially in Bruges). Many restaurants are only open for a few hours at lunch and dinner, and stop serving before their posted closing time (we went to one place twice only to be turned away twice. ugh). Also, this way you'll have time to ask questions before you get there. No, I could not find gluten-free waffles. I think we're out of luck there. Exki: a chain of premade food cafes (like Pret-a-Manger) all over the place. Ingredients and allergens are labelled on everything. Beer: unless you can handle gluten-removed, we're also out of luck. Gluten-removed beers like Brunehaut and a few french brands were common in bars, but I didn't find a single one that was actually gluten free (Annoying since Greens is actually made outside Gent). Cider is also not very common. However, lots of good wine, and some of the best gin anywhere. Some specific restaurants we went to: Gent - Multituli Eetenkafe - great spot out just outside downtown. Labeled menu, big portions, great food. - Le Botaniste - we had lunch here twice. Organic vegetarian spot. Everything is premade but their containers are well separated so didn't worry about CC. Great food both times, a ton of it for cheap and fast. Sit in the sunroom in the back. Bruges - Reliva: lovely fine dining spot (very highly rated so reservations are a must) with vegetarian options. Almost everything is gluten free. If you can eat soy, you'll have no problem. A little pricey, but well worth it. - Soup: for a cheap quick meal, stop at this little soup place just off the main square. Just ask for no croutons or bread. - Cambrinus - we ended up going to both the smaller bistro/bar (excellent grilled shrimp and charcuterie), and their larger pub restaurant (excellent smoked duck salad). Both were open most of the day, reasonable, comfy, and knew their stuff. Brussels - Tan: this was my birthday dinner, at a surprisingly classy restaurant upstairs in the back of a health food store. All organic and locally sourced, mostly gluten free with vegetarian and vegan options. - Ricotta et Parmesan: this Italian spot was right across from our hotel. I was a little suspicious when their sign said "Free Gluten", but without prompting the staff explained they used separate pots and water for the gluten-free pasta. It's a busy popular place. Not cheap, but big portions. We ended up eating there twice. Good corn pasta both times. Lots of options for sauce, all of which are gluten-free. If you're staying in a smaller town, do your research and make reservations. Restaurants tend to close early, and may not be open on mon/tues, so you don't want to find yourself out of luck. We learned our lesson when rolling into a small town only to find the one decent restaurant open was no longer serving. We ended up at a family joint, which wasn't bad but definitely not what we were looking for. Anyway, general consensus: Belgium is fairly gluten-free friendly, but do your research first. Salut! Peg
  2. Feeling relatively better today because I had a moment yesterday where I just told myself: Stop freaking out!! I was getting super stressed and amplifying the (currently relatively minor) pain I have. Stop worrying. Stop focusing on it. Ta daaah! Sometimes that meditation and CBT training does come in handy. I know the pain is still there, but I'm not giving it a megaphone. Anyway, going to focus on mental clarity and keeping my diet decent for now. Am seriously cutting back on grains (weaning myself off, I guess). As I've said, my vitamin levels are great right now. Trying to be more diligent in taking my enzymes and probiotics. Spending more time stretching and meditating (if not actually on the cushion) and doing the stuff I need to do. In any case, I think I've got myself leveled out for the moment. You guys always make me remember that the best remedy is often diet and attitude. Doesn't mean I won't end up on drugs at some point, but I have to be able to do as much as I can on my own instead of just giving up. Will report back after I see the specialist. This isn't over yet.
  3. I live off of ginger. Grated, capsulated, juiced, pickled. It's the one thing guaranteed to help my nausea. Not so sure if it helps other pains though. I got some tumeric capsules (curcumin), but haven't been diligent in taking them, so who knows if that will make a difference or not. I've also been truing to do stretches at least twice a day. that seems to help with the stiffness, at least. Problem is that fibro has more to do with processing pain rather than inflamation, though I have plenty of that too. I've probably been more stressed than I thought lately (work is busy, pain is stressful), cause I've developed a massive canker sore under my tongue! Hard to talk and eat and yawn. So painful! Currently dealing with that, and tightness/pain in the side of my neck which is giving me a headache, along with the usual tingling/burning arms. Had a bad knot in the back of my leg on the weekend. Oy, it's been rough. I managed to get out of the house for a few hours on Saturday, at least. I'm currently debating whether to rush back to my dr. and get on the medication she recommended (Cymbalta or Savella, can't remember which). I'm hesitant because it's an SNRI antidepressant, and I'm worried about side effects. We leave on vacation in less than a month, and as much as I would like to not be in pain, I also don't want to be dealing with a bunch of weird side effects. It's hard enough traveling with Celiac. I see the rheumatologist right after I get back. Opinions? Should I get started now and see if it makes a difference? I wish I could just change my diet and magically solve my problem, but I don't think that's going to work in this case. I have cut back on grains lately, though still eating some rice and corn (for me, the more processed. I can handle rice noodles but not the grains, for example). I should cut out all the nightshades again (have been eating potatoes). Anything I can do to help, but I don't expect it to be a silver bullet. Thanks again for all your support in this. I've been worrying about it a lot. The pain sucks now, but the thought of spending my future in pain is even worse.
  4. Just looked it up..... oy. Really not looking to put myself on an even more restrictive diet right now, but might try it out at some point (I'm already going pretty easy on most things on the "no" list). At least it's a temporary diet, and I have heard good things about it. I have started taking tumeric (curcumin) supplements. Will probably be a while before I might notice any difference. Maybe it'll help inflammation (in my gut, other inflammatory pain) but not the fibro pain since it's not actually inflammation. I figured it was worth a shot. Current status: leg pain, but not too stiff. Will see how I do over the weekend (last weekend was not so bad). I'm on my way to hitting the "3 weeks of pain" needed to diagnose. Also, have never had this pain every day for this long. Trying to take it in stride (freaking out makes it a million times worse) Thanks again, guys!
  5. Thanks, guys Current status: not too bad. Legs are working. Arms a bit achy. Weird mild headache. I'm trying not to over analyze/fixate on the pains, since that tends to make it worse. I've been supplementing Magnesium, calcium, vitamin D & B12 every day for the past couple months. Iron every other day or so. I've seen a huge difference in my health this winter (other than this stupid pain) No colds/flu, my mood is good despite stupid things happening, energy is good despite the pain. I could maybe increase my D&B12, see if it makes a difference. Certainly hope they aren't causing problems instead. I get my thyroid checked at least once a year. so far it's fine, but that's a good point. I might be able to look back at my records and see what the thyroid counts are. I have also been kinda gassy lately. Eating a lot of root veggies. Don't know if that would be causing/adding to my problems or not. (I also pulled a muscle in the side of my tongue or something stupid like that, so I have legit pain on the side of my face! UUG! Hard to rest that muscle unless you never want to eat or talk or anything) Oh, and I've also been avoiding nightshades. Still eat some potatoes, but have cut waaaaaaaaay back on the chili pepper. Seems to have helped my IBS symptoms a lot at least. What is this AIP diet I keep hearing about anyway?
  6. Hi guys, Reviving this thread, because in the past month my "mystery" fibro-like pain has ramped up big time. 3 weeks ago the pain was so bad I though I'd pass out (went to the clinic, more blood tests, everything looked fine), and since then have had more painful days than not. Pretty much every day since last Monday. This Monday it started as soon as I woke up and couldn't even get to work. Today my legs and arms are achy/burny. Last night I felt fine for about 4 hours (and did all the things while I could!). Anyway, today I saw my doctor, and although we need to rule out other possibilities (arthritis, neuropathy, etc), she also thinks it could be Fibro. Funny thing is, it was the fibro pain that drove me to get my IBS syptoms checked out, and now that is a lot better. Almost like my digestive pain is showing up everywhere but my gut. So weird. Side note: definitely not gluten related. I haven't eaten a thing not cooked by me or not at a gluten-free restaurant in a while (eaten out of the house maybe 3x in the past month). I'm taking all my vitamins this winter (and my energy levels are actually quite good, B12 is up, haven't gotten a cold/flu, haven't had winter depression), so the fact that I have all this pain now seems extra strange. We just got a new mattress so I've been sleeping pretty well (I need a new pillow too, but OMG it's so much better!) So, I see the rheumatologist in 6 weeks (he's on vacation, then I'm on vacation, great timing). Any advice for coping in the meantime? My dr offered to prescribe an antidepressant as pain-relief, but I think I'd be better to wait and see what the RA thinks. I'm going to start taking tumeric supplements, get back on the probiotics, and try to get back to a meditation and stretching (tai-chi) routine. We;re going on vacation in a month, so if I can get this semi under control before then, I'll be ready to start medication after if necessary. Debbie, thank you for your encouragement. I also want to be enjoying my future, not dreading years of pain and drugs. I want to get this diagnosed and under control now so I can adjust and get on with my life! Also, a reminder to get my garden started. Thanks again, everyone. Gawd, if only gluten were my only problem...
  7. Absolutely not! While barley seems to contain less gluten than wheat, and a sip of beer might not pack the same punch as a mouthful of bread, it is definitely not safe. Nope. No way. Even if you're not reacting to it, it's doing its damage. Trust me, I LOVE beer. It was the hardest thing to give up and the last thing with gluten I ever consciously consumed. My partner is a huge craft beer snob and wouldn't I love to be able to try them all. Nope. No way. Not even a little bit worth it. There are lots of good gluten-free beers out there (not the gluten-removed ones), and it's getting better all the time. Look for Glutenberg (Montreal), Groundbreaker (Portland), and Ghostfish (Seattle) which are gluten-free craft breweries doing amazing things. Depends on what style you like, but Greens (Belgium) and New Planet (Colorado) also make good stuff.
  8. Hi all, We are going to Belgium in April, and though I've done tons of research and feel I should be ok as long as I ask all the questions, it's always best to ask here too. Does anyone live there or has visited? Any recommendations for foods to stick to/avoid? Are the frites at frites stands really gluten-free?! Anything that can be easily picked up at markets for snacks? (FYI: also don't do dairy or soy) We will be in Brussels, Ghent, Bruges and a few smaller towns. I know French but not Dutch. I'll get a translation card to show at restaurants, but if there's any good resources for recognising things on dutch menus, that would be helpful too. We're looking for veggie friendly places too (my partner is vegetarian, but will be eating all the cheese and drinking all the beer while I eat all the fries fried in beef fat...) Any recommendations welcome. I don't want to have to rely on my bag full of snacks too much. Thanks!
  9. Hi Taras, Can you give us some more info? I'm guessing you mean what else can you do with your diet other than going gluten-free? (Many of us end up with other food intolerances or find that it helps to cut back on certain things). How long have you been gluten-free? Are you getting bad pains? If it's early days, our guts can still be very touchy. More info will help us give some advice.
  10. Your vitamin levels and the brain fog in general should get better as you start healing (as Cyclinglady said, 4 weeks is pretty early). However, if your iron and b12 tends to be low (even 8 years gluten-free mine hovers around borderline anemic), it's always good to supplement. Be careful with the iron (talk to your doctor about the right amount to take. You also want to make sure to take it with vitamin c or some orange juice to help with absorption). More b12 is always better. Get you levels retested in a few months. If they go up (and if your brain fog improves) that should be a sign that your gut is healing. Good luck!
  11. I used to get pretty bad ones before going gluten-free as well. Now if I get one it's either cause I bit my lip or because I'm coming down with a cold. I've been considering switching toothpastes. I didn't know that Sensodyne doesn't have SLS. Nice. I'll look into that (I want a more natural toothpaste but still with flouride) Glad the diet is working! The fact that you had such an improvement is probably that your body is absorbing more nutrients than before. Maybe you do have Celiac rather than just NCGS? Not sure how much NCSG affects absorption if no villi damage. Just a thought.
  12. There's powdered coconut milk, but most of them have some lactose/casein added (can't remember which). I found some without and it was great, but of course can't find it at the store anymore. So much more convenient than having to buy/use a full can of coconut milk. http://ecoideas.ca/ecoideascoco-natura-organic-coconut-milk-powder.html Of course, you don't always want a thing to taste like coconut. If anyone else knows a gluten/dairy/soy free powdered milk, I'd love to know too.
  13. Thanks guys, I seem to be back to "normal" today, (after a lovely emotional meltdown first thing yesterday. Yet another fun symptom). I have been kinda constipated, so that might be affecting things (the last time I had really bad fibro-like symptoms was during 3 days of constipation. Went away when I was finally able to do my business.) Anyway, I have my thyroid checked about once a year (can't remember if my last bloodwork checked it or not), but it's always been normal (my mom has thyroid issues, so I always check). My iron and B12 tends to be low, so I supplement. I might try the magnesium, thanks. I also supplement calcium (when I remember), since I can't handle dairy (every so often I'll have a teeny bit of cheese and handle the consequences the next day) A suspected trigger for this (especially the fibro pain) is nightshades. Last month I cut them out completely, and while I wouldn't say I felt profoundly better, I didn't have any achy days our bouts of IBS symptoms. I've introduced them back and have eaten a lot of potatoes in the past couple weeks, so I could be feeling the effects of that now. Going to drop potatoes for a couple weeks (until xmas) and see if that has an effect. In any case, the next time it hits be bad, I'll talk to my doctor about whether it could be fibro, and if I should see a rheumatologist. Getting some drugs to handle the pain when it does happen would be great. Same with the IBS pain (which has actually been pretty good lately. Nothing serious in a few months). It's still frustrating not to know what's causing what, though: is it all Celiac doing stupid things? Do I have IBS and Fibromyalgia or is one causing the other? Also considering some drugs for the anxiety attacks when they happen (I've avoided this until now, but if its due to an imbalance triggered by other things, then drugs might not be a horrible idea) Anyway, thanks for the advice/support. Man, if I only had to deal with being gluten free without any of this other mess, I'd be incredibly grateful.
  14. Hi guys, I've been dealing with a couple "mystery" problems lately, which have been on and off the past 3 years or so. I've been gluten-free for almost 8 years now, and haven't been eating dairy or soy for at least 4 years. Mystery pain #1 - severe pain in my lower left side, before/during/somtimes after a BM, which tends to be the big C. This summer I started seriously looking into the possibility that I might have IBS in addition to Celiac. Had a colonoscopy to rule anything else out, and it was clean, so my GI says: probably have IBS? I'm not convinced, but it's quite possible. Mystery pain #2 - all-over body aches/tingling/pain, usually starts in my hands and quickly spreads to my entire body. It can last for a few hours to a few days. I'm currently having a bout of this right now. Arms feel all sore and burning, keep having weird twitches in my arms and back. It started this morning (didn't sleep well last night) and has gotten progressively worse. About ready to go home and crawl into bed with some painkillers. Anyway, I've been doing my research and found that Mystery pain #2 sounds an awful lot like Fibromyalgia. When I first started feeling it, I chalked it up to getting glutened, but it normally happens several days to even weeks after a known exposure. I thought it might be peripheral neuropathy of some sort (common with Celiac), but while I get tingly/painful hands and feet, it's not a constant numbness. I also learned that IBS and fibromyalgia often show up together, though if I have one or the other or both, not sure which causes which. This is the first real flare-up in several months. Back in the summer, I had a seriously horrible bout of pain that went on for over 2 days, and spurred me to go to the clinic. My bloodwork was all normal except low iron and B12 (which is normal for me. I've been supplementing and the last test was much better). I also had bad constipation and the pain went away as soon as it finally got through me. I haven't pursued a diagnosis or anything, figuring that body pain was another symptom of the potential IBS. However, I haven't had any real IBS symptoms in a couple months (yay!) I'm currently trying to figure out if there are any food triggers for either of these mystery pains. Last month, I cut out nightshades, and didn't have any incidents. I've reintroduced potatoes (been eating a fair amount of them lately) and peppers (chili powder and sauces). Haven't noticed a huge difference reintroducing them, until today at least. Will drop them again for a while and see if it improves? Anyway, does anyone here have IBS and/or fibromyalgia, on top of the fun of Celiac Disease? Any information or advice? (I checked out an IBS forum, but found it pretty uninviting and useless compared to here) Now to try to get a bit more work done through the fog and tingly fingers before I collapse. Thanks! Peg
  15. I wouldn't worry about other intolerances at this point. Right now your gut is saying "WHAT THE FUG IS GOING ON?!" and is going to be extra fussy for a while until it starts healing up. If in a year you feel mostly better but not quite, that's when it's time to look for other issues. That said, oat protein (powder) might be ok, but whole oats might not because they are hard to digest. Eat what you can, but fried food and over-processed stuff will not be helpful right now. Also, not sure if anyone mentioned digestive enzymes and probiotics, which can help make up for the damage in your gut. It can take a couple weeks to start noticing a difference, but taken daily with meals it can make a difference. My partner is a strict vegetarian. He eats dairy but not eggs, and is just as careful about meat as I am about gluten. It's nigh impossible for us both to find a place we can eat out at happily. Of course, he hates to cook and eats a lot of frozen processed crap and I worry about him in that respect, but there is NO WAY I would ever suggest he start eating meat again, just as I would never want anyone to suggest I start eating gluten again. Of course, for him it's a moral choice not a necessity, but after 20 years, his body probably can't process meat anymore anyway. Stick to your convictions. It's going to be harder, and you'll have to expand your protein sources a bit (beans, legumes, lots of greens, nuts and more nuts, etc). Hopefully the dietician can help with that. If you have a favourite place you used to eat, talk to the chef/management, and see if there's anything they can do for you. Unless it's a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, there's always a risk, but good communication can help. If you don't want to make a scene at the restaurant, go in when it's quiet or call ahead and ask all the questions. I find this saves a lot of hassle. It is possible to eat out safely, but it might become a once a month thing instead of an everyday thing.