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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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RoseTapper last won the day on June 8 2010

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  1. Keep us posted on your test results. I also don't agree that IBS is a condition--I truly believe it is just a symptom. It's the most common misdiagnosis of celiac. My daughter was diagnosed with IBS of the small intestine when she was 15. Ridiculous! Now, of course, we know she had celiac, but the gastroenterologist never even suggested testing her. I'm very interested in knowing how your tests come out....
  2. I'm so very sorry that you feel so ill right now. I know how hard it is to live and eat on a skimpy budget--I usually just eat mashed potatoes or tomatoes from my garden during the last week of the month because I've run out of money to buy food. It can be discouraging, I know. Although I don't normally tout processed foods, since I've been eating pretty much only natural foods since I went gluten free in 2004 (just like you!), there is a great list of "regular" foods that can be purchased at the supermarket that are gluten free, such as canned chili beans or hash. Many tend to be inexpensive. Have you heard of Dr. Holland's gluten-free list? If not, you can access it here: http://homepage.mac.com/sholland/celiac/GFfoodlist.pdf I also have Dermatitis Herpetiformis (face, feet, and hands), and my daughter gets her sores inside her mouth. Have you already eliminated iodine from your diet so that gluten contamination won't trigger the rash? Sneaky places where iodine hides is in dairy products and asparagus. You may already know this, but just in case you don't, both gluten and iodine need to be present in your system to trigger DH (at least, that's the way it is for a lot of us). If you're on thyroid meds, then too bad--you'll always have iodine in your system and the slightest amount of gluten can possibly trigger an outbreak. That's the case with me. Is there any possibility that you're getting a bit of gluten contamination? Perhaps from a shampoo, conditioner, makeup, vitamins, supplements, or somewhere else? You sound so depressed, it just seems as though you might be getting some gluten somewhere. As for products, not all of the gluten-free products are out of sight. Have you tried Udi's white sandwich bread? It's relatively inexpensive, tastes just like "normal" bread, and makes my life easier because I can always whip up a PB sandwich, BLT, tuna sandwich, or grilled cheese sandwich. You can also find cheap envelopes of gluten-free gravy at specialty stores (they tend to be cheaper than the regular gravy mixes at the supermarket) to put on mashed potatoes, turkey, or chicken, and that's real comfort food (yum!). Please stay in touch with us--everyone is here to help.
  3. I thought I'd pop back in to mention that after you go gluten free, it can take quite a while before the diarrhea goes away. You're young, so maybe your intestinal lining will heal more quickly than mine did, but it took 18 months before I finally felt "normal" in that regard. However, I did see some real improvements within 5-6 months. The reason why you may be experiencing some leakage is that you may not be digesting your fat (due to celiac). Do you recall when a company tried to sell some new potato chips some years ago that would prevent people from absorbing the fat by passing it out in people's stool? Well, you might be too young to remember. Anyway, people got freaked out when it was reported that the chips would cause "anal leakage" from the undigested fat. Also, the reason why celiacs' stools float is because they contain undigested fat. Okay, this is a bit of a gross discussion....but you started it! Also, I forgot to mention to you that it's good to take L-Glutamine when you're trying to heal your gut. Many people have had good results (worked for me!), and I wish I'd known about it when I first went gluten free. You can find it at health food stores, GNC, and some supermarkets. Again, I wish you good luck!
  4. I'm VERY glad to learn that you're going to go on a gluten-free diet, because your symptoms sound like the same ones that many of us on this forum suffer from. I don't have all of your symptoms, but I have had most of them--and more. The fact that you're in the military worries me, though. Did you know that people with celiac can't serve in the military? If you wish to remain in the military, you might keep this under your hat. However, you're correct in that it will be difficult to maintain a gluten-free diet while on duty. If possible, eat as many natural foods as possible--fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat. Also, even if you test negative for celiac, you would probably do best to continue with a gluten-free diet long enough to see if gluten is giving you trouble. Many people with celiac also can't tolerate soy or dairy. Luckily, I can tolerate dairy, but I've never been able to tolerate soy--or oats. Regarding your memory, recent studies have shown that celiac can be considered a neurological disease in that it causes lowered blood flow to the frontal lobes. It also can cause plaques to form throughout the brain. Many children and adults with celiac suffer from memory problems, ADHD, epilepsy, depression, and other neurological disorders. Reading comprehension, for example, can be difficult for many of us. You don't sound like a hypochondriac to me--you sound like someone who deserves answers. However, I fervently believe that you've found yours. I would be surprised if you DIDN'T have celiac. Good luck!
  5. "my Dr. Said It's Ok To Have Wine"

    Flour on wine corks? Sorry...this is nonsense.
  6. Just Returned From Trip To Australia

    So...you're coming to the U.S.? You might encounter a little culture shock because of how poorly celiac is understood here. You might wish to obtain a list of the restaurants that offer gluten-free menus; otherwise, you'll need to ask a LOT of questions at the restaurants you visit. Yes, the tea was at the Queen Victoria Building, but I didn't get sick afterward. I'm sorry to hear that your food might have been contaminated. I did worry about that a bit as I ordered gluten-free meals at restaurants, because no one seemed all that concerned. I wondered, do they know about contamination?? However, I didn't get sick a single time while I was visiting, and I tend to get sick from just a molecule of gluten. Guess I just got lucky! As for the price of food, generally food is cheaper in the U.S.; however, gluten-free food is oftentimes priced 2-3 times higher. The gluten-free flours, pasta, bread, and cookies are priced ridiculously high. For example, my favorite breads cost about $9.00 per loaf, and those loaves are fairly small. Coffee at coffee shops, though, is a lot less expensive here. I experienced sticker shock when I saw how much I was expected to fork out for a small cup of coffee in Sydney. Restaurant food here is definitely cheaper, too, and you'll find that things you use every day are also inexpensive (such as deodorant, shampoo, makeup, etc.). If you get a chance to visit a Walmart or Target while you're here, you might want to stock up on sundries. My daughter usually brings an empty suitcase with her so that she can load up on shampoo, conditioner, saline solution, razors, and the like. I'll definitely be returning to Australia--loved it there! However, I hope you enjoy your visit here. Which cities do you plan to visit?
  7. I just got back from visiting my daughter in Sydney, Australia. You would not believe how easy it is to live a gluten-free life there! Most restaurants list whether a meal is gluten free, and they happily accommodate people by substituting different ingredients. In addition, gluten-free bread and pizza were available at almost every restaurant I visited, and the bakeries regularly offer gluten-free cakes. I wasn't made to feel different at all--no one batted an eyelash when I asked for a sandwich made with gluten-free bread. Also, the supermarkets offer an enormous array of gluten-free food, and it's a LOT less expensive than it is here. The products throughout the supermarkets are labeled as to whether or not they contain gluten. My daughter treated me to High Tea at a nice tea room, and one of the regular types of tea that was offered was a gluten-free tea. I expected to be served rice cakes and dry, tasteless cookies....but, instead, I was served the most wonderful delicacies! The cookies, cakes, tarts, and sandwiches they served me seemed just as delicious and special as the ones served to my daughter (who should eat gluten-free, but she refuses to do so). I can't recommend Sydney, Australia, enough for people with gluten intolerance or celiac--I felt safe....and I didn't feel "different" at all. Wonderful place to visit!
  8. Personally, I haven't had a gluten reaction to any of those candies (and I've eaten them many times). I think your suspicion about what may have been on the others' hands may lead you to know what caused your symptoms.
  9. Okay, your situation sounds very familiar to me. I, too, was severely anemic and ill after getting a celiac diagnosis. I was so fatigued, I actually pulverized iron tablets and placed the powder under my tongue, hoping that sublingual iron would make me feel better. Well, I did feel better almost immediately, but my teeth instantly turned black. It seems that my calcium-deficient teeth sucked up all the iron and placed it where the calcium should have been. Like you, I ended up receiving iron intravenously. Believe it or not, it took about 18 months before I felt "normal." I, too, followed a very strict gluten-free diet during that time. I guess it just took time for my gut to heal. That said, I think that you should also be tested for a thyroid condition. The brain fog and other problems may be a result of Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (common in celiacs), so it might be worth your while to find out if your thyroid is acting up a bit. If not, perhaps more time is needed to repair your gut. I know how frustrating it is to feel ill, to be doing all the right things, and then not see any improvement. Hopefully, all will be well sometime in the next year--good luck to you!
  10. Interesting....I recently attended a celiac conference, and I learned that schizophrenia is common in people with celiac. When celiac is the cause, the symptoms disappear with a gluten-free diet. You stated that you've avoided gluten lately, but do you really know exactly what contains gluten? You might consider throwing yourself wholeheartedly into following a gluten-free diet to see if you'll feel better. The easiest way to do this is to follow a natural diet (no processed foods)--and remember that seasonings can contain gluten. Also, soy sauce, beer, supplements, and medication can all contain gluten. Good luck!
  11. New Diagnosed Wheat Farmer?

    Gemini, I know it's an ongoing debate regarding external products that contain gluten, but I know from PERSONAL experience that I break out in DH big time whenever I use a shampoo or makeup that contains gluten. I don't know of a single study on this subject, so until there has been at least one study with confirmed data, it cannot be stated definitively whether or not topical gluten causes a problem for a person with celiac or DH. Until then, we are only discussing opinions and not science.
  12. Happy To Be Me!

    As they say, "When you have your health...." Glad to hear that you're feeling better even though the economic outlook appears poor. If you have a computer, you might consider starting an Internet business, which is easier to do than one might think. I can recommend the book "Internet Riches" by Scott Fox. After I read it, I had more ideas than I knew what to do with....and am planning to start an Internet-based business soon. I could do it faster if I weren't working, so this may be something that might work for you while you both continue to look for work. Many businesses cost under $50 to start up on the Internet. Good luck to you both...and I'm so glad that you're feeling better!
  13. Yes, you should have her ferritin level checked--when it's low, fatigue and trouble sleeping can be common. However, if she DOES have a low ferritin level, it's possible that oral iron will have no effect, since she may not yet have the ability to absorb it. When I first went gluten free, it took nearly a year for my anemia to resolve itself. Then, when I got glutened accidentally twice in one week, I completely lost the ability to absorb iron, so I had to have weekly infusions of intravenous iron at the hospital. If your daughter is anemic and the oral iron does nothing after two weeks, request that her doctor order intravenous iron--she'll begin feeling better immediately. However, it is also possible that there's been some gluten contamination. Make sure that her shampoo, creme rinse, and makeup are all gluten free. She should avoid lipstick or kissing anyone on the lips who is wearing lipstick (sorry, Grandma!). Remember, gluten can be found in seasonings, in a toaster that is used by others, and in peanut butter, mayo, jam, butter, etc., that is used by others in the household (your daughter should have dedicated jars of these products). Lastly, while your daughter is trying to avoid contamination, it's easiest to simply go all natural. There's always the chance of contamination in processed products, even when they're supposedly gluten free, but if she's still exhibiting symptoms, all natural is oftentimes best. Once she's been free of symptoms for a while, you can probably safely introduce processed foods into her diet.
  14. Gluten Challenge

    I also see no reason for a gluten challenge. There's simply no point. If you feel better without gluten, then you either have celiac or are gluten sensitive. Case closed.
  15. Is Dh Relieved With Antihistamines?

    Okay, I'm going to take a differing point of view here. My DH developed in my early 30s, and for four years I was tortured with it. However, I noticed that when I took an anti-histamine, the itching and blistering would decrease somewhat. That led me to believe that the rash was the result of an allergy, and I eventually identified iodine as the culprit. Of course, I didn't know at the time that BOTH gluten and iodine were responsible for the DH, but I discovered that by avoiding iodine, I could control the outbreaks. However, if it hadn't been for the fact that I had a favorable reaction to anti-histamines, I would never have connected the DH to eating certain foods. However, that said, I don't favor taking antihistamines to treat DH. If you eliminate both gluten and iodine from your diet, you should see success in reducing outbreaks.