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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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  1. I apologize for not being very clear, Februaryrich. I'll try to better explain. When my symptoms first began, they started up right after a particularly bad bout of Mono. Suddenly, an active 15 year old was swept up in a storm of joint pain and weakness, which were my main symptoms for about three years. I went to many doctors with these symptoms, but they were unconvinced due to how vague my complaints seemed. However, at about the three-year-mark, I do recall noticing some stomach problems when eating certain foods, but I couldn't make the connection. I had some cramping and some occasional diarrhea, but I don't think I thought it was relevant. It probably didn't help that I was also a pretty shy teenager, who wouldn't find it very "polite" to speak of such "indignities." (Happily, I don't have that problem anymore.) At about that same time, I began losing a lot of weight. People (and GPs) started to suspect I was anorexic. Yet, my main complaints were still very vague, and easily dismissed by any physician I visited. Four years in, things got...weird. I was having rashes, fevers, joint swelling, and terrible headaches. My eyelids were puffy, my fingers and toes were turning blue in mildly chilly weather. My mouth was full of sores, and I slept 12 hours a day without any release from exhaustion. "All your blood tests are fine," I was told. I just needed to live with it (since it was obviously a psychological problem, dontchya know), and, well, I suppose I kinda did, floating around miserably for years in this medical limbo. If things got bad, or a new symptom popped up on my ever-growing laundry list of problems (like once I developed fainting and arrhythmia), I went to see a new doc. They still couldn't help me, even the well meaning ones. Yet, despite all that, it wasn't until about 8 years into this whole ordeal that my intestines just finally...couldn't take it anymore. It seemed like over night I was suddenly having stomach issues. Again, I visited doctors who found this newest problem more troubling, but durnit, NO MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL I SAW HERE COULD PIECE THIS MONSTER TOGETHER! Over the next two years, it got so bad that I was afraid to leave the house for fear of not being near a bathroom. Out of desperation, I began some intense research, and stumbled upon the topic of Celiac Disease online. I brought this up to my doctor at the time, who hadn't even considered it an option. We did an elimination diet test, and my life changed forever. (Even if it was a rough road at first.) I did gradually gain the weight back, and now hover in the low-normal range for my height. Which, believe me, is a great improvement. I'm coming up to a full year now on my gluten free life change, and I can happily say that about 90% of my original problems are completely gone! However, I have a lot of healing to do, I am told, and am still recovering from a lot of damage.
  2. Add another ex-Mono Celiac to the list, here. Just like you, I got Mono in my teens...and I was devastated when it just "never went away." In fact, it only seemed to get worse. However, because the symptoms were so "atypical" (manifesting as joint pain, muscle wasting, fatigue, rapid weight loss), I wasn't diagnosed with Celiac Disease for another ten years, once all those sexy bowel issues became more than I could handle. Mononucleosis really is one of those socially underrated, yet extremely powerful childhood diseases, and I can certainly see why there is keen suspicion of a link between that kind of overwhelming immune system disruption, and the triggering of autoimmune diseases.
  3. Attention Dog Lovers!

    Simple Baby Wash can do your doggy good. Most vets will recommend it above any commercial "dog shampoo," as the ingredients in conventional animal shampoos can do more harm than good, especially if your pet is sensitive to chemicals. It's gentle on the eyes and skin, and of course, gluten free for both you and your poochie! Best of all, your puppy will smell great...until, of course, he decides to next roll around in the backyard.G Good luck!
  4. I still find it startling to come across threads where people describe almost exactly the same symptoms I experience. Good heavens. It just so happens that I've recently just recovered from one of these awful headaches, having had been accidentally glutened actually two nights ago. The headache is typically the first indication for me that something is amiss. It begins almost like a sinus headache, forming just above my left eye (it seems like it's always starts in the same place. Odd!), then it gradually spreads to behind my head to the base of my skull. Finally, it all concludes with a miserable muscle tension, which becomes the most unbearable part of the entire ordeal. I usually end up describing the feeling as "an anvil on my head," where the weight is just too much. One of the worst things about this particular headache is, unlike other types of headaches...medicine simply does nothing. I can try to take Aleve, Ibuprophen, Exidrin...sheesh, at my most desperate moments, I've taken a few of these at the same time! And there is simply no relief. Typically, I beg my significant other for a shoulder rub, which may give me a few moments of respite...however, it all returns very shortly after. Generally, the symptom lasts for 12 to 24 hours, with my last one clinging on for about a 20 hour period. I've theorized that the pain is the result of constricted blood vessels, while our immune systems go nuts, but I don't know for sure. Thank goodness I'm finally over it today! Oi!
  5. If you're anything like me, you might be very lactose intolerant too! Like you, I found myself still dealing with excessive bloating, grumbling, and other issues after months of being gluten-free, and it wasn't until I came across a specific post on these forums that I realized Celiac Disease has a nasty habit of inhibiting the intestine's ability to properly digest lactose...at least, until it has had a chance to recover from the gluten damage. After restricting dairy from my diet, most of my bloating issues have gone away! And happily, the lactose intolerance isn't usually permanent, but I understand that it can take up to a year before you may be able to return to eating diary normally again. I hope you are able to find the cause!
  6. I just recently began using L Glutamine, as it was suggested to me by a few other recovering Celiacs, and I really have nothing but praise for it. I generally take it once every week, or if I happen to get "glutened." Now, I was skeptical at first when I read on a forum that the supplement appeared to shorten the duration of accidental gluten episodes. But as things turned out, I ended up having to put it to the test, just a few weeks ago! After an accidental contamination, I decided to ingest a few capsules just after realizing I got glutened...and I was absolutely shocked and pleased to find that my symptoms seemed to only last about half as long as usual (3 days of torture, shortened to a day and a half). However, I understand there is some danger to taking L Glutamine daily, since everyday use can lead to chronic diarrhea. I tend to take a 500MG capsule about once a week, with fine results. My system does seem to be a bit happier with it's help. Good luck!