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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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About floslunae

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  1. Thank you guys, for your opinions-- I talked to my mother and it seems a genetic test will not be possible, because insurance will not pay for it. Also, she doesn't want me to have a genetic test in the event that something shows up and it goes on my permanent medical record. My mother is currently on my father's insurance, but she tells me that if she were to go get her own, her premium would be very high because she has diagnosed celiac sprue, and she doesn't want this to happen to me. My brother has "gluten intolerance" listed on his medical profile. When he was younger, he had dermatitis herpeformis and was only 50% of his height bracket. However after I started eating gluten again, he confided in me that he had been cheating for years. So there is a part of me that doubts if he ever had celiac--one must remember that the conditions he had can always be explained by other things, especially since he hasn't had any side effects, as far as I know. I'm going to order the original blood test results from my doctor, as these are the most accurate since I had been eating gluten my whole life when I had that test taken. My mother says that the doctor interpreting these results concluded that, from the testing, I did not have celiac. My only symptom was the sudden weight loss my mother told me about--again, there can always be other explanations for these things. I'm not convinced that Raynaud's is related to celiac. I know they are both autoimmune diseases, but that does not imply genetic relatedness. I'll have to see some hard data before I believe anything. I very much admire people with celiac, and I identify with their struggles, because I lived that life. It's not an easy one, and I hope it continues to improve as more companies and restaurants start releasing gluten-free products. But I sincerely hope that I do not have it. It's not a condition I wish upon anyone and certainly not my future children. So I can hope, and I'll get the blood test every four years or so in lieu of a genetic test and keep track of symptoms as they may come.
  2. My mother has severe celiac sprue. When I was six years old, she was dying from malnutrition. Luckily she found a doctor who recognized her symptoms and gave her the blood test for celiac sprue. She tested positive on 3/3 inventories. (I wish I knew the exact name of this test, I'll try to find out because I am sure there is more than one.) She had my brother and I tested for celiac. I was 8 and he was 6. He tested positive on 2/3 inventories, where I tested positive on 1/3. We had been eating gluten our whole lives. My mother decided to put me on a gluten free diet when she said that I mysteriously lost ten pounds. She said I gained them back after the diet. She also told me that she had said to me, when I was 8, that I may not in fact have celiac. However, given that I spent the next ten years of my life terrified of eating gluten, I doubt her story. My mother is very good intentioned, but her brush with death from severe celiac sprue made her extremely paranoid about any form of contamination. She interprets many signs of ill health as being related to celiac, even when there is no scientific proof. For her, science isn't needed...she sees celiac everywhere. I spent the next ten years of my life, from ages 8-18, on a very strict gluten free diet. I was terrified of getting sick and was teased incessantly. For parents of kids on a gluten free diet, it is very hard on your children. I had pretzels thrown at me during lunch. I had to fight with teachers who wanted me to use fruit loops in chemistry class. I had to miss parties, leave early, or bring icky rice bread sandwiches to attend social occasions. I missed out on a lot of things. My senior year of high school, when I was 18 years old, I was very hungry at a Halloween party and decided, on a whim, to try Qdoba (I was at a college party and I guess a certain degree of brazenness got into me). It was a wheat quesadilla, and it was one of the best things I had eaten during that 10 years. Miraculously, I had zero symptoms. Zero. Very surprising, considering that someone who wasn't allergic to wheat but hadn't eaten it during the formative years of their youth could have very well had an upset stomach. But I was absolutely fine. So I kept on trying. And now, for one whole year, I've been eating non-gluten free food, and I have no symptoms. I took a blood test 2 months after I started eating gluten and I tested completely negative (I filled 0/3 inventories). Yet my mother keeps insisting that I still have it, reminding me that as Celiac is autoimmune, it can turn "on" or "off" at any time. I also have a condition called Raynaurd's Syndrome. It is an autoimmune disease, very harmless, that makes your fingers swell when they get cold. It has not been linked to celiac in any studies. However because it is an autoimmune disease, my mother automatically assumes they are connected, although I developed Raynaud's BEFORE I went on gluten. (This condition is not to be confused with nerve damage--I know this is related to Celiac, as my mother has it. Also, I have a very mild form of Raynaud's: my fingers swell slightly and turn red in the winter, when I'm holding a cold soda, etc. No whiteness or nerve tingling.) Also, I have had slight hair-loss this past year, although I believe that this is concurrent with me going on birth control around the same time I went on gluten. The form of birth control I'm on, Depo-Provera, has a 1-10% incidence of associated hair-loss, so it is not surprising. I hope to get genetic testing soon because I'm really tired of all the superstition surrounding celiac. It seems that at least the people I've met who have it are very willing to disregard medicine and science and proclaim everything as a sign of the disease. I know a lot of doctors are misinformed, but at least genetic testing should be conclusive. The blood test seems to me to be too random, because if what my mother says is true about celiac, then it really could turn on and off at any time. Please let me know what you think about my story, especially if you have any information that might be good for me to know. I really appreciate it. My mother is very hard to talk to about this because she is hyper-concerned for me, and my doctor knows less about celiac than I do. Thanks and sorry for the long message...