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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 EricaM15

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  1. You can call me Erica. I was previously misdiagnosed with IBS and I was never able to eat greasy food without paying a price. I think untreated gluten intolerance exaserbates sensitivities to food in general. After going gluten-free (before I discovered additional sensitivities), I was actually able to handle greasy foods better than I could before, but unfortunately, I can't eat those foods now. If you're reacting to dairy at all, I'd consider that a sign of a food sensitivity. Casein, a protein in cow's milk, can often cause a latent reaction the way gluten does. I didn't think I was sensitive to dairy either. I would get a stomach ache and diarrhea right after having something like ice cream, but everything else was just random. I tried slowly eliminating it anyway since I knew it was probably a problem. Eventually I went a week or two without any dairy. Then I just happened to have some cheese on a sandwich without really thinking about it, and the next day I was in soooo much pain. I haven't had any dairy since. You most likely have food sensitivities. I saw several doctors for several symptoms that I had, which were all caused by Celiac, but I never got a Celiac diagnosis because I tested negative and was never offered an endoscopy and I didn't know that was part of the diagnostic process until much later. If you want an official diagnosis, don't stop eating gluten before you're tested, otherwise you'll definitely test negative. However, even if you do test negative (like I did) and your endoscopy happens to be clean, I would recommend you try going gluten-free, regardless. It's easy to get a false negative. Bleeding could be a sign of an anal fissure from strain on the tissue. I'm sure it's possible for Celiac to cause it, but it could also be a lot of other things. You should definitely see a doctor and make sure it's not something else like Crohn's, although Crohn's patients can also benefit from going gluten-free.
  2. Eye Discomfort

    Yeah, I can't remember where I read it, but apparently the malnourishment that people experience from Celiac can lead to poor eyesight and bad teeth (often causing an underbite, which I experienced myself). I've worn glasses since I was six and I had all sorts of orthodontic work growing up. Expanders, retainers, headgear, braces. So much fun... I always just thought it was my genes though since my mom has bad eyesight and had the same sort of issues with her teeth, so I don't know. It could be a combination of the two. I think it's also possible that my mom could have undiagnosed Celiac as well. Oh, I have plastic frames. That's what they recommended for me since they're lighter (not light enough) and make the thickness of my lenses less noticeable. I also just like how they look on me best. Yeah, contacts take some time to get used to, I guess. I've been wearing them since I was 10 or 11, so I don't really think about it anymore.
  3. Eye Discomfort

    I haven't tried that one. I've been using Opti-Free contact solution for as long as I can remember. I can't imagine sleeping with glasses on. I just keep them next to my bed. I actually read somewhere about a correlation between Celiac and nearsightedness along with the need for braces. I'm not surprised to find so many people with poor eyes here. I've been off all my prescriptions since going gluten-free (I was on Prozac before that). It started a little after I ate almonds about a week and a half ago. I didn't realize the almonds were the issue right away because at about the same time, I happened to eat something with a CC label. So I kept eating almonds the rest of the week, hoping that the initial reaction was from CC, but my symptoms kept getting worse until I eliminated them. Maybe I'm slightly allergic to almonds? I wore my glasses all day today and my eyes feel fine now, but I'm not sure how it will feel once I try to wear contacts again. It almost seems like my contact lenses get contaminated by my reaction to food.
  4. Based on the foods you mentioned, dairy sounds like a possibility.
  5. How do all other mammals get the nutrients they need without cooking? What you're saying doesn't make sense. Fruits and vegetables in their raw form have enzymes that aid in digestion, cooked food does not. At first, it's harder to digest raw vegetables, which is why I recommended smoothies because smoothies are much easier to digest. Maybe you feel better when you eat cooked food and meat, but most people would benefit from having more raw foods in their diet. Maybe you should read about it before you start criticizing. I realize it's controversial and it goes against what you've been told all your life about food, but it works. I've been recovering rapidly thanks to the raw vegan diet and I think a lot of people could benefit from it if they'd simply try it. Meat is not easier to digest than vegetables. It's dense and takes days to go through the digestive system, and I imagine it's even worse for someone with a damage digestive system. There's also an ongoing debate as to whether or not our bodies are meant to have meat (or animal products in general) in the first place. I cannot digest meat, and many other people can't either. Yes, nuts and seeds are high in fat, but they're certainly easier to digest than meat, especially if they're soaked. Someone recovering from Celiac certainly needs more fat in their diet because like you said, a damaged Celiac gut doesn't break down fat easily, but on a raw vegan diet, it shouldn't take long a person start breaking down fat once again. You imagine nuts and seeds will have CC--you don't know. I eat nuts and seeds every day, I'm super sensitive, and I have no issues aside from the one time I became intolerant of almonds. You're more likely to have CC issues with roasted and salted nuts and seeds, which are less healthy. Honestly, I ended up on this diet as a result of my distrust for doctors. I went 22 years without being diagnosed and was instead diagnosed with numerous other disorders that had no real treatment. I probably could have lived a very short, miserable life if I let it go on. So I don't really trust anything that doctors say in regards to diet or health. Not to say that all doctors are bad, but they really have no education in nutrition whatsoever.
  6. Sorry, I missed this post. What do you typically eat every day? How much time have you given yourself in between all these periods of elimination? You should make sure to give yourself at least 2-3 weeks. Make sure the majority of your diet is fruits and vegetables. Also, many people debate this, but I believe that eating raw fruits and vegetables is most beneficial since it doesn't lose any of the nutritional value or enzymes in cooking. Since you're recovering from Celiac, your body probably can't make the proper enzymes it needs to digest cooked food, which is why eating raw is important. Not only that, but it promotes healing. If you have trouble digesting raw fruits and vegetables, you should try making smoothies (especially green smoothies). After some time, your body should adjust to it and you'll feel great. You sound like you're about where I'm at in this. As you can see in my post above, I haven't had a lot of luck with food. Meat isn't very easy for a lot of people to digest and I personally think it's unhealthy. I'd suggest you do some research on raw veganism. It seems to be the only thing working for me, and you're almost there already--just replace the meats with raw nuts or seeds. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message.
  7. So what do you do then? How do you keep yourself from being glutened if you're still buying packaged foods? I don't worry about it since my diet has become limited to fruits and vegetables, but I don't know how other people manage.
  8. I guess that's true, but I don't know how you could depend on anything being gluten-free if that's the case.
  9. I found that junk foods just made my symptoms that much worse, so that could be part of it. You may also have other sensitivities without realizing it. The amount of gluten wouldn't necessarily matter to a person with Celiac or gluten intolerance, as any amount of gluten can cause a reaction. However, one of the things that made me realize I was gluten intolerant in the first place was seitan. Seitan is used as a substitute for meat and it's essentially pure gluten. Before I went gluten-free, I once went to a vegan restaurant and ate a sandwich with seitan roast beef. My stomach started bothering me before I finished eating it, and then I threw it all up as soon as I got home.
  10. I went gluten-free at the beginning of last December. I felt great afterwards, but after about four weeks, my symptoms started slowly coming back. I waited another two weeks or so to see if it would resolve on its own, and it didn't, so I eliminated grains after hearing about the possibility of secondary intolerances in Celiac patients. Turns out, I'm extremely sensitive and have numerous intolerances. I went through the same thing again with legumes, starches, sugar, almonds, and possibly nightshades (still unsure about that). I'm also intolerant of dairy, which I figured out before gluten. Some of my intolerances may be the result of the damage that was done to my body from all the years of going undiagnosed. I'm insulin resistant, so the fact that starches and sugar cause some of my symptoms to return makes sense to me. I'm just hoping that some of my sensitivities will resolve after I give myself time to heal. It's possible that you're responding to cross-contamination, in which case, I'd recommend getting rice that's certified gluten-free. I've seen it in health food stores but haven't tried it myself since I'm pretty sure I'm just intolerant of grains in general. To me, it sounds like you're also grain intolerant since you're saying you felt great after going grain-free and you're sensitive to corn, but you might want to test it out with certified gluten-free products first.
  11. I thought I was imagining the itchy spot on my neck last time I was glutened. It was right by my collarbone. I had a plethora of symptoms before going gluten-free relating to malfunction of every organ. When I get glutened now, I usually know right away. Usually I get all the GI symptoms first. Sometimes I get kind of sweaty for a bit and then I'll usually have insomnia that night and brain fog the next day. If it's a CC issue, it's usually a very mild reaction and I'll get tired and have a headache. However, when I discover a new intolerance, my pre-gluten-free symptoms return very slowly until I start to notice them and then I have to figure out what food is causing it. One of the times I discovered a new intolerance, I was having trouble sleeping, my left arm went numb occasionally, itchy feet at night, night sweats, joint and muscle pain, brain fog, anxiety, GI problems, headaches, fatigue, and more. It's all really weird.
  12. Eye Discomfort

    I can't see anything without glasses or contacts. I wouldn't dare leave the house without them, or I'd be lost. Everything is literally just colors blurred together. I have to hold things about four inches from my face in order for them to look clear to me. Luckily, I can see very well with visual correction, especially since eliminating the foods I'm sensitive to. Before then, things were kind of fuzzy at times, especially since my eyes were more likely to dry out. I'm not sure about the reading chart. Sounds like you're in a similar situation though. You're probably right. Maybe my eyes are still recovering from my reaction. I guess I'll try wearing my glasses for a few days.
  13. Eye Discomfort

    They didn't swell, but they got fairly bloodshot. I haven't been able to get a new pair of glasses since 2009. Also, my prescription for contacts is -6.5 in both eyes. I'm not sure what it is for glasses, but a lot of people don't realize what I'm dealing with when I say I have bad eyes. I don't know if you're in the same boat or not.
  14. Can Anyone Help Me?

    Sample of what I ate yesterday: Breakfast- Bakery on Main Cranberry Nut Granola Bar Coffee (KCup) with 2 tsp of International Delight, Dairy Free Creamer Lunch- 3/4 of plain Costco Hamburger 12 Ore Ida Sweet Potato Fries 1 bag of BBQ Pop Chips Snapple, Arnold Palmer Snack- 1 snack sized bag of Planters Trail Mix with Peanuts, raisins, and m&ms 3 Joyva Jelly Rings (my vice, Passover candy) 16oz bottle of water while on the treadmill Dinner- Cheesesteak that I made in the crockpot from lean Sirloin (it had Progresso French Onion Soup, worchestire sauce, mustard seed, red pepper flakes, onion, and mushroom on it). I did not eat any bread, or cheese, or any of the home made oven baked french fries that I made for everyone else. Diet Soda I'd recommend you try a whole foods diet rather than calorie restriction. Stay away from any processed foods, sauces, candies, etc. They all could potentially have gluten in them. I honestly can't trust anything that comes in a jar or can anymore because I can't recognize all the ingredients. I make all my dressings and sauces myself. Be careful about getting anything with more than five ingredients on the label. Foods with artificial flavoring and coloring can easily cause reactions in people with Celiac. You should also be careful about granola since many people with Celiac are sensitive to oats. If you're having cravings for candy, replace it with dried (unsweetened, unsulfured) fruit. Dates and figs are a great substitute. Also, the majority of your diet should be fresh fruits and vegetables. And just as a tip--raw, unsalted nuts and seeds are much healthier than when they're roasted. Raw nuts and seeds (avocado as well) do contain fat, but they have enzymes that can aid in weightloss, especially if you sprout them. Those enzymes are killed when they're roasted. They're also a very healthy, filling snack. I personally try to make it so that every calorie I consume has as much nutrition possible, so that's another thing to think about.
  15. Eye Discomfort

    I reacted to almonds this past week and I'm still working on figuring out other possible intolerances. After I reacted to almonds, I noticed it became uncomfortable to wear my contact lenses, and eventually I'd have to replace them. It felt as if dirt was stuck to them, but no matter how much I cleaned them or soak them in contact solution, they were still uncomfortable. The discomfort was only relieved when I replaced them with a new pair. Today, I'm still having some slight discomfort, but I can't figure out what it could be. Is it possible I'm sensitive to something in my contact solution? I can't give up wearing contacts. I have terrible eyesight and my glasses are so heavy that it makes my ears hurt if I wear them too long. Or is it possible that when I react to foods, it does something to my contact lenses? Has anyone else experienced this?