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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 ip87

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  1. So I have a kind of unique situation, but I guess everybody does, to a certain extent. I was totally asymptomatic when I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about two months ago. I was skeptical at first, but, to my doctor's urging, I started a gluten-free diet. I've been on the diet for about a month. It's definitely been difficult at times to feel like I am missing out on so many delicious things, and causing so much hassle for the friends, family and restaurants that I eat out at, especially when I know that I could simply forgo the gluten-free diet for a day and and not suffer for it. Day to day, I'm not terribly careful about cross-contamination (I share a kitchen with gluten-eaters, I eat oats, and generally use the rule that, as long as the food label does not have any identifiable gluten-related ingredients, it's good to go). On one particular occasion, when I had friends in town, I decided to test my gluten reaction, and went all out on a brewery tour, drinking gluten beers, and eating everything I could think of that had gluten in it. Even though I had only been on the gluten-free diet for a month, it was such a heavenly release to feel and eat like a normal person again. The next day I was a little bloated and gassy, but it was only a minor discomfort and well worth the previous day's deliciousness. So what is my question? If I don't suffer physical symptoms from the gluten, is it okay for me to occassionally lapse like I did on my gluten weekend? I am fully aware of the risk of continuing to eat gluten as a person with Celiac's Disease. I know that there is an increased risk of intestinal cancer and other complications later in life. That's why I decided to begin the gluten free diet. Thus, does relapsing like this once every month or so reverse all of the healing that my intestine has done to this point and bring me back to square one? I would hate to eat gluten for one day of bliss and erase an entire month of gluten free eating and healing. Likewise, even if I don't feel symptoms from cross-contamination, is there a chance that even trace amounts of gluten are getting into my food and causing a reaction in my intestines, thus reversing the healing that I have been working so hard to promote? I would appreciate any insight you my have on the biology of a healing intestine, or any similar experience you could share. Thanks!
  2. I appreciate the advice, everyone. I guess I didn't realize the breadth of the different consequences that Celiacs can have on your overall health and wellness. You often hear about people going "gluten-free" and it almost seems like a fad that people try-out for a while, but I'm gathering that Celiacs is a bit different, and isn't something you just casually deal with. I'm working on a plan to fly home soon to do the biopsy and a few other tests. It's definitely hard to figure out with so much in flux now, though. Assuming they confirm my diagnosis and I start a gluten-free diet, would it be the worst thing in the world to wait until the fall, when I'll be in a more controlled environment, to begin the diet? I may have plans to travel to South America for the month of July, and I don't anticipate gluten-free living being easy there...
  3. Thank you for your advice, Cara. I really appreciate it as I am grappeling with this decision. In regards to your suggestion about simply starting the gluten-free diet without any biopsy confirmation, I find myself hesitant. I'm probably still in the denial phase of all this, but it's obviously a major lifestyle change to undergo without being 100% sure, especially since starting the gluten-free diet can be so harsh to begin with. I'm also not in a living situation that's conducive to starting a total gluten-free existence, as I just moved in with my girlfriend and her sister's family, and we cook and eat together. Is there any chance that the blood test was wrong, especially considering my family history?? I will certainly advise my parents and siblings to get tested as well, but if I find out that one of them does, in fact, have Celiacs, then it will make switching over to gluten-free for me even more difficult as I know that my parents are both in their 60s, and are as healthy as ever, with no digestive problems. In reaction to your comment, Diana, why do I want my reaction to gluten to become more obvious, as I feel fine now?
  4. Hi all, I have an interesting situation that I'm trying to make sense of here. My doctor didn't seem to have a satisfactory solution for me, so I'm hoping that someone in this wonderful community of Celiacs could give me some advice. Here is the situation: I'm a 25 year old male, and a couple of weeks ago my doctor referred me to a gastroenterologist because I was having some acid reflux and, sorry for the graphic nature of this, but really bad itching sensations in my anal region (not sure if anyone else with Celiacs has had this symptom as well??). My doctor ran a routine blood test and called for an endoscopy to check out my reflux. I had the endoscopy and no one mentioned the possibility of Celiacs; just some minor tissue damage from the reflux and again in my upper small intestine. The next day, I got a call saying that my blood tested positive for Celiacs. She explained to me what it is and what kind of symptoms people generally have, and it confused me because, up to that point, I had never had any problems eating gluten. I love bread and pasta and never noticed any discomfort, gas, diorrhea or anything else that would suggest my body is intolerant of gluten. She said that I need a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis, but that the blood test is pretty accurate, and considering my results (I forgot what the test actually tests, but my level of whatever it is was 120, where normal levels are between 0-20) she is pretty certain I have Celiacs. Here is where it gets a little complicated. The day after my endoscopy I moved from Wisconsin (where my mom's health insurance still covers me), to Portland, (where I'm only covered for "emergency" care). I haven't started a gluten-free diet yet and have been eating all the bread and drinking all the beer I can in order to soak it up before I will have to change EVERYTHING. I certainly don't have the money to pay for an endoscopy and biopsy out-of-pocket in Portland to confirm the diagnosis, so that leaves me with a few options. I'm going home to Wisconsin in August (5 months from now). Assuming I can't get insurance to cover the tests here in Portland, should I (a) just continue eating gluten and pretend that nothing happened until I go home in August to get the confirmation biopsy; ( try to find a way to fly home early ($$), to get tested and start the diet as soon as possible, or © start the gluten-free diet now and wait for the endoscopy and confirmation to happen later in my life?? My doctor said that I probably shouldn't start the diet without the confirmation, but also didn't recommend waiting five months before taking care of this. There's just a lot about Celiacs that I don't know yet, so I'd appreciate any advice I could get on the issue. Especially since I feel fine now, and have been eating gluten for 25 years, it seems silly to rush into a gluten-free diet, so maybe I could just wait until August, but then again, are there other risks of continuing on with a gluten diet that I might notice? Also, it seems like, from reading a lot of threads on this site, once you go gluten-free, even if you didn't really have symptoms before, you don't really go back, and can develop a pretty severe intolence once you stop eating gluten. So that makes me even more hesitant to start. I should also mention that neither of my parents or any relatives that I know of are Celiacs... Thanks for any help! -Ian