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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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ChristinaK

(New Here) Undiagnosed But Massively Suspicious.

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Hi, new here, 20 year old female. Curiosity and need to advice an opinions brought me here.

 

Ive had some really terrible digestive problems for as long as I can remember. Ya know, excess gas, bloating that hurts so bad I think I'm having a heart attack, the big D, never being "regular". As well as maybe related, maybe unrelated issues such as sinus problems, crazy sensitive skin that is always dry and itchy, slow healing, easy bruising, and I fell and skinned my knee once when I was 6 months pregnant... my daughter is now 2 months and the skin is still all red and not healed! Hah! And it seems any bruises I get take months to go away. My nails are brittle and break and I have a lot of tiredness and lack of motivation for a 20 year old who's in fairly good shape. 

Well... I strongly suspect celiac.. And so does the nutritionist that I saw just a few months ago BUT... a few years ago I had the blood test for it, twice (I think the two tests were 6 months apart) and they both tested negative. I know getting a negative result is possible but how likely? How many of you got negative blood but ended up having it anyway after getting an endoscopy to really diagnose? 

 

I went gluten free for a month under the guidelines of a nutritionist but didn't see speedy results and got kind of discouraged, are you supposed to feel better fast or does it take time? I was angry my digestive problems stuck around and only seemed to get SLIGHTLY better but I attributed that to the fact that I was eating very bland anyway. Also, on the third week of the gluten free diet I started taking probiotics, which helped a good bit so I said Hey! This helps! Maybe this was all I needed! So I started eating gluten again annnnnnnd within the next few days I started to feel bad again. But also some weird symptoms came back. Ive always had anxiety problems but pretty much had it under control, a month off gluten and then as soon as I started eating it again I started having minor panic attacks, dizziness and all the digestive upsets but with MORE gas! Now I'm almost totally convinced gluten is my problem but if it was why didnt I see that much of an improvement over the course of a month? Annnnd also I'm the type of person that needs that diagnosis from a Doctor so I know I'm not wasting my  time. I want to go for the endoscopy to really get a diagnosis but my question is do I need a colonoscopy as well or just an endoscopy to be diagnosed? Also.... since I was off gluten for a month how long should I eat it again so that the test can be accurate? I know some "gluten challenges" say 8 weeks but since I was only off for a month does this still apply?

 

Help me out here! Thanks! 

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Just because you tested negative a few years ago, doesn't mean you don't have it ( or test positive) today. For example, if you had a sore throat and they tested you for strep 3 years ago and it was negative, they would test your sore throat today for strep. Doesn't mean you can never get strep in the future.

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Your symptoms do sound strongly suspicious for celiac or gluten intolerance.  These are two separate conditions, and just so you know, there is no test yet for gluten intolerance - you will always test negative on the celiac tests, and unfortunately NCGI is much more prevalent than celiac.

 

On your first gluten free trial you were way too impatient; you need to give it a good three months before you even start thinking it's not working.  And the fact that the probiotics helped means that you needed to repopulate your gut with good flora because the bad guys had taken over.  You may need to do this for months or years until everything is restored and healed.

 

A negative diagnosis can switch to positive at any time if you carry the genetic inheritance for celiac.  It usually requires a trigger for activation, which can sometimes be child birth.   Unfortunately, a month gluten free is too long to discount in the healing process, especially as you say you were starting to feel better.  How long ago since your last blood test?  And for how long have you been back on gluten?  I would think the normal challenge period of 6-8 weeks would apply in your case.  Doctors will sometimes do an upper endoscopy without first doing the blood tests; you do not need a colonoscopy because celiac cannot be diagnosed by that procedure - celiac occurs in the small intestine.  But in any case, the same length of challenge applies because healing starts to take place (as you noticed yourself) :)

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