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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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mylove0mylife

Possible Gluten Intolerance

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Hello! I've been doing some research lately, and I read that out of 7 million people with psoriasis a quarter of them see improvement on a gluten-free diet. With that in mind I started reading up more on gluten-free to see if there was anything else to back up the article I read. I found something explaining the 6 common symptoms of gluten intolerance:

(1) Obviously, there are gastrointestinal (GI), stomach, and digestive problems. These can include one or some of the following: Gas, bloating, queasiness, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhea, or an alternating combination of both - IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

(2) Headaches and/or migraines.

(3) Fibromyalgia is not a disease, it's a syndrome. Getting a medical diagnosis is bogus. You don't need to be told you have muscular and connecting tissue aches and pains. That's what fibromyalgia means. Fibro= Connective Tissue; Myo= Muscle; Algia= Pain. Thus fibromyalgia.

(4) Emotional issues involving chronic irritability and sudden, irrational mood shifts.

(5) Neurological issues, including dizziness, difficulty balancing, and peripheral neuropathy affecting nerves outside the central nervous system and resulting in pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in the extremities.

(6) Fatigue, whether chronic or almost after every meal. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is, like fibromyalgia, a syndrome, not a disease. If that's what you're diagnosed with, it means your doctor can't locate the cause of your fatigue.


Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/038170_gluten_sensitivity_symptoms_intolerance.html#ixzz2PC1Ugqaj

 

  • I'm 25 now, and I've had headaches/migraines since I was 12. Usually 2 to 3 a week, some so painful I have to hide from light and noise.
  • I've had pain throughout my body (muscles and joints) since I was 13 - 15. Similar to fibromyalgia.
  • I've been diagnosed with biploar 2 disorder (20), anxiety(18), and depression(10). So "emotional issues involving chronic irritability and sudden, irrational mood shifts"
  • Some tingling in the extremities, randomly and not very common, over the last year. 
  • Chronic fatigue, not diagnosed but I'm always tired even though I sleep 8 - 9 hours a night on most nights. 

 

Now, I went on the gluten-free diet for a week, to try it (I know it's a life time thing) then I had sushi and some crab rangoons. The entire next day my stomach was killing me. So this could be the 1st symptom listed on top.

 

I'm not sure what my next step is. I know it should be to go to my physician and take an allergy test; however, I don't have health insurance. The other choice is to just do the gluten-free diet for a bit and see if my symptoms improve.

 

Any suggestions?

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An allergy test will only confirm or rule out a true IgE allergy.  And it doesn't sound like that is what you have.  My daughter had a gluten intolerance.  For her the symptoms were stomach pain, skin rashes and an inability to pay attention.  She also had very thin hair.  It grew in much thicker after she changed her diet.  But...  She was/is intolerant to a lot of different foods.  Not just gluten.

 

You could have celiac.  I just don't know.  None of these things can be diagnosed by symptoms alone.

 

If you do find that your problems go away from not eating gluten, then I'd say this is a good thing.  And continue to do it.  But...  You can't expect things to get better after just a week.  It took two weeks for us to notice a change in my daughter and things got worse before they got better.

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Get a blood test for celiac disease. This measures the antibodies in your blood to the proteins in gluten.   You need to do this while you are on gluten, not off of it for any length of time.   If it is "just" gluten intolerance, it won't show up on a blood test, then you can select what option to try next, such as a trial diet, but, you need to tell your physician. 

If you are on other medications for your other problems, going gluten free (if you have a gluten "problem" such as celiac or a gluten intolerance) may effect how your body processes those medications, because in theory, healing your gut from celiac auto immune damage should make everything easier to digest, including medications and nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.   You may then have unexplained symptoms or side effects that you didn't have before. 

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An allergy test will only confirm or rule out a true IgE allergy.  And it doesn't sound like that is what you have.  My daughter had a gluten intolerance.  For her the symptoms were stomach pain, skin rashes and an inability to pay attention.  She also had very thin hair.  It grew in much thicker after she changed her diet.  But...  She was/is intolerant to a lot of different foods.  Not just gluten.

 

You could have celiac.  I just don't know.  None of these things can be diagnosed by symptoms alone.

 

If you do find that your problems go away from not eating gluten, then I'd say this is a good thing.  And continue to do it.  But...  You can't expect things to get better after just a week.  It took two weeks for us to notice a change in my daughter and things got worse before they got better.

 

Yeah, the problem for me is I've always eaten foods that have gluten in them, so I'm not sure if it's the cause of any underlying problems. The symptoms match up though, so I'm willing to take the shot. I only went a week the first time because I ran out of food in the house and was unable to go get groceries with my schedule until pay day. I restocked now, so I can continue to do the change, it's just going to take some getting used to.

Get a blood test for celiac disease. This measures the antibodies in your blood to the proteins in gluten.   You need to do this while you are on gluten, not off of it for any length of time.   If it is "just" gluten intolerance, it won't show up on a blood test, then you can select what option to try next, such as a trial diet, but, you need to tell your physician. 

If you are on other medications for your other problems, going gluten free (if you have a gluten "problem" such as celiac or a gluten intolerance) may effect how your body processes those medications, because in theory, healing your gut from celiac auto immune damage should make everything easier to digest, including medications and nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.   You may then have unexplained symptoms or side effects that you didn't have before. 

I want to get the blood test, but I don't have health insurance or the finances to get this test done, so I have to try to see if the diet helps me since that's the only thing I can afford to do at the time. Also, do to the no health insurance, I'm currently not on any medications and don't see any doctors.

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Yeah, from what I hear you really do need those blood tests at a minimum. I know that means going to a doctor when you don't have health insurance, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get diagnosed so you can fix it and feel better. I am currently trying to figure out if I should be tested OR just go gluten-free. I'm sick of seeing my doctor for my many different ailments that I just don't want to go anymore to get tested. Plus my doctor is an A$$ for sure. He has a god complex.  I stopped taking my Pulmicort years ago and he told me last week when he found out I wasn't taking it "Did I TELL YOU to go off of it?!" I was thinking "hell no you didn't, you aren't my boss!" I hire him, he doesn't recruit me! But oh well. I didn't say anything. I bit my tongue. He's a jerk like that sometimes. *rolls eyes* He hates it when I go in with a problem and tell him why I think I have it (usually I have some merit behind my telling him what I think it is). Like I've delt with "fibromyalgia" for a few years and he would never treat me for it because he didn't see it as a problem. Well the pain got so bad I had to do something about it so I made an appointment yet again and I told him I really need some kind of different pain medicine since the Relafen wasn't working! He finally asked me how bad my pain was on a pain scale of 1-10 and I told him 5 to 6 most days. That got his attention... He said really? that high?? I said Yes. Well God must have given him the idea but he sent me off for a nerve conduction test. Turns out I have neuropathy in my legs (where I hurt all the time). Finally! An answer!! All it took was me taking a lot more of the medication I was already prescribed by my psychiatrist , Neurontin. Now I"m mostly pain-free in that department!! Yay!!

 

Knowing there is a connection to Celiac from neuropathy hit home while I was researching Celiac and my symptoms to see if any matched up. Most of my ailments do connect back to Celiac. Plus the new (or newly noticed?) gut pain and bloating after every meal makes me really think I do have it. So getting tested is important. Oh what I was going to say earlier was if you don't get tested and you go gluten-free you will probably be more likely to cheat and eat things with gluten in them since they are "normal" things to eat and you will feel deprived. If you have a formal diagnosis, I think, at least for me, I would be much better able to handle a huge change in my eating like that. Hopefully you can find a way to get tested. I wish you the best. :)

 

Brittany

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If you can get the tests done, now would be the best time because some celiacs (and Non-Cleiac Gluten Intolerant people - NCGI) find they react even more strongly to gluten when they have been off of it for a time. Some find it very "unpleasant" to go back onto gluten for 4-8 weeks to be tested.

 

If you do want the tests, these are the most common (from top to bottom):

  • ttg IgA and/or ttg IgG
  • EMA IgA
  • total serum IgA
  • DGP IgA and/or DGP IgG
  • AGA IgA and/or AGA IgG (older tests)

Hashimoto's symptoms includes many of your symptoms and is the most common autoimmune disease. Test for that are:

  • TSH - should be near a 1
  • Free T4 and free T3 - should be about in the 50-75% range of your lab's normal reference range
  • TPO Ab - should be very low and near 0
  • TSI

If you choose to forego testing, make sure you stick to 100% gluten-free just in case it is an issue. Check your meds, spices, external soaps and lotions that could end up in your mouth - check it all... And good luck!

 

And welcome to the board.  :)

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I don't have the funds or insurance to get tested either, so I just went gluten-free. When my symptoms cleared up, that was good enough for me. There IS a learning curve though. You should go to the "Newbie 101" thread and learn all of the ways that cross-contamination can happen. And be prepared to go through gluten withdrawal. You'll probably feel pretty miserable for the first couple of weeks. It'll be worth it though.

Some of us noticed improvements in our symptoms within weeks. Some took longer. I would say you should give the gluten-free diet a try for at least six months. It'll be hard at first to get used to shopping, but you can do it. Whole foods (meat, veggies and fruit) are naturally gluten-free. These are a good place to start. Try to avoid processed foods at first.

Learning2cope, I have never been tempted to cheat. My gastro symptoms aren't even that bad, but I know what kind of damage I could be doing to my body if I cheated. I don't want cancer or lupus or any of the other terrible things that could happen to me if I did. Besides, there are some wonderful gluten-free substitutes for just about everything. Yeah, they are expensive, but because they are also calorie laden, the expense keeps them in the "treat" category rather than the every day category, and it keeps me from getting fat. :) So on those rare occasions when whole foods just don't do it for me, I will buy a gluten-free substitute and "pig out". Then I go back to whole foods and life is good.

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