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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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Pam M

What To Expect, When

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I am first week in to gluten free diet and (ever impatient) wondered when I would start to feel better. Just feel tired, worn out, stomach achy etc.... Would be keen to hear when other people started to feel more lively!

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Hard to say. Right now i would guess you are still going through gluten withdrawl and as such, your body is probably throwing a fit at not having what it wants.

 

It took a while.  The main symptoms ("D" and vomiting) cleared up within a week of the diet starting, but the other things took a while.

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Many people see noticeable improvement quickly, but there are numerous factors to consider.

Celiac disease damages the body, particularly the small intestine. That damage needs to heal. As soon as you stop eating gluten, you stop making the antibodies. But the existing ones take time to die off. The healing process begins. How long it will take depends on how much damage there is to heal. Younger people seem to heal more quickly than older ones.

I was 46 at diagnosis, with severe damage to my villi. I began feeling somewhat better soon, but had serious symptoms for several weeks. It was several months before I truly felt well.

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Hey Pam and Welcome!

 

Eating simply will help you recover more quickly. Meats, fish, fresh veggies, rice, potatoes, and fresh fruit.  Season with salt and pepper.  Shop on the perimeter of the store and stay away from processed foods, for now.

 

As you feel better, add more items to your menu, one at a time.  Avoid dairy products for a while until your body heals (it can cause you the same issues as gluten)  Dairy products can be added back sucessfully later.

 

But, to your question.  It depends on the level of your damage to your intestines.  If you caught it early, you may experience a quick recovery, if not , a delayed recovery.  But a full gluten free diet is required, so be dilegent.  And good days are ahead of you!

 

 

Feel free to ask any question.  And, again, welcome to the Club.! :)

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Many thanks all for the advice! Much appreciated. Will give it time and not be too impatient! Lactose is something I will take out as well, but was wondering whether the lactase enzyme supplements would help here? I have always tended not to use too many processed foods - but will steer clear totally for a while. Thanks again!

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One other question if that's ok. Today I'm suddenly constipated. Is this normal when coming off gluten?

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Well I am dealing with constipation from time to time even 5 months into GFD. A couple of spoons of flax seeds in the morning usually helps. Takes some time for it to get through the system. You may also try prunes or hot chocolate if you're into that sort of thing. Cocoa contains a lot of fibre and this helps speed things up.

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I alternated constipation and D for about 3 weeks when I started gluten-free, having never really had it except when pregnant.

It can take a while for your body to settle.

Welcome :)

Where else could you get to meet people and discuss BMs?Keep asking questions we have all been there and it really helps the transition.

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I opened this post to warn of the constipation.  Keep drinking water and fluids.  Try prune juice warmed if you can't stand the taste cold.

 

If you have NO signs of diverticulitis you might try figs.  They are nature's little colon cleansers.

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One other question if that's ok. Today I'm suddenly constipated. Is this normal when coming off gluten?

I had some issues with constipation the first couple weeks in GFD. Be sure to get adequate fiber from fresh fruits and veggies should help, and steer clear if rice cakes seemed to give me issues in that area.

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It took about 9 months for me to settle into a normal bathroom routine. C was a big gluten symptom for me, as it turned out. When I first started getting "regular" I thought I was getting D, and was irritated that I had to go more often.

Go figure.

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Patience is the main thing. I don't mean resignation: I mean do not get scared if your symptoms take time to clear. Everybody's different. What I can tell you for sure is that if you manage to get really gluten-free, SOME symptoms should clear soon, in the space of a few days. My main symptom - gastro problems - is still there after 5 months gluten-free: some days are OK, some days with C and worse (rare) days with D. But mental clarity and energy are immensely improved, and the depression has lifted (and I've had more normal BM in these months than in the last ten years). Also muscolar tension (causing huge headaches) is much much better.

 

It's a long road: first your body has to get clean of the antibodies (it takes some months) then it has to start reconstructing villis and then it has to adjust. Your gut may become very sensitive to some foods: my personal basic diet is chicken and rice, lettuce and apples (I luckily adore roast chicken and parboiled rice). Stick to non processed fresh food whenever possible. I was given the same advice and didn't really follow it in the first weeks - I thought I did, but I was continually throwing in other stuff (lots of nuts, gluten-free chocolate, cravings for Coke, LOTS of gluten-free biscuits and processed crackers and processed pasta with other stuff in it - normal wheat pasta is just wheat but gluten-free pasta has lots of additives etc) because, hey, I already had cut out everything with lactose plus my beloved wheta pasta and bread and was trying to compensate. But it's really useful to give your body simple foods in the first months.

 

You may be getting some NEW symptoms you did not have before. Don't worry too much. Keep a food journal and try cutting out the foods that could be responsible. Be gentle to yourself. Personally, if by this time next year I'm still having specific problems I will go looking specifically for other health issues that may be causing them. For now, I'm fiddling with food and studying reactions...

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