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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Not Sure What To Think - Just Got Blood Test Results
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Hi everyone,

 

I am totally new here and don't know much of anything about Celiac. I'm hoping those of you with more experience can shed some light for me. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (autoimmune hypothyroid) in 2009, and recently, in January 2013, I was diagnosed as B12 deficient and low Alkaline Phosphatase (a liver enzyme). I've been on B12 shots since January. My B12 and Alkaline Phosphatase tests were repeated a couple of week ago and both were still low. Knowing that I have an autoimmune thyroid disease and that both B12 deficiency and low Alkaline Phosphatase can be caused by malabsorption, my (thankfully thorough) doc ordered some blood tests for Celiac. Here are my results:

 

Gliadin Ab IgA - 6 (normal range <20)

TISSUE TRANSGLUTAM AB IGA - <1 (normal range <4)

GLIADIN IGG - 5 (normal range <20)

RETICULIN AB (IGA) SCREEN - negative

 

I have a couple of questions. First, from the limited material I've read, the Gliadin Ab IgA and GLIADIN IGG are no longer considered the best indicators and are being replaced more and more with Gliadin (Deamidated) tests. Is this true? Also, I haven't been able to find much of any info about the Reticulin AB (IGA) screen test. How good of an indicator is it? Also, it doesn't look like they tested my total IgA, which from what I've read would show if I'm IgA deficient or not.

 

I don't know if I have symptoms or not. I will occasionally (once a month or so) become very bloated, with pain if I press on my abdomen. I've tried bloat medicines (such as gas-x) which provide no relief. After a day or two, the bloat goes away on its own. Also, my bowel movements are not regular. Some days I will have very loose stools (sometimes with and sometimes without the urgency of diarrhea), and sometimes I will go several days without any bowel movement at all. Sometimes I will have very solid stool, but with a very sudden urge to go (I would compare it to the urgency of diarrhea, but with solid stool). I never thought much about all of this until the doc mentioned Celiacs.

 

I also have still had fatigue and brain fog (which I initially assumed were related to my thyroid) even though I'm on thyroid meds and my TSH is normal.

 

Basically, my major question is, should I be satisfied with the blood tests above and a negative Celiac diagnosis, or should I press for additional tests? I'm so confused by everything I've read online and want to be able to properly advocate for myself, but I just don't understand most of it.

 

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

 

 

 

 

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Hi everyone,

 

I am totally new here and don't know much of anything about Celiac. I'm hoping those of you with more experience can shed some light for me. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's (autoimmune hypothyroid) in 2009, and recently, in January 2013, I was diagnosed as B12 deficient and low Alkaline Phosphatase (a liver enzyme). I've been on B12 shots since January. My B12 and Alkaline Phosphatase tests were repeated a couple of week ago and both were still low. Knowing that I have an autoimmune thyroid disease and that both B12 deficiency and low Alkaline Phosphatase can be caused by malabsorption, my (thankfully thorough) doc ordered some blood tests for Celiac. Here are my results:

 

Gliadin Ab IgA - 6 (normal range <20)

TISSUE TRANSGLUTAM AB IGA - <1 (normal range <4)

GLIADIN IGG - 5 (normal range <20)

RETICULIN AB (IGA) SCREEN - negative

 

I have a couple of questions. First, from the limited material I've read, the Gliadin Ab IgA and GLIADIN IGG are no longer considered the best indicators and are being replaced more and more with Gliadin (Deamidated) tests. Is this true? Also, I haven't been able to find much of any info about the Reticulin AB (IGA) screen test. How good of an indicator is it? Also, it doesn't look like they tested my total IgA, which from what I've read would show if I'm IgA deficient or not.

 

I don't know if I have symptoms or not. I will occasionally (once a month or so) become very bloated, with pain if I press on my abdomen. I've tried bloat medicines (such as gas-x) which provide no relief. After a day or two, the bloat goes away on its own. Also, my bowel movements are not regular. Some days I will have very loose stools (sometimes with and sometimes without the urgency of diarrhea), and sometimes I will go several days without any bowel movement at all. Sometimes I will have very solid stool, but with a very sudden urge to go (I would compare it to the urgency of diarrhea, but with solid stool). I never thought much about all of this until the doc mentioned Celiacs.

 

I also have still had fatigue and brain fog (which I initially assumed were related to my thyroid) even though I'm on thyroid meds and my TSH is normal.

 

Basically, my major question is, should I be satisfied with the blood tests above and a negative Celiac diagnosis, or should I press for additional tests? I'm so confused by everything I've read online and want to be able to properly advocate for myself, but I just don't understand most of it.

 

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

Are you still eating gluten? If you went gluten-free before the test it could be false negative.

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Are you still eating gluten? If you went gluten-free before the test it could be false negative.

 

I am still eating gluten, although I wouldn't say that my diet in general is high in gluten, as I try to eat mostly "whole" foods such as fruits, veggies, and unprocessed meat. My preferred "starch" side dishes are rice and quinoa. I love bread and pasta, but only eat those a few times a week. I try to stay away from processed foods, so I doubt I'm getting much gluten from additives.

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Gliadin Ab IgA - 6 (normal range <20)

TISSUE TRANSGLUTAM AB IGA - <1 (normal range <4)

GLIADIN IGG - 5 (normal range <20)

RETICULIN AB (IGA) SCREEN - negative

 

I have a couple of questions. First, from the limited material I've read, the Gliadin Ab IgA and GLIADIN IGG are no longer considered the best indicators and are being replaced more and more with Gliadin (Deamidated) tests. Is this true? Also, I haven't been able to find much of any info about the Reticulin AB (IGA) screen test. How good of an indicator is it? Also, it doesn't look like they tested my total IgA, which from what I've read would show if I'm IgA deficient or not.

 

....Basically, my major question is, should I be satisfied with the blood tests above and a negative Celiac diagnosis, or should I press for additional tests? I'm so confused by everything I've read online and want to be able to properly advocate for myself, but I just don't understand most of it.

 

Thanks for any insight you can provide!

Welcome to the board.  :)

 

You are right that the AGA tests (anti-gliadin antibodies) are not the best tests and are being phased out. DGP is a MUCH better test. The reticulin test is pretty old too. Very few labs use that anymore. I'm not that sure about it's reliability. On page 11-13 of this report, the various current blood tests for celiac disease are discussed. http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/assets/export/userfiles/2012_Celiac%20Disease_long_FINAL.pdf  The only up to date test you had was the tTG IgA, and it only has a sensitivity of 75-95% meaning that it misses up to 25% of celiac cases. 

 

I agree that you should get your total IgA tested. Approximately 5% of celiacs are deficient in this... which is why they check it. 

 

With your symptoms and Hashimoto's (around 6% of Hashi's patients have celiac disease compared with less than 1% of the regular population), I think celiac disease could be involved, although it could be Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance/Sensitivity (NCGI) as well. Unfortunately, with NCGI there are no blood tests; diagnosis is through a positive reaction to the gluten-free diet for a few months. Once you have exhausted your testing options, NCGI and the gluten-free diet would be something I would consider.

 

Are you sure your thyroid is adequately managed? I have been gluten-free for a year and I still have some thyroid symptoms like brain fog even though my thyroid labs were declared "normal" by my doctor. I am disregarding my doctor's statement that I am normal and pursuing a TSH closer to a 1, and a Free T4 and Free T3 in the 50-75% range of my lab's reference range. I have switched to desicated thyroid and am starting to feel some energy. :)

 

Good luck. I hope you find your answers.  Keep asking questions, there are a lot of knowledgable people around here.  :)

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here's a pubmed abstract relating to this, but I don't have the full text

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23365209

 

http://www.celiac.com/articles/23250/1/Antireticulin-Antibodies-Obsolete-as-Test-for-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html

 

any chance you can get the DGP igg/iga combo tested?

 

 

 The reticulin test is pretty old too. Very few labs use that anymore. I'm not that sure about it's reliability.

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I emailed the doc to ask about the DGP igg/iga and total iga tests. I'm waiting to hear back and will post again when I hear from them.

As for my thyroid, my most recent TSH was 1.3. I've noticed great improvement in many other thyroid related symptoms (hair loss, dry skin, brittle nails, menstrual issues) since getting it down to that level. I'm slated for a TSH/Free t4/Free t3 test next month, so I'll be interested to see what that shows.

Thanks for all of the input. If anyone else has anything to add, I'd be happy to hear it!

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excellent!  i'm hopeful they'll say absolutely  :)

 

I emailed the doc to ask about the DGP igg/iga and total iga tests. I'm waiting to hear back and will post again when I hear from them.
 

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So, the doctor's office called me back on Friday to answer my questions. Regarding the Total Serum IgA, the nurse said the doctor never orders that test, because it's too specialized and only GIs should order it.

 

Regarding the AGA IgA/IgG vs the DGP IgA/IgG, she said they don't know anything about how sensitive the AGA tests are vs the DGP tests and that they would have to call the lab and ask them. Based on what the lab says, the doc will decide if she will order the DGP tests (but she will not order the Total Serum IgA).

 

I also asked what could be causing the B12 deficiency if it's not celiac (we know I'm eating enough of it and we've ruled out pernicious anemia). The nurse's response was "some people are just b12 deficient." That doesn't make sense to me. If I'm eating enough of it, and my levels are low, there must be a reason my body isn't absorbing it.

 

They haven't checked any of my other nutrient levels, such as iron, vitamin D, etc. I pointed that out to nurse and she said she would ask the doc about it.

 

So, I'm once again waiting for them to call me. In the mean time, I've started to keep a journal of what I eat and how I feel. I had some pretty bad GI issues over the weekend and spent most of yesterday laying on the couch not really feeling like doing anything. I don't know if this is all in my head, like confirmation bias - someone said the word "celiac" and now I'm viewing every little thing through that lense. Or if I really have been missing/writing off symptoms for a while and now I'm just more aware.

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here's a good Pub Med Abstract regarding AGA (they list it as antibodies against native gliadin) vs DGP:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20171961

 

that's frustrating that they won't test your total igA  <_< why don't doctors know if they use ttg iga they have to measure the total iga to make sure it's valid...argh

 

any chance that you take any type of PPI or acid suppressing drug?  they can lower B12.  however if you're getting enough of it, and you're still deficient in it, that indicates malabsorption.  the answer "some people are just B12 deficient," is a cop out IMO

 

the journal is a great idea  :)

 

keep us updated!

 

So, the doctor's office called me back on Friday to answer my questions. Regarding the Total Serum IgA, the nurse said the doctor never orders that test, because it's too specialized and only GIs should order it.

 

Regarding the AGA IgA/IgG vs the DGP IgA/IgG, she said they don't know anything about how sensitive the AGA tests are vs the DGP tests and that they would have to call the lab and ask them. Based on what the lab says, the doc will decide if she will order the DGP tests (but she will not order the Total Serum IgA).

 

I also asked what could be causing the B12 deficiency if it's not celiac (we know I'm eating enough of it and we've ruled out pernicious anemia). The nurse's response was "some people are just b12 deficient." That doesn't make sense to me. If I'm eating enough of it, and my levels are low, there must be a reason my body isn't absorbing it.

 

They haven't checked any of my other nutrient levels, such as iron, vitamin D, etc. I pointed that out to nurse and she said she would ask the doc about it.

 

So, I'm once again waiting for them to call me. In the mean time, I've started to keep a journal of what I eat and how I feel. I had some pretty bad GI issues over the weekend and spent most of yesterday laying on the couch not really feeling like doing anything. I don't know if this is all in my head, like confirmation bias - someone said the word "celiac" and now I'm viewing every little thing through that lense. Or if I really have been missing/writing off symptoms for a while and now I'm just more aware.

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I don't get the "it is to specialized" line, on the total IgA testing.  Makes.no.sense.   at.all.

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I don't get the "it is to specialized" line, on the total IgA testing. Makes.no.sense. at.all.

Agreed. There is no logic to that. Ttg IgA and aga IgA tests aren't specialized, but total IgA is? That's a BS line if I've ever heard one. Just how is one supposed to get referred to a GI if they have negative IgA results because they're IgA deficient but no one knows it?

I'd push for the total IgA test.

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I'm back! Finally heard back from the doctor's office today and I am infinitely frustrated. The nurse said she talked to the lab and they said that the panel that was done (TTG IgA, AGA IgA & IgG, and RETICULIN IgA) is entirely sufficient for diagnosing celiac, and that therefore the doctor will not order any additional tests (such as DGP IgA & IgG and total IgA).

 

Apparently the lab did suggest that they test me for food allergies (including wheat), but the doc doesn't want to do that either. The nurse asked if I'd had any changes in my bowel movements, and I said it's hard to say, because they've never been regular - sometimes I won't have one for days on end, and then other times I'll have D for several days in a row - she said "well, if it's always been like that, then there's no change." I can't help but think, though, that it shouldn't have "always been like that" in the first place - that's like saying the brakes on my car have never worked, so I'm not going to fix them now.

 

I asked again about the b12 deficiency and the nurse said to keep getting the monthly shots and have my levels tested again in 10 weeks. She then said that the doc did want me to get an EMG / nerve conduction test (because one of the b12 symptoms I'm having is peripheral neuropathy). I just had one in March (and it was normal)! I told the nurse that and all she could say was "oh, the doctor must not have seen that." That makes me wonder if she's even looking at my chart at all - it was just a few months ago, it's not like it would be buried somewhere from years ago!

 

any chance that you take any type of PPI or acid suppressing drug?  they can lower B12.  however if you're getting enough of it, and you're still deficient in it, that indicates malabsorption.  the answer "some people are just B12 deficient," is a cop out IMO

 

I am not taking any type of PPI or acid suppressing drug, so that can't be causing the b12 deficiency. Does anyone here with b12 deficiency have any advice? Would a gastro doc be able to help diagnose what's causing that? I'm thinking maybe I could kill two birds with one stone by seeing one - find out what's causing the b12 deficiency and get a better idea of whether or not celiac or NCGS is involved.

 

As I mentioned before, I started keeping a food/symptom journal last week. I also started to eat gluten more consistently - as I was not necessarily eating it every day. I don't know if it's just because I've been paying closer attention, but I feel like I have been more bloated, gassy, and had more urgent bowel movements in the past week and half that I've been eating gluten every day. It's not always consistent, though. Sometimes an hour or two will go by before I have symptoms, sometimes it won't be until the next morning, and sometimes it's right away. I had pasta and garlic bread for dinner one night last week and felt ok that evening and then the next morning I looked like I was 4 months pregnant. Then on Saturday morning I ate a bagel and immediately had D and felt sick to my stomach for most of the rest of the day. Is this inconsistency common with celiac or NCGS?

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Hmm, because the doctor did not order the "too specialized" total serum IgA, the AGA IgA, tTG IgA, and reticulin IgA could be invalid if you are IgA deficient; it's unlikely that you are one of the 1/20 celiacs who is deficient but it is possible. The AGA IgG has a really weak sensitivity of 17-100%, that means the test misses up to 83% of celiacs it tests for... not so good. The AGA test is not often used anymore (but you know that) and the reticulin test was used 20 years ago.... how old is your doctor??  LOL :blink:  That test is rarely rarely used anymore because superior tests have been introduced.

 

Could you go to another doctor or get into a gastro in a timely manner?  If not, you could try ordering a home Biocard test which tests for IgA and tTG IgA (in high levels). At least with the Biocard test you would know if your other IgA based tests are accurate.

 

I don't have a B12 deficiency but I know that the methylcobalamin sublingual B12 is better absorbed that a regular b vitamin that is digested in your small intestine.  Who knows, maybe the fact that I have good levels of B12 is because of that vitamin.

 

And yes, inconsistent BM's are common in both celiac disease and NCGS.

 

Geez, how frustrating for you... don't pull out all your hair yet.  ;)

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There are online labs where you can order complete celiac blood panels...and anything else you want. I'm in the US...don't know where you're at.

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Thanks for the input, everyone!

 

Could you go to another doctor or get into a gastro in a timely manner?  If not, you could try ordering a home Biocard test which tests for IgA and tTG IgA (in high levels). At least with the Biocard test you would know if your other IgA based tests are accurate.

 

I called this morning and scheduled an appointment with a gastro on July 29th - the earliest they could get me in. The practice was recommended to me by a friend who has celiac, so I'm hopeful that they will know what they're doing.

 

There are online labs where you can order complete celiac blood panels...and anything else you want. I'm in the US...don't know where you're at.

 

Thanks for the tip! I'm in the US, too, so I will definitely check that out. It might given me some extra info to share with the doc - and save time of him having to order it.

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    • Hello Anonymous, and if nobody has said as much yet, welcome Don't worry (difficult to do when it can cause anxiety :P) it's very early days and you have a lot of healing to come.  If you've not already seen it there's advice and further info here:    It gets easier over time as checking becomes routine, you know your 'safe' products and your eating pattern changes. You'll get there  Maybe start a thread of your own if you'd like some input from others? Finally, back on topic. My Aunt has narcolepsy and although she's fiercely resistant to giving up gluten she has now made a connnection to eating bread and it's onset. As often, not conclusive but suggestive...
    • Hello again   Well first thing is the - Usual disclaimers apply... and this is something you have to follow up with your doctors as you know. But it's helpful sometimes to get another perspective so here's this layman see's from outside.  What I have seen from the various results posted here is that people's numbers vary wildly and, just as important, the numbers often don't bear any direct relationship to the level of intestinal damage revealed via endoscopy. Ultimately although you're not scoring much above positive, you are scoring a positive  and there are a couple of other risk factors you've mentioned that are suggestive if not conclusive - you have another autoimmune which raises the odds of having another one for example.  You've had two tests that are positive. The purpose of taking the second test was either to invalidate or confirm the first. I'd suggest it's achieved the latter, at least inasmuch as a GI may want to check you via endoscopy. That's still the 'gold standard' of celiac diagnosis and would give you an idea if there's any intestinal damage. I suspect with 2 positive tests and the history above that's what they'll suggest.  If your doctor or GI doesn't want to proceed with that you have a decision to make. Push for a second opinion or new doctor or if you're done with testing give the gluten free diet a proper try. Make a journal and see if some of those subtle things you reference may actually be symptoms. Fwiw, there are a lot of people here whose thyroid issues improved dramatically once they were gluten free, so whether celiac or gluten sensitive you should certainly give the diet a try. Only however once the testing is completed and remember: 
    • Hi! I've just been recently diagnosed as Celiac through the whole biopsy-shebang, and I have a little bit of insight on the whole diagnosis thing and how I was eventually diagnosed, and my advice for you. Brace yourself, this might be a bit long, but it might be worth the read and I promise I will eventually get to the point. If you don't want the huge story, skip to the long line of capital As: I first saw my doctor when I had a few problems swallowing. I've compared it to when you're nervous and you feel like you have a lump in your throat - but after I eat and (sometimes) drink. I just mentioned briefly it to my family doctor when I was addressing another issue, but right away he referred me to a gastroenterologist and ordered a barium swallow x-ray test. The x-ray came back completely normal, and so the g.e. then suspected GERD, put me on acid blockers to see if they would work, no harm done sort of thing. The only thing I got out of the acid blockers were the side effects, so it was back to square 1. The g.e. said that the next test he could do was an upper endoscopy with biopsies. (hint: the celiac test!) Wanting to find a solution to my problems, the endoscopy was scheduled. Pretty painless, I was in and out in a day, but the results took much much longer. Biopsies, or the little pieces of my esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, were sent to the lab, and they came back clean. I didn't really go back to the g.e. for a whole year after that because life became busy, I wasn't prompted to follow up, and I just dismissed the swallowing problems the best I could and went on my way. Now, I've never been huge on the gluten, big bread-y sandwiches or croissants or pies were never foods that I super "enjoyed". I wouldn't feel bad after eating them, I just didn't like the taste of bread so much, but I loved cookies, cake and a lot of other things that do have gluten in them. I lead a lowish gluten life but I wasn't really monitoring it that way. Everything changed when I got really nasty (systemic) poison ivy. My eyes were swollen shut, and the rash was everywhere. I almost went to the hospital, but cooped out at the family doctor's place and got a script for prednisone (a steroid). But, I found that after I had tapered off the steroids, I had magically become lactose intolerant. So back to the family doctor again probably because I broke my toe or something, but we also got to talk about this magical lactose intolerance business (because I love anything dairy and it was indeed devastating). He was surprised as there is literally no correlation between steroids and becoming lactose intolerant. He asked me if I still had the swallowing problems, which I did, and so it was back to the g.e. for round 3. because my family doctor "does not believe in coincidences". Meeting with the G.E., he mainly addressed the swallowing problems telling me that he had done what he could to diagnose with the technology that we had at the highly specialized hospital that we were at, and I would have to travel about 3 hours away to see a different doctor who would do some tests involving the muscles in the esophagus. But right before I was about to leave, we started talking about lactose intolerance. He brought up other foods that I was avoiding (if any), and then the conversation went to gluten. I mentioned that I had an aunt that was gluten-sensitive. He advised that I do the blood test that can show an indication of celiac whenever in the future. I decided to do it that day. At this point in time, I was not eating much gluten because of the fact that it was personal preference. The normal range for values in this test is from 0 to 20. A few weeks later, I learned that I scored a 35. A second upper endoscopy with biopsies was scheduled, but this time I was told to eat a moderate amount of gluten everyday before the procedure. I ate about two slices of bread per day, which is more than I normally would. I was normal for the first two-three weeks of the gluten plus diet, but then I became really sick. I started getting the normal celiac symptoms, like diarrhea and extreme tiredness. Near the end, I had debilitating stomach pain and I was 2 times more asleep than awake each day. I couldn't do the 2 pieces of bread a day some days, but the pain was still there. I knew that I wouldn't ever have to force myself to eat bread for a test ever again. I was called a few days before my endoscopy telling me that a kid in a worse state than me had to take the OR during my time. I forced myself to eat more bread for another month and a half. The day finally came. I was diagnosed celiac, which I have concluded to be initiated by (1) the steroids/poison ivy and (2) the gluten binge fest.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Celiac Disease isn't completely understood yet. Most of the time if you weren't showing symptoms when you were a baby (so your case) it means that celiac was/could be triggered by an event in your life that causes stress on the body (like stress, physical injury, etc.).  The positive result that you got from the blood test doesn't automatically mean celiac, but it could. Here's some options: Talk to your doctor (or a different doctor) or even a specialist gastroenterologist (you can get a referral from a family doctor (general physician)) and see if you can do the blood test again, you have to have some kind of gluten for this to work in advance, so if you don't want to break your gluten-free streak, than don't really invest in this option. If you feel comfortable, you could even ask to do this test under a few scenarios (no gluten (now) and after a gluten binge, compare results). If you do this test and your indication is low off gluten and then high after gluten, I'd probably skip the biopsy. That's a strong enough sign that you don't need to put yourself through the painful-gluten binge. Maybe this is what that first doctor just assumed. But having that test when you haven't had any gluten could make the difference - it acts as a control. Go straight to the biopsy. You could do this, but I'd probably do the blood test first. I went through a lot of stress with the gluten-binge that you have to do to get an accurate result, you would also be breaking your gluten-free diet that may/may not be helping you right now. Do nothing, stay on your gluten free diet hoping that it is helping you. But if you are not celiac or gluten-sensitive (celiac before it starts to wreck your small intestine), going gluten free isn't healthy - you can do some research on this if it interests you. If you feel bad/unhealthy after going gluten free it's probably a sign. Good luck, also know that you might come to a point of stress in your life that can start celiac's destructive path. Ultimately, it is your body, and you should not feel forced or hesitate to act on health issues that impact you.
    • I'm sorry that life is so hard right now. Really.  I can't imagine working 3 jobs and trying to manage this terrible illness.  I think about American society and their obsession with food often.  Whenever you look at the internet, there are all these fabulous gluten-free recipes, but when you don't have time or money to cook these things, a simple gluten-free lifestyle is just that - simple. There isn't a lot of variety, so it's kind of boring. But, I guess I have gotten used to being boring. I just eat corn chex and fruit or yogurt for breakfast. I eat a lot of eggs, beans, rice, corn tortillas, nuts, chicken, fruit and veggies.  A loaf of gluten-free bread will last me 4-6 months in the freezer.  I buy a bag of dried beans for $1.29, I soak them overnight, and put them in the crockpot the next day. I add different spices, sometimes chicken and Voila! - dinner is ready when I get home from a long day. Family gatherings are miserable and I haven't quite figured out the best way to deal yet. If my grandmother were still alive, I imagine she would be a lot like yours - well-meaning but not really able to understand the nitty-gritty.   I just reassure my family that I am fine and that they really shouldn't do anything special for me. I bring a bag of Hershey's kisses or other gluten-free candy I can nibble on along with my meal and then I try to treat myself to a nicer home cooked meal later in the week when I have time to cook - because who has time to cook during Christmas???? And, I agree with knitty knitty. If someone else in your family/friends were gluten-free for medical reasons, it would make socializing a bit easier. One of my husband's good friends is NCGS. When we get together as a group, we can make each other special dishes and it helps to feel less isolated.  Good luck!  
    • Hi!  Um, please forgive my quirky sense of humor..... Celiac Disease is genetic... All first degree relatives of people diagnosed with Celiac Disease should be tested for the disease, too.  Gall bladder problems are often associated with Celiac Disease.  Your diagnosis might save your whole family from further medical problems as they age and the disease progresses... You need to set a good example if relatives are similarly diagnosed.... and then everybody will have to eat gluten free at family gatherings....  
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