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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

Could I Be Gluten Intolerant?

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I've always had the occasional bloating, abdominal pain, gassy, stomach rumbling for yrs but I never really payed attention to it. I thought it was mostly stress related as I have social anxiety, depression and OCD.

I also have chronic headaches, migraines at times, eczema on face, sometimes muscles cramps for no reason, fatigue... Mostly feeling drained daily.

I came across about gluten free diets as I was looking for answers about my eczema asI've had it for 8 yrs and it's frustrating.

I've done an allergy test (blood test) and was negative for everything so I'm not sure whats going on with me. For 4 days now I've gone mostly gluten free, although I do remember eating rye bread and a burrito last week and I got severe abdominal pains, very gassy and diarrhoea. But I had a pizza last night and had no symptoms at all, so as I said before, it's not constant which makes me think I may not have gluten intolerance?

My eczema has got a lot worse too with my lack of gluten intake the last few days... Could that mean anything?

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I'm afraid allergy testing won't tell you whether you have celiac disease or not.  Allergies are based on an immunoglobulin E (IgE) immune response but celiac disease is an IgA and IgG immune response to gluten. They are quite separate issues.


The symptoms you describe could be due to gluten intolerance but it's very likely that eating gluten-free for four days won't have much of an effect on your symptoms beyond a lessening of stomach pain or possibly bloating. You will need to be gluten-free for quite some time before symptoms resolve, and symptoms like joint pain or cognitive issues can take months to years before they improve.


Most people need to be gluten-free for at least three months before starting to assess whether it has improved their health.  Going gluten-free longer is better; 6 months seems to be long enough for most people to see most symptoms improve. I personally had some symptoms get worse at 3 months gluten-free and had to wait for over half a year to see real improvement in some areas.


Remember too, that even if a celiac doesn't have immediate symptoms after accidentally consuming gluten, that gluten is setting off an autoimmune attack in the body that can take weeks to reolve. Auto-antibodies can linger for months after going gluten-free... patience is a key thing when treating this disease.


BUT, before going gluten-free I think you should request celiac disease blood tests (and possible an endoscopic biopsy) from your doctor. If you are gluten-free in the weeks before testing, there is a chance of getting false negatives so get tested very soon and try not to be gluten-free... yet.


The tests to request are:

  • tTG IgA and IgG
  • DGP IgA and IgG
  • EMA IgA
  • total serum IgA (a control test)
  • AGA IgA and IgG (older and less relable tests)


Best wishes in whatever you decide to do.  :)

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That helps out a lot, thank you for that informative reply. :) I'm still getting used to this diet as I haven't gone strictly off gluten, but I've cut out fast foods, dairy and bread out as my previous diet I consumed a lot of bread mainly.

About the tests, I'm not sure if ill go for a biopsy, but is a genetic test quite accurate too? I think that would be a preferred method to go, and perhaps a nutrition deficiency test?

Thanks again

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Although accurate, the genetic test will only tell you if you carry the genes for celiac disease.  It won't tell you if you have celiac disease.  You'll need to ask for the celiac blood test panel which NVSMOM listed.  Based on those results, you may or may not need a biopsy.  

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Hi Strings,


You can get the blood antibody tests, first off, they are a simple thing, just a little blood as the Dracula says.  Doctors may call it a celiac panel.  Show them the list of tests you want done though, as they sometimes only order one or two tests.  There are more people with NCGI than people with celiac disease, but both conditions share similar symptoms.  Gotcha is there ain't no standard testing for NCGI yet.  Keep eating gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats) until the blood is drawn for your antibody tests.  If you want the endoscopy, keep eating gluten until that is done.  The nations wheat farmers will thank you! :)  (A little Halloween humour creeping in here.  Get it creeping?)  :)


Helpful threads:

FAQ Celiac com

Newbie Info 101

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