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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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Bunny123

Newbie And Needing Advice About What To Say To Doctors

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Hi everyone,

 

I am a newbie on this site but really needing some advice. I have had 'IBS' since my early childhood and have suffered with many days and nights lying on my bathroom floor or passing out on it with terrible cramping and diarrhea.

 

Last week a doctor looked over my history and asked me if I had celiac disease as I seem to gain weight even when I can only sip chicken soup and have diarrhea for days, I have chronic sinusitis, sore throat, ear infections, Acid reflux, had my gallbladder removed and recurrent mouth ulcers. He aske about my family history and as my mum is the same as me and my nan had hypothyroidism and passed away from Lymphoma he seemed pretty convinced. However he sent me home with some antibiotic ear spray for my sore ear....I decided to go gluten free and see if this sorted out my cramping and diarrhea too. this is the story of my life. I go to the doctors and they never give me any answers.

 

So I discovered that once giving up gluten for a day or two my cramping stopped but still had diarrhea. I quit dairy and all of a sudden I am pain and diarrhea free! Happy days. Then today my lovely husband went to costa and got me a soy latte and I ended up in hospital with an allergic reaction! I felt like I had the flu run up behind me and jump on me! I almost blacked out both at home and the hospital but felt much better with piriton and hydra cortizone injections. Now I have been told I need allergy tests to sort out what I can have and what I cant.

 

So now I am afraid to eat or drink anything and I feel that I dont know what to say to my doctor because I dont know what tests to ask for here in the UK. I am also worried for my kids as going gluten free seems to have helped my 4 year olld daughter with her witholding poo that has been going on for 1 1/2 years (told it was due to stress as her dad has been very ill with cancer) and my 6 yr old son is being tested for adhd and aspergers which can also be related to celiac can't it? I am not sure I am looking at the right websites so unsure. I am pretty sure the doctors are not taking me seriously because they assume I am suffering from anxiety from my husband's illnesses but I have been sick for over 40 years and he has only been sick for 2!

 

Anyhow, could someone please tell me if there is a list of allergy free foods I can be safe to eat until tested and if celiac will turn up on an allergy test?? I just don't know and I am afraid to look at too many websites as some of them are written by complete nutters.

 

thank you for your time

Bunny

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Bunny, I'm very sorry to hear about how sick you've been, as well as your husband and children. I hope you continue to improve.

First, please be aware that the shots of hydrocortisone (steroid) are contradictory to Celiac testing (perhaps autoimmune testing in general). Steroids are used to treat autoimmune disease and can send it into remission, and can give false negatives on testing. I've heard 1-3 months as the time to be off them before accurate testing can be performed.

Second, Celiac is not an allergy and won't be detected during allergy testing. You need full Celiac testing panels run.

Third, there are no "allergy-free foods", since everyone is allergic to something different. In your case, I'd find out the ingredients in that latte and start there. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is the easiest way to elimate allergens that are additives...but it may be bigger than that. Unfortunately, only time and testing will tell.

Fourth, and perhaps most unfortunate...you and your children must continue to eat gluten filled diets for accurate celiac testing. The tests check for antibodies against gluten, and you must eat gluten to produce antibodies.

And finally, if you don't have it in you to continue to eat gluten, you can simply go gluten-free and forgo testing. You won't be right or wrong in this decision - it's a personal choice. Given 40 years of symptoms and the relief you've found already, I'd be reluctant to eat it again if I was in your shoes.

Best of luck.

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Bunny, I'm very sorry to hear about how sick you've been, as well as your husband and children. I hope you continue to improve.

First, please be aware that the shots of hydrocortisone (steroid) are contradictory to Celiac testing (perhaps autoimmune testing in general). Steroids are used to treat autoimmune disease and can send it into remission, and can give false negatives on testing. I've heard 1-3 months as the time to be off them before accurate testing can be performed.

Second, Celiac is not an allergy and won't be detected during allergy testing. You need full Celiac testing panels run.

Third, there are no "allergy-free foods", since everyone is allergic to something different. In your case, I'd find out the ingredients in that latte and start there. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is the easiest way to elimate allergens that are additives...but it may be bigger than that. Unfortunately, only time and testing will tell.

Fourth, and perhaps most unfortunate...you and your children must continue to eat gluten filled diets for accurate celiac testing. The tests check for antibodies against gluten, and you must eat gluten to produce antibodies.

And finally, if you don't have it in you to continue to eat gluten, you can simply go gluten-free and forgo testing. You won't be right or wrong in this decision - it's a personal choice. Given 40 years of symptoms and the relief you've found already, I'd be reluctant to eat it again if I was in your shoes.

Best of luck.

Thank you so much for your helpful reply. I actually have been doing some reading on the forum now and have a better idea about what I am facing. Am I right in thinking that if I ask my doctor to test for the coeliac genes I can get a diagnosis that way? From what I can see I think I am going to ask him to test my adrenal function and my thyroid as I feel I have some similar symptoms to others on the forum with these problems as well.

thanks again

Bunny :)

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If you have the genes linked with celiac it simply means you have the possibility of developing it. So, knowing your genetic status is only used to eliminate possibility (which may or may not be accurate, the genetic area is constantly evolving).

A positive genetic test is not a positive celiac diagnosis. Disgnosis is made by antibody bloodwork and endoscopy, or by skin biopsy in cases of dermatitis Herpetiformis.

There are many overlapping symptoms of Hashimotos and Celiac. I can personally attest :). Autoimmune disease stresses the adrenals, so it's highly probable you have adrenal issues if you are autoimmune. I'm sure any chronic illness would have the effect, really.

One thing I will add is that you could try testing - but I only advise this if you are confident you can move forward trialing a gluten-free diet (since you've seen relief already) regardless of result. Some people, faced with negative results, may choose not to trial a gluten-free diet. I'd hate for you not to continue your trial since you've already had some success...but testing now is an option. It just may be (false) negative...... But if you are determined to go gluten-free then quite frankly, there's no better time than NOW.

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If you push for a biopsy now, your intestines will likely still be damaged enough  to be diagnosed celiac - regardless if you are eating gluten or not.  It can take months or longer for adults to heal who have had it for a long time.  The blood test would be negative, unless you are eating gluten.  The gene tests can only tell you if its possible for you to have it.  It can rule it out, but not confirm it, most of the time.

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