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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.

When You First Start To Eliminate Gluten Containing Foods
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As you can imagine, I have many questions. I have not yet received the blood work results, and am having this Wed. the endoscopy biopsy, along with colonoscopy.  I have had digestive issues about 2 years now, and only recently the light bulb went on with both me and the doctor.  Regardless of the results, I am going to eliminate gluten.

 

The obvious food culprits are easy to remove.  Then I read gluten hides in many foods and vigilance is needed.  Here is the crux of this question - so you stop eating the obvious offenders, those which you have likely been eating in volumes - breads, pastas, cereals and the like.  Just by removing those, doesn't a person begin to feel better?   Knowing you have to be careful of the hidden gluten is an accompany step....but to read that a leftover crumb from a toaster can make you sick, or continue to keep you sick - that boggles my mind.

 

I fully anticipated I would begin to feel better and have symptoms leave me, eventually, when I am able to start eliminating the gluten, but if I do get a celiac diagnosis, it seems the odds are stacked against~!

 

Did "you" feel better after the initial elimination of the obvious culprits?  Thanks. 

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I did not have any symptoms at all except for anemia.  I just went for a routine colonoscopy (over 50) and the GI suggested Celiac.  I was shocked.  Took the blood test and it was mildly positive.  I knew that I had it, so I ate gluten like a fiend for the next seven weeks.  I literally and quite stupidly consumed a loaf of sourdough bread, pastries, cakes and cookies (I loved to bake) a day!  By the time I had the endo and the colonscopy, I had intestinal symptoms which did not go away noticeably for seven weeks (Marsh Stage IIIB).  Then I had to deal with the anemia, thyroid storms and menopause.  Three months later, my first fracture (vertebrae) resulting from osteoporosis.  

 

Now, I am better a year later, but just a crumb will set me back a week!  The good news is that I'm feeling great, strong and am back on my bike!  So, it's worth it to remove gluten -- every single trace!!!!!  Cold turkey is the ONLY way to go…..

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Yes, one crumb from the toaster WILL make you sick. In the coping section you will find a thread called "Newbie 101". It'll teach you how to avoid cross-contamination. It takes a bit of learning and can seem overwhelming at first but after a while it becomes second nature.

 

First of all, fresh meats, fruits and vegetables are all naturally gluten-free. You would be better of sticking to these things at first. There are a lot of gluten-free substitutes such as breads (I like Canyon Bakehouse or Udi's), frozen pizzas (Against the Grain is my favorite), plenty of gluten-free flours and baking mixes, cookies, cakes, muffins, just about anything you can imagine. The trouble is, most of these are high calorie/low nutrition, so it's best to limit them to occasional treats. (Although I was pleasantly surprised to find that King Arthur gluten-free flour, although expensive, has quite a bit of nutrition so my pancakes are GOOD for me. :) )

 

Then there are regular foods at the grocery store. Some companies are really good about labeling. By law, wheat has to be labeled, but barley doesn't. However Kraft Foods, Con Agra, and several others WILL label for barley. (Rye you don't have to worry about much. I think rye bread is about the only place you will find it.)

 

Nuts? Yeah, some are processed in the same facilities or on the same equipment as wheat products, but if you stick to Planter's (a Kraft company), just read the label and you'll know if they are safe or not.

 

You have to check all of your medications and supplements too. Sometimes we have to write to the companies that make them.

 

But all in all, it really isn't that hard. You can do it! And you will feel SO much better. :)

 

If you have any questions about anything you can come here and we'll be glad to help.

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It is a difficult concept at first...hence the large learning curve when diagnosed.  For me and many others...the reactions became more severe rather quickly....it's like your body is so used to fighting this invader and then it is gone so when small amounts are consumed there is a massive attack on smaller and smaller invaders.

 

Try not to spend too much time questioning it...simply prepare to remove all sources of gluten and learn to read every label, every time.  Starting with a diet of whole foods is better for your healing system and much easier to navigate than reading a ton of lengthy ingredient lists on processed foods.

 

Good luck tomorrow :)

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