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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? - 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 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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sddave

After diagnonisis, why go 100% gluten free

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Ok, I get it.  A person is celiac and gluten is bad.   But why immediately go 100% gluten free.

Seems really stupid to me.

Why aren't patients given a gradual reduction lowering gluten levels.   Instead to shocking their body/brain/etc. of a drastic change of going cold turkey gluten free?

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Its toxic to celiacs. It's generating an immune system response, even a tiny amount keeps that reaction going. So there's not really any benefit to cutting down and mean times the damage is continuing. 

The other problem is more psychological. To heal you need to be completely gluten free for life. No exceptions, no cheating, not one crumb. That's a simple message to deliver but it loses some of that clarity if instead it becomes, 'cut down'.  Even worse, the patient is still feeling deprived but now they aren't feeling the healing process kicking in, so they can't see the benefit of the diet and they may reject it before it gets a chance to work.

If you found rat poison in your cereal would you taper off gradually or choose a new brand? 

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Your rat poison argument is lame.   I have been gluten for over 40 years until diagnosed 2 wks ago.  And it started at birth.  I don't think 1-2 month of gradual reduction of gluten is going to kill me or damage my villi much worse than it is now.   I feel worse now after going gluten free than I did being gluten.    Why...because of the shock to my system.

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Celiac is a autoimmune disease where the gluten proteins (smaller then germs) confuse your immune system into attacking your own body essentially. There will be a withdrawal of course stopping cold turkey from gluten but you have to if your going to heal. Even small crumbs, residue, or something touching then being removed will leave some of the gluten protein in your food. Hell even residue in a old pot can CC your meal and spike the antibodies and the damage all over again.  

For me it causes not just my immune system to attack my gut, but it was attacking my nervous system, and brain as well. Imagine your brain not working right, just constantly looping like a broken record driving your insane, now imagine you not having proper pain or touch reception in your hand and feet......I was going so crazy and scared I was banging my head on walls to make it stop looping and punching thinks out of anger as to why stuff was not making sense, and why my gut hurt, and why I was constipated for 10+ days.  Funny things I still have scars from punching into the studs in my walls and finding nails with my knuckles. Too this day 3 years later I still have many foods my body can not handle due to food intolerance that developed due to my gut damages, I have random allergies that came about due to my compromised and messed up immune system, I still have lack of feeling from damaged nerves where I can sometimes grab hot pans or cut myself and not feel it (this has been improving as of late). My brain damage effected my ability to process numbers, and do language, so complex math is impossible, and I can no longer do computer programing or understand as much Japanese as I used to.   

These are things that developed from not learning about my disease earlier and going gluten free. And the damage accumulating and spreading. If I had known and stopped cold turkey years earlier perhaps I would be more normal and be able to eat mor foods and not be as mentally broken. 

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Although I do not agree with your thought process of gradually going gluten free (it is not advice I have ever seen in all my research concerning celiac disease), you could certainly give it a try.  Eating gluten (or any food) could be considered an addiction.  Not many 12 step programs recommend just cutting down on alcohol, drugs or tobacco for a few months while your body adjusts.  I wonder why?  

I found that the more I learned about celiac disease, the easier it was for me to grieve and then move forward with my life.  I wish you well.  

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I definitely didn't feel any shock to my system. Not having pain 24/7 was a miracle it was like a new lease on life. Definitely cutting all consumption of gluten is the right thing otherwise your symptoms will not improve. It definitely was an adjustment for sure I had always eaten bread every morning with my coffee and milk for 28 years. It was my comfort food you could say. I switched to gluten-free bread then ended up cutting that up too. I have replaced all my foods with healthier alternatives. Now I can't even drink milk since it makes me nauseous and gives me inflammation in my joints. Not that it matters since I am vegan now anyways. 

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