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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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GinaMarie

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Hi all!

I've been reading the boards for a few weeks now just trying to educate myself. I have had some of the classic celiac disease symptoms for most of my life - I'm 31 now. I was diagnosed with IBS 7 years ago and the symptoms that I've been experiencing have gradually gotten worse over the years. My family dr. has put me on a dairy free diet for the past three weeks and there is a definite improvement in my bowel attacks, but not complete improvement and my other symptoms remain the same. I go back tomorrow and half expect him to put me on the gluten-free diet to see how things go. Is it a good idea to experiment with the gluten-free diet before any bloodwork or other tests are performed?

I understand that many people can have different reactions to the gluten and tolerance levels vary, but I typically do not feel ill after eating gluten and my bowel attacks occur only a few times per week, not every day. Going off the dairy has helped immensely, but I wonder what CAN I actually eat if I'm gluten-free and dairy free too?!

Thanks

Gina

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Hi Gina,

It can be a bit more of a challenge to be gluten-free and dairy free. I have been of dairy for 7 months and off gluten for almost 5 months. There are a lot of foods you can eat, you just have to be aware of all the things to avoid. I highly suggest that you push for the bloodwork before trying the diet and then if it is positive ask for the biopsy as soon as possible, before going gluten-free. It CAN affect the results causing a higher frequency of false negatives if you are gluten free before the blood tests or biopsy.

The things I miss the most are ice cream and cheese, but I am able to get a satisfying and well rounded diet without them. And the good news is that most people outgrow the dairy intolerance after being gluten free and dairy free for a while. The dairy problems is most often caused by the gluten damage in many gluten intolerant individuals. So you may not have to stay dairy free forever.

Also, your symptoms sound a lot like mine did. The bowel problems would come and go. I tended to have bloating and gas most days, but the constipation/diarrhea would come and go. It also was much better being dairy free, even while still on gluten, but not great. I feel much better now. Not perfect yet, but it takes time...

Talk to your doctor about testing you first.

God bless,

Mariann

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Hi Gina,

From what you said in your post, I would recommend starting a gluten free life. The longer you put it off the more damage you do, and a lot of the damage can never be reversed. I will live with the pain and discomfort from the damage until the day I die. It would be nice to have a pain free day, but I am beginning to realize that is not going to happen at this point.

I did freak out a bit about the gluten and dairy free life a bit at first, but after living in India, and watching people picking through chicken scraps (bones and feathers) for a meal, I don

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Thanks a lot for the encouragement. I did go the dr today and had the bloodwork done, so we'll see in a few weeks what the outcome is. He told me to go ahead and start the diet - I'm a little apprehensive to do so before a biopsy, but I really want to see if it helps. I'm just ready to feel better and I'm hoping this will be the answer. Thanks so much for your advice!

Gina

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