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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.

My Mom
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Hello, I am new. My name is Daina. My mother, I believe, has this disease. My mother has been housebound for at least a year, we thought it was IBS. My mother refused to have a colonoscopy and couldnt even go to a doctor if she wanted because of the constant bathroom trips of diareah and constipation. I saw a news report on this and thought to try it - My mother has not eaten gluten for 4 days now, her pain in the stomach ceased BUT i'm not sure if this is usual: my mother is severly constipated, she goes frequently to the bathroom, its gas or liquid but she "feels" she has a huge one to come out but cant pass and she screams in pain cause of it. She hasnt slept in days either. I have been staying with my Mom after work and I am ready to collapse because I cant stand to see her like this. Please understand BEFORE she screamed all the time with pain but since she stopped gluten that pain stopped, its only the awaiting of this huge one making her have pain(a little blood-I think cause she goes so much she sometimes bleeds a little) and lack of sleep. Im sorry, I have noone else to ask and everyone seemed so nice on the message boards. I want to see my Mom back to normal, without pain. I would appreciate any advice. Does it take time to heal? Stop dairy? Take Citrucel? Laxatives?Im so confused. Thank you in advance! Daina

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I am so sorry your mom is ill. I, too, have been very ill for over a year now and getting out of the house can be difficult at times. My son has been such a help to me, it is so wonderful to have such caring children.

I don't have any advice for the constipation since I have the opposite problem but I am sure there are others here who can help. I do know I lived on peppermint tea for stomach pain, it really helps. Also altoids have peppermint oil and they help when I am somewhere I can't have tea. Chamomile tea is good too. I would encourage her to see a doctor, though. There are so many things that can cause those symptoms. She shouldn't have to suffer so much. I know for me it was hard to go to a doctor at first, you are so afraid of what they might find. But after the first visit it got easier. The colonoscopy was not bad. I was actually surprised how much better i felt during the prep and the day after. It was the first time in a long time I wasn't in pain.

Good luck

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She really does need to get in to see a doctor. Any way possible.

As for constipation... My doctor had suggested Senekot (a natural laxative), but I hesitate to suggest that here because you don't know what's causing the constipation and don't want to make the situation worse.

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Hi Daina: I had celiac symptoms for years before I realized I had celiac disease, went on the gluten-free diet and then was diagnosed. My primary symptoms were constipation, abdominal pain, bloating and gas. Longterm constipation (esp. straining to 'go') gave me hemorrhoids which are swollen blood vessels in the rectal area (either internal or external). Those made me feel like I still 'had to go' even after I had a bowel movement, because I sensed 'something' (actually swollen hemorrhoids) in my rectum. Swollen hemorrhoids will bleed after frequent straining, but will also hurt so terribly that you just want to empty out whatever's causing the pressure. After I finally had hemorrhoid surgery (in which the internal hemorrhoids were removed) and healed, that pain subsided. Meanwhile the abdominal bloating and sharp intestinal pain (sometimes felt like bits of glass moving through my intestines, somes felt like menstrual cramps, sometimes felt like my intestines were exploding) was MISdiagnosed as 'IBS' (which is not a disease, but merely a descriptive term.

When I finally suspected celiac disease, I began to avoid gluten. That eliminated much of the pain, but the bloating and gas (even when I wasn't constipated) STILL made me feel like I had to "go" much of the time. My rectum was empty, but my intestines were bloated and swollen with gas, because they reacted to foods I ate. I also passed lots of mucous when I experienced lots of pain. Every time I had a gluten 'slip' all those symptoms PLUS terrible pain would return, but even avoiding all gluten never made them completely disappear. HOWEVER, when I eliminated DAIRY as well as gluten, my gas and bloating and much of the constipation disappeared.

Now I really focus on consuming lots of liquids and fiber from fruits and vegetables as well as higher fiber grains (check the fiber content on gluten-free grain products). I also take magnesium supplements which help maintain regularity. I'm hesitant to take any drugs or fiber supplements, because using high fiber fruits/vegies/grains naturally forces me to eat a healthier diet. Also I react badly to most laxatives which contain sorbitol (an artificial sweetner which can induce diarrhea to resolve constipation). Most junk foods (even gluten-free snack foods) are devoid of fiber. High fiber fruits include apples, pears, berries. High fiber vegies include brocolli, brussel sprouts, onions, cabbage (all from the onion family), carrots, celery, okra, green beans. Most lentils (peas, beans) are VERY high in fiber. All nuts are high in fiber. Some of the gluten-free breads are higher in fiber, so you have to read labels. I have added brown rice bran to soups and sauces to increase the fiber content.

Your mom may not resolve longterm regularity problems overnight, but avoiding gluten or any other allergens which cause gas and bloating will eventually help her feel 'empty' after elimination, rather than feeling like she still 'has to go'. However, she might also have swollen hemorrhoids which cause those feelings.

BURDEE

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Thank you everyone!

I so appreciate the support and each of you for all the information. I know noone can really diagnose whats wrong but you gave a very scared 36yr old daughter the confidence her mom, her best friend, may be on the right path. As soon as she is able I will take her to a family doctor and ask to test her for this disease. Is there a specific test? Is it a simple stool test?

Thank you again, Daina

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try blood work... thats how my mom found out she has celiac disease

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I hope she goes to a doctor soon! Blood is never a good sign and she should be checked for damage to her intestine if not for colon cancer.

Good luck!

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Well, if you decide to get her a laxative Fiberlax IS gluten free. She shouls still see a md because OTC med's are only a temporary fix, but if you want to play it safe go gluten free and get Fiberlax.

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Daina: There is a simple stool test for celiac disease available. Check out www.Enterolab.com. I did my tests for gluten and milk intolerance and the celiac gene through that lab. It was simple, noninvasive, expensive, but well worth it. However, most doctors will test for gluten antibodies in the blood or an intestinal biopsy to show damaged villi from autoimmune antibody damage. Hou and your mother have to decide whether you need your current doctor's validation to use the gluten free diet to heal celiac disease damage or you just want to know whether she has gluten or milk intolerance and the celiac gene.

BURDEE

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