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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.

Celiac & Croup
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As we are nearing October... I can't help to think of the 2 painful anniversaries that Oct. 31st hold for us. (trying not to go too OT here) 1.. the last of the 3 babies we have lost would be turning 5 yrs old on that day. and 2.. it marks the 2nd anniversary of when my now nearly 4 yr old almost died. As a mother, it was the most painful, hardest day of my life. Please allow me to share....

My little Matthew monkey had problems right from the start, now that we can see clearly all linked back to his celiac disease, but then, we along with the doctors were clueless. At that time I didn't even know what Celiac disease or Gluten was!! (boy, have we come a LONG way in 4 years!!) Like Many of you I'm sure, we went through many many tests, doctors and pure hell for 2 solid years. celiac disease was mentioned early on around 5 months, but GI doc tested, test was neg.. Doc dismissed.... (boy, little did I know then that he was too young for test to be correct) anyway... Matthew's main symptom was diarrhea, he would often have 35-40 a DAY! He was often hospitalized for dehydration. Other frequent problems he would suffer with was constant fever (some times low, some times really high) He's had two ear infections during those 1st 2 years, but with all of the problems my dd had with ear infections, I wasn't too concerned about that. However, his reaction to the Anti-biotic was concerning all in it's own... It ensured a lengthy stay in the hospital... both times! The one that really got us however, was croup!! This boy would get croup to extents I've never seen before. Again, going back to my daugther (now nearly 11) This was a problem for her as an infant along with severe asthma. But she fails in comparison to how it effects my son. Moving along...

Oct 30th for probably the 20th time that year alone, my Matthew woke up barking like a seal, this time was a bit more intense, so we headed to the ER that AM... of course, like croup some times has a way of doing.. he improved enough before getting there, the doc wasn't concerned much, so sent us home.. and again like croup has a way of doing.. at night he got worse.

OCT 31st 4AM, we headed back to ER. (after trying many quick trips outside in brisk air, using shower and nebulizer for steam to open things up, and many other things we have learned along the way to handle croup) This time they too put him on the nebulizer and prescribed some steroids (as done many times before) and again sent us home.

By the time we got home it was aprox. 11AM, he and I both were wiped out. so I gave him his meds and we headed down for a nap. We both woke up at the same time, I was a bit out of it still, his sissy wanted to hold him while I used restroom exc... I came back, my daughter looked like a sheet... she looked at me with tears in her eyes and said... "mom, I never felt Matthew get this hot. Is he ok?" (she was 8, turning 9 at that time)

I rushed over to him... he was on fire!!! The temp was 105.2 I immediately stripped him and headed to the tub (careful not to get the water too cold to send him into shock).. while I was taking his clothes off.. (this is an image that will stay with me forever) I took one look at his chest and knew we were in trouble.. His chest was sunken so far into his back, it looked like he didn't have a front or middle. I wasted no time calling 911 while I had him in the tub. My husband comes home in the middle of all of this... Thank God he was there to be with my daughter... she was freaking, the 911 dispatcher did her best to calm Eme down.. and it did help. Once in the ambulance. I was informed that my son only had moments before his system was likely to shut down. It was too much for me to process at the time. Once at hospital, they gave him epi-nephrin (sp?) along with many other things such as albuteral in the ambulance. He stayed 4 days that time around. and I thank God every day for saving my baby!

We recieved pos IgG levels, right in the middle of all of this, (after turning 2yrs old on Sept 7th) the GI wanted to biopsy, but didn't do proper celiac panel (different GI doc from infancy)

Anyway, this was the last straw for us... we put him gluten-free as much as possible at hospital, but as soon as we were home. he went strictly gluten-free.. (was already CF) Now, nearly 2 years later.. he's still dealing with some other allergies and problem foods along with possible PDD. However, as far as the croup is concerned, he had 2-3 additional (mild) boughts early on after going gluten-free.. but hasn't gotten croup one time within the last year!

I am sharing this story in hopes of saving lil ones and their families from what our family suffered through. celiac disease has a nasty way of stirring up many other "unrelated" issues. This was the case for my little "Matthew Monkey" from birth... and the longer he went untreated... the worst things got for him.. I don't wish to see any child suffer that way!! Thank you for reading.

Kristie

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What an ordeal-- I'm so glad Matthew is healthier now. This is making me think again that one of my sons (who had repeated attacks of croup as a child) should be tested... he's 19 now & doesn't want to hear about it...

If only doctors knew how many ailments can be improved by the diet. I hope the NIH clues them in soon...

Leah

p.s. I'm so sorry to hear of your lost babies. You've been through such a lot.

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It is funny because my son Jacob (dianosed a year ago at 4) always had horrible cases of the croup. We went to the emergency room several times because I could not get his breathing under control. He went gluten free a year ago and during last winter (first winter gluten free) he had no episodes. Interesting, never thought there might be a connection. Just assumed he out grew it. How about yours, any episodes since being gluten free?

Nicole

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It is funny because my son Jacob (dianosed a year ago at 4) always had horrible cases of the croup. We went to the emergency room several times because I could not get his breathing under control. He went gluten free a year ago and during last winter (first winter gluten free) he had no episodes. Interesting, never thought there might be a connection. Just assumed he out grew it. How about yours, any episodes since being gluten free?

Nicole

sorry... I thought I mentioned that in my orginal post.. He had 2 or 3 minor cases of croup that year (went gluten-free in hospital) but didn't have one episode last year at all! :-)

Kristie

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wow, you've been through a lot... we had a few episodes of Croup with my daughter when she was an infant, but NOTHING like what you went through. Thank you for sharing your story. This is such an insidious disease in small children, and I wish that more Dr.s would consider Celiac FIRST before other things. It's not like they have to completely disregard any other condition to dx Celiac... anyway... glad he's ok now. How scary that must've been for you.

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My heart goes out to you for your lost babies and for the stress I'm sure all of this has put on you and so glad to hear Matthew is doing better now. It's hard to understand why so much can happen to one person, but it looks like you're trying to make the best of a bad situation and try to help others so they don't go through everything you did. Thank you for sharing your story!

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Thank you everyone for your kind words. Yes, we have been through quite a bit, but honestly speaking, my faith carries me through. Also, Matthew's celiac disease is in a way a blessing. You see, both my daughter and I have had life long health problems that we have now been able to trace back to being gluten intolerant, but it took Matthew and his classic celiac symptoms to bring light to our gluten issues. My 3 miscarriages, anemia, endometriosis, chronic constipation are all due to years of overlooked gluten issues. I am thankful that it only took us 10 years to realize this with my daughter, Hopefully, it will spare her the agony of miscarriages exc... her and I both have been gluten-free for 10 months now, and just to name one... are both amazed at just how easy using the bathroom has become.

Before my sons dx.. my husband and I would joke around by saying... we have one that can't go, and one that doesn't know how to stop going... it's ironic that the answer for both of them was a gluten-free diet. It just goes to show how diverse celiac disease/GS can actually be!

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I know this is an old post but I am putting this here anyway.  Thank you for sharing.  I can relate.

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Wow, thank you for bumping this 'survivormom'- I noticed that my daughter would get a cough after  being glutoned...I thought I was nuts....

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    • I am very interested in this too. My daughter tested negative for celiac, but has terrible primarily neurological symptoms. Because she tested positive for SIBO at the time and was having some GI symptoms, I was told it was just a Fodmap issue.  I knew better and we have been gluten free for 2 years.  Fast forward to this February. She had a SIBO recurrence that I treated at home with diet and herbal antibiotics because I couldn't get the insurance referral. She was doing great. Then stupid me brought in gluten containing chick feed for the new baby chicks we got.   Feed dust everywhere. Total mess.  Really, no GI symptoms (she was SIBO free by then)...but the neurological symptoms! my daughter couldn't walk for three days. Burning down one leg, nerve pain in the foot. Also heaviness of limbs, headache and fatigue. Better after three days. But unfortunately she had a TINY gluten exposure at that three day mark and had another severe reaction: loss of balance, loss of feeling in her back and arms, couldn't see for a few seconds, and three days of hand numbness, fatigue, concentration problems.  Well, I actually contacted Dr. Hadjivassilou by email and he confirmed that the symptoms are consistent with gluten ataxia but any testing would require a gluten challenge. Even with these exposures, antibodies would not be high enough.  His suggestion was maintain vigilance gluten free.  I just saw my daughter's GI at U of C and she really only recognizes celiac disease and neurological complications of that. But my impression is that gluten ataxia is another branch in the autoimmune side of things (with celiac and DH being the other two).   At this point, I know a diagnosis is important. But I don't know how to get there. We homeschool right now so I can give her time to heal when she is accidentally glutened, I can keep my home safe for her (ugh, that I didn't think of the chicken feed!)  But at some point, she is going to be in college, needing to take exams, and totally incapacitated because of an exposure.  And doctors state side that are worth seeing?  Who is looking at gluten ataxia in the US?
    • Caro..............monitoring only the TSH to gauge thyroid function is what endo's do who don' t do a good job of managing thyroid disease.  They should do the full panel and check the actual thyroid hormone numbers.........T3 and T4. The importance of the TSH comes second to hormone levels. In order to track how severely the thyroid is under attack, you need to track antibody levels.......not the TSH. I did not stay with endocrinologists because I found they did not do a very good job and found much greater help and results with a functional medicine MD.  You should not have a goiter if your thyroid is functioning well and your TSH is "normal".  Maybe they should do a full panel? Going gluten free can have a profound affect for the better on thyroid function and that is something that is becoming more and more accepted today.  Ask most people with Celiac and thyroid disease and they will tell you that. My thyroid never functioned well or was under control under after I discovered I had Celiac and went gluten free.  It was the only way I got my antibody numbers back down close to normal and they were around 1200 when it was diagnosed with Celiac.  I was diagnosed with Hashi's long before the Celiac diagnosis.  I am not sure Vitamin D has anything to do with thyroid antibodies but who knows?  Maybe it does have an affect for the better. It is really hard to get Vitmain D levels up, depending on where you live. Mine are going up, slowly, even after 12 years gluten-free but I live in the Northeast in the US and we don't have sun levels like they do in the South.  I take 5,000 IU daily and that is a safe level to take, believe it or not.  I get no sun on my job so the large dose it is! Having Celiac Disease should not stop you from being able to travel, especially S. America. I travel, although I do agree that some countries might be very difficult to be gluten free in. You can be a foodie and travel with Celiac so no worries on that front. You may not be able to sample from someone else's plate, unless they are eating gluten-free too but I have had awesome experiences with food when traveling so you can too!
    • I don't know what you drank or where.... so here are a few thoughts. - sure, a dive bar might have dirty glasses and serve a cocktail in a beer glass?  But a nice reminder place, with a dishwasher, should be fine.  If it's a sketchy place, Stick to wine, then it's served in wine glasses that aren't used for beer or bottled ciders in the bottle.   - ciders on tap might, just a slight chance, have an issue.  Because of beer on tap, mixed up lines, etc. - you may have a problem with alcohol - you may have issues with The  high sugar content of the drink.  I know I have similar issues if I drink serveral ciders of extra sugary brands - are you positive it was a gluten-free drink?  Not this " redds Apple" pretending to be a cider - it's beer with apple flavor.  Or one of those " gluten removed " beers?  
    • Hi Stephanie, I'm also from the UK, I've found this site more helpful than anything we have!  As already mentioned above, in my experience it could depend on what and where you were drinking. Gluten free food and drink isn't always (not usually) 100% gluten free as you may know, maybe you have become more sensitive to even a trace of gluten that is probably in gluten free food/drink. Is it possible you have a problem with corn, particularly high fructose corn syrup that is in a lot of alcoholic drinks? This was a big problem for me and the only alcoholic drinks I can tolerate are William Chase vodka and gin. I contacted the company last year and all their drinks are 100% gluten and corn free, made the old fashioned way with no additives, so maybe try their products if you like the occasional drink and see how you get on. If you drink out, not many pubs sell their products but I know Wetherspoons do and smaller wine bars may too. l was never a spirit drinker but I must say their products are absolutely lovely! Very easy on a compromised gut too considering it's alcohol. I second the suggestion on seeing a natural health practitioner. I've recently started seeing a medical herbalist, as I've got nowhere with my now many food intolerances since going gluten free last year and I've noticed a difference in my health already. 
    • Sorry for the very late reply and thanks for the replies, I didn't get a notification of any. In case anyone else comes across this and has been wondering the same as I was, I did try a vegetable broth and I did react to it in the same way as if I'd eaten the vegetables.  As for the candida, I've been using coconut oil and am seeing a medical herbalist for this and leaky gut. It's only been a few weeks but I've noticed an improvement all round.
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