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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

Sciatica
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It seems that celiacs have more problems with sciatica than normal. Is this true or am I just getting old and sitting on my bum too much?

I have a great stretch for my sciatic pain but would also be interested in any other exercises that y'all can share.

Thanks!

-Cathy

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It could be both. I got sciatica after some extreme surgery but could it have been also caused by celiac, I really don't know. I always say my psychotic nerve is acting up.

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I have it and I don't know why - My MRI came back ok! It's been bothering me in conjunction with IT band trouble for years now. I'm trying pysical therapy again so that I might have a shot at running again!

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THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!

I've had sciatica since I was 18 years old. I'm an avide dancer, and have been since I was 3, I have a strong back, work out daily, eat healthy and than VOILA! Suddenly I'm walking in Wal-Mart and feel as if my knee gave out on me and then two hours later I'm in the hospital being given Tylenol 3 for the pain. I managed to suffer through and never went through with any of my plans of going to university for dance because of fear for a relapse :( I just found out three days ago that I am positive for ciliacs and my doctor went "oh well that explains a lot." Gee, no kidding.

I can't say I'm happy for everyone with both sciatica and ciliac, but thank you so much for posting this topic, I'm still young and if I get this under control and my back gets better (considerably) I'm treating myself to choreography classes and a couple of auditions :lol:

Megan

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Just a heads up, especially to you youngsters :), really bad sciatica can be one of the first signs of ankylosing spondylitis. Its a nasty disease that makes your spine stiff and unbendable (in some) or just very painful in joints and tendons. So if you're constantly suffering from this, get in to see a rheumatologist as you can. There are treatments that can prevent a lot of the damage. It is an autoimmune disease so celiacs are probably more likely to have it than regular folks.

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Sciatica-like pain was just a symptom of celiac for me.

My father and I both had Back and Leg pain to where my doc thought I had sciatica

BUT once I went gluten free, it's gone!

When I get glutened accidentally, I get the leg pain back temporarily.

My dad was referred to back surgery since he was a truck driver, but

going without wheat solved it for him!

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Just a heads up, especially to you youngsters :), really bad sciatica can be one of the first signs of ankylosing spondylitis. Its a nasty disease that makes your spine stiff and unbendable (in some) or just very painful in joints and tendons. So if you're constantly suffering from this, get in to see a rheumatologist as you can. There are treatments that can prevent a lot of the damage. It is an autoimmune disease so celiacs are probably more likely to have it than regular folks.

Thank you for this. I just signed up with an account to reply to this. Was searching for a connection between Celiac and back issues. I've been suffering since age 20 to present with severe back pain and spasms that leave me unable to move. Last episode took a year to recover from, even with therapy. I'd never heard of ankylosing spondylitis until accidently happening upon your post. Good info. Thanks so much.

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I get real bad sciatica every time I'm glutened and when I'm glutened only. I thought this was really weird, until I saw this post. Apparently not. I feel a lot better now, knowing that apparently I'm not the only one. Oh, and I can crack my own back and fix it with that. And same as julie, the MRI didn't show anything. And I have a very strong back, too, because of being a professional martial artist. But with this I've found, it's not the back you have to strengthen, it's the belly ;) . Whenever my belly was really good toned (I'm talking like 6-pack style... and yes, I'm a woman, lol), I was less prone to getting it.

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I agree with Stef. I get lots of different aches and pains from glutening and sciatica is one of them. If I keep limber I have less problems. Core exercises are important as well as the whole back of the leg.

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Oh my, I never stopped to think others started having it so young too. It started in my teens for me too. I never knew why or even what it was at first. It is almost completely gone if I am 100% gluten free. I rarely get episodes anymore unless I get accidentally glutened. Wow, coincidence or not I wonder.

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I used to have such bad Sciata problems in the morning, that I had to use my forearms just to get out of bed. And then, I would literally LIMP 50% of my walk with the dogs before dawn until it would be okay to walk on.

I brought this pain to the attention of a friend at the gym who is a Physical Therapist and he gave me a set of stretches that I do EVERY morning now.

I must say that I have had zero incidences since doing them (almost 2 years).

And, yes, I'm either at a desk chair most of the day or in an airline seat.

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It seems that celiacs have more problems with sciatica than normal. Is this true or am I just getting old and sitting on my bum too much?

I have a great stretch for my sciatic pain but would also be interested in any other exercises that y'all can share.

Thanks!

-Cathy

I've had problems with sciatica too and yoga really helps, deep hip stretches really loosen up those areas. It seems that it's sometimes caused by sitting too much as well as wearing high heels. A lot of tension is stored around the hip area and lower back so any relaxing form of exercise would really help. I try to avoid wearing high heels and that helped as well as regular yoga practice. I'm not sure that celiacs are more susceptible but possibly if they are it could be due to having other health issues and being more sedentary.

Here are some yoga positions you could try (make sure you see a qualified teacher):

Pigeon pose

Bound Angle Pose

Reclining Bound Angle Pose

A regular sauna or whirlpool and going swimming would also help.

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This is interesting. I have been limiting gluten for about 3 years after a doctor suggested it when I was having extreme back and abdominal pain, with sciatica. I went completely gluten free for 2 weeks & everything cleared up. She did a blood test for celiac which was negative, so she did not pursue it further, but I saw a connection with the back pain.

Last Friday I started having severe back pain & sciatica. I had not done anything to aggravate it, physically, but I had had pizza & pasta the day before (why do they call it "comfort" food??). Sunday I went to the emergency room and after checking my reflexes etc. their doctor diagnosed sciatica. I'm supposed to follow up with my own doctor today for further treatment if necessary. But I went back gluten free as of Sunday and now my back does not hurt, only my leg. The ER doctor did give me a Medrol pack of prednisone so I'm not sure if that relieved the inflammation enough that my back doesn't hurt. I definitely see a connection though.

I believe in staying "regular" and if I have any severe symptoms--migraine, abdominal pain, sinusitis--I usually do either an enema or laxative--which I don't need very often. That usually does help in a short time. I've also heard that fiber helps clear your system if you inadvertently get some gluten.

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I have been gluten free just over a year and have several other autoimmune diseases as well, but about 3 months ago I had terrible issues with sciatic, I went to a chiroprator and added stretches and even was haveing deep tissue massage. I was getting very little if any relief, but my chiro is the lead dr on a Fibromyalga board so he had a lot of experience with autoimmune. He reminded me that we are extra prone to inflamation, and it doesn't always have to be something that we eat, although your sensitivies will be the first to set it off. I started to see someone (Chiropractor) that does Active Release Technique therapy and after 3 15 minute sessions I was pain free. After 4, I spent 12 hours walking a theme park. He too said this is from imflamation and said that sciatic can cause nerve entrapment. I don't know how many dr's do this, but I having been telling the world as I truley believe I still would not be able to walk upright and would still be in pain almost every day if not for this guy.

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I've been gluten-free for three and half years and grain free for over a year. While I still have many problems from long undiagnosed Celiac Disease - lower back pain/sciatica is completely gone. I'd been seeing a chiropractor followed by a sports chiropractor most of my adult life each time my lower back pain was severe. He believed this pain was caused by a malformed lowest vertebrae. I have not had this pain in quite a while - over two years - I do believe it was the removal of gluten that was the resolution of this particular pain.

I can confirm that anyone with this type of pain needs to keep the back as strong as possible through a good exercise program. I was told at 18 it was absolutely necessary for me to have surgery to repair my back. I refused, headed for the library to find other remedies - found a few books with stretches and exercise good for lower back pain - strengthened my back and never went back to the orthopedist that was certain my only solution was surgery. Turned out to be a very good decision.

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This is an interesting topic. I just got diagnosed with sciatica and am also waiting for results to see if I have celiac. It will be interesting if there is a connection.

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Before I went gluten free, I had all kinds of back and leg problems and I'm pretty sure sciatica was at least part of what my chiropractor diagnosed it as. While he provided temporary relief, my problems just got worse and worse to the point that just getting up from a chair or walking was agonizing. Eventually, he said that he thought there must be something else to my problems besides alignment.

Not long after that I went gluten free and very quickly those (and many other) problems started getting better. My back problems are basically gone now. I feel pretty certain now that my back problems were related to gluten and even at the time noticed that my back pain and other symptoms would all get worse at the same time.

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I've had a LOT of sciatic pain over the last 10 years with bulging discs. Eventually one of my discs burst and pinched off and killed the sciatic nerve that was causing me the most problems. It caused some paralysis down my leg right to my big tow... on the bright side, it doesn't hurt anymore in that spot. LOL

I do wonder sometimes if the sciatica was aggravated by the inflammation caused by untreated celiac disease. I still get a sore and stiff back now, 6 months into the gluten-free diet, but I'm guessing there's been too much damage done for just a diet change to fix me at this point.

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Interesting topic! I too have a sciatica but I got mine moving something the wrong way. The orthodopedic I saw at the time said I was in the typical category (female over 30). As far as celiac I know all my aches and pains flare up when I'm glutened, but I just figured it was the immune system hitting the weakest areas.

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