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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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JustJust

How Long For Intestines To Heal?

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Hi,

I have been gluten-free for 4 days now and was just wondering if anyone new how long it would take for the Intestines to heal? My Dr. didn't really say much to me rather, is sending me to a dietician........ He did say to see in though is about 8 weeks. What is the standard follow up procedure for celiacs? How often do they do the biopsy to see if the Intestines are healed? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks, Justine

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Justine,

It took me about 7 weeks to see a significant difference. I finally saw somewhat normal stools at that time. Of course I still keep getting glutened somehow but at least I am healthier to start (diagnosed in May of 07). This is not an easy process but you can do it! This board will be very helpful in getting you through it. Good luck!

Hi,

I have been gluten-free for 4 days now and was just wondering if anyone new how long it would take for the Intestines to heal? My Dr. didn't really say much to me rather, is sending me to a dietician........ He did say to see in though is about 8 weeks. What is the standard follow up procedure for celiacs? How often do they do the biopsy to see if the Intestines are healed? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks, Justine

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Justine,

It took me about 7 weeks to see a significant difference. I finally saw somewhat normal stools at that time. Of course I still keep getting glutened somehow but at least I am healthier to start (diagnosed in May of 07). This is not an easy process but you can do it! This board will be very helpful in getting you through it. Good luck!

Thanks for the info and encouragement! VERY CUTE PIC by the way ;)

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Thanks for the info and encouragement! VERY CUTE PIC by the way ;)

My doctor said approximately 3-6 months for the villi to heal.........but i think it may take longer if you dont stick to the diet properly. It is especially difficult to not get glutened when you are just beginning the diet (very complicated diet). Your doc should do a TTG celiac blood test at about 6 months to see if the diest has lowered your ttg levels.

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It takes awhile to completely heal, and then time to start re-absorbing nutrients, etc (i.e., you might be healed, but not feel great, until your body rebuilds itself).

Recovery does start in one week though. The dietician from U of Maryland's Celiac Center said that the damage starts to heal/improvements are made within a week of the gluten free diet, which is why it is important to be eating gluten at the time of the biopsy (as a short time period can already bring on significant changes).

Best of luck, and I hope your intestines heal quickly :)

From Columbia University's Celiac Disease Center:

http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.ed...nts/A02-FAQ.htm

"Q: I've just been diagnosed with celiac disease. How soon will I feel better?

Most patients respond rapidly to a gluten-free diet and will often report an increased feeling of well-being. How well they feel, and how quickly, may vary depending on the nature, severity and duration of symptoms prior to diagnosis. There may also be some "ups and downs" as they work toward the goal of eliminating all gluten from their diet. There is usually a learning curve to finding what food, drink and drug products are safe and which contain gluten."

also of interest http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.ed...-Management.htm

"7. Monitor serum antibody levels

Patients are advised to have follow-up antibody levels measured at 6 and 12 months. Most patients have normal levels by that time though it may take up to 3 years to normalize in some individuals. It is reasonable to assess antibody levels annually. This will serve to monitor adherence to the diet though is not sensitive for minor dietary indiscretions "

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This was a very big question for me when I started the diet over 2 years ago. Nobody could really give me a definite answer. Unless you get scoped every couple of weeks (who really wants to do that) and see possible changes then the only other way to measure in my opinion is to use your previous symptoms as a guide. Since my main symptoms were chronic "D" and weight loss then I had to use them as a progress tool. My "D" disappeared in a couple of days so that told me the body recognized and was responding to being gluten-free. The weight loss stopped in about a week. This told me I had at least halted the damage. The weight gain was another matter. I was eating massive amounts of calories each day with little improvement. This was the most frustrating part of my recovery. In a couple of weeks I started to notice things like 1/2 to 1 pound increases. This to me was a huge sign. As each new week passed I continued to make small amounts of progress. About 6 weeks to 2 months into the diet I could see in the mirror that the cheeks on my face were no longer sunken. This told me I was on my way. Not long after that I became more active physically and have not looked back. I never got a follow up scope (saw no reason as I was symptom free and gaining weight). The only follow up test I had was one year into the diet and it was anti-body testing. It was perfect. I have no plans for any more testing unless I develop symptoms again.

I know it is hard in the beginning but look for any positive sign and try to be as patient as possible. It "can" happen quickly (couple of weeks to a couple of months) but all factors including degree of damage, compliancy on the diet and your individual response must be taken into consideration. The most important thing you can do is be as compliant as possible and let nature take it's course. Good luck.

Tom

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I was told 3-6 months but I saw changes in my health shortly after beginning. One day I was not tired anymore and that was a great day for me!! I do think it may vary person to person but overall the range is 3-6 months. Good Luck.

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Hi,

I have been gluten-free for 4 days now and was just wondering if anyone new how long it would take for the Intestines to heal? My Dr. didn't really say much to me rather, is sending me to a dietician........ He did say to see in though is about 8 weeks. What is the standard follow up procedure for celiacs? How often do they do the biopsy to see if the Intestines are healed? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks, Justine

Justjust, you have been gluten free for around 1 year now. How has your progress been with inprovement in symptoms? Most others on this topic figured that somewhere around 2 months should see the most significant changes.

I have been gluten-free for about 2 months (although I had some unwitting experience of being gluten-free when I eliminated most foods from original diet), and have seen some changes to stool, hives reactions, libido, but have not yet recovered lost weight. I eat quite a bit, and am also returning to exercise, but also had/have candida so am eliminating this as well. My stool changes (excuse detail) are improved color from greenish (rapid transit time) to proper brown, less undigested fat, less bulk and not quite so loose. These stool changes only began in the last 2 weeks. My doc says that it takes 4-6 months for the intestine to regenerate the villi, and up to 2 years for full recovery.

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It has been 1 year since my diagnosis, and I am just now beginning to feel "healed" although I also feel as though I have a long way yet to go.

However, now I can eat/digest dairy and meat again! yay! :)

Patience.....patience..... :)

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Hey JustJust,

I believe the time you begin a gluten free diet to the time you heal the intestine is completely related to the damage done before diagnosis. My doctor did not want to tell me how long it would take me to heal, but after I kept pushing she did say mine would be about 18 to 24 months.

I don't believe doctors can give a length of time as all celiacs are different. They can only give an educated guess from the results of an EGD and biospy.

The good news for me was knowing as long as I stay gluten free my body is healing itself.

Jennifer

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Hi,

I have been gluten-free for 4 days now and was just wondering if anyone new how long it would take for the Intestines to heal? My Dr. didn't really say much to me rather, is sending me to a dietician........ He did say to see in though is about 8 weeks. What is the standard follow up procedure for celiacs? How often do they do the biopsy to see if the Intestines are healed? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks, Justine

Like everyone else has eluded to, It definately takes some time. When I was diagnosed, I figured evrything would be back to normal in 4-6 weeks and that I would gain weight like wildfire. It took me some time to accept the fact that slow and easy wins the race. It took about 6 mos for my antibodies to reach normal, which was just a few weeks ago. I still get stomach pain and grumbling more than occasionally. The healing process is clearly still going on. But I know that it will take some time to reverse the damage that was done. But the important thing is that it can be reversed. I have gained about 17 lbs (2-3 lbs/month). But it came in spurts. I would gain 4-5 lbs then plateau for 4-6 weeks and then gain again. Everyone is different. Just know that as long as you stick to it, everything becomes 2nd nature before long.

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