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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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I just signed up to get a flu shot through work next month. It didn't hit me until later that perhaps it might not be safe...? This will be my first flu season gluten-free, so I hadn't even considered it until now! Does anyone know offhand if flu shots are gluten-free?

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They do affect people who are sensitive to eggs though, so watch out for that.

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Be aware that most flu shots contain MERCURY--a known neurotoxin that has been banned in all over-the-counter products for years, but is still present in some vaccines. There does seem to be a link with celiac and mercury toxicity.

You can request a mercury-free shot--it will come in an individual-dose ampule without preservatives, and it will be more expensive. If you are getting the shot through your place of work, or at your pharmacy, the mercury-free shot is not likely to be available. I believe they are only available through your doctor, but it never hurts to ask.

If they tell you that the shot does not contain thimerosal, but it comes out of a multi-use vial, then they are either wrong or lying. Same thing if they tell you it's too small an amount to be harmful.

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Last year my kids' school began offering the nasal spray flu vaccine (I think it is called FluMist) and in the instructions it said it was not recommended for persons with any autoimmune disorders. I checked with my son's pediatrician and she advised against the FluMist but said he could have a regular flu shot no problem, so that's what we did.

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There does seem to be quite a bit of controversy over whether vaccines ought to be recommended for people with autoimmune disorders, especially vaccines for diseases that are usually not dangerous.

I don't think it's an easy call, at least for really devastating illnesses like polio. There are valid arguments on both sides. But flu--??? I know it can be deadly for the weak and elderly--but it seems that that same group is highly susceptible to very bad reactions to the vaccines, too (as are people with autoimmune disorders).

The best I can say is, do LOTS of research, on both sides of the issue.

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Last year I got the FluMist from my place of work. I work for a military unit (but I'm a civilian) and they set up a table at the front entrance and everyone (I mean EVERYONE) got a FluMist. They didn't even ask for names or signatures. I found out later that it wasn't FDA approved for people over 45 (I'm 55 and the guy behind me had to be in his 60s). -I also researched it afterwards and found out that it's a live virus vaccine (versus a "killed virus") and that the rate of reactions to it is higher. Well, true. All the people in my group felt sickish the next day (headache-ish, fever-like, yukky) and also on the 2nd day. Some more than others (even young healthy males!).

I DID go ask about Gluten and it is gluten free and there were no FDA warnings for autoimmune disease people.

I felt fine the 3rd day and did not get the flu! So, if they make us do it again this year, I'd prefer the shot, but will do the FluMist without qualms.

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    • Hi Matt,  Thanks for taking the time to reply!  I completely agree haha.  Thanks for the links - I'll give them a read over!  I think it was a mixture of the first time travelling with being gluten-free and the added bonus of the language barrier, it made me dread meal times when usually food is the first thing I think about when travelling to new places! Again, I think the planning element was also a factor, not being able to walk past a nice bakery without walking in - why do most Berlin train stations have bakeries in everyone?!?! THE SMELL!!!  Haha, good excuse! Could have used that in the hotel restaurant (arrived late the first night) and the only avail dish was a dry chicken Caesar salad (literally 3 thin slices of chicken, 5 cherry tomatoes and a plate of lettuce).  I am I'll give the website a look over too - thank you! My app's with my consultant are every 6 months, basically was just sent away with no info/advice given and feeling the struggle now that reality has set in that this is for good!  Hope you are well! 
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      https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/
      https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/118842-freezer-paper-for-safe-prep-surface/?tab=comments#comment-979071 https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/120402-gluten-free-food-alternative-list-2018-q1/  
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