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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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Mother of Jibril

Alkaline Phosphatase

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In July I had a comprehensive physical. My doctor did a lipid panel, metabolic panel, CBC, and TSH. Thank goodness, because my TSH was way out of normal.

Anyway... the only other level that came back abnormal was my alkaline phosphatase. The lab that does the testing considers "normal" to be 33-115 U/L, my level was 125. The doctor brushed it off because it wasn't too far out of range and my other liver enzymes were normal. Now I'm wondering.

Recently, I read that gluten intolerance can cause bone loss and dental cavities. I have had several cavities in the last couple of years... even though my hygienist says I'm doing a good job brushing. I also read that a high phosphatase level can indicate that your liver is overworked and calcium is being leached out of your bones. Is that true?? My calcium level was normal, but I do drink fortified soy milk and take a calcium supplement. Maybe the level was normal because the calcium is in my blood instead of my bones where it belongs?

Does anyone know anything about this? I've been searching the Internet without much success. Unfortunately, the doctor that did the testing has moved to another city. I made an appointment with a new doctor that came highly recommended, but he was booked until December. Since I gave birth in February I've used up my insurance deductible for the year; this is a good time to get anything suspicious checked out. :D

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The liver makes more ALP than the other organs or the bones. Some conditions cause large amounts of ALP in the blood. These conditions include rapid bone growth (during puberty), bone disease (osteomalacia or Paget's disease), or a disease that affects how much calcium is in the blood (hyperparathyroidism), or damaged liver cells.

If ALP is high, more tests may be done to find the cause.

My guess is that it is thyroid related (your parathyroid). You should have them test your PTH (parathyroid hormone) and get an ultrasound of your thyroid done.

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Have you had your Vitamin D levels checked, too? If PTH is high, I take it Vitamin D will be low. I have low Vitamin D, and I'm working on getting that up. I still haven't had my PTH checked out. I have been having problems with my teeth, eventhough I do a very thorough job on hygiene.

Also, I don't think soy products are a good idea if you have thyroid problems.

My doctor doesn't think an ultrasound of my thyroid is necessary (eventhough I want one) - I think I'll bring it up again. Would they be able to detect parathyroid problems with an ultrasound? It sits behind the thyroid, doesn't it?

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They can find nodules...but they cannot tell if they are cancer or not. Sometimes they just "watch" them to see if they change. Sometimes they do a needle biopsy. In my Mom's case, thank g-d, cuz the needle biopsy showed her cancer. They caught it in time and she had her thyroid removed.

My PTH was normal when my Vit D was in the toilet. So there are no hard and fast rules. But getting the PTH checked is a good idea.

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I haven't had my PTH or Vitamin D levels checked... but I wouldn't be surprised if my Vitamin D is low. I don't spend a lot of time outside. About two years ago (for religious reasons) I started wearing more clothing, so the only skin that's really exposed is my face, neck, hands, and feet (if I don't wear socks). Would it be a bad idea to start taking a Vitamin D supplement on my own? Should I get these levels checked first?

I did start looking for information about Vitamin D deficiency. After my three-year-old was born I had horrible pain in both knees. It went away after a couple of months (I suppose right around the time I started taking her for walks outside in the stroller). I was also having pain in my shoulders before I stopped eating gluten.

The doctor I'm seeing in December was recommended by a friend with hyperthryoidism. He said Dr. Frank is "very, very thorough." I hope so.

I've been thinking about the soy issue... I bought some almond milk to try as a substitute. I have noticed that my throat feel tight when I'm reading bedtime stories to my daughter. Maybe I need to mention more of these things to this new doctor. There were SO many things that I thought were just "normal" for me! I had all the classic signs of hypothyroidism... constipation, weight gain, fatigue, depression, dry skin, hair loss, feeling cold all the time... I just didn't realize that these things might have a common cause and could be fixed.

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You really should get Vit D tested before supplementation. In general you can safely take 2000 IU a day without problems. But because Vit D stores in the body, you can overdose (which has it's own problems like bone loss). You need 15 minutes a day of full sunlight on 90% of your body in the tropics during the Spring/Summer months to get enough to make enough Vit D for your daily needs. Northern people should almost always supplement. But a simple blood test can let you know for sure.

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One researcher estimates that 18-40% of Celiacs have elevated liver enzymes. This was what led to my being dx as a celiac. If those

enzymes are elevated for a long time, even moderately, you risk liver damage.

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One researcher estimates that 18-40% of Celiacs have elevated liver enzymes. This was what led to my being dx as a celiac. If those

enzymes are elevated for a long time, even moderately, you risk liver damage.

Yes. Mine were slightly elevated before I was diagnosed and recently when I was glutened over a 2 month period of time due to a change in manufacturing of a product that was formerly safe, mine went back up again.

I had a full workup, and by the time all the testing was completed, my enzymes went back to normal.

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One researcher estimates that 18-40% of Celiacs have elevated liver enzymes. This was what led to my being dx as a celiac. If those

enzymes are elevated for a long time, even moderately, you risk liver damage.

It sounds like you had a good doctor who was willing to look at more than just the standard celiac blood tests for your diagnosis.

This is all very helpful information! I didn't realize there was such a connection between the thyroid and liver. Did any of you notice symptoms that improved when your liver enzymes went back to normal levels? I'm just wondering if there's anything I can look for on my own (although I will get these things tested).

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Mine were very slightly elevated too before gluten-free. But went back down. I cannot pin point any symptom improvement though.

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My AST, ALT and ALKphos were all elevated pre-celiac and my doctor told me we would watch them and once I was gluten free they should go back down, and 3 months into it they were all within the ranges. I have not had them tested in years now.

My labs were not that high out of range either. 10-15 points, but came right down. My thyroid labs were all normal.

good luck.

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Mine were not more than 10-15 points out of range, either. The first doctor that found them on my blood testing didn't really know what to make of them--she said she usually sees them much higher--this was a GP, before I had ever heard of Celiac.

I don't think I've ever had symptoms that I could feel from the elevated LFT's.

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I don't think I've ever had symptoms that I could feel from the elevated LFT's.

I know I didn't- in fact the only thing that I knew was when I read my results in the computer at work and I kept thinking wow- I wonder why? Nothing felt off.

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Hey... just wanted to update this thread.

Just before Halloween I asked to be tested for heavy metals. I was curious about the fact that my daughter's lead level went down after she stopped breastfeeding... even though I caught her chewing on a lead weight! (It was in some old drapes that came with our house... ugh). Anyway... they also ran a CBC and metabolic panel. The good news... I'm no longer borderline anemic, and all of my liver enzymes went down! :D In fact, my ALT and AST are now at the very low end of the range.

The only level that was out of range this time was my calcium... I realized that after I cut back on soy (and soy milk) I didn't really find another source for that mineral. Easy to increase my supplement... and I am taking vitamin D for better absorption.

Thanks to everyone who responded! You were exactly right that my levels would improve after being off gluten for a couple of months :)

Oh yeah... I did have a bit of lead and arsenic. Hmmmm... not enough to need treatment, but where in the heck am I getting ARSENIC from? :unsure:

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On 10/8/2008 at 5:23 PM, Mother of Jibril said:

In July I had a comprehensive physical. My doctor did a lipid panel, metabolic panel, CBC, and TSH. Thank goodness, because my TSH was way out of normal.

 

Anyway... the only other level that came back abnormal was my alkaline phosphatase. The lab that does the testing considers "normal" to be 33-115 U/L, my level was 125. The doctor brushed it off because it wasn't too far out of range and my other liver enzymes were normal. Now I'm wondering.

 

Recently, I read that gluten intolerance can cause bone loss and dental cavities. I have had several cavities in the last couple of years... even though my hygienist says I'm doing a good job brushing. I also read that a high phosphatase level can indicate that your liver is overworked and calcium is being leached out of your bones. Is that true?? My calcium level was normal, but I do drink fortified soy milk and take a calcium supplement. Maybe the level was normal because the calcium is in my blood instead of my bones where it belongs?

 

Does anyone know anything about this? I've been searching the Internet without much success. Unfortunately, the doctor that did the testing has moved to another city. I made an appointment with a new doctor that came highly recommended, but he was booked until December. Since I gave birth in February I've used up my insurance deductible for the year; this is a good time to get anything suspicious checked out. :D

My Alk Phos was a little high for decades with no symptoms.  Then I was diagnosed with Celiac and went gluten free.  The Alk Phos dropped to normal.  Now it is 72 (normal is 38 - 136).  It could be coincidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On 10/10/2008 at 8:05 AM, blueeyedmanda said:

My AST, ALT and ALKphos were all elevated pre-celiac and my doctor told me we would watch them and once I was gluten free they should go back down, and 3 months into it they were all within the ranges. I have not had them tested in years now.

My labs were not that high out of range either. 10-15 points, but came right down. My thyroid labs were all normal.

 

good luck.

On 11/4/2008 at 6:19 PM, Mother of Jibril said:

Hey... just wanted to update this thread.

 

Just before Halloween I asked to be tested for heavy metals. I was curious about the fact that my daughter's lead level went down after she stopped breastfeeding... even though I caught her chewing on a lead weight! (It was in some old drapes that came with our house... ugh). Anyway... they also ran a CBC and metabolic panel. The good news... I'm no longer borderline anemic, and all of my liver enzymes went down! :D In fact, my ALT and AST are now at the very low end of the range.

 

The only level that was out of range this time was my calcium... I realized that after I cut back on soy (and soy milk) I didn't really find another source for that mineral. Easy to increase my supplement... and I am taking vitamin D for better absorption.

 

Thanks to everyone who responded! You were exactly right that my levels would improve after being off gluten for a couple of months :)

 

Oh yeah... I did have a bit of lead and arsenic. Hmmmm... not enough to need treatment, but where in the heck am I getting ARSENIC from? :unsure:

 

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2 minutes ago, Threecents said:

My Alk Phos was a little high for decades with no symptoms.  Then I was diagnosed with Celiac and went gluten free.  The Alk Phos dropped to normal.  Now it is 72 (normal is 38 - 136).  It could be coincidence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just an FYI - This thread is from 2008, so these people may not answer.

 

Arsenic is naturally occurring in fruits, veggies, grains, etc

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