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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

Celiac Treatment After Age 55

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Was diagnosed last December and was put on the Celiac Sprue diet. I am considered a latent case. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis three years ago and no one suspected then the connection of malabsorption with celiac sprue. Because of some colon annoyance off and on, my general doctor recommended a CT and then asked me to see a gastroenterologist who through an endoscopy discovered that I had celiac sprue disease. From that day on my life has changed in terms of eating habits.

Particularly helpful has been the information I received from my doctor's office on celiac disease and all the web sites, including this one. In the meantime, I was able to purchase all 5 books by Bette Hagman and one by Carol Fenster which I found very helpful in terms of coping and learning to cook with the new flours, etc. I must say that in 3 months' time I have learned quite a bit. In the meantime, I think my body is readjusting to the new diet. Sometimes I experience some cramps but then they go away. Hopefully I will be able to handle this diet in the future.

My doctor recommends another blood test after 6 months, and another endoscopy after two years to evaluate the situation. I trust my doctor and think I am in good hands.

I would like to hear from other latent diagnosed cases and their experiences and maybe you can share some recipes or important information.

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I found out I had Celiac last September and I am 51.... had never heard of this disease until my gastroenterologist mentioned that it was a possibility for my malabsorption and chronic diarrhea symptoms. He took a blood test that confirmed Celiac Sprue (he said 98%) and I opted to forego the colonoscopy since I had little insurance and little money as well.

Had no symptoms until August last year when I began having diarrhea that I could not stop and then splotches on my arms and legs, weight loss, and vomiting. I also have Diabetes Type 1 and now wonder if the two diseases are somehow contributory to one another. I was diagnosed with Diabetes 1 when I was 21 years old.

The diet does take a lot of preparation, I think, because none of the gluten-free breads that are sold in the store are any good. I have learned to bake my own bread and cookies. Never was a big bread-eater before, but I have found I really like the taste of these special flour breads. (I also use Bette Hagmans bread and desert recipe books). I never spent much time baking before, but now I find that a LOT of time is required so that I don't miss the wheat food so much. I think that switching to this new diet is a lot easier, though, than I thought it would be.

Well, my internist is concerned that I am still anemic so I have now scheduled an endoscopy and colonoscopy with my gastroenterologist. I guess this will be the official confirmation of the Celiac diagnosis, though my health improved rapidly after going gluten-free.

So many things to learn and still going through changes! :blink: But you know I have gone from completely ignorant about Celiac to somewhat knowlegeable (and still learning)..... kind of like buying a new car.... I didn't see so many of my brand until I started driving one.

Best of Luck! Deb

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Guest Viola

After my first baby, I lost a lot of weight, had continual gastric problems and anaemia. I guess the pregnancy triggered the Celiac. When I got pregnant with my second, everything went down hill. I lost so much calcium that I had to have all my teeth taken out (I was 21 at the time). I was only three months pregnant. I spent over a month in hospital before she was born as the doctors thought she would be too tiny and wouldn't let me out of bed. I was 110 pounds the day before she was born. She was 7 lbs. 2 oz. So pretty much everything my body could produce went into the baby. When the girls were still small I was sent to specialists, including spending a week in hospital in Vancouver under going tests. I was sent home and told to quit worrying about my own health and look after my husband and the children. Which of course made every thing worse as now my family thought I was playing sick ... although how you can be nothing but skin and bones and play!? :huh:

I was finally diagnosed at age 42 after a total hysterectomy due to continual bleeding. It turns out that one's body needs vitamin K to clot the blood. But no one tested for deficienies. After the surgery I continued to loose weight until I was down to 89 pounds when my family doctor decided to do the blood tests. Keep in mind, Celiac disease is still considered rare, 16 years ago it was considered one out of every 10,000. So he was ahead of his time trying such rare testing. Had he not, I don't think I would have survived. As it was, I already had arthritis, anaemia, and severe bruising problems where my poor husband was getting accused of beating me. I have since been diagnosed with costocontritis and flangitis as well, but have gained weight, and I'm much healthier over all. Although iron pills are a daily thing, and will likely always be, as well as other supplements.

Even after all these years it is still a frustrating disease, although I am very glad to have Celiac disease, rather than a lot of others I can think of :D At least we can do something about it. Accidental contamination is something that's difficult to control and sometimes impossible to track. :(

I'm so glad you got some good information from your doctor's office. Things have really improved ( I know, sometimes it doesn't seem like it). There are a great deal more products out there now than what there used to be. At the time I was diagnosed there was only one kind of bread on the market ( even the crows wouldn't eat it) and very few flours etc. Now there are even cook books, and you can buy ready made in the store instead of sending to one or two places in Canada and wait for it in the mail. Oh yes ... I almost forgot ... the very most important tool to Celiac disease is now right at our finger tips! THE COMPUTER! :lol: That opened a whole new world for me when we finally got single lines in and I could get a computer! Yes, we were still on party lines out here until 1996.

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;) my sister was diagnosed at 43 yrs old--me at 45 and my dad just in nov at 69 yrs of age------celiacs plays no favorites with age, sex, even race sometimes---if i can be any help--let me know--i have been gluten-free for almost 4 yrs now---deb

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I also have Diabetes Type 1 and now wonder if the two diseases are somehow contributory to one another.  I was diagnosed with Diabetes 1 when I was 21 years old.

Type 1 Diabetes is one of the long-term problems associated with undiagnosed Celiac Disease.

EDIT: Here's an article that shows a link between celiac and diabetes: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...t_uids=15161778

Edited by Coulter

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I was diagnosed at age 62. I had problems with allergies all my life, mostly environmental. I had a thyroidectomy in the year 2000 and almost died as a result of the anesthesia, spent 4 post-op days in Intensive Care. After that I developed

more severe allergies, especially in my eyes, my allergist "gave up on me, said he

wasn't able to help me. I wish I had known then what I know now, he should have done a celiac panel according to what I have read. To make a long story short, my symptoms worsened, I got abdominal cramping and bloating and after many, many tests was dx with acid reflux and a positive IGA blood test. My GI doc told me to try a gluten-free diet, which I did and it made me feel better. Now a year later he wants me to go back on gluten and dairy because I tested neg for the celiac gene.???

Needless to say no one will ever get me to go back on gluten, I react terribly still.

I can live without THE diagnosis, I never want to be that sick again!

If I can help you in anyway please let me know..

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Guest barbara3675

At the age of 59 my dear DIL suggested that I get tested due to some symptoms that I was having. Although the blood test came back negative, I did the complete Enterolab tests and found I am gluten and casein intolerant. I feel so much better and as one previous person offered just occasionally there is an incident of uncontrollable diarreah that comes from literally nowhere. It is very hard to trace. However, I feel so much better, there will be no one that will be able to convince me that I should eat gluten. I am, however, able to tolerate small amounts of cheese and sour cream, but use rice milk and soy ice cream. Before going gluten-free, there have been times when I was so ill that I have had to go to bed for several hours/this connected with traveling and eating some major gluten foods. Recently I flew to Mexico and back and felt like a million bucks, and I am just sure it was due to the fact that I wasn't eating gluten. I should add that my granddaughter has celiac disease and I carry the gene. It is interesting to hear about all the people that are finding out in their 50's that their problems are due to gluten in their diet. Best wishes to all of you. I think this message board is marvelous and I have learned a really lots from it.....even red when I can get through some of his stuff!!!!!


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I became lactose intolerant at age 45. Didn't really have any major symptoms until age 49 - then it hit with a vengance. Now I am 50 and gluten free. I wish I had known about Celiac Disease before the stomach damage got so severe. My Mother started with symtoms at age 50. My sister started having symptoms at age 46 - and diagnosed with IBS. She is now looking into celiac disease and going gluten-free. It sure runs in families. We need to get the word out about Celiac Disease.

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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! 
    • Gluten is a protein smaller then blood,bleach does not kill it as it is not a germ. I would replace scratched pans. baking dishes, tubaware, wooden utensils, colanders, etc. Throw out crumby condiment jars and any non gluten-free spices and condiments. Cast Iron can be saved and some metal utensils by putting in your oven self clean cycle, 500F will destroy the protein. I always tell people easy ways to get started on new cookware, nordicware microwave cook ware, omelette makers, steamers, rice cookers, grilling plates (do not forgot the splatter cover), This way you can have a cheap and easy meals, a new crockpot and use crockpot liners is great for soups, I suggested a combo rice cooker/crockpot/steamer as a great investment. OH if you want a nice clean safe prep area/counter/eating place mat, look up freezer paper/butcher paper. I did a post on where to get it in bulk awhile back. But laying it out is perfects, and makes clean up a breeze. Foil sheets in baking dishes works great for a extra precaution but if you have any with baked on stuff or scratched look at getting new ones. PS took me over  months to start feeling much better. Sometimes the improvement is minor and you have to think back to the worst you had. It does improve but normally big changes are after a year.
      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/  
    • It sounds like your hives resolved.  I had a six month bout with them.  Antihistamines really helped.  My doctors are not sure if Mast Cell or autoimmune is the root cause.  
    • My kid has Raynauds.  It freaks her classmates out.  She wears shoes and wool socks all year round and we live in a warm state.  It is autoimmune.  She manages it by layering, turning up the heat, use lots of blanket throws.   I have Hashimoto’s and celiac disease.  So, having multiple autoimmune issues is common.  
    • Well, you do need to replace some things because they are too porous or damaged to remove gluten.  Things like old wooden spoons, scratched non-stick pans, toaster, colander, sponges, etc.  Honestly, the list is long, so try getting a few celiac books at the library or Amazon.  Consider reading through the Newbie 101 thread under the “Coping section”.    You should see some minor improvement soon.  It does take time to heal.  Most  around here will say it takes a year!  
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