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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Any Celiac Athletes Out There?
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16 posts in this topic

I am going in for my bloodwork and biopsy in a week, and have prolonged doing this since my mom was diagnosed 6 months ago. I am pretty sure the diagnosis will be positive as I have had symptoms for years now...we thought for a few years it was a combination of lactose-intolerance, too much coffee, vegetarianism with high fiber - all probably NOT the problem. For one, all of my vegetarian proteins were hydrolyzed or texturized and held together with GLUTEN.

I wanted to inquire as to if there are any hardcore athletes that are coping with the illness, and if so, what are the challenges to maintaining nutrition and particularly gluten-free supplemention? I'm a fighter, and train hard - aerobically and anerobically. My sport is gruelling physically, and I hope that going gluten-free will improve my stamina and performance. I guess if I have had years of malabsorption, I am optimistic I can only freel stronger. I do worry about gaining weight since fighters compete in distinct weight classes, but hope to contain this.

I've been gluten-free for 4 days since I had been consuming protein bars labeled Wheat-free...but are contaminated in processing. I'm still recovering from that experience GI-wise.

Thanks.

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I have been playing tournament fastpitch softball for 9 years, love to play all sports. We play 5-6 games a weekend sometimes and travel around the US. I make sure I keep my immune system up. I take liquid vitamins, and take enzymes, and probiotics and much more but I consider those especially essential. If you want to gain weight try ensure plus it is gluten-free and give some really easy calories.

Watch out for your "wheat free" protein bar. It needs to be gluten free. Most likely it has rye,barley, or oats if it doesn't say gluten free...so check it before you eat it. Make sure it isn't hidden under anything either.

Good luck :D

And drink plenty of water to keep hydrated or you won't feel your best.

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I play competitive soccer in an indoor (winter) league and an outdoor (spring/summer) league. The outdoor legue is quite intense (Two 90 minute games/week plus 1 or 2 practices/week). Last summer was my first gluten-free summer and I really struggled with my energy levels. I could only play for 10-15 minutes at a time and sometimes I had to sit the whole game. It took awhile for my body to adjust. My energy levels are improving but they are not 100%. Lately, I've found that eating a small-medium meal about 2 hours before I play helps. Also, I find that I NEED to re-fuel very soon after the game.

I find that Rice Pasta is a great substitute for wheat pasta!

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I'm a highly compedative soccer player, and I find that eating a few hours before my games/practiices make me have much more energy, Gatorade is gluten-free and so is Propel, so I drink those religiously at practives and games, like 3 per practice, 5 for game. I bring organic food bars which are high calorie bars that are really good, also (because I eat oats) I eat the Clif Builders bars, they have a lot of protein and are high calorie. Hope you feel better!

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Thank you for your help on this topic. I just bought Emergen C (Alacer Corp) for liquid electrolyte replacement and vitamins. I just need to find a suitable protein/carb supplement in shake or bar form. Endurox hasn't answered me yet, but I read someone's post elsewhere that they told him it was gluten-free...until I hear though, I'm skeptical.

What types of probiotics have you taken, Vote4PresBush04?

flagbabyds -- I checked 3 days ago with the Clif company, since I was eating 2-3 Builders bars a day. They informed me that the rolled oats are contaminated since they are processed from a facility that doesn't separate out the wheat. Check the FAQ page and you'll see that they are "wheat free" but NOT gluten-free...

I spent a month training in Thailand 8 hours a day, and felt fantastic. THere, most of the symptoms I had went away within a week, seeing as gluten there is scarce. I essentially live on an Asian diet and have consumed mostly rice for complex carbs and yams to avoid wheat products, but the hardest part seems to be finding out if products particularly for supplementation are truly gluten-free.

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pisand13- I use enzymatic therapy probiotics. I use a lot of supplements by that brand because they list in their bottle what they are free of. Just work on giving yourself nutrition to give you the strength to be able to play sports.

I'm not sure if this is the kind of drink you are looking for but alot of the Ensure products are gluten free and they give alot of nutrition and calories and so forth.

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I play indoor and outdoor soccer 4 times a week as well as training at the gym.

Due to my food allergies and celiac disease I am really limited, but these are a few things

that I do to boost my energy:

Drink Blue Sky's Blue Energy drink, it is gluten-free

it has 1000mg of taurine which really boosts my

energy level up. I order it from Whole Foods.

For protein:

I mix sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and shelled hemp

seeds with honey - sometimes I add a gluten-free granola

mix to it too.

When I feel sluggish I also take some extra B-12

and Vitamin C.

I eat smaller meals but more often and I tend to

eat only the food I've prepared for less risk of

contamination.

Oh! I'm an old(er) athlete, but I'm not quitting until

I can't walk and there are those days when my

body doesn't want me to play!

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Hi,

My passion is cycling (road), I ride between 150-200 miles a week and compete. I also run and do a upper body weight work out (though I started a new job two weeks ago and have been balancing my new schedule and workouts). I found that my endurance was still decreased even after I went gluten-free, more a matter of fueling my body than anything, I think. But I have fewer joint problems now (I had been dx with arthritis at 21--not the case, it was the celiac disease [nutritional deficiancies]).

Eating more frequently as someone mentioned is great, I even read a study that suggested that for Celiac athletes. I really like Knudson's natural electrolyte drink and I also drink Gatorade (watered down). I find that I have to drink a sports drink throughout my entire ride/race to keep energized. Larabars rock, they are gluten-free, Cherry Pie is my favorite flavor and Cashew Cookie is good too and has lots of protein. Sometimes I make my own "granola"/Energy bars. I think that eating right all the time is most important. And avoiding any gluten, getting a little accidently at a restaurant can really mess up a training ride and ruin a race.

Best Wishes!

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Thanks all. I'm definitely going to order the Larabars if I can't get them @ Whole Foods first.

I guess the key seems to be in order to maintain high levels of energy to replace all of the previously gluten-laden carbs with those that are gluten-free and to supplement particularly with the vitamins & minerals we are not absorbing.

I'm 34 and a professional thai fighter (avocation), so my career won't be too much longer. but i'll continue to train novice, amateurs and hopefully groom a few pros along the way. It's a pretty demanding style of training and fighting, so I am optimistic that staying gluten-free and supplementing will only help.

BTW - right before my last fight I had ingested gluten and had a horrible day preparing for the fight, so it really does affect performance in that regard. Amazing how gut pains can really kill your day over & over for years.

One quick question -- how long on average does it take once you are gluten-free for the GI symptoms to begin to wane?? I'm still having some problems, but less frequent and severe at least.

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It varies from person to person on feeling better. It took me 3 months to get back to about 85% then a few more months to get feeling normal again. For some people it takes them less time and for some more. Feel better soon :D

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Hey there,

woohooo, I was just waiting for this. I thought, i'm the only one in a martial art here. Professional more or less. Sorry, haven't been here for a couple of days, since I finally got my green card 2nd March and it arrived with the mail yesterday. No, it's not green...lol. But I has a lot to do with getting started with my new business and the martial arts summer camp and the new kids classes and the other classes in the Harrisburg YMCA and blablabla. Oh boy!!!

I'm a kickboxer (female) and have been fighting since 1994 now, since 1995 in the national team. And my weight problems started real bad in 1996, I couldn't keep the 50 kg anymore. I always had about 51 or 52. 1 kg is about a little bit more than 2 lbs. Then the health problems started. I went glutenfree 07/21/2004 and was fighting painfree (except of the punches in the face...lol) December 2004. The strength and balance came back a little bit later than December though, but I still have problems from time to time. We just had a tournament past sunday, March 6th. I glutened myself accidentaly March, 2nd, while on our green card interview trip to Phily. Can you believe it? I ate an ovenpotatoe with sour cream and the sour cream had gluten. Douh!!! Oh, well, but I still wasn't fit sunday. It was terrible.

But I prepare with cereals, fruit and vegetable, tea, water, sometimes a little bit meat or chicken in my meals with rice. Most of the time I eat asian, too, actually. The day of the tournament I take bananas with me, gatorade, water and some other little snacks. I don't like energy bars though. Ugg! Never liked them before going gluten-free either.

Hey, that is so awesome, finally somebody to talk about our "special" sport. I already have a question though. With me it was like that, that the last past years before going gluten-free, my body was so worked out cause of all the malnutrition and all, that I was really played out at times. I had a fight, and sometimes was already done, when only warming up. Or I went in to the fight, made one punch or kick and already felt my condition and everything go down. And after the second action I was pretty much "dead". It was so bad sometimes, that I just went down sometimes and couldn't stand up anymore, because I had the feeling, I throw up immidiately. What was absolutely not normal with my very good and conditioning preparation. All other students of my trainer didn't have problems with that training as well. Just me. Well, and now after almost being gluten-free for a year it's so perfect. I go into the ring and do my stuff and after it's done, I think "one more time, one more time". Or "what, it's already over???" I'm like turned inside out. Is that normal? Did you have the same experience?

Hugs, Stef

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I think what I've noticed with the performance is that I'm usually prepared conditioning wise and don't notice the effect, but that could have been my denial that I had celiac disease. I don't ever seem to fatigue and that's what the opponent and his corner usually say too...which is nice. It could be mental preparation that overrides the physical though. I keep repeating that I'm not tired, etc.

What has happened though is the hidden gluten a couple of times on the day of the fight...eating that protein bar or energy bar and running to the restroom 20 times that day. THis does take energy away though as it's like a fight with my body's shock. Sweating, cramping, etc.

I actually felt best in a fight in Thailand this year after being gluten-free for a month...the only gluten I could find there was in processed foods imported from China, japan and the west. I actually gained .85 kg and had to cut weight the day of the fight. I guess I absorbed some more nutrients than what I had been. I was probably eating more too since I wasn't have the reaction to gluten too.

I hope to feel even stronger and more fit with some upcoming fights and am staying vigilant on the diet.

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I know that problem with running to the toilet :lol: . Ironically I ate more gluten, when having a competition day, cause of all that pasta salad, I made sometimes. Or the pancakes, which are awesome cold, too. Well, actually they are even better cold. You have to try that. Or pretzels and stuff, just little munchie-stuff, while waiting for your fight(s). And then I was wondering, why I had diarrhea all day. Hm, now I'm smarter. But yes, it does take away a lot of your energy.

So, when do you have your next fight? When my sore throat and cold is gone I'll go on preparing for a three day competition in Rhode Island from April 8-10.

Hugs, Stef

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And it gives you tremendous anxiety over needed to take a timeout during a fight...this is more of a fear than the fight itself!!!

I fight in Pittsburgh April 23, then in Glasgow, Scotland June 18th.

Hope you get over the cold symptoms fast and are prepared for RI.

Thanks & GOOD LUCK.

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And it gives you tremendous anxiety over needed to take a timeout during a fight...this is more of a fear than the fight itself!!!

Hey, wow, you speak out of my heart. Couldn't have said it better :P . I was so anxious all the time to need a time out, that I was cramping and THEN I really needed a time out. It was like a vicious circle. But most of the time I was thinking, that my trainer sure thinks how lazy I must be. Because it looked like I'm doing nothing for my condition, which wasn't true. I worked out like nuts every day.

Now I'm still testing myself, how that works with my "new" condition and everything. And I still can't get over how fit I am suddenly since I went glutenfree. And I do the same conditioning program than I did before going glutenfree. Suddenly it works. So this year is more of a "get used to being fit" and "work away the anxiety"-year... :lol: .

Hugs, Stef

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And I forgot one thing. Because of that anxiety that I might break down, I was holding back most of the time to "safe" energy. My problem now is, I've gotten so used to hold back the last 7 years, that I have to learn now, to go and get my points. I've become into a real defense fighter :lol: .

Hugs, Stef

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    • Feeneyja and Captain NCGS, and Ironictruth It could be SIBO or it could be NCGS as Captain NCGS pointed out. see this research that matches your 84% of SIBO patients. https://www.celiac.com/articles/24058/1/Large-Number-of-Irritable-Bowel-Syndrome-Patients-Sensitive-to-Gluten/Page1.html Below I summarize their findings I quote “nearly 84% of the gluten- free placebo group showed a significant improvement in symptoms compared to just under 26% for the gluten consuming group.  This study confirms that a large number of patients diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome are sensitive to gluten.  The team (of doctors) suggest that the term of IBS might be misleading (you think) and may change or delay an “effective and well-targeted treatment strategy in gluten sensitive patients”. “ This is in IBS patients already who fulfilled Rome III (lesion) criteria.  They should at least be considered Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) but that would be to admit NCGS is a real condition. If you are having NCGS symptom’s (Marsh Lesion) aka Rome III lesions then why is the diagnosis not NCGS instead of IBS?  The problem is most NCGS (apparently 84%) is misdiagnosed as IBS in a large number of cases or possibly SIBO in your case Feeneyja. Even when 84 % of those with IBS show sensitivity to gluten the diagnosis of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is not confirmed by a simple gluten antibody test and people  consider Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS at least in the medical community apparently) a myth rather they diagnosis someone’s digestive problems with IBS of an unknown cause instead of admitting gluten is the trigger thus allowing them to avoid what is considered a mythical diagnosis to some in the medical community. By all means if  you have been given an IBS or SIBO diagnosis insist at the least on a gluten antibody test and you may save yourself many years’ of suffering before the doctor’s figure out that Gluten is the trigger then you have hope for recovery if you get the right disease. And I don't mean NCGS. Because even this too is confusing low stomach acid I believe with IBS, NCGS and even SIBO. See my posterboy blog post about why  I think this is. JMG aka Captain NCGS I referenced the Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC)  research on NCGS that I think proves your point and mine. here is the care2 article that I think summarizes it well. http://www.care2.com/causes/new-study-confirms-existence-of-non-celiac-gluten-sensitivity.html NCGS is on the "Celiac Spectrum". quoting dr. hyman from the huffpost 5+ years ago and still people seem them as different diseases (or at least deny the existence of the one over the other) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/gluten-what-you-dont-know_b_379089.html "When you get these tests, there are a few things to keep in mind. In light of the new research on the dangers of gluten sensitivity without full blown celiac disease, I consider any elevation of antibodies significant and worthy of a trial of gluten elimination. Many doctors consider elevated anti-gliadin antibodies in the absence of a positive intestinal biopsy showing damage to be “false positives.” That means the test looks positive but really isn’t significant. We can no longer say that. Positive is positive and, as with all illness, there is a continuum of disease, from mild gluten sensitivity to full-blown celiac disease. If your antibodies are elevated, you should go off gluten and test to see if it is leading to your health problems." and the columbia research bears this out. ironictruth you want to catch it at the NCGS stage before it becomes full blown (villi burned to the ground) Celiac disease. You are right to run from the burning house (antibodies) causing you a weak but "positive" diagnosis. This concept of the biopsy "proven" diagnosis is archaic at best and barbaric at worse in this age of serology proven diagnosis of NCGS before the villi burns to the ground so to speak. see this online article by dr. rodney ford that discusses why this is today. http://drrodneyford.com/extra/documents/236-no-gold-standard.html and he too (though in minority) is forward enough thinking to diagnose his patients with serology alone. Why would we use a standard 60+ years old when modern medicine can diagnose the disease much better and much, much sooner than what till there is stage 3 marsh lesions. The dgp test you had can diagnose it the intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL)  stage. That is good news.  The villi are already smoking (using my analogy) of a burning house from antibodies attacking the body. Problem is and I mean this as a complement to SIBO girl and Captain NCGS (I was this in an article about the ZIKA outbreak patients talking how much more they (those affected by the disease) knew than their doctor's who where treating them at the time) we (us) have become doctor's without diplomas'. One of us each has become an expert at recognizing SIBO, NCGS and Pellagra. The question is which one is right??? Maybe we are all right by degrees. I believe NCGS can be confused for SIBO. But I also believe and the research confirms it in my mind that low stomach acid mimics many of the symptom's of both SIBO and NCGS. So that tells me there is still a disease not yet correctly identified. To me the disease that answer's the most questions in my mind is Pellagra. Ironictruth, Freneyja, JMG taking a b-complex can disprove or prove this theory. here is the full paper by Prousky. http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2001/articles/2001-v16n04-p225.shtml decide for yourself but people routinely get better in 3 months time of taking  niacinamide 2 to 3 times daily or a b-complex and niacinamide 3/day for 3 months. The dosage does not matter.  It is the frequency. And a month will be enough to see improvement (100 count bottle).  I used to recommend to my friends a 100 count bottle because it was the most common way to find either Niacin/Niacinamide or a b-complex but when I found out your body could store 3 months worth in the liver and my experience with b-2 (riboflavin) and angular cheilitis (look it up on google images if you don't know what it is) for years probably 5+ I could not get rid of it for nothing. And I took b-2 (for a 100 count round) once before but learned b-vitamins needed to be taken frequently for best effect. So I bought a 300 count bottle (3 months worth) and took them (b-2/riboflavin) 2 to 3 day and the angular cheiliitis (leaking lips, cracked fissures at the side of the mouth) and it was nice and crusty went away and they have never come back since. but this was after I took the B-3 Niacinamide for a couple months firsts then I was able to absorb the b-2 (riboflavin) now and I put this condition in remission (i did not say cure) because if I get low again it might come back but remission. The same thing happened to my GI problems associated with NCGS (serology positive celiac diagnosis) without a biopsy proven (thank God) diagnosis. And that is my story. I would suggest jmg, feeneyja and you too too ironictruth buy a b-complex and see if a couple three months regimen might help put your GI symptom's in remission. we already know from research 5+ years ago that b-vitamins help celiac's with their well being. https://www.celiac.com/articles/21783/1/B-Vitamins-Beneficial-for-Celiacs-on-Gluten-Free-Diet/Page1.html quoting "For 6 months, patients received daily doses of either a placebo, or of B vitamins in the amount of 0.8 mg folic acid, 0.5 mg cyanocobalamin and 3 mg pyridoxine." They summarize quoting "These improvements, the normalization of tHcy levels, together with the substantial increase in well-being, led the research team to conclude that people living gluten-free with long-term celiac disease do indeed benefit from daily supplemental doses of vitamin B, and that doctors should consider advising the use of B vitamins supplements for these patients." So I am just saying what the doctor's recommend when recommending Niacinamide for your GI problems that Pellagra could be mimicking (masking the true cause) hence the 58% of celiac also have pellagra (that a majority) of Celiac's also are known to have. I am not a doctor.  But You can be a professor though with a masters so while I do preach Pellagra as a co-morbid condition of NCGS/Celiac disease it is only because the doctor's with diploma's research bears this out. So I try and make more people aware of this fact. (no I do not have  a master's either though a friend once said who has a masters said my research would qualify me if I had taken the courses) (And yes I know B-3 was not studied in this paper) but maybe now is the time to point out it should bee! Or SIBO girl, and Captain NCGS you can try it (B-3) for yourselves and see if it helps you the way it did the Pellagra kid/posterboy. If you want to study this topic more I summarized many of thoughts in this posterboy post https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/blogs/entry/2103-why-and-how-pellagra-is-often-confused-with-celiac-disease-andor-other-gidigestive-problems-the-science-of-pellagra-a-hidden-epidemic-in-the-21st-century-presentingrevealing-as-ncgs-andor-possbily-celiac-disease/ I wrote a blog post that also said "I had Celiac disease but developed Pellagra" but I really think it is the other way around. (it is linked in the above post) if you want to read it there so I won't post it again. I was a pellagrain who was diagnosed first as a celiac.  The same way a SIBO might first be diagnoses as a IBS or NCGS patient.  Or the way a NCGS is first diagnosed as a IBS patient 84% of the time. Remission is possible I believe if and when you find the right/correct disease. And any of these GI conditions can be confused for the other and SIBO girl and Captain NCGS makes good points. But it seems to me Pellagra can be confused for not only the SIBO, NCGS, but if the research is right 58% (the majority) of Celiac's and it is easily reversible in 3 months time. You will not know if you are not willing to try it. **** this is not medical advice just deep research and my own experience with taking Niacinamide. But I will say  I am not the only one who has been helped on this board taking Vitamin B-3. I want you Iroinctruth, Feeneyja, Jmg to be the next ones. I know this post is way too long as usual but I had a lot of ground to cover. quoting a friend 2 Timothy 2: 7 “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” this included. posterboy by the grace of God,
    • After my crash and burn gluten challenge of 2016, I wander off yet again Into the land of eastern and alternative medicine to heal. While I am grateful to many (not all) western medicine  Dr s of the past , for the past 2 decades the ones who give me relief for my lifetime ails are the alternative/eastern practitioners. I'm not starting a debate as both branches have their strengths, often the shame is they are seperated in healthcare, for likely humanity and public health imo would be best served by their encouraged collaboration/mutual recognition,but alas not my problem to solve. Much bigger then me and quite frankly, I'm too busy healing to tackle that mountain. Regardless, I now have "shoes that fit my carpet bag " of decades of multiple misdiagnosis /undiagnosis collection. They can be combined and labeled celiac and fibromyalgia. I was shocked at first at the news, I consider those really serious. Is AWOL really that ill? I've read up more  on both disciplines descriptons etc for these conditions, I'm in shock for the "shoes" fit perfectly . I know based on western test results I'm far from textbook/ gold standard celiac (but I failed to get past day 6 of my gluten challenge -likely speaks for itself) and fibromyalgia is quite demeaned/dismissed from my past knowledge amongst the western medicine world and greater society. (Friends /family in western medical fields) Is this still the case? My lifetime gi issues, the 30 plus years multiple chemical sensitivities ( go back to childhood-I keep very close to the vest), 20 plus years symptoms of muscle issues / myalgia, now have the names of celiac & fibromyalgia. Mixture of feelings of relief to be recognized, but also knowing my named illnesses are likely not recognized or are minimised by my western medicine trained family and friends and greater society. Can anyone offer some encouragement to help me cope at this time of healing? My accupuncture visits have been truly helpful, but my last visit is giving me a lot to process chemically, biologically, and spiritually. It's like someone unleashed the flood gates of all the symptoms of both illnesses at once in a combined package for me to experience in a one transparent package.  Very enlightening and to be blunt I feel like crap. So it's time to accept the package names and all, the curtain was lifted and the waxing and waning symptoms of fibromyalgia we're released. Please share any positive support or stories you have on coping with celiac recovery, celiac/fibromyalgia, and  healing by accupuncture. It will be much appreciated. As it is abundantly clear AWOL is here to stay on the celiac.com forums. Thanks  
    • https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/116482-supplement-and-foods-you-take/ ^ I did this a while back where some of us have posted what we take and eat to get our nutrients. Mines changed a bit since then since I can not eat any grains, sugars or fruits.
    • I take 2 Slice of Life gummy multivitamins and drink 2 Ensure high protein per day. Both are gluten free.
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