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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? - 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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

Greetings, All!
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I've been a lurker on many Celiac forums for quite a while, and finally decided to "take the plunge" after checking out these forums for a couple of days. (You'd think I would have been more active sooner, as I've been a diagnosed Celiac for over 20 years now.)

A little history: I was bounced around from doctor to doctor when I was a kid, and underwent hundreds of tests to try to figure out why I wasn't growing, when I was supposed to be right in the middle of my pre-adolescent growth spurt. I was finally referred to the UC Med Center in San Francisco, where some experimental studies were being performed on a new diagnosis technique for celiac disease: Non-surgical intestinal biopsy. I think I was the second or third patient to undergo the procedure, and during the 8 weeks and 3 procedures during the diagnosis process, I saw a couple of evolutions of the biopsy device itself. (And was filmed for posterity during my first biopsy.)

Fortunately, I have a fairly mild case, from what I understand. On the RARE occasion that I have a contamination event, it usually results in about a day's worth of discomfort (mostly upset stomach symptoms.) Of course, as I've been on a total-exclusion diet for most of my adolescent and all of my adult life, I might have a more resilient gut at this point. ;) I just recently took the plunge and re-introduced oats into my life. I never thought I'd be so happy to have a bowl of oatmeal!

Needless to say, Can't say I have all or even many answers, but I do remember when gluten-free foods were few and far between, never mind eating at a fast-food restaurant! I'm used to having people look at me strangely when I explain my condition, but the advent of the Atkins diet has definitely made things easier in that regard. No longer do I get the crazy looks when I ask for a burger with no bun (and Protein-Style In-N-Out burgers are the BEST!) or ask for a salad, tossed in a clean bowl with no crutons. Hopefully, the day will come when Celiac is viewed in the US as something as important as a peanut allergy (and who didn't cringe when that happened, and all of the in-flight snacks on airplanes became Pretzels?!)

One thing I will mention though, to those who have tried a gluten-free diet, and are looking for a solid diagnosis for celiac disease; if you feel better being on an exclusion diet, why worry about the diagnosis? My wife, who is not celiac disease, joined me in my diet when we first started going out together. To this day, she says that she feels better and healthier on a gluten-free diet, regardless of whether she's a diagnosed Celiac or not. (Of course, she still eats the Fleming's Steak House creamed spinach, as her one concession, of which I am jealous of her to no end!)

Cheers,

-Patrick

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Hi Patrick! Welcome to the board!! :D

There are a bunch of really great people here who are always there for support, guidance and a pat on the back when needed!

Glad to have you aboard - your expertise and experience will be an asset here!

Karen

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Welcome! I know what you mean about there used to not be many gluten-free foods, I was diagnosed when I was a baby and don't remember Gluten containing foods, but I could never goanywhere without bringing my own food, but now I can. :) yes an exclusion diet is a form of diagnosis, many doctord don't believe in it but all you really want is to feel better. It is good that your wife is also feeling better on the diet. And if you want a firm diagnosis you would need to go back on gluten for 3 months which would not be fun at all :(

This is a great message board. I found it right when it started and even though I have lived with is for a very long time, I find new facts every day.

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Hi Patrck! Welcome to the board! It is always good to here from long-time celiacs, the experience is invaluable. The diet itself is a scientific test, at least according to my kids' science teacher! I felt much better on the diet, so I didn't go for any further testing. I got confirmation by biopsy when the gi doc was looking for ulcers. No ulcers, but he did confirm what the diet had already told me! The only reason I can see for getting a formal diagnosis would be for young kids to get a 504 and other help at school and day care. Other than that, what we eat is entirely within our control, and that means our treatment of celiac is ours to control, too.

Come back and post often, we love making new friends!

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Welcome to the board :D

Everyone here is great and so supportive ...come back and post sometime soon :D

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Thanks for the welcome! I've forgotten how good it feels to comiserate with fellow Celiacs. :) Reading everything is just what I needed to recharge my batteries! Every time I come off of these boards, I feel energized, and ready to fight the good fight again! ;)

Cheers,

-Patrick

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Welcome to the board Patrick. You will learn a lot of useful information here!

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