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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

Ibs And Gluten Intolerance/Celiac

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I don't know if any remember but I had posted that I got glutened over the holidays. A number of you told me to change my diet to bland items until it got better. Well on Jan 7, I got severely sick with D. My husband got sick the next day and this continued for a few days..he got better and things kept getting worse for me. I saw my family dr who thought I had a bug, give it few more days..it just got worse. Finally she took a sample and sent me to the gi dr. The GI was completely skeptical over the celiacs/gluten intolerance, told me she doubted the gluten caused my migraines/dizziness and set out looking for other issues. She scheduled me for the colonoscopy , which was last tuesday. The results all came back today normal. She said IBS and is prescribing me lomitil.

At this point, I am still having to go about 15x a day... I have missed two weeks of work. My question is this.. can gluten intolerance and ibs reside together? Could I have gotten gluten which activated the IBS? Years ago, at least 20, I was diagnosed with IBS.. I thought after the gluten finding that IBS would go away since I never really believed that diagnosis. Seems like when they can't find answers they go the IBS way.

I am so confused right now, and so frustrated. I know I am not eating gluten because after the incident at christmas, i have gone back to the simple diet of nothing processed.. just too hard to find gluten free items since I seem to be so sensitive.

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It sounds like you already know that "IBS" is a junk diagnosis. Nobody just has to run to the bathroom 15 times a day for no reason. Besides, you know your bowels are irritable/irritated. That's why you went to the doctor in the first place. What you need to know is WHY, and that's something doctors typically can't tell you. Taking a drug is no answer. The irritant (the cause) will still be there.

If it were me, I'd think there's some source of gluten in my diet. Either expressly, or by way of CC (Cross-Contamination). Or, possibly some other food, such as dairy or soy. At this point, I'd suspect any top allergens in your diet (dairy, soy, corn, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish). Are there any relatively new foods in your diet?

Can you list the foods you've been eating for the past week or so? Are there any prepared or prepackaged items in your diet? How about condiments, spices, dressings, etc? Do you use wooden utensils, cast iron pans, or non-stick pans? Do you use the same toaster or toaster-oven that is/was used for gluten-containing items?

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I agree with Rice Guy. there is probably some other antagonist, assuming you have gotten rid of all possible CC. I even had to change soaps and laundry detergent, cat food etc. etc. And now always wash my hands first before putting them to my face if I have gone anywhere, including driving since who knows what is on the steering wheel!

I know you don't want to hear this, but it just might be that you may need to go off all grains for a while. I did and it really helped me. Some here really need to do this for a while. There is a whole specific carbohydrate diet thread here. I went off grains for ten months and it really helped me. I did eat squash however since with my weak kidneys it isn't good for me to get too carried away eating chicken. Plus I am very allergic to almonds as well as other nuts. The paleo diet is similar. The main thing is to explore what works for you. I could not do the honey or fruit. Everyone is a little different.

What I would do if it really is bad is go off eating for a few days and then resume, one food at a time, one to two days at a time. Check your pulse and record how you feel. Gradually you should find the culprit(s). Sometimes its actually a combination of factors too...

If it actually is related to the infamous IBS, then some self talk or hypnosis might help.

Meanwhile I trudge out the marshmallow root and/or slippery elm in a pinch. Some feel they are counterproductive (like th SCD folks). However if needed they can be a godsend. They reduce inflammation in the intestines and can start one down a better path.

Also meanwhile there are the other anti diarrhea remedies: kaopectate, cinnamon tea, carob tea, blackberry leaf tea, raspberry leaf tea. Make one into a nice hot tea. If cinnamon or carob, add some stevia for sweetner and enjoy. 1 tsp. per cup of hot water.

A further anti diarrheal, in case its microbial, fungal, viral, bacterial related is olive leaf extract and/or tea. Just avoid any extracts made with alcohol due to possible CC or outright gluten. If its working, the first three days you may get a lot worse. But then it makes you feel a lot better. I had a horrible reaction to an antibiotic this fall that stripped all lmy good flora out of my intestines and caused similar intense, repetitive colitis like diarrhea. Taking the olive leaf (worked up to it slowly, at first just 2 caps a day, then eventually 12 for a while and now just 6 a day) really helped me. That and massive amounts of Now's GR8 enterically coated acidophilus. I have ended up feeling a lot better than I have in years. I think in part I have had these underlying microbial and fungal conditions left over from when I had a couple of tick bites and even malaria as a teenager and of course chronic candida overgrowth from years and years having undiagnosed celiac and too much yeast and sugar and bread.

So yes it can be complicated. You decided which way you want to go first. I figure simple is best whatever you decide that is.


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Hi there,

I'm newly diagnosed with Celiac as well and going through similar GI bowel problems. It's been 2 months and I findally stripped down my food menu to just plain old rice. Now, as I begin to heal and feel better I'm starting to introduce other foods and see what sits well and what doesn't. Dairy will be the last thing I introduce when I feel "normal" again because I've been warned that a lot of Celiacs turn out to be lactose intolerant as well. Also, dairy will irritate any diarrhea you may still be experiencing.

Also, health food store consultants, the pharmacist, and my naturopath all suggested taking Acidophilus to help heal internally as well as Aloe Vera Gel that you ingest. I'm also taking Calcium in liquid form which is easily absorbed by your body. According to my naturopath it helps with your bowel as well as obvious things like your bones.

If you are able to leave the house (which I finally was just recently) try to get yourself to a spa or somewhere that has an infrared sauna. It is dry heat that makes you sweat out the toxins that are in your body. Do that a few times and you'll cleanse away whatever bad stuff is currently in your body a lot faster. Also, believe it or not massage therapy can also aid in digestion. I have found that I was having anxiety as a result of leaving the house and being away from facilities. An imodium and a short trip to the massage therapist made me feel a LOT better emotionally as well which is part of the healing process.

I hope I have helped even though I'm only just learning myself.

- Sara

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Are you still eating this diet that you were back in October ?

For breakfast - bakery on main granola and milk. sometimes sam's choice coffee with international delights creamer

for lunch- either leftovers, or deli fresh oscar meyer lunch meat, cheese, a yoplait delight and some mm's

for dinner- usually just meat and potato, fresh veggie

snack- usually doritos or lays chips, popcorn and some mm's.

I got queasy just reading this, no offense.

The various flavors of bakery on main granola contain several things that I react to, not a gluten reaction, but to the other ingredients. That is a harsh list of ingredients on a tender gut lining. I react now to cashews and flax oil and sometimes sunflower oil, altho I can eat plain sunflower seeds. I used to react to sesame seeds until I was off gluten for several years, and other people also react poorly to flax seeds.

Milk has lactose and that typically sets most of us off, although some can do yogurt and aged cheeses. Other people react to the milk protein, casein. A person who heals up internally may get to where they can eat plain yogurt and cheese again.

I wouldn't use a coffee creamer because not only is that stuff bad for you, who knows what is in the flavorings, even if they are technically gluten free. I'm not finding the full ingredient list on the website. I see from the FAQ that it does contain dairy casein, milk protein. I use nut milk such as hemp, almond, or coconut milk, or just skip it.

Lunch meat- Hormel is better for true gluten free status. Organic cheeses are better, and then again, you may need to either skip cheese or go to hard cheeses, and too much cheese is the last thing you want to eat with a gut in uproar. Cooking 5 real chicken breasts or hamburger patties for the week on Sunday may be a better way to handle this.

yoplaits- yes, technically gluten free. but again, it's dairy, and you could be reacting to another flavoring. And some yogurts contain unaged lactose. I had a reaction to a plain yogurt that was labeled gluten free, that used to work for me, and I was REALLY majorly annoyed when I figured out this was the culprit, by process of elimination.

m&m's- love the little dudes, especially the peanut ones, but are you safe with the food coloring ? I ate a bunch of minis last month and bleeeahhhh.

Oh, and here we are, at 2 meals and not a single fruit or vegetable has shown up yet. NO green vegetables. This doesn't work, long term.

dinner- looks okay.

snacks, chips- I see on another thread you've already discussed this. I would lay off that sort of thing until you get this sorted out. Maybe try a Lundberg rice cake, plain, not Quaker. I react to Lundberg flavored rice chips, I have no idea why, but I can eat baked rice snap crackers.

If you eat beans, which are a great source of fiber, be sure to rinse off the canned ones really well first. Another good source of fiber is plain canned pumpkin or cooked squash.

Are you on a gluten free B- complex vitamin and a calcium and magnesium supplement ? Are you taking any weirdo supplements you've neglected to mention, that it turns out they aren't really gluten free ?

Go back to plain basics, and avoid processed foods. Fruit, nuts, avocados, vegetables, meat, olive oil, peanut butter, coconut milk. I also ate grain free for about 2 years, higher fat and protein, with only a little bit of rice until I got the hang of this. Many of us can't do the amount of alternate grain carbs that other normal people can. Many of us have one or two other common foods we don't do well with, such as lactose, dairy, soy, potato, corn, or nightshades, and it takes a while to find the culprit.

The doctor is an idiot. She does not understand symptoms of gluten intolerance. You are classic. She scoped the wrong end of you. You have to interview the office help really intensively before agreeing to make an appointment with these types, to see if they actually ever DO diagnose celiac or gluten intolerance, and at the initial appointment, if the doctor seems clueless, you have the right to refuse tests. They may pout and get nasty, but it's your money. My current PCP humors me on this because I told him hell would freeze over before I ate gluten again, even tho I test negative on blood tests, and he knows that is a commitment when a person does it for years and suddenly, mysteriously gets better. I self diagnosed based on a brain scan showing bright spots, the neuro told me that they and my symptoms had nothing to do with any diet, in spite of my telling her the stricter I was with a grain free diet, the better I felt. She also lied to me about another test result, which she did not know I had obtained independently, and told me I didn't have spinal stenosis, which I have had for about 35 years now. You don't absorb nutrients correctly, and your bones can suffer. There are real whackadoodles out there just in it for the bucks $$$, so be careful.

If you have been off of all gluten for a while, your blood tests will probably be normal if you are successful at the diet. You can get tested over the counter mail order for the genes to see if you are a carrier of the ones predisposing you to gluten intolerance, or celiac, if you feel you need lab confirmation. It won't prove it, but it indicates you are very likely to be g/i or celiac if you're also having the symptoms. Also, some ethnic groups are much more likely to be carriers, and as the joke goes, Irish x Native American = The Golden Cross for Auto Immune Diseases, especially if you ended up with very fair skin. Wikipedia has a great series of articles on Celiac and Gluten Intolerance and the HLA- DQ genes, if you google them.

You may also want a lyme disease test. That can cause gluten intolerance.

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First thank you for all your input...being 40 and having lived a certain way for all these years.. it was difficult to go gluten free.. I have changed my diet to more gluten free foods and took dairy out. So my diet doesn't look like a previous post. I was reacting to the bakery on main so I had switched to a gluten free flax/amarynth cereal with almond milk and a fruit. For lunch I usually have a bland chicken breast with veggies, and dinner is the meat veggie combo. Snack is either the lays stax or popcorn. Sorry my diet made you queasy.. =( I am not the best eater.. I have gotten better..except for christmas...I have verified all my vitamins, shampoos, toothpaste, hand lotion, etc..

but that being said.. since christmas I have been eating very bland, nothing processed because I have been so sick. I have taken everything out of my diet , I can say that its not gluten. I will keep a food diary and look for other allergens. Whats weird was how this came on. I don't react to gluten this way, my glutening consists of headaches, migraines, dizziness, rib pain.. not tummy troubles.

They are sending me in for a ct scan on thursday... but i will heed all of your advice in the hopes I can back to normal..

Thank you all for your input.. and yes.. I will start eating much better and including more fruits and veggies.. =) Thank you all...

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My $.02...I had a recent bout with a tummy bug also, and it really set back my healing. I'm not Celiac but pretty much have all they signs/symptoms with negative genetic test results. Anyway, I'm forming a theory here that these tummy bugs really mess with our guts! (as if we already didn't know that?). I'm just surprised at how far it put back my healing. Things that I had re-introduced are bothering me again, so I've got to go back to more simple foods for a while.

I hope you get better soon. I know I did send any advice, just maybe some words of support that you aren't alone.

- Jana

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I'd suggest ditching the Lay's Stax. Even if they are unflavored, it's processed in a facility that also handles wheat, so CC could be a problem. Besides, there have been some lengthy discussions about Lay's and CC. It's also a nightshade, which could be a problem anyway.

Also, is the popcorn homemade from plain corn, or prepackaged? I think you know why I mention it. Of course, corn is a top allergen, so it wouldn't surprise me if you need to avoid it at least for awhile.

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