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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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Thinning Hair, Chroic Yeast Infection & Other Issues - Help Please
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My mom has Celiac Disease and even though I have not had a biopsy I am 99% positive that I have it too. I have been on a gluten free diet for five months now. About a year ago, I vividly remember having problems with dry, itchy scalp which I thought was just severe dander. I would literally scratch my scalp and little pieces of it would come off in my fingernails. Around the same time, I also started noticing that I was losing a lot of hair when I would blow dry and straighten. At the time I thought nothing of it because I have always had extremely long, thick hair. Now, a year later, I have 1/2 the hair I once had. I don't have bald spots, but it is very thin and lacks volume. I didn't notice how thin it had gotten until about 3-4 months ago.

On top of that, I have also had a yeast infection for the past year and a half that will not go away no matter how many times I treat it. I am worried about this too because chronic yeast infections could mean that the yeast in my body is out of control (which would also prohibit me from absorbing nutrients and could be causing the hair loss).

Can anyone tell me if they experienced hair loss and, if so, did it eventually grow back once you started the diet? I am terrified that I may have permanently damaged my hair by scratching/picking at my scalp and that my hair is gone for good! If it does grow back, how long will it take?

I'm only 24 years old, and I am so stressed, anxious and depressed because of all these problems related to Celiac.

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My hair did grow back. Like you the loss was diffuse, or all over not in patches. I had to be strict with the diet, I take Country Life Hair and Nails supplements and use shampoo that is for sure gluten free. When I get glutened or in my case soyed also, I do get a recurrance of hair loss for a short time. So for me it is part of the autoimmune reaction. For some it is more due to nutrient deficiencies. It can take about 3 months to notice the hair growing back so do try to be patient, hard as it is.

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My hair did grow back. Like you the loss was diffuse, or all over not in patches. I had to be strict with the diet, I take Country Life Hair and Nails supplements and use shampoo that is for sure gluten free. When I get glutened or in my case soyed also, I do get a recurrance of hair loss for a short time. So for me it is part of the autoimmune reaction. For some it is more due to nutrient deficiencies. It can take about 3 months to notice the hair growing back so do try to be patient, hard as it is.

Thank you so much. I am relieved to hear this. I have been worried about this to the point of obsession and cannot stop feeling anxious about it. I have to admit that I haven't been very strict about the diet. There have definitely been times when I have cheated in the past 5 months. This probably isn't helping the situation so I am going to be very strict from here on out. I also am taking Country Life Maxi Hair vitamins.

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Tell me about chronic yeast infections! I've been struggling with them since I was 13 years old. It's very frustrating and painful, especially when they don't go away after using various creams, suppositories, oral meds, etc. My yeast infections seem to come and go. Usually I have several each year. But in the late 1990s, I literally had one for about 8 months that kept coming back, no matter what I did. It was horrible and I got really depressed. I even got so desparate as to use gentian violet. BAD idea. It made me break out in open sores and peeing was like pouring gasoline on myself. The only way I finally broke the cycle was to drastically reduce the amount of sugar in my diet.

That's my other problem, i constantly crave sweets: cookies, cake, ice creams, etc. I notice the more sweets I eat, the more I crave. I also suffer from a lot of fatigue, which is another symptom of candida overgrowth.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes your body gets "used to" certain medications if you use them over and over. For instance, if you use Monistat cream every time you get a yeast infection, it sometimes wears out its potency. When they were really bad, I had to alternate and use different types of creams, etc. Sometimes I'd take an oral antifungal as well as the cream. Also, I find that Monistat and other over-the-counter yeast creams are often not strong enough to actually get rid of a yeast infection, especially if its chronic. They are good at "masking" the symptoms for some time (in my case about 2 weeks or so) and then it comes back. I often use Terazol, which is a much stronger anti fungal cream that has to be prescribed. The other thing that is confusing is sometimes you could have a bacterial infection, or even have both. So unless you are pretty positive that it's just yeast, seeing a doctor would probably be a good idea. I got frustrated with the docs, too, though. They just kept telling me that some women are very unlucky and just have chronic yeast infections all the time.

Anyway, feel free to contact me or ask me any other questions as I've suffered from these nasties for 19 years now!

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Have either of you tried prolonged use of AZO Yeast tablets? They are sort of a preventative for that issue. You can take up to 3 daily to get rid of symptoms... and 1-2 to maintain being symptom free. About 4 years ago I had the same issue you all are describing, tried everything OTC and prescription. I'm just super sensitive and was spending a lot of time in bathing suits, etc. My doctor tested me for diabetes because having high glucose levels in your body can cause yeast problems. I was good but he then suggested Lactobacillus supplements which is what AZO Yeast is. It really worked wonders for me. If you haven't tried it, you should. It can be used in conjunction with other products if you are having current problems. It is gluten free. Found at WalMart, pharmacies, etc.

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I used to take acidopholus (sp?) pills and oral nystatin pills for years. But again, my body seemed to get used to them and they had little effect. I haven't taken the Azo oral pills, although I did try the suppositories once or twice and found them to just create more irritation. I also have vulvodynia and vestibulitis and sometimes it's hard for me to tell if I have an infection or if it's just a flareup with the vulvodynia. Overall, my body is very sensitive and will react to certain treatments in negative ways.

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Has anybody followed a candida diet? I was diagnosed a few months ago and the weight that i have put on has still not come off. I went to a nutritionist yesterday and she recommmended a candida diet for 40 days. Anybody have thoughts?? thanks!

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Have you ever tried applying plain yogurt? It seeds your body with l. acidophilus and other lactobacilli. These bacteria occur naturally in your body and they help to outcompete the yeast. Heard about this in my microbiology class (I'm a cellular biologist) and tried it and it's worked fabulously for me. Make sure to choose yogurt that's not had sugar added to it or you'll end up just feeding the yeast. I will sometimes apply it to myself and just wear a pad or you can dip a tampon in the yogurt and wear it for a couple hours.

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I had a GI fungal infection, from my throat down to my intestines. It was terrible. I took Diflucan daily for 60 days, 30 days off, and 30 days on again. This, along with massive doses of probiotics, did the trick finally. A GI can predscribe.

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    • Yes you are correct. Interestingly my genes in the US are thought to be more associated with RA. Which is something they thought I had prediagnosis. In the Middle and far East they are more likely to be associated with celiac and they are rare genes in Caucasians which I am according to my parents known heritage. I always caution folks not to take the gene tests as absolute proof they can't have celiac because I had one child who had positive blood and biopsy, did well on the diet, then got genes tested in young adulthood and was told they could never be celiac. Of course that resulted in her abandoning the diet. I worry but hope someday doctors will realise we still have a lot to learn about the genetics of this disease. PS While I still have some deformity in my hands my joint pain resolved after a few months on the diet.
    • It seems like you really need a concrete or near concrete answer so I would say maybe you ought to get the gene testing. Then you can decide on the gluten challenge.   Thanks! I am convinced our dogs are there waiting for us. Meanwhile they are playing, running, laughing, barking & chasing. I have another favorite quote dealing with dogs: "If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home & examine your conscience."  ~~~ Woodrow Wilson ~~~
    • I can't help thinking that all of this would be so much easier if the doctor I went to 10 years ago would have done testing for celiac, rather than tell me I probably should avoid gluten. He was looking to sell allergy shots and hormone treatment, he had nothing to gain from me being diagnosed celiac. I've been messing around ever since, sort-of-most-of the time being gluten free but never being strict about it. I really feel like three months of eating gluten would do my body a lot of permanent damage. I've got elevated liver enzymes for the third time since 2008 and no cause can be found which might be good, I guess. I wonder if it would be reasonable to do the HLA testing first, to decide if I really need to do the gluten challenge. If the biopsy is negative, that is. Squirmingitch, love your tag line about dogs in heaven. We lost the best dog ever last December. I sure hope all my dogs are there waiting for me!
    • Most (90%-95%) patients with celiac disease have 1 or 2 copies of HLA-DQ2 haplotype (see below), while the remainder have HLA-DQ8 haplotype. Rare exceptions to these associations have been occasionally seen. In 1 study of celiac disease, only 0.7% of patients with celiac disease lacked the HLA alleles mentioned above. Results are reported as permissive, nonpermissive, or equivocal gene pairs. From: http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/88906  
    • This is not quite as cut & dried as it sounds. Although rare, there are diagnosed celiacs who do not have either of those genes. Ravenwoodglass, who posted above, is one of those people. I think she has double DQ9 genes? Am I right Raven?  My point is, that getting the gene testing is not an absolute determination either way.
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