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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.

Having Second Thoughts.... And I Cheated Today....
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crampy girl    7

Ok, for starters I have made several posts and gotten may questions answered. Thanks to all. And this is a great support forum. I want to say a couple of things about my reason why I think I may have celiac, or gluten intol. or not? If anyone can help, chime in....

My bouts consist of cramps, D and almost passing out from pain, w sweating, lasts about 4 hours, but cramps after ea meal no matter what I ate for several days....followed by a week of C.

My first really bad episode came on after I ate a box of ritz crackers.

Since then ( I was 17) I averaged about one every two or three years. Went to doc, got dx of Spastic colon and got put on some anti depressant even though I was not depressed. Didnt help, got off them. I took them three months.

Around age 28 I was getting them more frequently. Like once a week. I also dev. gerd and found out I was lactose intol.

So I stopped lactose without a lactaid pill, got better but cont to have these bouts. Got put on prilosec, got even better.

Then still had bouts, but less freq, more like monthly. Each bout lasted several days,followed by C. for a week. Got put on metamucil. no help there. Senna was the only relief or MOM.

Had one bad bout related to stress of taking a very important exam, made me think this is all stress related. Got put on Serotonin re uptake inh. DID NOT HELP one bit. still had crazy episodes, not really liked to stress.

Also have runners diarrhea if I train too hard. And had several episdes when I had to stay up all night on call while in residency. Also ate lots of carbs to keep me awake.... makes me think it has something to do with stress.

Went to doc mult times for help. Got an endoscopy, ten years ago, normal. Had a HIDA gall bladder study with dyskenesia and low functioning gall bladder, so I got it taken out thinking maybe that was my problem...still no relief.

Went to see a different GI doc who said I could have celiac, or mastocytosis. Did a panel, came back neg. He wanted to do a sm bowel biopsy, I declined. This was three years ago.

Symtoms worsened over time. Nothing really to do with stress, would happen on vacation even. Seems like it was almost a weekly thing again. No diff when pregant, still had episodes.

Been Anemic all my life, but not lately. Seems dietary rather than absorption issue. Got vit pannel, low on Vit D, thats it.

Second celiac panel done after two weeks of gluten free, neg again.

Went gluten free August 1 or so until yesterday, except for two mess ups by accident which were both followed by next day "episodes".

So, if I don't have an episode tomorrow,( I ate half a bagel, cheezits and gold fish)then I am off the gluten diet. BUT.... was wondering if perhaps I have more than one intolerance? Say to grains in general? I was eating a ton of corn and corn tortillas. And cramped up after eating a bunch of apricots (maybe too much potassium), and cramp after banannas. Most of my episodes happen in the morning. Or perhaps symptoms just sort of happen sometimes and not, like an intermittent thing?

So does that sound like anything related to gluten intollerance? I don't have any other autoimmune issues....or any of the other classic symtoms I have been reading about..except maybe the mental fog thing which went away after a couple of weeks on the diet.......

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Roda    186

This is very much a personal choice but, you could have the EGD with biopsy done. It might give you some answers. It is possible to have negative blood work and still have a positive biopsy. I've had two and I didn't have any problems or complications from either. I also had a colonoscopy done (at age 35) for occult blood. I'm glad I did because they found and removed a polyp.

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Heidi S.    6

I have been through very similar to u, told it was stress, vitamin D deficiencies, bad spells increasing with age, exercise runs, oh the cramping...took out gallbladder only to get worse, negative on celiac panels, acid reflux, high fiber supplements...joke.

All I have to say is you know your body better than anyone, I can't eat early morning even being gluten free, does not matter what you react to if you are celiac with damage you will react to everything until you get gluten free and purge your system to heal. Detoxing can be slow and take upwards of 6 months to remove symptoms. My vitamin D levels are stable and good, it is NOT stress related, and even though I can not test positive for celiac for the life of me, I am 100% intolerant of gluten! I do have other allergies that have developed due to the years of damage on a weaken system (eggs, garlic, citrus fruits) but I was able to pin-point them later with an allergist easy b/c I got my gluten systems cleared up! It is called "practicing medicine" for a reason, they do not know all the answers for every person. I am a new person being gluten free for over a year, I truly have a stomach stress free life most of the time! I hope you experience that!!

Best of Luck!

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ravenwoodglass    1,222

Went gluten free August 1 or so until yesterday, except for two mess ups by accident which were both followed by next day "episodes".

So, if I don't have an episode tomorrow,( I ate half a bagel, cheezits and gold fish)then I am off the gluten diet.

Some folks have delayed reactions to gluten. If you are going to do a gluten challenge then eat gluten at least 3 times a day for a week before you decide to go off the diet. If your intolerant to gluten you should react by the end of the week.

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cassP    175

sounds like celiac or gluten intolerance to me for sure. and false negative blood tests are common ESPECIALLY if they dont test for EVERYTHING.

stress CAN affect your digestive tract- ABSOLUTELY, BUT-> that doesnt mean it's all "in your head" at all...

its up to you if you want to go on an ADEQUATE gluten challenge for more tests... or if you dont need a dx to go on the diet and heal.

if you DO want to do the challenge- make sure you get COMPLETE testing (TTG Iga & Igg, Antigliadin Iga & Igg, Endomysial Antibodies, and Total Iga Serum, & 6 or so biopsies in different sections of the small intestine)... just so the gluten/sickening challenge wasnt a waste of your time.

**also there's a newer test too... i forgot what it's called... a newer De-something antigliadin. OK, someone else is gonna have to post that.

cant wait till you start feeling better!!!!!

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I started feeling sickly and diagnosed with anemia when I was 15 (11 yrs ago). Got really sickly for 2-3 years before celiac diagnosed, had D, headaches, anemia of course, cramps, pain, sweating and shaking when going to the bathroom, went to the bathroom 9-12 times a day. I thought it was just how I was going to be...though it never seemed to matter what I ate, I was always sick. Finally got sent to a GI. Had a Endo and diagnosed with Celiacs. I have been on the gluten-free diet for 10 months now, and about 3-6 hours after I have consumed it, I know it. But...once I ate tomato soup at my parents, which was on my gluten-free shelf, so I didn't pay attention. Ate about 4 bites....said "wow mom, this is good!! what kind is this again??" and she goes NOOOO, its the tomato!! it has gluten!! I stopped eating it immediately, and never felt a thing. I would do the endoscopy if I was you. If you have the insurance to cover it, at least you will know..good luck!

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crampy girl    7

I have been through very similar to u, told it was stress, vitamin D deficiencies, bad spells increasing with age, exercise runs, oh the cramping...took out gallbladder only to get worse, negative on celiac panels, acid reflux, high fiber supplements...joke.

All I have to say is you know your body better than anyone, I can't eat early morning even being gluten free, does not matter what you react to if you are celiac with damage you will react to everything until you get gluten free and purge your system to heal. Detoxing can be slow and take upwards of 6 months to remove symptoms. My vitamin D levels are stable and good, it is NOT stress related, and even though I can not test positive for celiac for the life of me, I am 100% intolerant of gluten! I do have other allergies that have developed due to the years of damage on a weaken system (eggs, garlic, citrus fruits) but I was able to pin-point them later with an allergist easy b/c I got my gluten systems cleared up! It is called "practicing medicine" for a reason, they do not know all the answers for every person. I am a new person being gluten free for over a year, I truly have a stomach stress free life most of the time! I hope you experience that!!

Best of Luck!

Hey Heidi, thanks for your relpy. I am going to do the enterolab thing. I have been doing something small with gluten every other day for fear of an episode. I have this awful crack on the side of my mouth again and excema on my eye lid again. I have had it before when I was dieting after I had my last baby, and before that as a child many times. Was told it was some vit def like b or zinc? Do you get those? Im going to make a post on another forum to see if that's common or what. I also think I may have vitiligo? I have this bright white spot that has been getting bigger over the years. thx

crampy girl

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Heidi S.    6

Hey Heidi, thanks for your relpy. I am going to do the enterolab thing. I have been doing something small with gluten every other day for fear of an episode. I have this awful crack on the side of my mouth again and excema on my eye lid again. I have had it before when I was dieting after I had my last baby, and before that as a child many times. Was told it was some vit def like b or zinc? Do you get those? Im going to make a post on another forum to see if that's common or what. I also think I may have vitiligo? I have this bright white spot that has been getting bigger over the years. thx

crampy girl

Good Luck with the enterolab, I hope you find some answers! Remember in order to perform these tests you do have to damage your system, damage you have to heal from, be careful and stop if conditions worsen, no testing is worth serious complications.

I do have the skin form celiacs mine manifests itself with tongue spots (patches of very painful spots on my tongue) and dry cracking skin around my mouth. Though I haven't seen them in a long time. My vitamin D deficiency gives me TERRIBLE joint pain and exhaustion. Am not sure to be honest on the effects of B or Zinc. Sorry I couldn't be of more help! But you can have your vitamin levels checked by a primary care doctor with a simple blood test.

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Marz    42

Hi there,

I've found gluten to be a very sneaky substance. If you've been off gluten for a while, you might find you won't react instantly to the first bit of gluten you ingest, especially if you're not the super sensitive type.

Now that I'm gluten free, I don't always get a huge GI reaction from accidental gluten exposure - it's becoming more skin problems (itchy spots, sores in mouth, chicken skin like bumps etc), headaches, anxiety, muscle weakness etc etc.

Before gluten free I also had the extreme diarrhea, night fevers/chills, sore stomach etc.

So don't assume no diarrhea after gluten = not gluten intolerant/celiac.

Having said that, for my "gluten challenge" I had plain tasty wheat (Better to go with something with a single ingredient). I got through 3 days or so of eating it twice a day, before I waved the white flag and told myself to stop because I was starting to get the chills again. Definitely stick with the challenge for a few days and see what happens.

Are you keeping a journal of what you eat and symptoms? It's really nice to go back and see - yup, I was eating wheat, and I felt really sick. Then I was gluten free, and I felt perfect. Helps to convince yourself when you feel you need proof :)

Hope the enterolab testing goes well - for that they recommend you continue being gluten free, you don't need to challenge yourself for the enterolab tests, but you do for any additional blood tests/biopsies :(

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