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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.

Gluten Free Vs Gluten Light
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I am not sure what to tell my sister. I am a new Celiac so she agreed to have the gene testing done and turned up positive for the gene. She already has two autoimmune diseases, one of them being Hashimotos. Now she says she doesn't want to take any blood tests to determine if she is Celiac, she just wants to go light on the gluten. I have told her with Celiac you can't just go half way. She may have a few Celiac symptoms but nothing that really bothers her. I had few symptoms also. If she feels better not taking in as much gluten does that even do any good as far as healing the intestines. She says with her other autoimmune disease (Sjogren's) she has a chance of cancer anyway so what difference does it make. I am just not sure what to say next.

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I am not sure what to tell my sister. I am a new Celiac so she agreed to have the gene testing done and turned up positive for the gene. She already has two autoimmune diseases, one of them being Hashimotos. Now she says she doesn't want to take any blood tests to determine if she is Celiac, she just wants to go light on the gluten. I have told her with Celiac you can't just go half way. She may have a few Celiac symptoms but nothing that really bothers her. I had few symptoms also. If she feels better not taking in as much gluten does that even do any good as far as healing the intestines. She says with her other autoimmune disease (Sjogren's) she has a chance of cancer anyway so what difference does it make. I am just not sure what to say next.

Tell your sis that Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Sjogren's are highly correlated (and possibly caused by) gluten intolerance. Gluten antibodies can attack any part of the body. In celiac disease gluten antibodies attack the intestines. However, many experts suspect that gluten antibodies attack the thyroid gland, nerves, joints, pancreas, etc. for Hashimoto's, MS, RA, Type 1 Diabetes, etc. I know several people from my local celiac support group whose RA and Hashimoto's symptoms were decreased and damage was controlled by abstaining from gluten.

Even if your sis does not have celiac disease (the intestinal manifestation of gluten intolerance), she can prevent further damage from her other 2 autoimmune disorders (Hashi and Sjogren's). I also have hypothyroiditis and mild Sjogren's symptoms. However, abstaining from gluten almost eliminated my Sjogren's symptoms. My hypothyroiditis is controlled by a low dose thyroid supplement. Without constant gluten antibody damage, I won't need to continually increase my thyroid supplement to counteract Hashimoto's autoimmune damage, because I stopped consuming gluten over 5 years ago.

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Hmm, tell her to search on "celiac associated condition" or "celiac related condition", and read the links. Mild symptoms can turn into severe symptoms over time. And sometimes that happens suddenly. She is playing with fire if she ignores the symptoms her body is presenting. Her other auto-immune conditions could get worse or better depending on her diet. A little bit does matter because it is an auto-immune condition. People with no auto-immune systems live in bubbles because they can't naturally fight off germs. The least little exposure to a microscopic, invisible germ can kill them. For people with normal immune systems the least little exposure kicks off an automatic attack by the immune system to kill the invading germs. The same little microscopic germ kills one person while another goes off ignoring it. But that is because the immune system doesn't care if it is a small little germ or not, it attacks aggressively to defend the body. If it didn't we would all be in a world of hurt. Gluten light is not going to convince the immune system to ignore a threat to the body. The immune system is there for a reason, and it's not to ignore threats. That's like saying a small amount of plague won't hurt someone.

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I was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome and told that I need to be "scanned" for lymphoma every six months...a bunch a crap in my opionion. It scared the daylights out of me, put me into a deep depression, and I had a midlife crises at 28! Fast forward a few years later: I don't believe in "diseases." I believe in imbalances. My imbalances were caused by my immune system's reaction to gluten, so I stopped consuming it. Sjogren's Syndrome has never progressed and neither has my thyroid issues. In fact, I feel better today than ever in my life. Please see if she'll consider reading "Dangerous Grains." The book put it all in perspective for me.

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