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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

Celiac Symptoms In Teenager?
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Hi! I am feeling so bad for my teenage daughter! She has been suffering with violent vomiting, abdominal pain and cramping and diarrhea (or urgency) for years. But it is getting worse! She was almost passing out today from the pain. I am wondering if it is related to gluten intolerance. She has a long history of waking up in the middle of the nite, vomiting and horribly nauseated. Also, migraines, fatigue, joint pain and swelling, malar rash. Her ANA is positive with 1:1280 titers. We just keep treating her symptoms, but I feel there must be an underlying problem. I, myself, have "weirdo" symptoms too. I have been gluten free now for 3 weeks and feel worlds better! Has anyone had a teenager with similar symptoms?

Thanks and happy tummy days to all!

Jill

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My son had these symptoms in high school (he had them during his freshman and sophomore years). I had the same symptoms and was more concerned with what was happening with me than with my son. I thought I was dying. When I had practically given up, I did a search on my symptoms and discovered that there was a disease with every single one of my symptoms: celiac disease. I immediately went gluten free and felt like a new person. Since I decided that I no longer needed to consult with bumbling, incompetent doctors at my HMO, I didn't seek any type of testing. However, because my son had the same symptoms that I did, I took him in to be tested. His pediatrician had NEVER tested a patient for celiac disease (believe it or not) and had to consult with a gastro-enterologist on the proper tests. Long story short, my son tested positive for celiac on the blood tests, and after he began to follow the diet, he felt like a new person. Only then did he divulge to me that that he had thought that he, too, was dying. In fact, he shared with me that he had considered suicide. I mention this because it is obvious that you need the same wake-up call that I did--PLEASE have your daughter tested. Even if she tests negative, place her on a gluten-free diet. Her life sounds as Hellish as my son's was....and how I wish I could turn back the clock and do right by him. Seriously--if you're receiving benefit from a gluten-free diet, your daughter needs to receive those benefits, too. It's understandable that your poor health has caused you to overlook the seriousness of your daughter's situation...but now you must stand up and help her. Someday, she'll thank you for it (after she's cried over not being able to go to fast food restaurants with her friends)....good luck!

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Has she been tested for Lupus? The malar rash and the high ANA make me suspicious as they are consistent with Lupus. A Rheumatologist could rule out Lupus. The rash, could also be Dermatitis Herpetiformis, the skin form of Celiac. All of her symptoms are consistent with Celaic.

I have been gluten free 4 months and have had resolution of all of the symptoms you are describing.

About two weeks into it, I started to suspect my teenage son's symptoms might be related to gluten. He has depression and anxiety that I attributed to my being sick all the time. He had bone and joint pain and severe asthma and was constantly sick with fatigue, colds, and flu-like symptoms. He has had a wonderful response to the gluten free diet. He is energetic and happy and feels really good. He tells me all the time how wonderful he feels. He had gotten to the point where he couldn't do any activities and just keeping up with daily life was a tremendous task. Things are so different now. He started jogging for the first time in his life and he has not needed to use his inhalers...they were a daily medication. He is friendly and social and has no problem keeping up in school now. All digestive problems are resolved. He only gets ill if he accidentally gets gluten. It has changed our lives, and very quickly.

I strongly encourage you to have her get tested or just go gluten free. We had such a strong positive result on the diet that we did not get tested and have no desire to do so. We had both been going to Dr.'s for years with no answers and no help, so for us, this has been a miracle.

The fatigue and depression associated with gluten lifted very quickly for my son.

My migraines immediately became less severe and then less frequent.

I do hope you will try a long term trial of gluten free.

I'm 4 months into this and am still finding things getting better and better every day.

Many strange symptoms I didn't even know were related to gluten have disappeared.

It is a great relief.

And very exciting to be able to finally stop being sick every day.

I hope you have the same results and you both get well quickly.

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    • If it were my child, I'd keep him off of gluten and dairy as recommended by the dietician, especially since he's not well and this is possibly celiac.  It won't hurt him to be off of gluten and he may even improve, but if this is celiac disease or gluten intolerance, he will not improve on the gluten.  Right now your goal is for him to be well as soon as possible. I personally would wait until your son is healthy and recovered to even consider reintroducing gluten for a challenge. There is nothing worse then not having clear answers. I would encourage you to be persistent. Eight weeks is not typical for a "bug." Follow your gut, if you are getting the cold shoulder see another doctor/doctors.  Get and keep copies of all test results as part of your son's history to help new consults avoid retesting and to help determine the next steps in his care. Have you seen an allergist...?  
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