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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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Celiac, Barretts Esophagus, Addisons, And Hashimotos Are They Related?
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I have recently been diagnosed with Barretts esophagus, Hashimotos, Addisons and Celiac disease. I am feeling beyond overwhelmed. I have always thought I was a healthy person :). My blood test for celiac was strong positive for Tissue transglutaminase and Deamidated glidian. My biopsy was normal. I am wondering if those other diseases could cause a positive blood test? I have been gluten free for a month and am still feeling really fatigued. I was just diagnosed yesterday for Addisons and Hashimotos so I haven't really had a chance to get meds yet for those. Are all of these things related??? I am so bummed out. I feel like my body is just falling apart. In my sorrow yesterday, I gave up and ate some bread and chocolate chip cookies. Now I am mad at myself. I guess I am still in denial!

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I have recently been diagnosed with Barretts esophagus, Hashimotos, Addisons and Celiac disease. I am feeling beyond overwhelmed. I have always thought I was a healthy person :). My blood test for celiac was strong positive for Tissue transglutaminase and Deamidated glidian. My biopsy was normal. I am wondering if those other diseases could cause a positive blood test? I have been gluten free for a month and am still feeling really fatigued. I was just diagnosed yesterday for Addisons and Hashimotos so I haven't really had a chance to get meds yet for those. Are all of these things related??? I am so bummed out. I feel like my body is just falling apart. In my sorrow yesterday, I gave up and ate some bread and chocolate chip cookies. Now I am mad at myself. I guess I am still in denial!

Don't beat yourself up....you are going through that tough time many here have lived through...myself included. I also have Hashi's and Celiac so know what you speak of with regards to the fatigue. Let's see if I can explain things well....Hashi's can raise tTg, however, all of these issues you have been diagnosed with can result from undiagnosed Celiac....they are associated with celiac disease. The fact that your biopsy came back normal means only that you may not have had time to develop full blown intestinal damage. You are showing antibodies to gluten in your blood but are lucky to not have gotten to the point where your small intestine has been trashed....that is good! If you had continued to be undiagnosed and eating gluten, things could have progressed far worse.

You are going to have to get your adrenals and thyroid happy again with meds before that fatigue is going to go away. Do not become depressed as this is all fixable. Addison's requires you to take cortisol, I believe, and Hashi's requires thyroid hormone. Both are naturally occurring hormones in your body so it's not like you will be taking meds that are foreign to the way your body naturally works. You also need to stay very gluten free and your body will start to heal....which will benefit your thyroid and adrenal glands.

Barrett's is often a result of Celiac or one of the complications...acid reflux. If you stay gluten-free, I believe Barrett's can heal over time, like the other problems. This may take a year or more to happen so be very patient....easier said than done, I know. You may also be able to cut back on dosages for your meds for the other problems, once you heal and start absorbing better. That happened to me...I was able to cut my thyroid med almost in half....but it took 5 years for that to happen. I am also 51 years old...younger folks may have faster results.

Please read Dr. Peter Green's book: Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. It's full of useful info, especially for the problems you have, and will give you a lot of great info on how to manage this disease well. He also has a chapter on associated diseases, like the ones you have.

You will be OK...really, and you are not falling apart! It only seems that way! I was a 97 pound, frail, you could blow me over with a feather, Celiac

at diagnosis and have recovered very well. I have 4 autoimmune diseases, total, and they have gotten much better (except one of them!) with the gluten-free diet.

Just hang around and ask questions and we'll get you there. :D

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This is just my opinion, but with a little research you'd find there is a strong connection in the scientific literature for all of these disorders. Addison's is basically adrenal fatigue taken to the worst extreme and you will feel very, very fatigued with Addison's. Hypothyroidism can poop you out, (and depress you) too. There is no 'quick fix' so gear up for some hefty work on dietary issues to improve how you feel. I'm sure your doctors will prescribe lots of things but much improvement can be accomplished with a knife and fork.

Celiac's disorder could certainly be an underlying cause for the autoimmune issues, and correcting the diet to be strict gluten free (and I mean absolutely STRICT) will certainly help in every area of health but it takes time to see improvements and up to 2 years to heal the leaky gut. I myself am a 'silent celiac' so I don't show gut symptoms but several years before I found out about the Celiac's I experienced subclinical hypothyrodism and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (low adrenal function) plus a bunch of other complicated health issues. Finding the Celiac's diagnosis was a big help in my feeling better.

In my opinion if your blood test showed Celiac's, then the normal biopsy could possibly mean that you don't have as much gut damage (yet) but the autoimmune disorders are indicators that your health is in serious jeopardy. Thus being strictly gluten-free would be a great first step. If you need a comfort cookie then choose a gluten-free cookie. If you need a comfort bread then find a gluten-free bread. Being gluten-free doesn't mean you can't eat comfort food. Personally, I find Betty Crocker's new gluten-free brownies (mix) to be a 'fallback' food, or a homemade black bean brownie :) Clean out your pantry, refrigerator, freezer, and spice shelf and get started on a healthier life!

Overcoming adrenal fatigue is a long haul. Addison's is a very difficult disorder, and can be life threatening so it's important to learn all about it. From personal experience (adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues and Celiac's) it takes about 2 years of real attention to diet to substantially improve Adrenal Fatigue, and that's not as far down the health scale as Addison's. (You may be one of the lucky one's helped by meds.) Thyroid medication was really helpful to me on a number of hypothyroid symptoms but also took a couple of months to find the optimal dosages of thyroid hormones. (I do best on Armour thyroid instead of the synthetic Synthroid). Knowing you have an adrenal problem as well as a thyroid problem is very important and useful finding!

Oh - on a side issue, I have found that in correcting vitamin deficiencies connected to the various disorders I have, I do best with either blended green smoothies and/or liquid vitamin supplements. All of those health problems I mentioned impaired my digestive system and I wasn't getting what I needed out of my food or from traditional supplements in tablet or capsule form. I found I felt noticeably better after a couple of weeks using a liquid multivitamin in addition to an improved diet.

Currently I'm following a 'Paleo' eating plan as I find it simpler (for me) to follow this type of meal plan than the traditional gluten-free/casein-free meal plans that use alternative grains and substitutions for dairy. 'Paleo' as a diet is grain-free and dairy free by definition, (though many Paleo people do use dairy). I don't eat dairy as I'm also casein intolerant. Fortunately, the levels of animal protein recommended in Paleo are very helpful in improving adrenal function and thyroid function so the 'Paleo diet' sort of fits all my personal health issues. (I couldn't improve my adrenal function as a vegan or vegetarian) Dr. Loren Cordain's revised edition of 'THE PALEO DIET' is out in paperback and it's a good read and there are lots of web sites devoted to Paleo style eating, recipes, etc. so even though it's not a 'Celiac' diet, it works for Celiac's becasue it's gluten-free.

So be hopeful! Lot's of us have been where you are now. Life does get better! You have more pieces to the puzzle! You do have options! Lots of books lots of web sites, lots of people who've been down the same road. Now - go out and find some gluten-free comfort foods for those bummed out moments, pour yourself some gluten-free Almond milk, and have a gluten-free brownie for me!

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    • Gaerty,  thank you for sharing this with me! You want to know something crazy? The night before you sent this I was googling "vitamin deficiencies linked to splinter hemorrhages" and an article came up about vitamin C deficiency. I can't remember the last time I took vitamin C or drank orange juice or consumed anything that has vitamin C on a regular basis. It's crazy that you responded to this post when you did. My splinter hemorrhage is razor thin and looks like it could be shrinking but it's hard to tell. Also it's not growing out of the nail bed. It stated more in the middle of my right thumb nail. I don't take a multivitamin mainly because I can't find one that doesn't trigger my anxiety. Trying to find a good one that doesn't have energy boosters in it like green tea and extra B vitamins (all my B vitamin levels are great). I haven't been tested for low C vitamin levels but I might have to now. I was tested for some of the base ones that most celiacs have issues with, folate, magnesium, B's, E's, and a couple others and all of them came back good with the exception of my vitamin D3 which in November 2016 was 16 and we tested it again in February, it moved up to 26. Still low but moving up. My liver numbers in October 2016 were bad but by February 2017 they were perfect. I had skin rashes, most of those have cleared up over the past 5 to 6 months, by about 85%, since I was diagnosed. This splinter hemorrhage came up about 7 to 8 weeks ago. Like I said it appears to be growing out but I'm still going to get it looked at.  Let me know what your doc says about the vitamin C levels. Also what multivitamin do you take?  Ps: I bought some clementines yesterday.  Thanks for responding!  Spencer 
    • Maybe try a rice based milk, I find the coconut flavoured ones really good with cereal.  
    • I guess they've never felt the political pressure the mainstream cereal producers were under in the age of rickets and pellagra? Plus there's not such a competitive market and its a cost manufacturers would sooner do without if they can, although if Udi's or Genius did start perhaps they'd get more business. I think I'll start eating flax seed again, that was good for fibre I think. I take a vitamin supplement also of course. 
    • Good for you! One suggestion, if you run into another reaction like your Endo, try and ask a question which puts the burden of proof on them, ie: 'Given the positive blood test, on what clinical basis are you excluding celiac?' At least it forces them to be more precise and perhaps exposes any flaws in their reasoning. Although if you reach that stage with a doctor it's probably worth looking for another... If I were a cynic I'd say your Endo had already metaphorically left the building when they were analysing your tests.Your primary seems more on the ball though Best of luck! If and when you go gluten free come back here and there will be plenty of support for you.
    • Great Image JMG.   Thanks for the feedback. I think I feel that the decision to push for further tests, and not shrug it off is the direction I want to go. And I think I may try the diet post-endoscopy, and see if I respond (particularly if my thyroid responds to the diet).  Thank you All!
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