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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?  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
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MsCurious

Here Is A Link To Mayo Clinic Celiac Cascade (Recommended Steps To Diagnose Celiac)

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Hi everybody,

I'm still here... still playing the waiting game, but things are progressing forward. I went through (and probably still a little bit) the roller coaster of emotions, fears, self doubt, etc. But I've been doing some really heavy duty research, as I'm sure most of you have and I've decided on my plan of attack.

1. No more self doubt... trying to justify symptoms and telling myself I must be crazy... this couldn't happen to me.

2. Made list of all symptoms and a timeline of events that I feel have been significant to a diagnosis of celiac, or gluten intolerance... or maybe even some other intolerances. (I'm not ruling ANYTHING out after doing a quiz thing that indicated I could have fructose and yeast intolerance as well... something I hadn't considered previously). Plan to take that list with me to GI, so I don't forget things that will help them diagnose what ever is wrong with me.

3. Following up with GI that my doctor referred me to, and will push hard for FULL celiac panel, as well as panel that identifies other food intolerances. Not sure what the name(s) of the test(s) would be, but I know they are out there.

4. Determined to let the GI know right up front, things are NOT normal, there IS a cause for this stuff, and I want answers, not the run around. Tests, then results, then action to resolve (diet change). I expect ahead of time that GI WILL refer me to a nutritionist/dietician... and I will push for that as well.

5. Will exhaust all options until I get an answer and FEEL BETTER... since that is my goal. I don't care if they say I have celiac, or gluten intolerance, or fructose intolerance, or yeast intolerance or all of the above... as long as it can be identified concretely so that I have tools to work with. (knowing my intolerances... which they DO have tests to identify).

Now that I have myself pulled together, and know what I need to do for me, I thought I'd post something that could be very helpful to those of you who, like me, had no clue what tests you should be getting. This is a link to the Mayo Clinic recommended cascade to diagnose/rule out celiac as of April 2010:

https://acrobat.com/#d=ZmMhVGq5ZUU5qSrjV3KPlg

Good luck to you all, so many stories on here all repeat each other, over and over and over again. I just wish EVERY doctor would take half an hour and just read through the stories. They would be shocked to see the consistencies, and frustrations of trying to get a diagnosis for these issues. This site has been a godsend for information, hope, support, and kind words. If I can do the same for just one person, that will make me happy. :)

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Oh hey look, they're still using the TTG test as the main one... I remember a time when I used to think the Mayo Clinic knew what the hell they were doing. They're no better off than the IOM, a great place to get your information if you don't care about any studies that have taken place in the last decade or so.

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Oh hey look, they're still using the TTG test as the main one... I remember a time when I used to think the Mayo Clinic knew what the hell they were doing. They're no better off than the IOM, a great place to get your information if you don't care about any studies that have taken place in the last decade or so.

That was as of April 2010. Mayo is pretty in-touch with current studies and research, as you can see if you bother to read about current research, they collaborate with doctors in UK, Sweden, and many other places.

If there is something more current, my apologies for not knowing, but I, like many others here, are still searching for answers and educating ourselves about what is necessary to get where we need to be, ie: what tests to expect or to ask for. This is better info than none IMHO.

As far as the TTG... they do that one first because of high sensitivity. As you can see, they move on from there. If you have better information, please post, if not.. your rant was really a meaningless attack. We are just trying to help each other out here.

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They actually do have the newest test DGP in there for both IGA deficient folks and those not IGA deficient. So they are up to date. The only thing I don't agree with it that they suggest the gene typing as a part of the first step. Too often if the genes DQ2 orDQ8 are not present they stop looking and say nope can't be celiac. They are not the only major hospital to do that though but if they had done that (gene testing for diagnosis) with me I wouldn't be here.

Thanks for posting the link.

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They actually do have the newest test DGP in there for both IGA deficient folks and those not IGA deficient. So they are up to date. The only thing I don't agree with it that they suggest the gene typing as a part of the first step. Too often if the genes DQ2 orDQ8 are not present they stop looking and say nope can't be celiac. They are not the only major hospital to do that though but if they had done that (gene testing for diagnosis) with me I wouldn't be here.

Thanks for posting the link.

Thank you, Raven ;) You continue to be such a supportive and helpful resource on here, and for that I thank you so much. :)

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"playing the waiting game,.... I went through (and probably still a little bit) the roller coaster of emotions, fears, self doubt, etc."

How true your words are. I have been playing the waiting game too. I can emphasis with you. I have several more weeks till I will have my biopsy. Maybe I will have some answers by then. If not I may be on to a lot of other testing to find out about my symptoms. It has been scary not knowing what is causing my symptoms. I had been trying not to think of the scary reasons but one can not help thinking about them. You are doing the right thing, thinking how to approach communicating with your doctors. It should be a partnership with them. They listen to you and you listen to them and then both come up with an avenue of attack on our symptoms. It just seems so long the waiting for the next appointment or the next test. It is nerve racking let alone the physical problems we are putting up with.

Which doctor will your seeing next?

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"playing the waiting game,.... I went through (and probably still a little bit) the roller coaster of emotions, fears, self doubt, etc."

How true your words are. I have been playing the waiting game too. I can emphasis with you. I have several more weeks till I will have my biopsy. Maybe I will have some answers by then. If not I may be on to a lot of other testing to find out about my symptoms. It has been scary not knowing what is causing my symptoms. I had been trying not to think of the scary reasons but one can not help thinking about them. You are doing the right thing, thinking how to approach communicating with your doctors. It should be a partnership with them. They listen to you and you listen to them and then both come up with an avenue of attack on our symptoms. It just seems so long the waiting for the next appointment or the next test. It is nerve racking let alone the physical problems we are putting up with.

Which doctor will your seeing next?

Hi Igg... so nice to meet you! Thanks for your reply... its nice to talk with someone in the same shoes. :) I just got off the phone with GI Department about an hour ago... FINALLY! They called and scheduled a consultation with GI doctor.

My regular doctor referred me with a very strange note. He didn't give me the results of my genetic test, but said the results were in the mail. Then he said he had referred me to GI and they would be calling to set up an appointment, which finally happened today. Then he said (in his note after telling me results were being mailed) that this test was not the test for celiac. LOL :P

I have no idea how to read that. Don't know if I have one of the markers and he wanted me to know that doesn't diagnose celiac (which I already knew)... OR if he was trying to tell me I didn't have genetic markers so I don't have celiac for sure. So hopefully tomorrow I will get that in the mail and at least know what my DQ markers are... not that it will tell me much, other than if I am in the pool of people who can get celiac. Although from what I understand that only covers 98 percent ... or something so there are other markers that are associated to Celiac, in a very very small population. I feel like I'm rambling! :P I know what I'm trying to say, but not sure its coming out right.

It sounds like you're a few steps ahead of me in the process, but its really nice to talk with someone who has the same concerns that I do. I feel like everybody around me just think I'm imagining things, or exagerating... even though 3 of them exhibit symptoms themselves (digestive issues, skin rashes etc.). My husband is being very supportive, but really doesn't understand. Don't think he's ever had a tummy ache in his entire life... let alone the "big D". :blink:

He had 5 days off, and we ate exactly the same foods the entire 5 days and I got sicker than a dog, but he was perfectly fine! I had a really really bad reaction ... I think to eating pasta, and two days later.... I was in really bad shape. So I think that made him realize that something I'm ingesting is toxic to my system, so that helped a little with understanding on his part.

I hope you get the answers you are seeking with your biopsy. Good luck with that, and keep me posted! I'm interested in how you do!

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So hopefully tomorrow I will get that in the mail and at least know what my DQ markers are... not that it will tell me much, other than if I am in the pool of people who can get celiac. Although from what I understand that only covers 98 percent ...

I personally have a real problem with the idea that 98% of celiacs carry those 2 associated genes. The reason being is that they have not routinely tested all blood and biopsy proven celiacs to see what genes they do carry. IMHO it is very likely that there are a lot more than 2% of us that carry one of the other up to 27 associated genes. Of the 4 diagnosed in my family, 3 by positive blood tests, one by positive blood and biopsy, and myself by elimination and 2 challenges, the second of which almost killed me, not one of us had them order a gene test at diagnosis. I had mine done 5 years after diagnosis because the blood and biopsy positive family member had their gene test done and was told she never was celiac and all the tests and improvement on the diet was false...because she didn't have Dq2 or Dq8. That made me wonder what gene I carry. It also depends on what country you live in what genes are considered celiac associated. Mine while not considered a celiac gene here in the US is considered one in the Far and Middle East. There is a lot to be learned about celiac and about gene testing and gene testing IMHO should not be used to firmly rule celiac out.

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I personally have a real problem with the idea that 98% of celiacs carry those 2 associated genes. The reason being is that they have not routinely tested all blood and biopsy proven celiacs to see what genes they do carry. IMHO it is very likely that there are a lot more than 2% of us that carry one of the other up to 27 associated genes. Of the 4 diagnosed in my family, 3 by positive blood tests, one by positive blood and biopsy, and myself by elimination and 2 challenges, the second of which almost killed me, not one of us had them order a gene test at diagnosis. I had mine done 5 years after diagnosis because the blood and biopsy positive family member had their gene test done and was told she never was celiac and all the tests and improvement on the diet was false...because she didn't have Dq2 or Dq8. That made me wonder what gene I carry. It also depends on what country you live in what genes are considered celiac associated. Mine while not considered a celiac gene here in the US is considered one in the Far and Middle East. There is a lot to be learned about celiac and about gene testing and gene testing IMHO should not be used to firmly rule celiac out.

Yep... I'd say your family carries genes that fall into the group that does have celiac disease but doesn't fall in the "typical 98%" ..but I think, like you... they isolated that gene in so many people of european ancestry.. specifically UK, Sweden Ireland...and those areas... so that became their focus. I think there are a LOT of genetic links that they have yet to identify, but hopefully they will keep at it, so people who really DO have it, aren't made to feel crazy or like hypochondriacs or something. I have read of double DQ1 and Double DQ9 and DQ5 &DQ7 pairing that have all the same symptoms, and react extremely well to gluten-free... and really sick with CC. So I think they are really in infant stages of figuring out the genetics associated with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

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I hope you get the answers soon. I had no clue that it might be Celiac until my Endo figured it out. I remember him asking Celiac type questions and at the time I had no clue where he was leading. I was happy he called me to tell me what the Celiac Panel pointed to. He warned me then not to go on a Celiac diet because the GI doctor would want to most likely take biospys. That has been the hardest. When I look at the wheat containing food it is like looking at poison. It is hard to eat it knowing it is most likely making me sick. I talk to a woman that heads up the local Celiac group . She said that I will be happier knowing for sure (from the biospys)that it is Celiac. So I wait for my appointment.

When you get your test data I hope you get the information you are looking for. How did you find out that it might be Celiac in your case?

God Bless you and take care.

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I hope you get the answers soon. I had no clue that it might be Celiac until my Endo figured it out. I remember him asking Celiac type questions and at the time I had no clue where he was leading. I was happy he called me to tell me what the Celiac Panel pointed to. He warned me then not to go on a Celiac diet because the GI doctor would want to most likely take biospys. That has been the hardest. When I look at the wheat containing food it is like looking at poison. It is hard to eat it knowing it is most likely making me sick. I talk to a woman that heads up the local Celiac group . She said that I will be happier knowing for sure (from the biospys)that it is Celiac. So I wait for my appointment.

When you get your test data I hope you get the information you are looking for. How did you find out that it might be Celiac in your case?

God Bless you and take care.

You know, its probably a very typical story. One of connecting the dots. I feel kind of like an idiot that I just accepted feeling crappy for decades, but I attributed all the chronic digestive stuff to "being like my dad" ... who I think also may have celiac disease or NCGS. And the fatigue and headaches etc, I attributed to being a single mom, working full time, owning a home and having to do everything from cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, taking care of my child to mowing, snowblowing, cleaning gutters, raking leaves, keeping up with son's hockey, boy scouts, football, baseball, tennis, swimming, piano lessons...etc. I just always figured I was burning the candle at both ends... trying to "do it all"... and that's why I felt really crummy all the time.

THEN.... in October...last fall I had a really severe back pain... thought I must have twisted wrong when lifting a box of copy paper or something. A few days later, a horrible rash and the pain felt like I had been stabbed through the back and out my chest with a sword. Finally after a brutally painful week, the doctor diagnosed shingles. That took 5 weeks to heal ...which I guess is normal. I asked my doctor straight out... "Why did I get shingles? What causes it to strike some people and not others when the majority of the population has had chicken pox?" His reply was... "Generally, its rears its ugly head, where there is a weakened immune system." I said, "Well I don't have a weakened immune system!" And he replied, "Well it happens sometimes to people who don't." and that was the end of the conversation.

Holidays came and went...and I was feeling worse and worse. Constant headaches, sooooooo fatigued... just didn't bounce back after the Chicken Pox Part Two. So in January... I saw an IBS commerical on TV for some miracle product...(yeah right) but it got me to thinking... why the heck do I have to put up with this constant "D" and feeling so awful all the time, so I googled IBS, thinking maybe that's what I had... same ole, same ole with a new-fangled name or something. Surprisingly, I kept reading references to Celiac Disease...and the more I read the more I thought... holy crap...that sounds like me!

It was sort of a "connect the dots" thing. After reading about celiac, and gluten intolerance I thought... OMG, diarrhea, bloating, gas, tummy pains, cramping, unexplained headaches that would last for 3-6 days, fatigue, joint pain, always bruising easily...never knowing where I got them, eczema runs in the family, as do many allergies and asthma... severe anemia at age 19-20 where I would just about black out walking up steps, and the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis at about 20... that "seemed to get better", and lactose intolerance for 30+ years, oh and lets not forget chronic sore throats... more common to have one than not.

Then it occurred to me... three years ago I had been in a vitamin D study, and when they ran the tests they said, you virtually have no vitamin D... level was 15 and 50-100 is normal range. At the time they were saying they thought it was due to lack of sunlight in northern climates blah blah. Then I thought about the times my son begged for mac n' cheese and I'd make it and I'd get sicker than a dog like the next day... and think...sheesh, I wonder if they made the macaroni noodles in Mexico or something, and because of the water there ... monezuma's revenge! LOL ... Good grief, I didn't have any clue back then. After thinking for a while, another light bulb went on... OMG, ... shingles!.... compromised immune system!!!! It all started making sense... so I contacted my doctor and he ordered TTG IgA and IgG... results: negative. So he referred me to GI Dept and I go in on March 1st... so I'm holding on ... suffering through the gluten in hopes that they will figure it out. And if they don't, I'm going gluten free with or without doc diagnosis. So sick and tired of being sick and tired. It has stunted my life enough... its time for me to take control of it... not have it control me. :) So, there you are... that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. ;) Sorry you asked now...aren't ya? LOL :P

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Wow shingles. Those are really tough. My mother has had them twice. Ouch! Remember that shingles is an immune system thing. You are doing the right thing in checking it out completely with the GI doctor. I asked my doctor could my symptoms be just celiac. He said there is a possibility that there could be more than celiac involved. He said it would take at lease two months to feel better on the celiac diet. If I didn

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    • Hello all! I am new on here, and I was wondering if it worth a look for me to get tested for celiac disease. I've been experiencing severe stomach aches accompanied by issues with loose stool, constant fatigue, lots of infections, worsening of skin on my face, frequent nausea, lots of trouble losing weight. I'm asking because I was feeling better at home from vacation after having a very rough semester at school and I'm not very good at keeping track of what I eat typically, but at home it is mostly vegetables and meat, with the occasional rice thrown in. This morning I had my first bagel in months and was extremely nauseous with severe pains and urges to run to the bathroom.  Do y'all think it is worth a try to get tested for celiac disease or some type of gluten intolerance? I'm so tired of being sick and not knowing why... Thank you <3 
    • LexieA, I agree with Plumbago. The symptom's of low stomach acid and high stomach acid are similar so it is easy to confuse the symptom's of one as the other. Dr. Myatt explains this well in her online article about stomach acid. http://healthbeatnews.com/whats-burning-you/ quoting "But My Symptoms Feel Like Too Much Acid…" Strong stomach acid and pepsin quickly "emulsify" fats and proteins, making them ready for the next step of digestion, passage into the small intestine. When these digestive factors are weak, food remains in the stomach for longer and it begins to ferment. Gas pressure from the fermentation can cause bloating and discomfort and can can also cause the esophageal sphincter to open, allowing stomach contents to "backwash" into the esophagus. Even though weak stomach acid is the central cause of this, even this weak stomach acid, which has no place in the esophagus, will "burn." This burning sensation confuses many people, including doctors, who then "ASSuME" that excess acid is to blame. Too little acid, resulting in slowed digestion, and gas which creates back-pressure into the esophagus is the real cause of almost all "heartburn" and GERD." so  you can see how they can easily be confused for each other. you no doubt are having stomach acid issues but it is because it is too little or too much? Timeline helps us determine which it is. If it happens when we eat something it is already to low to  digest the food we are eating. if eating something cause the heartburn/gerd to improve (especially meat) then your stomach acid is really too high especially if this happens between meals. because eating something will naturally dilute/lower the stomach acid pH. I wrote about my stomach acid being misdiagnosed on my celiac.com posterboy blog. ( have summarized most of what you need to know in this reply but the post is still there if you want to study it more for yourself. if your not taking an antacid now then taking BetaineHCL should improve digestion. If it does then raising your stomach acid by lowering you pH should improve your digestion. study on the best way to take powdered stomach acid before trying this. but I found taking 3 to 4 capsules in the beginning was easier than taking only 1 or 2 in the beginning .. .  until I could back it down to only needing one per meal or now none per meal to aid digestion. which is what we are shooting for.  The place where our body is now producing our stomach acid naturally at a healthy level. if you feel a "warm sensation" in your stomach you have reached a good level. I hope this is helpful. I only know it helped me. *** this is not medical advice but I hope you have as a good experience with it as I did. Usually peopledon't  have a trouble taking BetaineHCL unless they have an ulcer or already taking PPI's which are actually lowering  their stomach acid contributing to a viscous cycle of being locked into taking PPI's long term. if PPIs are taken for more than 6 months they can be almost impossible to stop/quit because of the acid rebound people experience when trying to stop taking them cold turkey and why they recommend stepping back doses by 1/2 gradually so they don't get overwhelmed by the stomach acid your stomach is  able to produce again naturally itself (hopefully). . . if taking betaineHCL jump started your ability to produce stomach acid again. . . if not taking betaineHCL (Powdered Stomach Acid) can replace what the body is missing much like taking a hormone. chris kresser has a good online article on this subject as well. https://chriskresser.com/what-everybody-ought-to-know-but-doesnt-about-heartburn-gerd/ he says it well. quoting chris kresser. "If heartburn were caused by too much stomach acid, we’d have a bunch of teenagers popping Rolaids instead of elderly folks. But of course that’s the opposite of what we see." **** this is not medical advice but I hope it is is helpful. posterboy by the grace of God, 2 Timothy 2:7 "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things".  
    • Lex_ I agree with Ennis_Tx. You need to take some Magnesium.  It works best as a Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Glycinate. Magnesium Citrate are easiest to find. Take it 2/day for the first couple weeks to see how much more energy you have. Then you can take it with each meal or 2/day and one hour before bedtime if it is not convenient to take it at work. If it is working you (right form of as a Magnesium Citrate or Glycinate) you will will experience vivid dreams. And wake up with enough energy to take on the day. **** this is not medical advice but it really helped my chronic fatigue symptom's. It is good for leg cramps too also known as charley horse's. posterboy,
    • I am sorry that I was not clear.    I only mentioned  your diagnostic background, not to discredit you, but because without any lab results (other than a positive gene test), how can you be sure that gluten (shampoo containing wheat protein) was the actual culprit (not a guess) of your symptoms?  It is common for celiacs to receive follow-up antibodies to monitor their dietary compliance.  This is not perfect, but it is the only tool in the toolbox for now.   My husband has been gluten free 12 years prior to my diagnosis.  He went gluten free per the poor advice of his GP and my allergist.  So, I am not trying to discount your diagnosis at all.  I am just trying to see if other lab tests (e.g. liver tests that were elevated previously for you when you were still consuming gluten) were measured after your shampoo exposure.   I am curious because I have had issues over the last year.  I was glutened last January, had the flu, a tooth infection, a cold and a tooth extraction, three rounds of antibiotics (verified to be gluten free) within a month or so.  Like, you, I am very careful.  I have no idea as to how I was exposed.   The last time I ate out was a year ago and even then it was at at 100% gluten free restaurant.   My hubby did not have any symptoms at this time.  He is like my canary.    I went to my GI and my DGP IgA was off the charts even some three months later.   My celiac-related symptoms diminished in three months, but I struggled with autoimmune hives for six.  My GI offered to do an endoscopy in the summer.  Instead I chose to follow the Fasano diet.  I still was not feeling well.  In December, my antibodies were 80.  They were either on a decline or they were increasing again.  I opted for the endoscopy.  My biopsies revealed a healed small intestine (you could see the villi on the scope too).  But I was diagnosed with chronic gastritis and had a polyp removed.   So, all this time I thought my celiac disease was active, but it was NOT the source of my current gut issues.   Again, my apologies.  I just wanted to know how you know for SURE that hydrologized wheat protein from someone else’s shampoo and conditioner could reach your small intestine to trigger an autoimmune reaction.  Maybe, like me, Gluten was not the actual culprit.    
    • The reason I think it was the shampoo? Process of elimination. Our house is almost entirely gluten free (except for this shampoo which slipped through the cracks until I read the ingredient label). My husband has bread that he eats at lunch, but he practices something that resembles aseptic technique from the lab when he's making his sandwiches. He's been doing this for years now and I've never been glutened from within my home. The previous week I hadn't eaten out, I cooked all my food, I don't eat processed food and I never eat something from a shared facility.  Usually if I get glutened it's a single dose sort of thing and it follows a very predictable course, to the point where I can estimate when I got glutened within 24 hours of when it happened. However, this time, I was feeling achy and arthritic and moody for about a week before it got bad enough for me to recognize it as the result of gluten exposure, at which point we went searching and found the shampoo (and conditioner, which does leave more of a residue than shampoo), which he immediately stopped using. Within three days I was feeling back to normal (which is the usual course for me).  Sure, it could have been something else, but I know how sensitive I am, and, as silly as it sounds, it was the only thing that made sense. The other thing you said: You're correct, mine was not a rock solid celiac diagnosis, but I have no doubt that gluten is the problem. I was SICK. I went through two different gluten challenges in an effort to get a more straightforward diagnosis during which I was a barely functioning human being. Consuming gluten may not have given me blunted villi or elevated antibodies, but it did inflame my gut, and actually started to damage my liver. If you look at my diagnosis thread, I had elevated liver enzymes, which have been correlated with celiac disease in the past. There was no alternative explanation for the liver enzymes, he checked EVERYTHING.  I too am a scientist and I have spent a lot of time with the literature trying to make sense of my condition.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26150087 I also have no doubt that gluten was damaging my intestines in some way, as any prolonged gluten exposure in the past has inevitably been followed by a severe FODMAP intolerance that goes away once I've eliminated the gluten and given myself a month or so to heal.  I also had a very fast diagnosis following the onset of symptoms (~1 year) so it's possible that the disease never had a chance to manifest as full celiac. I wasn't willing to eat gluten long enough to find out. As a result of my diagnosis, hazy as it was, I am *meticulously* gluten free. It is not a fad for me. I don't occasionally cheat. It is my life, for better or worse. All of that being said, I'm not sure what my diagnosis has to do with your question. You say you're not trying to be rude, but when you bring up my diagnosis in a thread that has nothing to do with diagnostics, it seems like you're trying to undermine the validity of my disease or the validity of my input in this forum. If I'm being hypersensitive, I apologize, but that's how you came across on my end. I'll admit that the fact that my diagnosis wasn't more straight forward does make me a bit defensive, but I promise that even if I didn't have a solid diagnosis, I interact with the world as though I did, and I'm not out there giving people the wrong idea about celiac disease by not taking it seriously. If there was a connection between your question and my diagnostics that I missed I would appreciate you giving me the chance to better understand what you were asking. 
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