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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.

Rheumatoid Arthritis And Gluten Sensitivity/celiac
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A friend of mine has a 4 year old son who developed juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at 1 year old. The typical drugs used for this condition do not work for this child. There was one drug that worked, but it recently stopped working and the child is struggling with severe arthritis pain that is very disabling. It is such a heartbreaking story. I was wondering if other people have seen a relationship between rheumatoid arthritis and Celiac or gluten sensitivity? Both are auto-immune diseases and it is my understanding that there are drugs in development that will work for both diseases. Does anyone know of cases where rheumatoid arthritis was cured with gluten-free diet?

Thank you so much!

Evelyn

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Evelyn,

I suffered from RA before I went gluten free. In fact, doctors believed I had juvenile RA as a child because of the amount of pain in my joints. I think it was probably due to the fact that I was born with Rickets and because I had undiagnosed celiac disease that caused pain in my bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. I ended up having rheumatic fever twice, and then the RA set in. However, I have no trace of it now that I follow a gluten-free diet.

When the child in question is a little older and can eat apples, there's a natural remedy that worked for my husband and me to alleviate the RA before I was diagnosed with celiac. The remedy is to eat 1-2 organic apples for breakfast with 1-2 glasses of organic whole milk. I know--it sounds crazy...but it worked for both of us. My husband, in fact, still does this every morning to stay painfree.

I hope the little guy gets better...

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HI There! My daughter does not have RA but she has another autoimmune called Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM), they are similar. JA affects the joints and JDM affects the muscles and the skin. She is 2 and was dx @ 18 mos with JDM. She is also gluten intolerant. She started showing symptoms of the gluten-intolerance when we introduced solids. I would swear she is Celiac, but all her testing came back negative. She is responding very well to treatment. I know she would not be doing as well if we were not gluten-free. I hope this helps.

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I had my first rheumatic related surgery in kindergarten. It was so severe by the time I was diagnosed with celiac forty years later that I could barely walk. I went not only gluten free but also adopted a paleo diet and within forty eight hours I went from not being able to do anything but barely shuffle for the first several hours of the day to being able to hit the ground running. My RA factor numbers prior to diagnosis were unbelievably high. I was told all the damage was irreversible. I was noticing my hands the other day and realized that my joints have actually gotten straighter and healthier after three years of strict paleo diet. Not exactly a juvenile example (well, unless you ask my children about my behavior...)

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Thank you everyone so much for the responses. This is so helpful!! I was wondering if you also eliminated dairy? Did everyone see an immediate change after going gluten-free?

Thank you again.

Evelyn

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Thank you everyone so much for the responses. This is so helpful!! I was wondering if you also eliminated dairy? Did everyone see an immediate change after going gluten-free?

Thank you again.

Evelyn

WE eliminated dairy only because we thought that was primary culprit (whole milk) although she did improve when we removed diary she did not improve completely until we eliminated gluten. It turns out she was lactose intolerant secondary to the gluten intolerance (just like in Celiac). While this was all happening she started showing signs of her disease (JDM). I think the gluten intolerance was a triggered her disease, among some other things. I have no idea what the paleo diet is...I'll have to google it. My husband has RA and I have trying to get him to change is diet. No luck so far. I hope this helps.

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Paleo typically doesn't include dairy. I dropped dairy because of the damage to my villi. I recently tried to add hard cheese back in to disastrous consequences but I have a working theory I am going to test in the near future. You might want to check out Robb Wolf's site or Loren Cordain for basic information on paleolithic diet practices. I find that Robb Wolf's site has the most useful basic guidelines spelled out (for free, no less!) I cannot convey how significant the turnaround of my rheumatoid arthritis has been as a result of this. My rheumatologist still refuses to believe that my RA might have been secondary to my celiac. I respectfully disagreed with him. In his estimation I was supposed to be dead now for not following his recommendations and deciding on only dietary intervention. I feel great for being a zombie, I guess.

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The Paleo diet seems to be similar to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which is interesting. SCD is supposed to cure things like Chrons, Celiac, Autism. The theory behind SCD is that you basically starve the pathogen that is responsible for triggering the disease.

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I had my first rheumatic related surgery in kindergarten. It was so severe by the time I was diagnosed with celiac forty years later that I could barely walk. I went not only gluten free but also adopted a paleo diet and within forty eight hours I went from not being able to do anything but barely shuffle for the first several hours of the day to being able to hit the ground running. My RA factor numbers prior to diagnosis were unbelievably high. I was told all the damage was irreversible. I was noticing my hands the other day and realized that my joints have actually gotten straighter and healthier after three years of strict paleo diet. Not exactly a juvenile example (well, unless you ask my children about my behavior...)

I just shared this with my sister. I am sure she will be inspired. Thanks for sharing.

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Just chiming in - my son's biggest, most obvious symptom was joint pain. Rheumatoid arthitis in his hip is what landed him in the hospital for emergency surgery and ended up setting us on the path that brought us to our conclusion that he has celiac disease. Eliminating gluten took away all his joint and bone pain (as well as other stuff I've posted elsewhere). It is also the first symptom to return when he gets glutened.

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Just chiming in - my son's biggest, most obvious symptom was joint pain. Rheumatoid arthitis in his hip is what landed him in the hospital for emergency surgery and ended up setting us on the path that brought us to our conclusion that he has celiac disease. Eliminating gluten took away all his joint and bone pain (as well as other stuff I've posted elsewhere). It is also the first symptom to return when he gets glutened.

Wow, thank you for sharing that. Did you also eliminate dairy?

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I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone for their responses. My friend has decided to try a gluten-free diet with her son. All of these responses really helped in making that decision.

Now I have to try to convince my mom as well. She has severe rheumatoid arthritis. I am sure I got the Celiac gene from her and I think that she could benefit greatly from a gluten-free diet.

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Wow, thank you for sharing that. Did you also eliminate dairy?

We didn't eliminate dairy, however, we did end up making more major dietary changes.

While his joint problems went away with just the gluten, he had other issues as well. His stomach aches, anxiety, terrible allergies, and attention issues were still present. The rest of the family went gluten-free with him, and we all experienced some effects. More research led us to try the GAPS Diet to see if it would help. It truly has made a world of difference for all of us.

I've posted about it all over the forum recently, so I won't retype it all here. In a nutshell this is what our diet now looks like:

- everything homemade, organic, pasture-fed

- we've cut out all grains completely

- dairy was introduced as ghee (clarified butter - casein removed)

- other dairy was introduced in cultured forms - yogurt and kefir (we're now at a stage in the diet where we have started with a bite of cheese - we'll see how that goes)

- lots of probiotic foods (sauerkraut, beet kvass, water kefir, milk kefir, yogurt)

- mineral supplement drops (ConcenTrace low sodium mineral drops)

- soup, soup, and more soup! Lots of bone broth, meat, and veggies!

Unexpected results included:

- our son going from barely being able to sound out words and recognize letters to blazing through novels at an 8th grade level with complete comprehension in less than 6 months.

- our daughter's tourette's getting much better

- my migraine auras and other weird neurological stuff going away

- my partner's PCOS resolving

- better menstrual cycles for us both

- picky eating and our dd's vegetarianism becoming a thing of the past

- anxiety going away

- I no longer have to get up to pee at night (used to get up 3-5 times)

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    • Thanks everyone. I appreciate the answers. I'm waiting to hear back from her dr and then we will go from there. If the dr doesn't think the results show anything then I will get a second opinion thanks to everything that has been shared on here. I will make sure and not change her diet for now.  I am planning on getting tested myself, I have had suspicions since last summer that I could have it. I have a form of autoimmune arthritis, just unclear exactly what it is at this time. I  going to ask to be tested for celiac at my next appt though.
    • I was diagnosed in 2002 and I think I have had maybe 2 actual colds since then. I figured the same as you that with my immune system not having to try and 'save' me from gluten that it now is able to fight off the occasional virus.  The only thing it hasn't been able to fight off is shingles. Thankfully those are clearing and I blame myself for that with lack of sleep and a very poor diet for a bit. Lesson learned, one does not live off crackers and cheese alone.
    • Welcome to the board. I agree with the previous posters that you are very likely looking at celiac. Please do keep her on gluten until all celiac related testing is finsihed. After that do give the diet a good strict try even if the biopsies are negative. Also keep in mind that celiac is genetic so it would be a good idea to screen others in the family even if they don't seem to have symptoms.
    • @jddh So...did the restricted diet you were going to implement work (FODMAP or Whole Foods)?  I recall that you were mis-diagnosed at one point with refractory celiac disease, but it was later determined that you were getting trace amounts of gluten in your diet.  If you are not catching colds, I assume that you have healed from the damages of celiac disease?  I hope so!!! 😊
    • Peter is correct.  You do have a positive so that warrants further investigation.  Here is a link supporting our comments: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/are-raised-dgp-igg-levels-an-early-sign-of-celiac-disease/ http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/it-mmfiles/Celiac_Disease_Diagnostic_Testing_Algorithm.pdf Does she have celiac disease?  You will never know for sure without an endoscopy.  Even then, there is a chance the biopsies are negative, but keep in mind that she might just be starting to develop celiac disease or that the damage was not captured (the small intestine is the size of a tennis court if spread out).   Personally, I tested negative on all but the DGP IgA, yet I had moderate to severe intestinal damage.  The celiac blood tests are good, but they do not catch all celiacs,  some celiacs can even test negative to ALL the blood tests. Consider yourself fortunate that your doctor ordered several of the tests and not just the screening TTG IgA (very good, keeps cost down, but does not catch all).    The DGP is the preferred test in small children.  I do not know why it caught me because I am old,  but it did!   Confusing, isn't it?  I wish there was an easier way to diagnose, but  we have to work with what we have available to us.  
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