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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.

What If A Gluten Free Diet Is Not Strictly Followed?
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32 posts in this topic

Hello everyone. My husband was recently dx w/ Celiacs and to be honest, a gluten free diet is probably not realistic. His dx came as an accident and he really had no dibilitating symptoms at all. He was being checked because he had bloody diarrhea. Well the cause of that ended up being something else, but during the testing phase he did test positive for Celiacs. So my question is, if he continues to eat Gluten should he expect to see symptoms someday soon? Do some people w/ celiacs continue to eat Gluten and never expierence symptoms? Thanks for any advice.

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He risks a great deal by not following the diet. Celiac is autoimmune, that means the body is attacking itself and that is not a good thing. He could develop other autoimmune issues that might impact any organ including the brain. His chances of developing certain cancers will be raised (that goes down to the same as non celiacs after 5 years gluten-free).

The diet does seem hard at first but it isn't as bad as you might think. Following it is well worth the hassle.

If you have children they should also be tested as should your husbands first degree relatives, Mom and Dad and siblings.

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Hello everyone. My husband was recently dx w/ Celiacs and to be honest, a gluten free diet is probably not realistic. His dx came as an accident and he really had no dibilitating symptoms at all. He was being checked because he had bloody diarrhea. Well the cause of that ended up being something else, but during the testing phase he did test positive for Celiacs. So my question is, if he continues to eat Gluten should he expect to see symptoms someday soon? Do some people w/ celiacs continue to eat Gluten and never expierence symptoms? Thanks for any advice.

That is exactly what happened to me - no obvious symptoms whatsoever. No GI troubles. I found out I have celiac disease as my sister was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and man, was I SHOCKED! Imagine that PLUS having an intense passion for food!! I know regulars must be so sick of hearing this yet again but I teach culinary classes and have traveled the world literally for great food and ingredients. So, I can totally relate to him but he absolutely MUST go 100% gluten free for the rest of his life, just like we do. There are no other options but strict adherence, unfortunately. We have no idea how long he has had celiac disease we also have no idea whether he would eventually get sick or not. I must have had it for ages because my villi showed severe damage. Believe me - I was absolutely devastated with my diagnosis but six months later it is just a natural part of life. :) Sure, I think about what would happen if I had one piece of ciabatta bread (and am very curious) but would never, ever actually do it because I know of the damage it would cause inside that leads to future issues such as cancers and so on. And if I had that one piece and did not get sick then what if I had another and another and another? When I went on my gluten challenge after being off gluten for four months I did not get sick even once. That was TOUGH going back off gluten.

Cliche but true - it does really get better with time. Seriously. This is coming from someone who thought she was dealt a prison sentence!

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I totally agree with Ravenwoodglass.......nothing is worth the risk... its like playing Russian Roulette with your own body....

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Yrp. Cheating is flirting with disaster.

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Well, it's just not going to happen i'm afraid. I guess we will just have to wait out the risk and pray for the best. My husband is an avid beer lover. He works in the industry and even has a very expensive home brewery that took years for him to perfect. Plus he is pure italian and pasta is a must and a staple in his family. We loaded up on some Gluten free beers, pastas and breads in hope's they would be tolerable. But they were quite bad to be perfectly honest. I wanted so bad to persuad him they we eatable, I couldn't pull off the lie. They were awful to be blunt. The Beer was flat and watery and without flavor. Funny thing is, he would have never had any clue he had celiacs if he hadn't went for an unrelated problem. It's a life ruiner. very sad.

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Well, it's just not going to happen i'm afraid. I guess we will just have to wait out the risk and pray for the best. My husband is an avid beer lover. He works in the industry and even has a very expensive home brewery that took years for him to perfect. Plus he is pure italian and pasta is a must and a staple in his family. We loaded up on some Gluten free beers, pastas and breads in hope's they would be tolerable. But they were quite bad to be perfectly honest. I wanted so bad to persuad him they we eatable, I couldn't pull off the lie. They were awful to be blunt. The Beer was flat and watery and without flavor. Funny thing is, he would have never had any clue he had celiacs if he hadn't went for an unrelated problem. It's a life ruiner. very sad.

Jen, I know you aren't going to like me very well but you need to understand some things for your health & happiness ( and kids, too) . To be really blunt......

I hope he has good life insurance already. He likely won't be able to get any without the follow-up tests showing he is following a gluten-free diet. He will likely get some other illness because of the antibodies running amuck and attacking other parts of his body. He will have bone loss, anemias, etc due to the malabsorption of nutrients. You didn't say how old you are or if you have kids but you should be planning for your and the kids financial future.

Or....he could try to make better gluten-free beers and pastas. He could decide his health is a gift for you and the kids ( if there are some). He could set a good example for the other members of his family that may have this illness ( it is genetic). I understand that in Italy, they test all the school children for Celiac. Actual Italians, in Italy, deal with the illness.

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To be really blunt......

I hope he has good life insurance already. He likely won't be able to get any without the follow-up tests showing he is following a gluten-free diet. He will likely get some other illness because of the antibodies running amuck and attacking other parts of his body. He will have bone loss, anemias, etc due to the malabsorption of nutrients. You didn't say how old you are or if you have kids but you should be planning for your and the kids financial future.

Or....he could try to make better gluten-free beers and pastas. He could decide his health is a gift for you and the kids ( if there are some). He could set a good example for the other members of his family that may have this illness ( it is genetic). I understand that in Italy, they test all the school children for Celiac. Actual Italians, in Italy, deal with the illness.

Agreed. There are several of us here who adore food and cooking (you don't need to be Italian to love/miss pasta) who are trying our very best to make gluten-free things as great as we possibly can. I still make homemade pasta and breads but make them gluten-free. It CAN be done because it must.

People have DIED from related illnesses resulting from celiac. If I were to continue eating gluten each crumb would cause such guilt that I could not bear it. I am doing this partly for my family, too, as they need me.

Jen, I get the fact that your husband has a brewery and it is a huge part of him. He is likely in denial (as I was). Sounds harsh but health is more important than beer and food. This is his LIFE we are talking about. Believe me, I have had to make major changes to the culinary classes I teach. And it's not just me - everyone must make huge changes and better choices. Of course it is his decision but he absolutely must consider his precious family. :) Who knows - there may be huge benefits for him off gluten that he does not even realize at this point.

It is true that there are all sorts of icky gluten-free products out there so many of us scratch cook everything instead which is almost always FAR better. I have yet to find a commercial pasta I like. I get the Italian thing - I've been to Italy probably 20 times and understand the culture first hand. In Italy being gluten-free is incredibly easy (lucky Italians!).

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He is the lone Celiac in the family. We have no kids, but his parents and his many brothers and sisters along with dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins and so forth all live in Italy where testing is basically mandatory. All are negative except for him. He did suffer from severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis at one point in his life, but both went into spontaneous remission many, many years ago. I will try to convince him, I will. It would be so much more helpful if these Gluten free foods tasted better. But ick, they were really really bad. Especially the bread. I ordered a case of some gluten free beer and i'm hoping it will taste better then the redbridge we tried the other night. Or local pizzaria once had a gluten free pizza that was supposidly fairly good but wouldn't you know they discontinued it due to lack of sales about one week before his diagnosis lol. Cruel fate indeed.

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Oh, and no problems w/ health insurance. We have plenty of that.

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I've read quite a few stories like your husbands' on this board. People go to the doctor for some complaint and end up getting diagnosed with celiac disease. Celiac has a really wide range of symptoms and can be confusing to diagnose because of that. Also people with celiac disease have a higher than average chance of contracting other auto-immune diseases. If you search on celiac associated condition or celiac related condition you can find lists of them. You can read through some of threads on this forum and check the signature lines. Some of the people went many years not knowing they had celiac and developed multiple problems because of the damage. People with no noticeable GI symptoms are said to have silent celiac, which does not mean they don't have damage to other parts of their bodies. Has your husband tried Green's beer from Belgium? he might like that, it is gluten-free. Anhueser Busch makes Redbridge gluten-free beer, and there are several others.

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Prepare some great risottos and polenta Italian dishes for him...there is a whole world of food to discover. Follow up with a wonderful flourless chocolate cake for dessert. I go to Little Italy to eat in NYC, no problem with choices. When I was pre-gluten-free, I brewed my own beer. Do the research for him to see if he could home brew gluten free varieties and present him with a gift basket with the ingredients to do so.

His life, and your family's, depend on it. It's the responsible thing to do.

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Hello everyone. My husband was recently dx w/ Celiacs and to be honest, a gluten free diet is probably not realistic. His dx came as an accident and he really had no dibilitating symptoms at all. He was being checked because he had bloody diarrhea. Well the cause of that ended up being something else, but during the testing phase he did test positive for Celiacs. So my question is, if he continues to eat Gluten should he expect to see symptoms someday soon? Do some people w/ celiacs continue to eat Gluten and never expierence symptoms? Thanks for any advice.

Hello Jen,

There are so many possible health conditions that can develop from not following a strict gluten-free diet. From other auto-immune diseases to cancer, his risk of poor health int he future is great if he doesn't stay gluten-free. Your husband may have none of the symptoms currently OR he may have some that you don't even realize are symptoms. For an idea of what you may be dealing with in the future (or to see if he has any symptoms you didn't know were even related), here is a comprehensive list of associated diseases and symptoms: http://glutenfreeworks.com/gluten-disorders/celiac-disease/symptom-guide/

If you look at that list it becomes apparent (at least to me) that celiac disease is much more complicated and far reaching than most people realize. It's not just about a little stomachache and potty issues. It can affect every organ in your body and cause other deadly conditions if left unchecked. I know you said it is hopeless to get your husband to stay gluten-free, but at the very least please have him read this list and think long and hard about the consequences of not going gluten-free. And whatever his decision is be as supportive as possible. We can't make anyone change if they refuse (I know this from my own experience with relatives that need to be gluten-free but refuse to try it) but we can try to educate and walk along side of people that struggle to make the change. It's not easy but it doesn't have to be that hard either! This board is a great resource for support and HELP making those changes if he changes his mind and wants to try to go all the way.

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He is the lone Celiac in the family. We have no kids, but his parents and his many brothers and sisters along with dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins and so forth all live in Italy where testing is basically mandatory. All are negative except for him. He did suffer from severe Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis at one point in his life, but both went into spontaneous remission many, many years ago. I will try to convince him, I will. It would be so much more helpful if these Gluten free foods tasted better. But ick, they were really really bad. Especially the bread. I ordered a case of some gluten free beer and i'm hoping it will taste better then the redbridge we tried the other night. Or local pizzaria once had a gluten free pizza that was supposidly fairly good but wouldn't you know they discontinued it due to lack of sales about one week before his diagnosis lol. Cruel fate indeed.

We totally are with you on the bread, etc. The worst I've had was a tiny yellowish square of drywall-tasting garbage. I actually cried that day. Have you heard of Udi's or Rudi's? I have not seen Rudi's but people seem to quite like it. Homemade is better, though. That really is cruel about the pizza place. :angry: But several of us on here make pretty darned good pizza crust. It is true that it is not the same, I know, but it can be decent. Seriously. And I'm used to wood-oven fired pizza in Italy. Admittedly I miss that a great deal. But we are all here for you for support, help, info, whatever! We've been through it. Trust us! :D And I'm sure we can all learn from you, too. :)

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I'm with all the others. He really does have to stay gluten-free. And since he has relatives in Italy, maybe they could send him some of the AMAZING gluten-free food they have there? We just got back from a trip to Italy and it was gluten-free heaven. Every place we ate was better than the next! It was awesome. What was depressing was coming back to the states and the icky gluten-free food we have here. If he has Italian connections use them! :D

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If he has Italian connections use them! :D

:lol::lol::lol:

Totally. Except maybe do not try the awful Schar's bread. Some of their products are very good but their bread? Absolutely insipid, dry, crumbly sawdust (at least the two kinds I have tried). Have you tried any Bi-Aglut products?

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So Gluten free pastas and bread in Italy are actually better then what we have in the states huh?? That is encouraging news. Can it be ordered online? His entire family lives in Syracuse and would be happy to ship us some goods. Oh my, this could be very encouraging news. Thank you all so much.

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I know it's more extreme but I think of it a little like a smoker who has cancer but won't stop. You know he has 2 options. He can live a gluten free lifestyle with many more happy years ahead of him or he can fail to take it seriously and risk cutting his life short.

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Hello everyone. My husband was recently dx w/ Celiacs and to be honest, a gluten free diet is probably not realistic. His dx came as an accident and he really had no dibilitating symptoms at all. He was being checked because he had bloody diarrhea. Well the cause of that ended up being something else, but during the testing phase he did test positive for Celiacs. So my question is, if he continues to eat Gluten should he expect to see symptoms someday soon? Do some people w/ celiacs continue to eat Gluten and never expierence symptoms? Thanks for any advice.

I'm no expert (gastroenterologist), but I was told: "Once a celiac, always a celiac". Perhaps your husbands were exacerbated by multiple conditions - inclusive of celiac disease. The great thing about celiac disease is that it is TOTALLY managed by diet. No medication is necessary. As some of the others have posted, it is highly likely that your husband will benefit long-term from a gluten-free diet.

Has your husband had an endoscopy (with biopsies) to confirm the blood diagnosis? This procedure can easily demonstrate what (if any) atrophy the stomach has suffered as a result of ongoing gluten ingestion. The lining of the stomach is depleated over time, resulting in malabsorption.

I have been gluten-free now for 15 years, but it did not stop me from developing osteopenia. And I'm a 41 year-old, otherwise healthy male! It's serious stuff!

Best of luck.

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I don't know if all the doom and gloom stuff will work with him. He's the kind that would much rather live a shorter happier life, then a miserable long life. Honestly, I can't really say as if I would blame him or not. His doc told him the risk of Lymphoma was very very small even if he continued to eat gluten. And most of the stuff i'm finding online concurs. Keeping him "happy' and gluten free is my goal. He does not scare easily. I found a few articles that say the jury is out on whether or not "silent" celiacs even have to adhere to a strict gluten free diet. if he reads that I can forget about it lol. I'm gonna start slow and work my may up. I have an order of Gluten free beer on the way that supposed to better the the Redbridge he already tried and hated. baby steps I guess..

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Oh, and i'd love to surprise him with some wonderful gluten free food from his home, but I do not speak the language. He has a brother that speaks English, but will only do so IF he is in an English speaking country. Yeah I know, he's an ass. I don't think he will be of much help but I may try. I had to call him once for an emergency. He would listen to me in English but would only reply in his tounge. The whole coversation was absurd. I swore i'd never speak to him again.

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So Gluten free pastas and bread in Italy are actually better then what we have in the states huh?? That is encouraging news. Can it be ordered online? His entire family lives in Syracuse and would be happy to ship us some goods. Oh my, this could be very encouraging news. Thank you all so much.

Apparently US has far better variety than we do in Canada (i.e. our Lea and Perrins Worcestershire contains gluten, we do not have King Arthur products, no Trader Joe's or Whole Foods at least not within a good thousand miles of our place...) and Italy is amongst the best on the planet for gluten-free products. I've spent time in Syracuse - a lovely ancient place. I would definitely look into shipping. At least there are options available - keep hopeful! :)

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Hello everyone. My husband was recently dx w/ Celiacs and to be honest, a gluten free diet is probably not realistic.

Of course it is realistic. It will take self-education, effort, lots of mistakes, and lots of energy but you and he can do it. Oh, and prepare to spend more $ on food :angry:

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I loathe beer so I can't answer to whether or not any gluten-free variety is good. I know that my not gluten-free husband loves Rudi's and Udi's breads. I do usually toast them because it improves the texture. I usually use Ancient Harvest corn/quinoa pasta. Gluten eating friends coming for dinner usually have 2nds or 3rds. Sometimes ask to take some home. That leads me to believe they can't tell the difference. I seriously believe Betty Crocker gluten-free brownies taste WAY better than the original and my family who all eat gluten agree. It takes trial and error of brands but it's possible to find tasty gluten-free food. Plus don't forget the many things that are naturally free of gluten!

Forgot to add Udi's makes amazing pizza crusts. I have pizza night once a week and it's the whole family's favorite!

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Hello everyone. My husband was recently dx w/ Celiacs and to be honest, a gluten free diet is probably not realistic. His dx came as an accident and he really had no dibilitating symptoms at all. He was being checked because he had bloody diarrhea. Well the cause of that ended up being something else, but during the testing phase he did test positive for Celiacs. So my question is, if he continues to eat Gluten should he expect to see symptoms someday soon? Do some people w/ celiacs continue to eat Gluten and never expierence symptoms? Thanks for any advice.

As I understand it from the reading I've done, each person has a threshold of damage but that threshold may not always be where the symptoms starts. Every molecule of gluten pushes the person closer and closer to the threshold so it's in your husband's best interest to avoid as much as he reasonably can to keep inflammation and thus damage to a minimum.

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    • Hello Anonymous, and if nobody has said as much yet, welcome Don't worry (difficult to do when it can cause anxiety :P) it's very early days and you have a lot of healing to come.  If you've not already seen it there's advice and further info here:    It gets easier over time as checking becomes routine, you know your 'safe' products and your eating pattern changes. You'll get there  Maybe start a thread of your own if you'd like some input from others? Finally, back on topic. My Aunt has narcolepsy and although she's fiercely resistant to giving up gluten she has now made a connnection to eating bread and it's onset. As often, not conclusive but suggestive...
    • Hello again   Well first thing is the - Usual disclaimers apply... and this is something you have to follow up with your doctors as you know. But it's helpful sometimes to get another perspective so here's this layman see's from outside.  What I have seen from the various results posted here is that people's numbers vary wildly and, just as important, the numbers often don't bear any direct relationship to the level of intestinal damage revealed via endoscopy. Ultimately although you're not scoring much above positive, you are scoring a positive  and there are a couple of other risk factors you've mentioned that are suggestive if not conclusive - you have another autoimmune which raises the odds of having another one for example.  You've had two tests that are positive. The purpose of taking the second test was either to invalidate or confirm the first. I'd suggest it's achieved the latter, at least inasmuch as a GI may want to check you via endoscopy. That's still the 'gold standard' of celiac diagnosis and would give you an idea if there's any intestinal damage. I suspect with 2 positive tests and the history above that's what they'll suggest.  If your doctor or GI doesn't want to proceed with that you have a decision to make. Push for a second opinion or new doctor or if you're done with testing give the gluten free diet a proper try. Make a journal and see if some of those subtle things you reference may actually be symptoms. Fwiw, there are a lot of people here whose thyroid issues improved dramatically once they were gluten free, so whether celiac or gluten sensitive you should certainly give the diet a try. Only however once the testing is completed and remember: 
    • Hi! I've just been recently diagnosed as Celiac through the whole biopsy-shebang, and I have a little bit of insight on the whole diagnosis thing and how I was eventually diagnosed, and my advice for you. Brace yourself, this might be a bit long, but it might be worth the read and I promise I will eventually get to the point. If you don't want the huge story, skip to the long line of capital As: I first saw my doctor when I had a few problems swallowing. I've compared it to when you're nervous and you feel like you have a lump in your throat - but after I eat and (sometimes) drink. I just mentioned briefly it to my family doctor when I was addressing another issue, but right away he referred me to a gastroenterologist and ordered a barium swallow x-ray test. The x-ray came back completely normal, and so the g.e. then suspected GERD, put me on acid blockers to see if they would work, no harm done sort of thing. The only thing I got out of the acid blockers were the side effects, so it was back to square 1. The g.e. said that the next test he could do was an upper endoscopy with biopsies. (hint: the celiac test!) Wanting to find a solution to my problems, the endoscopy was scheduled. Pretty painless, I was in and out in a day, but the results took much much longer. Biopsies, or the little pieces of my esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, were sent to the lab, and they came back clean. I didn't really go back to the g.e. for a whole year after that because life became busy, I wasn't prompted to follow up, and I just dismissed the swallowing problems the best I could and went on my way. Now, I've never been huge on the gluten, big bread-y sandwiches or croissants or pies were never foods that I super "enjoyed". I wouldn't feel bad after eating them, I just didn't like the taste of bread so much, but I loved cookies, cake and a lot of other things that do have gluten in them. I lead a lowish gluten life but I wasn't really monitoring it that way. Everything changed when I got really nasty (systemic) poison ivy. My eyes were swollen shut, and the rash was everywhere. I almost went to the hospital, but cooped out at the family doctor's place and got a script for prednisone (a steroid). But, I found that after I had tapered off the steroids, I had magically become lactose intolerant. So back to the family doctor again probably because I broke my toe or something, but we also got to talk about this magical lactose intolerance business (because I love anything dairy and it was indeed devastating). He was surprised as there is literally no correlation between steroids and becoming lactose intolerant. He asked me if I still had the swallowing problems, which I did, and so it was back to the g.e. for round 3. because my family doctor "does not believe in coincidences". Meeting with the G.E., he mainly addressed the swallowing problems telling me that he had done what he could to diagnose with the technology that we had at the highly specialized hospital that we were at, and I would have to travel about 3 hours away to see a different doctor who would do some tests involving the muscles in the esophagus. But right before I was about to leave, we started talking about lactose intolerance. He brought up other foods that I was avoiding (if any), and then the conversation went to gluten. I mentioned that I had an aunt that was gluten-sensitive. He advised that I do the blood test that can show an indication of celiac whenever in the future. I decided to do it that day. At this point in time, I was not eating much gluten because of the fact that it was personal preference. The normal range for values in this test is from 0 to 20. A few weeks later, I learned that I scored a 35. A second upper endoscopy with biopsies was scheduled, but this time I was told to eat a moderate amount of gluten everyday before the procedure. I ate about two slices of bread per day, which is more than I normally would. I was normal for the first two-three weeks of the gluten plus diet, but then I became really sick. I started getting the normal celiac symptoms, like diarrhea and extreme tiredness. Near the end, I had debilitating stomach pain and I was 2 times more asleep than awake each day. I couldn't do the 2 pieces of bread a day some days, but the pain was still there. I knew that I wouldn't ever have to force myself to eat bread for a test ever again. I was called a few days before my endoscopy telling me that a kid in a worse state than me had to take the OR during my time. I forced myself to eat more bread for another month and a half. The day finally came. I was diagnosed celiac, which I have concluded to be initiated by (1) the steroids/poison ivy and (2) the gluten binge fest.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Celiac Disease isn't completely understood yet. Most of the time if you weren't showing symptoms when you were a baby (so your case) it means that celiac was/could be triggered by an event in your life that causes stress on the body (like stress, physical injury, etc.).  The positive result that you got from the blood test doesn't automatically mean celiac, but it could. Here's some options: Talk to your doctor (or a different doctor) or even a specialist gastroenterologist (you can get a referral from a family doctor (general physician)) and see if you can do the blood test again, you have to have some kind of gluten for this to work in advance, so if you don't want to break your gluten-free streak, than don't really invest in this option. If you feel comfortable, you could even ask to do this test under a few scenarios (no gluten (now) and after a gluten binge, compare results). If you do this test and your indication is low off gluten and then high after gluten, I'd probably skip the biopsy. That's a strong enough sign that you don't need to put yourself through the painful-gluten binge. Maybe this is what that first doctor just assumed. But having that test when you haven't had any gluten could make the difference - it acts as a control. Go straight to the biopsy. You could do this, but I'd probably do the blood test first. I went through a lot of stress with the gluten-binge that you have to do to get an accurate result, you would also be breaking your gluten-free diet that may/may not be helping you right now. Do nothing, stay on your gluten free diet hoping that it is helping you. But if you are not celiac or gluten-sensitive (celiac before it starts to wreck your small intestine), going gluten free isn't healthy - you can do some research on this if it interests you. If you feel bad/unhealthy after going gluten free it's probably a sign. Good luck, also know that you might come to a point of stress in your life that can start celiac's destructive path. Ultimately, it is your body, and you should not feel forced or hesitate to act on health issues that impact you.
    • I'm sorry that life is so hard right now. Really.  I can't imagine working 3 jobs and trying to manage this terrible illness.  I think about American society and their obsession with food often.  Whenever you look at the internet, there are all these fabulous gluten-free recipes, but when you don't have time or money to cook these things, a simple gluten-free lifestyle is just that - simple. There isn't a lot of variety, so it's kind of boring. But, I guess I have gotten used to being boring. I just eat corn chex and fruit or yogurt for breakfast. I eat a lot of eggs, beans, rice, corn tortillas, nuts, chicken, fruit and veggies.  A loaf of gluten-free bread will last me 4-6 months in the freezer.  I buy a bag of dried beans for $1.29, I soak them overnight, and put them in the crockpot the next day. I add different spices, sometimes chicken and Voila! - dinner is ready when I get home from a long day. Family gatherings are miserable and I haven't quite figured out the best way to deal yet. If my grandmother were still alive, I imagine she would be a lot like yours - well-meaning but not really able to understand the nitty-gritty.   I just reassure my family that I am fine and that they really shouldn't do anything special for me. I bring a bag of Hershey's kisses or other gluten-free candy I can nibble on along with my meal and then I try to treat myself to a nicer home cooked meal later in the week when I have time to cook - because who has time to cook during Christmas???? And, I agree with knitty knitty. If someone else in your family/friends were gluten-free for medical reasons, it would make socializing a bit easier. One of my husband's good friends is NCGS. When we get together as a group, we can make each other special dishes and it helps to feel less isolated.  Good luck!  
    • Hi!  Um, please forgive my quirky sense of humor..... Celiac Disease is genetic... All first degree relatives of people diagnosed with Celiac Disease should be tested for the disease, too.  Gall bladder problems are often associated with Celiac Disease.  Your diagnosis might save your whole family from further medical problems as they age and the disease progresses... You need to set a good example if relatives are similarly diagnosed.... and then everybody will have to eat gluten free at family gatherings....  
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