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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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melissa222

Could This Be The Answer To My Mysterious Illness

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Hi, I'm new to this but feel I've had an epiphany. After years of tests and doctor visits, and literally feeling as though I'm on my death bed, I think I've found the answer. I'm waiting for my former pcp to call me back, I've requested a celiac panel. Can someone please tell me exactly what tests to request for blood work? I want to be sure I get the proper labs. I have so many symptoms, even the scaly itchy sores on my scalp I use clobex for, which was deemed "dermatitis". Chronic constipation, bloating... I have been on disability for almost 2 years now for "chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia". My muscles are in terrible shape. They are constantly in spasm and won't relax, and last November I started having constant fasciculations all over my body. I have had so many tests I know it is not MS, Parkinsons, ALS. The symptoms of Celiac tie everything I've experienced since childhood together! I'm only 33. What turned me to Celiac was my aunt called me the other day to tell me that she started to feel very ill, similar to things I feel, ie fatigue, muscle aches, and cut out gluten and was feeling great after only 72 hours. I've been convinced I have a serious magnesium defiency and take supplements, but I'm dying here! My children have allergies, one has eczema, I can see signs in my family now that Ive read about this condition. I have low ferritin levels and low t3 with normal tsh, so that indicates my blood is not transporting nutrients properly. I want to try gluten free, but first I want these tests! Please if anyone can tell me exactly which tests I need so I can make certain none are left out...I've lost faith in doctors having been through all I have. Thanks for any help!!!

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It certainly sounds like celiac disease, but then a lot of things do. That's one of the reasons it's difficult to diagnose.

You should just be able to ask for a "celiac panel"; you really shouldn't have to know anything more. Some people also like to have their genetic "DQ" values determined, as this can help screen out celiac disease and also help you gauge risk for your family members -- If you have one DQ7.5 then your family is probably at less risk than if you have double DQ2.5 for instance. If you're willing to wait a couple months for processing, then 23andme.com can tell you much more for much less cost than your doc's lab as far as genetics goes.

Good luck on finding your answers. Don't go gluten free until your doc says that he's done with testing!

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Regardless of what your tests say, once you're through with them (not before!), try eliminating gluten and see how you feel. Non-Celiac gluten intolerance and bring about many of the same symptoms.

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http://www.celiacdisease.net/assets/documents/2011CDCFactSheets_AnitbodyBloodTests.pdf

The above link will explain all the blood tests. Print it out and highlight the test names to take to your dr to make sure they do them all. Some drs will just do one test and call it the "celiac panel". It is better to get all of them to have a sense of what is goign on. Also take a copy to the lab when they draw blood and ask the technicians if they are doing all those tests so that if something didn't get ordered you can call your dr's office and correct it before they do the blood draw (might as well do it all at once). When the test results come back get a copy of them for yourself to see. Some drs don't know how to read them or only read the first line or say you are negative when you have a weak positive. Positive is positive. Keep in mind that you can still be gluten intolerant and test negative for celiac disease. So once your testing is all done trial a good strict gluten-free diet for a few months to see if it helps you.

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Wow, thank you all so much for your responses! I am going to make sure I get these tests. I've been through the ringer with doctors misdiagnosing me or blowing me off. I feel confident I am on to something here. Thanks everyone, I'll provide an update once I get the results. :-)

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I know how excited you must feel.

It was an epiphany for me to find this site too.

You are on to something and don't forget it..just in case the tests come back negative.

You can still be intolerant or Celiac even if you do not test positive.

The tests are unrealiable...not to discourage you from testing...but to have you keep in mind in case you test negative.

I wonder how many test negative and go on to stay sick because they didn't know the tests can be wrong...and often are...

Happy for you! It feels great to finally be close to an answer for mysterious symptoms and illness.

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Thanks again! I got the Celiac panel yesterday and showed my Dr the link GlutenFreeMama provided. He said the panel includes those plus iGA. I should know in about a week. He is also measuring my magnesium levels, although I've read magnesium is hard to measure via blood because our blood takes it from our tissues to keep blood levels constant. He didn't agree, maybe he knows better than I. He's the doctor, I've only spent countless hours researching it so what do I know? I'll update you all here when I get the results. As of now, I am already gluten free so I really hope I begin to feel improvement soon. Thanks!

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Well I received the results already via email so have not seen them personally. Just an email that magnesium and celiac profile is normal. I'm not surprised about the magnesium, I happen to know a blood test for mag deficiency is inaccurate. The tests were through LabCorp, and after hearing not to trust LabCorp results I am not totally discouraged, but I can't help but be more than a little discouraged. I'm going to review the results myself because it may be insufficient labs or miseducation on reading the labs. Anyway, I kind of just want to scream. I guess I'll keep glutening myself and anxiously await my GI appt next week with a doctor who knows his stuff. I just need an answer and this disease is a perfect fit. Even though I was told after the fact that labcorp was highly unreliable I wanted an end to the wait. Uuuggghhh. Just venting I guess. Sorry :(

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Well I received the results already via email so have not seen them personally. Just an email that magnesium and celiac profile is normal. I'm not surprised about the magnesium, I happen to know a blood test for mag deficiency is inaccurate. The tests were through LabCorp, and after hearing not to trust LabCorp results I am not totally discouraged, but I can't help but be more than a little discouraged. I'm going to review the results myself because it may be insufficient labs or miseducation on reading the labs. Anyway, I kind of just want to scream. I guess I'll keep glutening myself and anxiously await my GI appt next week with a doctor who knows his stuff. I just need an answer and this disease is a perfect fit. Even though I was told after the fact that labcorp was highly unreliable I wanted an end to the wait. Uuuggghhh. Just venting I guess. Sorry :(

If you are going to have a biopsy you shouldn't go gluten free until after you have had the biopsy. Then once that is done you don't have to wait to see the doctor to give the diet a strict try. False negatives are not uncommon. Also there are at times biopsy findings consistent with celiac that doctors don't recognize.

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Regardless of what your tests say, once you're through with them (not before!), try eliminating gluten and see how you feel. Non-Celiac gluten intolerance and bring about many of the same symptoms.

Hi Looking For Answers! Sorry to ask you here, (I'm sorry OP!), I don't think I can PM you yet, but I had a question for you. In your signature section you mention adrenal fatigue. Would you mind telling me how you were diagnosed? I am only on my 2nd day gluten-free and still waiting for my panel results, but sooo many of my symptoms go with adrenal fatigue and/or Celiac. Thank you!

: )

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Hi, I'm new to this but feel I've had an epiphany. After years of tests and doctor visits, and literally feeling as though I'm on my death bed, I think I've found the answer. I'm waiting for my former pcp to call me back, I've requested a celiac panel. Can someone please tell me exactly what tests to request for blood work? I want to be sure I get the proper labs. I have so many symptoms, even the scaly itchy sores on my scalp I use clobex for, which was deemed "dermatitis". Chronic constipation, bloating... I have been on disability for almost 2 years now for "chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia". My muscles are in terrible shape. They are constantly in spasm and won't relax, and last November I started having constant fasciculations all over my body. I have had so many tests I know it is not MS, Parkinsons, ALS. The symptoms of Celiac tie everything I've experienced since childhood together! I'm only 33. What turned me to Celiac was my aunt called me the other day to tell me that she started to feel very ill, similar to things I feel, ie fatigue, muscle aches, and cut out gluten and was feeling great after only 72 hours. I've been convinced I have a serious magnesium defiency and take supplements, but I'm dying here! My children have allergies, one has eczema, I can see signs in my family now that Ive read about this condition. I have low ferritin levels and low t3 with normal tsh, so that indicates my blood is not transporting nutrients properly. I want to try gluten free, but first I want these tests! Please if anyone can tell me exactly which tests I need so I can make certain none are left out...I've lost faith in doctors having been through all I have. Thanks for any help!!!

Hi Melissa! I'm sorry you are going through this like the rest of us : ( It really stinks, but if we can get a Celiac DX I think we will feel so much better! I am just as new to this as you are-I only had my Celiac panel done the day before yesterday and I'm waiting on results. You should definitely ask for the full panel and also ask them to do vitamin/mineral/metaboloc panels to see if you are deficient in anything. Let us know what you find out! : )

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Thanks everyone! I went to a GI Dr yesterday and he ordered Promethius Celiac Plus panel, which includes their gene test. I'm so anxious. I guess I'll know next week. He wants to do an endoscopy but I think I'm going to wait for the results before I schedule it. I stopped eating gluten after my test, I figure if I have intestinal damage it won't heal in a week or two so shouldn't botch endoscopy. If it isn't Celiac he wants to test for heavy metal/toxins...scary thought. Does anyone here know of a Celiac with major muscle issues? I really don't know where to go if this is a dead end. It fits, but I haven't read a story of an actual celiac with muscle involvement. I have read that Celiacs often have magnesium deficiency, and I have read symptoms of a mag deficiency which I relate to, but I've not seen any posts from anyone with actual experience with it similar to mine, if this is in fact a mag deficiency. I'm stressing about it. Any first hand experience would be great. I'll post when I get results next week. Thanks to you all. :)

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Hi Melissa! I'm sorry you are going through this like the rest of us : ( It really stinks, but if we can get a Celiac DX I think we will feel so much better! I am just as new to this as you are-I only had my Celiac panel done the day before yesterday and I'm waiting on results. You should definitely ask for the full panel and also ask them to do vitamin/mineral/metaboloc panels to see if you are deficient in anything. Let us know what you find out! : )

Let me know how yours turns out! I'm also a wife, mom, and was accepted into a BSN program but my illness got in the way. I hope this is Celiac so there is some hope for healing vs. a progressive decline in health. Me and my kids are too young for me to be so sick. I was so excited about turning 30, I had no idea that my health would suddenly fail me so soon. Here's to us finding answers and hopefully making the medical community more knowledgable one day. :)

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Thanks everyone! I went to a GI Dr yesterday and he ordered Promethius Celiac Plus panel, which includes their gene test. I'm so anxious. I guess I'll know next week. He wants to do an endoscopy but I think I'm going to wait for the results before I schedule it. I stopped eating gluten after my test, I figure if I have intestinal damage it won't heal in a week or two so shouldn't botch endoscopy. If it isn't Celiac he wants to test for heavy metal/toxins...scary thought. Does anyone here know of a Celiac with major muscle issues? I really don't know where to go if this is a dead end. It fits, but I haven't read a story of an actual celiac with muscle involvement. I have read that Celiacs often have magnesium deficiency, and I have read symptoms of a mag deficiency which I relate to, but I've not seen any posts from anyone with actual experience with it similar to mine, if this is in fact a mag deficiency. I'm stressing about it. Any first hand experience would be great. I'll post when I get results next week. Thanks to you all. :)

Major muscle issues are definitely a Celiac symptom.

At first I had weakness in the legs.

Then aches, then difficulty contracting my muscles, then they atrophied.

I just couldn't exercise. Taking a walk would make me have to sleep or rest for 2 days to recover.

Of course I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

I lost coordination and bumped into walls and had great difficulty walking any distance.

It was all due to gluten.

When I got off the gluten all the symptoms became less severe then started to fade. My muscle tone slowly increased and it still is increasing. I can say I do not have any of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia anymore, nor do I have muscle pain anymore. At first I could only take short walks or exercise my muscles a little bit. Then it got better and better quite fast. Considering how long I was sick, I think 6 months is pretty good time to get your strength and muscle tone back. I mean just basically walking through the grocery store here...not marathon type of muscle tone, but it is way better than where I started from.

There are a lot of people who describe weakness and fatigue and being misdiagnosed with Fibromyalgia, only to find out that it is gluten. Just wanted to share that.

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Thanks everyone! I went to a GI Dr yesterday and he ordered Promethius Celiac Plus panel, which includes their gene test. I'm so anxious. I guess I'll know next week. He wants to do an endoscopy but I think I'm going to wait for the results before I schedule it. I stopped eating gluten after my test, I figure if I have intestinal damage it won't heal in a week or two so shouldn't botch endoscopy. If it isn't Celiac he wants to test for heavy metal/toxins...scary thought. Does anyone here know of a Celiac with major muscle issues? I really don't know where to go if this is a dead end. It fits, but I haven't read a story of an actual celiac with muscle involvement. I have read that Celiacs often have magnesium deficiency, and I have read symptoms of a mag deficiency which I relate to, but I've not seen any posts from anyone with actual experience with it similar to mine, if this is in fact a mag deficiency. I'm stressing about it. Any first hand experience would be great. I'll post when I get results next week. Thanks to you all. :)

If you are going to have an endo DO NOT go gluten free yet. Wait until all testing is finished and then do the diet. You don't have to wait for the results of the endo but you do need to keep eating gluten until the endo is done.

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If you are going to have an endo DO NOT go gluten free yet. Wait until all testing is finished and then do the diet. You don't have to wait for the results of the endo but you do need to keep eating gluten until the endo is done.

I know you are right. I'm having an internal struggle with it. Dr and Celiacs keep saying eat gluten until tests are over, my family and body are saying no more gluten!! I'm in a tug of war... But I'm dedicated to this, so I just ate a cheeseburger. Ugh.

Thank you for the response about the muscle issues. It helped. I also found an older thread discussing fasciculations and myoclonic twitches which is exactly what my muscles do, so I found that somewhat comforting as well. I just know this is it. In this two year struggle, scaring myself with all the scary possibilities, I have not been more certain of something than I am now. It has explained so much...even why I've never been able to bite into a popsicle. :-) I can't wait to get this over with, have my children tested, and heal!! I hope...

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I just wanted to close out this thread by saying my labs from Prometheus came back with a high positive, as well as I do have the DQ8 gene. Still have endoscopy scheduled for next Tuesday, but it looks like I was right! No thanks to any of the doctors I've seen over the last 2+ years. Also, LabCorp reported the FALSE negative initially, so beware!! Thanks everyone for your advice.

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Congrats on getting an answer. Hopefully this puts you on the road to recovery and good health. :)

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