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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.


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I have been suffering from psoriasis for about 8 years now. It started out mild but in the last year or 2 it has become worse. I've also had chronic joint pain in my toes and fingers. Dermatologist basically diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis but blood tests came back as negative from rheumatologist. My mother has Celiacs and I am being tested this week. I started gluten free yesterday because they now feel that even though I have no stomach issues, the gluten can be causing the psoriasis and joint pain. Anyone else have such issues? I also have terrible fingernails and toenails.


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I hope that you will report back any benefits of your gluten free diet, because there are many people who post on this forum with symptoms that don't sound like classic DH, but could be caused by gluten.

Please note that if you aren't consuming gluten, your test for celiac disease will probably come back negative. You need to be consuming quite a lot of gluten for the test to work.


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I have been suffering from psoriasis for about 8 years now. It started out mild but in the last year or 2 it has become worse. I've also had chronic joint pain in my toes and fingers. Dermatologist basically diagnosed me with psoriatic arthritis but blood tests came back as negative from rheumatologist. My mother has Celiacs and I am being tested this week. I started gluten free yesterday because they now feel that even though I have no stomach issues, the gluten can be causing the psoriasis and joint pain. Anyone else have such issues? I also have terrible fingernails and toenails.

Hi Emily, and welcome to the Board.

What tests did your rheumatologist run for you? Did he do the celiac blood panel or did he just test you for Rheumatoid Factor? If you have psoiratic arthritis, as I do, your RF will most likely be negative. I was never tested for celiac because I figured it out myself and stopped eating gluten - in fact told my doctors that's what my problem was. My new rheumy said, "Well, it's too late to test you now." So, in the event he didn't do the celiac panel you should have it done right away. If you did have the celiac tests it would be useful to see the results posted here with the ranges the lab uses. Sometimes tests that are really borderline are called negative :unsure:

Now, that being said, it is also possible to have problems like psoriatic arthritis caused by gluten and not test positive on anything, even the CRP or ESR, let alone the celiac panel. I did have the GI issues, not the major issues some posters on here have, but other sometimes alarming symptoms and the only one I attributed to food was my reaction to lactose which I realized was an intolerance but did not know of its association with gluten.

So what took me to the rheumatologist was pain in my shoulders wrists, fingers, toes, balls of my feet. Many rheumatologists are ignorant of the relationship between gluten and joint problems and do not think to test you. I did not develop the psoriasis until later, so had had joint symptoms for a couple of years before diagnosis. I see now, going back to your post, that you are being tested for celiac this week. Try to get them to run the full panel, which consists of the following:

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG

Anti-Endomysial (EMA) IgA

Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA

Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP) IgA and IgG

Total Serum IgA

Often doctors will run only the tTG and total serum IgA, but the newer DGP seems to be the most specific, reliable test so far developed. I would specifically request that they run that one. And it is best if you stay on the gluten until testing is finished (they may want to do an endo with biopsy) because it is important that you keep the antibodies active because that is what the tests are looking for.

Good luck with your testing and do let us know how things turn out. :) By the way, my fingernails and toenails have gone to hell, and they used to be my star feature :D


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My Mom had psoriasis, and for thirty years she was under a dermatologists's care. Then in 1985 or so, after years of digestive problems, she was diagnosed with Celiac. After she had been gluten free for a while her psoriasis cleared up completely and permanently. And she had it BAD.

So, when I started with psoriasis that kept getting worse, I went gluten free. I saw immediate relief (within two days it started healing.) Unfortunately, I also discovered that corn causes it to flare badly, and I recently discovered that almonds do it to me too. The same may happen to you. There are often other intolerances that are masked by the gluten. I'm still learning and I'm sure over time there will be problems with other foods too.

Start out with plain cooked whole foods - meat, brown rice, and vegetables. But try to stay away from bagged salads and baby carrots - they are washed in a citrus wash derived from corn. I didn't even eat fruit at first because of all the fructose (which can be another thing that causes problems).

You will most likely start to heal and then have ANOTHER problem pop up, just like I have, but try not to get discouraged. You are DEFINITELY on the right track. If you need any more advice on the "psoriasis diet", feel free to PM me.


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    • Just recently diagnosed and wondering has anyone else experienced constant benching/gas, chest burning, and constipation?? 
    • and once that's happened if results are negative please do properly trial the gluten free diet regardless. So much of what you've posted suggests you're on the right track with this, results notwithstanding. Good luck!
    • Hi Galaxy, This does not mean that you don't have celiac.  You need a full panel done.  I only test positive on the DGP IgA test.  You still need tTG IgG, DGP IgA, DGP IgG and EMA.  Ask your Dr to order the rest?  Do keep eating gluten until all testing is complete and definitely keep advocating for yourself!  You deserve to feel good!! ((((((Hugs))))))
    • HI all. Blood, genetic and 3 biopsies diagnosed Celiac 2007. Spent 10 years on elimination diet of 9 foods to have stable colon and CRP. Never had bad Celiac numbers and my weight dropped 90 lbs from inflamation under control. Great cholesterol. Last two years have been adding foods. Last summer developed sharp pain in right flank, severe. After ultrasounds and MRI no diagnosis. Three back to back bladder infections and high CRP, Westergreen and Cholesterol later I went back to elimination diet for 30 days. Hard with food and starvation fear. Blood perfect again. Just wanted to share that obviously some food I added took me down hard. I am militant gluten-free and my Celiac blood work was normal throughout. Pain is gone. Anyone else experience this. Did you find out what it was and what test or Lab? Thanks to all who share here.
    • http://www.popsci.com/peppers-marijuana-gut Found this and found it interesting,  I will admit I love making edibles and it always seemed to help with my gut lol. "Your gut is something of an immunological mystery. Unlike the rest of the body, which tends to treat foreign invaders with a singular purpose—seek and destroy—the stomach cannot afford to be so indiscriminate. It exists to help fuel the body, and that means routinely welcoming foreign bodies in the form food. “If we injected ourselves with the food that we eat, we would have a massive immune response,” said Pramod Srivastava, an immunologist at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. When our gut’s immune system starts acting more like that of the rest of the body, the gut gets inflamed and starts attacking its own cells. The end result is illness. Diseases like celiac (an autoimmune reaction to gluten) and ulcerative colitis (one of two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the other being Crohns) occur when the gut’s immune system starts treating food, and our own body, like an interloper. These conditions often leaves sufferers in tremendous pain and at an increased risk of both malnutrition and colon cancer. But if researchers could figure out how to calm down that immunological response, it might be possible to create a treatment. Srivastava’s recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests we may be one step closer to finding a cure. He found that anandamide, a chemical that the body makes naturally and that is very similar to chemicals found in marijuana, helps calm down the immune system—at least in the guts of mice. If his studies hold up in humans, he says it could eventually lead to a cure for ulcerative colitis. To understand how Srivastava came to this conclusion it helps to look at his earlier work. Srivastava found that when he exposed immune cells to hot temperatures that the cells became highly activated—in other words, the immune cells went to work. Previous studies have shown that elevated body temperatures (better known as fevers) can help immune cells work better. But what Srivastava wanted to know was why. How exactly did the cells know that it was getting hot in there? “It was known that there were certain calcium cells that open up in the nerves when they are exposed to high temperature,” said Srivastava. “So, if the hand encounters a hot stove, those calcium cells open, calcium falls into the nerve and that nerve impulse goes to the brain, and we know that it is warm or hot.” It turns out that the same calcium channel is also how immune cells knew that their Petri dishes were getting warm. If physically hot temperatures activate the immune cells, Srivastava wondered, would capsaicin—the chemical that makes chili peppers feel hot—do the same? The answer was yes. Immune cells exposed to chili pepper in a Petri dish behaved just like cells exposed to higher temperatures. But our cells aren’t exposed to capsaicin directly when we bite into a spicy dish. So Srivastava fed the chemical to mice with type 1 Diabetes (which, like IBD, stems from autoimmune inflammation) to mimic our actual exposure. Since the Petri dish experiments showed that heat and capsaicin tended to make immune cells more active, the mice fed capsaicin should have developed more diabetes than the control group. But the opposite happened. Srivastava found that capsaicin didn’t ramp up the immune cells in their guts—it chilled them out. The mice fed capsaicin actually stopped being diabetic. It turns out something else happens when a mouse chows down on capsaicin. A special kind of immune cell, CX3CR1, also gets activated. And that immune cell tends to suppress immune responses in the gut. Since the body can’t really depend on a steady diet of chili peppers to keep us healthy, Srivastava went looking to see what else binds to the same calcium channel as capsaicin. He discovered that anandamide does. Anandamide was discovered in the 1980s when researchers were trying to make sense of why our body, especially the brain, has cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids, found in marijuana, are part of a class of chemicals that can alter neurotransmission in the brain. Nature didn't develop those sensors just so humans could get stoned: anandamide is similar to the cannabinoids found in marijuana, but our body actually produces it. “The person who discovered anandamide had an interest in Indian languages,” said Srivastava. “And in India, the word ‘ananda’ means bliss.” Nobody knows whether anandamide actually induces a sense of bliss, but mice fed anandamide experienced the same healing effects—stretching from the esophagus down through the stomach—as mice fed capsaicin. Srivastava also discovered that when he gave mice capsaicin, it seemed to stimulate their bodies' production of anandamide. In both cases, it was ultimately the anandamide that was healing the gut, which suggests that other cannabinoids like marijuana might have a similar effect. As with all studies, there are some limitations. Srivastava’s work was done in mice, not people. But it does fall in line with anecdotes from IBD sufferers who have found that marijuana relieves some of their symptoms, and other studies that have found that people who eat chili peppers live longer. Because anandamide is a cannabinoid, it’s pretty heavily regulated—you can’t just give it to humans. As a result, Srivastava hopes to work with public health authorities in Colorado—the land of medical (and recreational) marijuana—to see if legalization has led to any improvement in colitis patients who consume edibles. If it has, that could help Srivastava make the case for a study that repeats his experiment in human patients. In the meantime? Well, if you live in Colorado and want to try something new for your IBD, you're sure in luck. But most patients should probably hold off on trying to mimic the study results at home: many IBD patients report negative reactions to spicy foods, likely because they increase stomach acid and often contain nightshade plants. So guzzling hot sauce might not be a safe way to boost your body's anandamide production."
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