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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? - 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 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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Ellie84

Boyfriend Getting Gluten-Sensitive As Well?

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This is my first time posting here, so let me introduce myself here first :) I'm a girl, age 27 from the Netherlands. Please excuse me if my grammar is off at times, English is my second language.

Here's the story, and my question:

After a long period of medical hide-and-seek I finally got my diagnosis 1,5 years ago. My boyfriend is very supportive, we've been living together for 3,5 years now and he has been there for me throughout the whole diagnosis process. Most of our evening meals are gluten-free and he also loves gluten-free muesli and snacks. Because of this he doesn't eat a lot of gluten anymore.

Of late he has had intestinal problems like cramps and flatulence, and he's often tired or has trouble concentrating. That must raise an alarm with most of you, as it did with me the last time this happened, about a year ago. When he started to display these symptomes we immediately started with a diagnosis process, but he had no antibodies or atrophy. Coeliac disease was out of the question.

So celiac disease is ruled out, but every time he eats bread, pizza or drinks beer he gets these problems. Can non-coeliacs become gluten-sensitive if they don't eat a lot of gluten for a longer period of time?

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Hi, and welcome, Ellie.

I think the short answer to your question is that if you have no problem with gluten you can stop and start eating it any time and it will not affect you in the least. If you eat no, or very little gluten, and then suddenly ressume eating gluten and have problems with it, it means you are gluten sensitive. There are many people who are gluten sensitive who do not have celiac disease. And there are many people who can continue eating gluten and not realize it is a problem for them until they eat very little or none, and then start eating it again.

At the time your boyfriend was last tested, he may not have been eating enough gluten to raise his antibody level to the testing threshold, or to have caused atrophy in his small intestine. It does not necessarily mean that celiac disease is out of the question. Those who have been gluten free or gluten "light" are recommended to go on a full gluten diet for 2-3 months before blood testing and endoscopy to get a definitive test result. So if he wanted an accurate test he would need to eat the equivalent of 3-4 slices of bread per day for two to three months.

So I believe it was not the lack of gluten that made him gluten sensitive; it was just that his body had had a rest from having to deal with gluten and did some healing from it, and then rejected the gluten once it was reintroduced.

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So if he wanted an accurate test he would need to eat the equivalent of 3-4 slices of bread per day for two to three months.

Ah, he usually eats 2-3 slices a day, which is quite a small amount for a big eater like him. He supplements it with other foods like dinner leftovers, fruits, yoghurt and nuts.

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    • It's good to know it was of use, thanks for letting me know   All the best, Matt
    • Hi Matt,   Thank you very much for a thorough response. Your link seems to cover pretty much all the questions one might have in my current situation. I appreciate it.   Have a wonderful day, Lex
    • I am worried about the cost but I think having that test done would help me rule things out. Either way I need to see a G.I my issues are getting out of control.
    • Thank you for all the information. I am sorry for the late reply to everyone. I have been feeling worse and worse lately. Got the blood test results, it came back negative. Seeing a G.I specialist in three months (too long for me :/) I've been keeping a food diary and realize I feel worse after eating gluten. After the G.I I want to start the diet. I'm going to call him and see if I can get seen sooner. The bloodwork said theres no signs of inflammation and they don't suspect it to be autoimmune but they want me to do the diet anyway. I wish I had answers because my vision is getting worse, cramping, nerve pain and trips to the bathroom are amplifying. Meh. Also I have a vitamin d deficiency so I am taking d3 2000iu with vitamin b12. Thanks for the help! 
    • I'm sorry you are dealing with this. My son deals with food intolerances that are not identified by any biomarker as well. I hear the same response from doctors in that, "if the food makes him feel bad then it's probably best to avoid the food." (Thanks for your insight doc!) His symptoms are not dermatological though. His symptoms are mostly neurological and psychiatric with some bloating and mild digestive issues. He loses his mind quite literally if he digests gluten. Also develops what is known as a stereotypy, involuntary movement of hands. He is otherwise a normal child. We are unable to obtain any kind of diagnosis though.  I know you're avoiding a lot of foods right now, but don't get discouraged. It's just a way of life and you're doing the right thing. Right now we are avoiding foods such as soy, all types of grain, chocolate, dairy and nightshades. I have limited his iodine intake as well. I have personally found that gluten, iodine and soy cause intensely itchy blisters and joint pain for me. Perhaps have you tried cutting back on iodine intake?
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