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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.

Fighting Upper Respiratory Infection
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15 posts in this topic

i had a head cold that has migrated to my chest. now, my past normal would have been to run to the doctor at this point. i have a low grade fever and everything hurts, so i have been in the bed (in the afternoon/evening it seems to get worse) on and off for 2 days. feeling tired but not *constantly* - morning/early afternoon i feel pretty good.

question: anybody have better luck fighting infection gluten-free and 'normal'? i have already beat 2 colds, much to my surprise, without it turning into the upper-respiratory thing. one of them was around thanksgiving, which usually turns to pneumonia. i am so sick of antibiotics!! they give me 'z-pack' which kills everything :( also, would a lower dose or a different (less killing) antibiotic work now that my body is better equipped to fight?

or am i just hoping for too much... :huh:

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I have good luck with taking 2000 mg of L-Lysine every day (in the a.m. and p.m.), olive leaf extract, and mullein tea. With regard to the L-Lysine and olive leaf extract, studies have shown that viruses can be fought off in half the time. Mullein tea helps to break up mucus.

However, if you have a fever, you may have to see a doctor if you don't start feeling better. I agree that antibiotics are terrible, but sometimes they're necessary when you have a bacterial infection.

By the way, whenever I feel the flu coming on, I take a small portion of Oscillococcinum, and about 70% of the time, the flu abates immediately....or affects me only lightly. It's been used in Europe for over 50 years and is the top-selling flu "medication" in Europe. If you check online, you can read studies that have shown its effectiveness; however, most people don't know that you only need to take about 10-12 of the beads in a tube of Oscillococcinum, rather than the whole tube, and it works just as well. I take some after taking a flight, because I always seem to come down with a flu afterwards--and it has really helped.

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Sorry your feeling funky. If you fever is low grade just let it cook as that is your body killing off the nasties. Your doing the right thing by resting as much as you can and I hope your soon feeling much better.

Like you my winters were always sick at Thanksgiving and chronic bronchitis by Christmas and into spring. I rarely get sick at all now. I can't remember the last time I had a virus. Knock wood.

I think for some of us once our bodies are not having to fight the gluten all the time we have an easier time fighting off the bugs going around.

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Assuming you don't have salicylate sensitivity (like me these days and thus can't have most herbs or spices) the following are great for colds, flu, bronchitis etc.:

Olive leaf is a good idea. It is anti viral, anti microbial and anti biotic. If you get the extract make sure it is gluten free. I think just slowly boiling up your own leaves is just as good.

Garlic is excellent. Have someone make you chicken soup with lots of veggies and garlic, with some cayenne. Yes! Really helps break up the congestion. (Actually this is good for those with salicylate sensitivity too! thankfully--though not the cayenne.)

Mullein is good for the lungs. Also coltsfoot. Some licorice will also help against the lung congestion and make everything taste better. Avoid licorice however if you have high blood pressure. Take 10 days only since it builds up in your system and raises even normal bp after that.

Marshmallow root will help soothe the lining of your throat. Its also excellent for soothing and healing the lining of your intestines as well as your kidneys.

Yarrow tea will help take down the fever. It is bitter but good.

Straight lemon juice with an egg white and a teaspoon of honey will effectively combat a coughing fit.

Drink tons of water of course. A bit of lemon in the water will help your liver detox and combat the phlegm.

Plain old peppermint or spearmint tea is very good for colds and flue etc. Add in some chamomile to help you sleep.

Sage tea is excellent for a sore throat and combatting phlegm. So is hyssop or marjoram tea (you can raid your kitchen cupboards).

Steam your head. I used to put something like peppermint into the boiled water in a pot with a lid. Make a "tent" with a towel over your head and the pot. Slowly and carefully slide the lid off a bit at a time so you don't get burned by the hot steam. Breathe in deeply. Makes a huge difference!

As far as improved health and being gluten free--yes it makes a huge difference! Like you I used to get ill all the time, but now no longer. Hardly ever get sick now. Initially when I first went entirely gluten free I kept getting cross contaminated with gluten (from a kiss, from going out to dinner with others, from shaking hands, from soaps etc., from lipstick, from walking through someplace that made pies, you name it) and found I was more subject to getting sick. This one time after having the big D, I got up the day afterwards and took my mom to the hospital and picked up a bacterial infection! It went to my lungs and eventually to my kidneys. And yes I did have to take antibiotics!! It was awful.

I discovered after that however that If I laid down low for 3 days and protected myself after I got cross contaminated from gluten (CC) I didn't get sick, or got over it really fast. Now I rarely get sick at all even though I still get problems with CC--though not as many since I am always washing my hands before I put them to my face or eat. I learned more recently (the hard way--after getting glutened from eating my food heated in the oven and this time sick since I had pushed myself that day and was extraordinarily tired) to always avoid other people's microwave ovens too--unless they are also gluten-free.

I also have learned that if I cook most everything from scratch I avoid many of these kinds of problems...

I have also discovered that homeopathics also do really work, as long as one avoids the strong herbs I suggested above. Garlic is fine but not the rest if you go the homeopathic route, especially avoid peppermint anything or caffeine.

Meanwhile I highly suggest you take probiotics to combat the effects from all the antibiotics you have had...

And yes its better to avoid the antibiotics if at all possible. Do try the olive leaf!

Hope you feel better soon!

Bea

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thanx so much for the advice :) update: (and this is kind of an experiment for me) i have been resting much, drinking alot of water/juice, making sure i eat 3 times a day even if it is not a full meal, taking very long hot showers, etc. my finances (especially january is the worst time for us every year) are not so great, so i haven't been able to seek herbs or supplements right now BUT i am becoming totally convinced that the homeopathic route is the way to go on many, many things. so far, i am still coughing but not so stuffed up and the fever seems to have gone. (i think i sweated it out?) chest pain is gone. i took a 3 yr old clothes shopping yesterday (yay gift cards!) - tried looking for the new gluten-free market (didn't find it :( ) and still came home with enough energy to do some laundry. last year i had to go to the doctor at least once and get the killer anti=biotics but i was only 6 months into healing. what a difference a year makes - i am so very encouraged!! would still like to get some of those herbs... ! but my junk body has never *ever* healed on it's own. ever.

also, this time of year i am usually freaking out about $$ even though we ALWAYS are ok through the rough spots - i think my anxiety level in general has gone WAY down. i'll let you know at the end of january or february LOLS.

anyways, maybe i'll keep this old junk body after all :)

oh, and i am taking vitamin D3 now, so maybe that is helping. thanks, again, y'all!

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oh, and bea - today i am making a giant pot of turkey soup with lots of veggies. and cayenne! :D

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i had a head cold that has migrated to my chest. now, my past normal would have been to run to the doctor at this point. i have a low grade fever and everything hurts, so i have been in the bed (in the afternoon/evening it seems to get worse) on and off for 2 days. feeling tired but not *constantly* - morning/early afternoon i feel pretty good.

question: anybody have better luck fighting infection gluten-free and 'normal'? i have already beat 2 colds, much to my surprise, without it turning into the upper-respiratory thing. one of them was around thanksgiving, which usually turns to pneumonia. i am so sick of antibiotics!! they give me 'z-pack' which kills everything :( also, would a lower dose or a different (less killing) antibiotic work now that my body is better equipped to fight?

or am i just hoping for too much... :huh:

I've used ginger tea and candied ginger (available during holiday season) for years for fighting upper respiratory infections. However I went through a period when I had one cold after another. So I asked my ND to figure out why I kept getting colds even though I obsessively abstained from my allergens. She gave me blood tests and found I was deficient in vitamin D (helps fight infections), thyroid hormones (actually had Hashimoto's thyroiditis), white blood cells (specifically neutrophils). So I took 2000 IU of vitamin D for a few months, began supplemental thyroid hormones and took LDN for neutropenia. I also used arabinogalactin (IAG brand) which stimulated my immune system to fight back even with my low white blood cells. Arabinogalactin is a 'prebiotic' which feed probiotics. I was already taking a high dose (50 billion live cells per capsule) probiotic, but adding the arabinogalactin seemed to stop my cold symptoms within 20 minutes. It's the best natural cold relief I've found beyond ginger. The LDN helped raise my white blood cell level back to normal, but I still got occasional cold symptoms. An adrenal hormone profile showed I'm very low in DHEA. So I'm now taking a tiny dose of sublingual DHEA daily. (Larger doses can cause unpleasant side effects.) I haven't had any cold symptoms since I started the DHEA, despite cold, wet weather and exposure to lots of germs during the holiday season.

If you continue to get colds, consider having the following checked: Vitamin D, CBC differential (white blood cell subdivisions), thyroid hormones (TSH, free t3, free t4 and thyroid antibodies). All of those influence immunity (whether you get lots of infections).

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oh, and bea - today i am making a giant pot of turkey soup with lots of veggies. and cayenne! :D

Excellent! Like the other poster suggested,, ginger is a good addition.

I do suggest too that initially you don't overdo things. By all means get out a bit when you feel better, but also let your body get plenty of rest to make sure you don't have a relapse.

Bea

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How long after giving up gluten does it take to stop getting so many URIs? I just gave up gluten Feb 3 after learning I had a sensitivity to it and after getting sick every month for jsut about the entire past year.

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19 minutes ago, hopefulforhealing said:

How long after giving up gluten does it take to stop getting so many URIs? I just gave up gluten Feb 3 after learning I had a sensitivity to it and after getting sick every month for just about the entire past year.

Hello hopeful,

Welcome to the forum! :)

I don't know about URI's and celiac disease myself.  But I do know celiac disease can affect any part of the body, if not directly then by nutrient deficiencies.

Did you get tested for celiac disease before going gluten-free?  If not you should consider doing that right away to find out for sure.  Celiac disease is a lifelong condition and it's good to know for sure if you have it.  If you are going to be tested you need to keep eating gluten until all testing is done.  The testing is a blood check for antibodies to gliaden, a protein in wheat, and then an endoscopy to check for villi damage in the gut.

It's much easier to be tested before going gluten-free than it is after being gluten-free for a few months.  You would have to do a gluten challenge of 12 weeks before testing later.  That can be very unpleasant if you do have celiac disease.

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On 12/31/2011 at 5:21 PM, notme! said:

anybody have better luck fighting infection gluten-free and 'normal'? i have already beat 2 colds, much to my surprise, without it turning into the upper-respiratory thing.

Yes. It's a bit odd answering this now as I'm recovering from a nasty bout of flu which has moved on to my chest, but it's a bug that's hit lots of people where I live.

In general, I spent 20 years or more suffering frequent chest infections, I've had lots of chest x rays because I couldnt shake them off until I eliminated gluten. Since I changed my diet, bar this current flu, I've done far better in either not catching colds or fighting them off much quicker. 

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it's flu season, here, too.  they shut the schools down the week before last because their attendance was so low due to illness.  two of the grandkids got it (i watch a bunch of kids) but i didn't get it.  again :D

hope you feel better!

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On 2/19/2017 at 1:06 PM, GFinDC said:

Hello hopeful,

Welcome to the forum! :)

I don't know about URI's and celiac disease myself.  But I do know celiac disease can affect any part of the body, if not directly then by nutrient deficiencies.

Did you get tested for celiac disease before going gluten-free?  If not you should consider doing that right away to find out for sure.  Celiac disease is a lifelong condition and it's good to know for sure if you have it.  If you are going to be tested you need to keep eating gluten until all testing is done.  The testing is a blood check for antibodies to gliaden, a protein in wheat, and then an endoscopy to check for villi damage in the gut.

It's much easier to be tested before going gluten-free than it is after being gluten-free for a few months.  You would have to do a gluten challenge of 12 weeks before testing later.  That can be very unpleasant if you do have celiac disease.

Hi,

Thanks for your response! I did get tested to check for antibodies to gliadin and my gliadin sIgA came back at 28 so my ND told me to stop eating it, that was Feb. 3rd. I haven't had an endoscopy yet and I don't know if I will. I know thats the only way to confirm it but knowing I have the sensitivity is/was enough for me to stop eating it. Is there a benefit to spending the money to have the endoscopy to see what damage has been done? Ive read that often times the damage isn't reversed by eliminating gluten so Im somewhat afraid to see what damage I all have. I do have another dr appmt next week so I can discuss it there also. Thanks for the input!

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48 minutes ago, hopefulforhealing said:

Hi,

Thanks for your response! I did get tested to check for antibodies to gliadin and my gliadin sIgA came back at 28 so my ND told me to stop eating it, that was Feb. 3rd. I haven't had an endoscopy yet and I don't know if I will. I know thats the only way to confirm it but knowing I have the sensitivity is/was enough for me to stop eating it. Is there a benefit to spending the money to have the endoscopy to see what damage has been done? Ive read that often times the damage isn't reversed by eliminating gluten so Im somewhat afraid to see what damage I all have. I do have another dr appmt next week so I can discuss it there also. Thanks for the input!

Hi Hopeful,

Most of the time a doctor in the USA won't give a celiac disease diagnosis without the endoscopic proof. The gluten challenge is 2 to 4 weeks for the endoscopy and 12 weeks for the blood antibodies.  How worthwhile it is to be tested via an endoscopy is up to each individual.  Some people need the full diagnosis to convince them to stay off gluten, others don't.  Since you have antibodies there is a real good chance it is celiac disease IMHO, but I am not a doctor.  Heck I don't even play golf! :)

I never had the endoscopy myself as I'd been gluten-free four months before getting into the doctor.  Doing a gluten challenge wasn't workable for me as I was struggling with work already.   Plus I knew I was never going to eat gluten again on purpose after starting to feel better on the gluten-free diet.

Life without gluten is much better IMHO.  At least for me it is.

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13 hours ago, notme! said:

it's flu season, here, too.  they shut the schools down the week before last because their attendance was so low due to illness.  two of the grandkids got it (i watch a bunch of kids) but i didn't get it.  again :D

hope you feel better!

Thanks, I'm on the mend, just got the cough to get shut of now. Kids must be the most efficient virus transmission device ever conceived.  :) I realised after I posted that your own bout was 2011 (flu brain) so I definitely hope you got over that :P

 

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