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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.

If Antibodies Are In Normal Range...
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11 posts in this topic

Some of you may think I am nuts for thinking this or asking this but what the hell here it goes:

Disclaimer: I am in no way advising anybody to do this.

If a NON symptomatic celiac eats gluten free & their antibodies are in normal range (via regular blood tests) I think it may be ok to occasionally have a little glutenous treat. I think this b/c even if the antibodies attack the villi it would not be enough to cause irrepairable damage-I liken it to getting a little cut or scratch & will heal shortly--that's if any damage occurs at all. (Doesn't villinous atrophy occur due to constant gluten consumption? ) Plus it would be many months b4 you consume that special glutenous thing you love so much.

Maybe it would be enough to slightly raise your antibodies for that one treat/meal but wouldn't the antibodies go right back down as you go straight back to gluten-free? I guess you can compare it to accidently getting gluten only you did it on purpose. Perhaps over time a non symptomatic celiac will begin to feel ill, but of course that would be the time to never consume gluten at all--ever.

.

Ok I said it! now I am ready to get bashed! Metal shield is in place....However In my defense--I feel with everything in life there are gray areas very rarely is anything strictly black & white & since not everything is known about celiac by the medical profession perhaps this once in a while

" accidently on purpose" gluten consumption for NOn symptomatic celiacs may be a gray area. I said perhaps...

Ok Lisa, Irish, Peter & everyone else I am ready!

(ducking behind shield)... :ph34r:

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I just went to lunch today with an undiagnosed gluten/dairy/other things intolerant for her birthday. She ordered something with phyllo, she had ice cream and I was amazed. She always makes such a fuss about the dairy, especiallly. She said she was willing to pay the price because it was her birthday. Now I am not sure how severe her symptoms are (GI, joint aches, etc.) but I will be interested to see how she is feeling tomorrow.:)

I am not going to give you a lecture. You know the game, you know the rules, you know the consequences. You know how you react to gluten and it is your body. All I can say is Good Luck!

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Keep in mind that the antibodies in your blood don't show up until there has been some level of damage to your intestine. So you will be damaging your intestine without producing antibodies.

There are grey areas, and it is your body and your life, but try to weigh the possible risks against any benefit before you make such a decision.

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This could be a slippery slope. Should someone eat something containing gluten once in awhile and not have major discomfort afterward it would likely lead to eating gluten more the once in a great while -- by the time they have symptoms they may have caused serious damage to their digestive track.

I know with my 18 year old son -- each time he ate gluten at a school party -- because hey he was 16 or 17 and the treats looked really good -- he ended up ill for at least 24 hours...one took him out for three days -- thus he no longer eats the occasional gluten treat.

That being said...if I had no symptoms while eating gluten I think it would be very difficult to stay away from gluten 100% - oh boy I hadn't thought of eating an everything bagel in over a year - thanks for the fun day dream ;)

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Since Celiac is an autoimmune disease and not an allergy... I would imagine that the autoimmune response gluten stimulates could last long after all of the particles of gluten leave the body. Domino effect maybe? However it would eventually subside... Whether or not your body could take that might be another story though. ;-) HTH!

Disclaimer: This is just a guess!

~Laura :)

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There are lots of studies done on recurrence of celiac disease, so in this case your doctor knows what he's talking about. Celiacs who admit to deliberately consuming gluten occasionally pretty much always have some degree of villous damage when they are scoped even if their antibodies are negative. There really isn't any grey area for eating gluten with celiac disease. You can't eat it. Ever. Period.

I know it's tempting to rationalize eating gluten but instead you have to look at why you are interested in doing something so self-destructive. Is a treat really worth the risk of other untreatable autoimmune diseases? Nerve damage and osteoporosis from deficiencies? Refractory celiac and fatal cancer?

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All interesting replies but I kind of knew what the replies would be.

Shroom: remember we are talking about NON symptomatic ppl. Naturally if there is a reaction of any sort, or positive antibody tests, or proof of malabsorption goodbye gluten4ever.

Jestgar said "Keep in mind that the antibodies in your blood don't show up until there has been some level of damage to your intestine. So you will be damaging your intestine without producing antibodies".

That is something to consider however once somebody stops eating gluten the doesn't the gut heals even if there is moderate damage? I am thinking one treat once in a while would not cause any long lasting damage as the gut will immediately start to heal itself b/c gluten eating is stopped. gluten-free eating resumes with the very next meal. Isn't it continuous gluten consumption that causes the long lasting damage?

Gottaski: That's just my point ur DS began to have reactions so he stopped. He had reactions that are not worth it. Is he villi forever damaged? From all I've learned about celiac his gut would've heal. As long as celiacs stay gluten-free they live normal healthy lives. But I really am not trying to speculate what is best for everyone. But you did make my point.

Skylark: Your point is well taken however the only way your point would be proven to an absolute certainty would be for the person who is consuming gluten every blue moon to get scoped on a regular basis right? Should that be 1x a yr? every 2 years? And if blood tests prove NO deficiencies in any vitamins or iron then I think that would prove there isn't any damage or enough damage to cause long term effects. Isn't it the deficiencies that cause all the problems--the malabsorption of nutrients? So are you saying that you believe damage still occurs even if all blood tests are fine including the celiac panels & there are NO symptoms of malabsorption? Again doesn't the gut heal therefore no malabsorption occurs?

You asked "Why would I be interested in doing something so self-destructive? " Well b/c I am not convinced that it self destructive for every single celiac in the world.

The gluten challenge that Dr's require to scope you (eating gluten for 2-3 mths) to me is a BARBARIC requirement especially those with symptoms. And even then there is no guarentee villi damage will be present even after all that gluten consumption.

.

Again I am not trying to sway anybody to my way of thinking nor am I recommending it. This is simply IMHO. You all must make your own decisions based on the facts that you know.

I am enjoying the replies. Keep them coming. I think its an interesting discussion.

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Edited/removed my response to Maximoo...great topic for discussion -- discussion as well as support is what makes this forum is so great -- perhaps the commentary just sounded snarky to me and was not intended to read that way.

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Well, according to this link posted by GFinDC, the villi never completely recover from the attack of the antibodies in gluten susceptible individuals, so whomsoever knowingly ingests gluten and knowingly risks creating more antibodies would be knowingly increasing the risk of further damage to the villi from which s/he may never recover. I don't think I personally would want to do that.

http://www.nature.com/ajg/journal/v106/n1/full/ajg2010313a.html

Celiac disease is caused by gluten-induced damage in the proximal small intestine of genetically susceptible individuals (1). Histologic studies have shown a spectrum of changes ranging from an increased number of intraepithelial lymphocytes to the typical

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Skylark: Your point is well taken however the only way your point would be proven to an absolute certainty would be for the person who is consuming gluten every blue moon to get scoped on a regular basis right? Should that be 1x a yr? every 2 years? And if blood tests prove NO deficiencies in any vitamins or iron then I think that would prove there isn't any damage or enough damage to cause long term effects. Isn't it the deficiencies that cause all the problems--the malabsorption of nutrients? So are you saying that you believe damage still occurs even if all blood tests are fine including the celiac panels & there are NO symptoms of malabsorption? Again doesn't the gut heal therefore no malabsorption occurs?

You asked "Why would I be interested in doing something so self-destructive? " Well b/c I am not convinced that it self destructive for every single celiac in the world.

It is an interesting discussion.

No, I don't think outright deficiency is the only problem. There is growing evidence that inflammation underlies cardiovascular disease, depression, type II diabetes, and cancer. Even low levels of autoimmunity would contribute to your overall level of inflammation. Plus, I've seen figures that 30% of people with celiac go on to develop another autoimmune disease. Why is this? Are we prone to autoimmunity to begin with or does occasional gluten exposure give an opportunity to develop further autoimmunity? It seems in some people celiac disease expands into DH and neurological forms partly depending on how long it goes untreated. The forms of TTG a person reacts to (TG2 is not the only player) seem to expand.

In truth, a typical "gluten free" diet isn't even gluten free. You just add fuel to the fire by eating gluten.

I gotta run but there are my quick thoughts!

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I would be afraid to try this. Those with Celiac didease are more likely to get other autoimmune disease/cancers.

If you ate something that caused enough inflamation in your system to trigger another disease, it would be too late to have a do-over by the time you realised the disease process had started? :o

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