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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.

Chronic Infections - Anyone With Insight?
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17 posts in this topic

I'm hoping someone can maybe shed some light on this for me as my doctor seems completely perplexed...and I'm waaaay passed frustrated. <_<

I've had chronic infections for almost 3 years. At first I thought they were yeast infections but then my doctor told me they were more like bacterial/group b strep. She thought it was due to hormones so she took me off the contraceptive pill and I had an IUD inserted. However, much to my dismay, the infections continued. I went on 10 courses of antibiotics in a year and a half. That in addition to multiple courses of Diflucan because the antibiotics would give me yeast infections. I'm scared about taking too much antibiotics, so I started trying home remedies (including taking yogurt w live bacterial cultures, and inserting vitamin c directly in me to try and restore balance). I was diagnosed with celiac disease in December and wondered if the infections were from a compromised immune system due to the disease. I've been gluten free for 2 1/2 months and just got another infection. It's been a week and a half and it's still hanging on. Once again I refuse to go to my dr because I'm afraid her only answer will be antibiotics. And...okay, I'm about to go TMI on ya'll...but it's not just vaginal. It ends up giving me massive bloating and back pain and even my "back door" ends up burning. No types of gas relievers help my stomach during this time, and I'm convinced that it's related to the infection.

Does anyone have any idea of what this could be?? I'm desperate!!!

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I'm sorry you are going through this. And I'm not an expert, so really don't know what it is. I can tell you I do think celiac disease messes up your immune system. My CBC has been messed up since I've been diagnoses with celiac (my white blood cell count is off). I've also noticed that I don't heal as I should. I think this is due to poor immunity and vitamin deficiency. My doc put me on a super strong antibiotic and it made me worse. I've been taking as much probiotics as I can find (pills, yogurt, kefir, etc.) and I'm starting to feel better as far as my GI symptoms. I'm hoping if I keep doing the probiotics and all the vitamins eventually I'll get better, but I really don't know . . .

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I had similar problems. However, I was lucky enough to have a doctor who was non-traditional and who thought that antibiotics was making things worse rather than better. He put me on supplements of magnesium, calcium and zinc...pretty high doses of zinc. It worked.

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Is there anyway you could have another autoimmune disease going on that is your affecting your immune system? One you have one (celiac) you are more likely to have more. And basically while I don't get the same thing as you, I am far more prone as well. Like if I have a 'procedure' or childbirth or dental work or anything like that then I get infections. After my last child I ended up on 31 courses of antibiotics and every time they tried to take me off them I just because sick as a dog again. I lost almost 35 pounds (the only good thing about being that sick! haha!) Anyway - its because I have other autoimmune diseases going on, ones that aren't helped by being gluten free. Deffo something to consider if you keep getting sick.

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I know that for me it is a delicate juggling act to stay well. I was always prone to UTI's before gluten free. After exhausting all other meds for my psoriatic arthritis I am on Humira, an immunosuppressant.so I have to stop taking it anytime I get an infection of any kind so I can heal. I am prone to cellulitis in my legs because of another medical problem which requires me to often take antibiotics and stop the Humira. I take the antibiotics and I get a UTI. I take another antibiotic for that and I get a yeast infection. Finally, if I'm lucky, I get back to my Humira before the PsA rears up again and kicks me in the $SS :blink: And then I get well and have to have a dental procedure and have to take antibiotic cover because of my knee implant, and the whole thing starts again :angry::rolleyes: At least now I don't get all those durned upper respiratory infections that used to lead to bacterial infections and more antibiotics :blink: It's a wonder I've survived this long :P Defective genes, I call it. If I had lived 100 years ago, there would have been one of two scenarios: I would have died an early death without antibiotics, or I would have lived to a ripe old age like my great-grandmother (99) by not eating genetically modiified processed foods..

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Are you vitamin D deficient? That can really mess up your immune system and a lot of celiacs have trouble absorbing enough D.

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Thanks everyone.

I could look into taking magnesium, calcium and zinc. I don't take any of them right now.

I don't know if I have any other autoimmune diseases. My doctor says my CBC is normal, as is my thyroid. If I had another automimmune disease would it affect my CBC score? (Although I guess my celiac disease didn't...). But I wouldn't even know where to begin to determine that.

Oh my gosh mushroom you sound like me. If I'm on one thing it gives me something else and so on so I'm constantly fighting something. My doctor told me that I should just accept that I'm going to have them the rest of my life because its hormonal but I just can't accept that.

I take vitamin D every day. It's a C + D combined. I take 500 IU and have taken it for a few years now. I also have to take B12 and iron because my body stopped absorbing it. (I didn't have the gastro symptoms most celiacs have. We found out about my diagnosis after my iron dropped to 16 and after 3 months of supplements it had dropped to 9.)

I'm just at a loss...

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I'm hoping someone can maybe shed some light on this for me as my doctor seems completely perplexed...and I'm waaaay passed frustrated. <_<

I've had chronic infections for almost 3 years. At first I thought they were yeast infections but then my doctor told me they were more like bacterial/group b strep. She thought it was due to hormones so she took me off the contraceptive pill and I had an IUD inserted. However, much to my dismay, the infections continued. I went on 10 courses of antibiotics in a year and a half. That in addition to multiple courses of Diflucan because the antibiotics would give me yeast infections. I'm scared about taking too much antibiotics, so I started trying home remedies (including taking yogurt w live bacterial cultures, and inserting vitamin c directly in me to try and restore balance). I was diagnosed with celiac disease in December and wondered if the infections were from a compromised immune system due to the disease. I've been gluten free for 2 1/2 months and just got another infection. It's been a week and a half and it's still hanging on. Once again I refuse to go to my dr because I'm afraid her only answer will be antibiotics. And...okay, I'm about to go TMI on ya'll...but it's not just vaginal. It ends up giving me massive bloating and back pain and even my "back door" ends up burning. No types of gas relievers help my stomach during this time, and I'm convinced that it's related to the infection.

Does anyone have any idea of what this could be?? I'm desperate!!!

I've had problems with the recurring yeast/bacterial thing too. I also went on and off Diflucan like you, with the blasted stuff recurring. I was told it might be hormonal too.

I haven't tried the yogurt treatment, but I've heard others get some relief with it. I thought I'd just add..coconut oil is very soothing for the itch. I keep a small container in the bathroom to use as needed. It makes a safe personal lubricant too. It has natural anti-bacterial/fungal properties(caprillic acid). You may want to try that in addition to your yogurt treatment?

If you've been on rounds of anti-biotics, and have yeast problems, it's likely you have yeast in your digestive tract as well? Probiotics are very important for balancing your gut flora. Supplements would be better than eating yogurt to get a population of good bacteria going. Eating yogurt helps maintain the balance. Adding coconut oil to your diet is very beneficial too.

It's also recommended that we avoid yeasty foods and sweets when we have yeast problems. They feed off both of those.

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500 IU of D is relatively little. My Dr. has me on 2,000/day but I was slightly deficient. I am not getting sick now like I was before I started taking it.

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500 IU of D is relatively little. My Dr. has me on 2,000/day but I was slightly deficient. I am not getting sick now like I was before I started taking it.

yeah, that much vit D is prob no where near enough, get youself tested, and supplimment from that level. Also, your partner needs to be checked out, and needs to be using only gluten free personal care products as well.

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I don't know if this will help you or not but my daughter had the same problem. Her Doctor suggested we stop using fabric softener on her clothing and use white vinegar. Her infection was cleared up within a week. It's been 3 years and she has not had a problem since.

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I know your doctor told you your thyroid is normal, but have you seen the test results and is the result under 3 and did they test you for Hashimotos antibodies?

I ask because before starting thyroid supplamentation I got sick at the drop of a hat - every cold turned into an infection, etc. I used to get yeast infections and other female oddities but those greatly subsided on thyroid meds (and that was before I went gluten-free).

This is along the same vein as "another autoimmune disease" bit it's an easy one to test for and very common (as well as being highly underdiagnosed). Many Celiac symptoms and Hashis symptoms overlap.

I would also suggest a good Naturapath who will look at this, and start building up your system. A good one is a life saver.

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I'm hoping someone can maybe shed some light on this for me as my doctor seems completely perplexed...and I'm waaaay passed frustrated. <_<

I've had chronic infections for almost 3 years. At first I thought they were yeast infections but then my doctor told me they were more like bacterial/group b strep. She thought it was due to hormones so she took me off the contraceptive pill and I had an IUD inserted. However, much to my dismay, the infections continued. I went on 10 courses of antibiotics in a year and a half. That in addition to multiple courses of Diflucan because the antibiotics would give me yeast infections. I'm scared about taking too much antibiotics, so I started trying home remedies (including taking yogurt w live bacterial cultures, and inserting vitamin c directly in me to try and restore balance). I was diagnosed with celiac disease in December and wondered if the infections were from a compromised immune system due to the disease. I've been gluten free for 2 1/2 months and just got another infection. It's been a week and a half and it's still hanging on. Once again I refuse to go to my dr because I'm afraid her only answer will be antibiotics. And...okay, I'm about to go TMI on ya'll...but it's not just vaginal. It ends up giving me massive bloating and back pain and even my "back door" ends up burning. No types of gas relievers help my stomach during this time, and I'm convinced that it's related to the infection.

Does anyone have any idea of what this could be?? I'm desperate!!!

With that many rounds of antibiotics and from the symptoms you describe, it sounds like you have a whooping systemic candida infection. I have been through this twice, pre-Celiac diagnosis and needed to do the Candida diet with anti-fungals to make it all better. However, this is your second problem. Were you diagnosed with Celiac via blood work? I ask because repeated infections can be caused by an IgA deficiency. IgA is the most common antibody in your body and is the sentinel for the mucous membranes. If you are repeatedly sick, then low IgA could be the culprit. You don't have enough

guards to ward off the invaders. If you were diagnosed via blood work, then you don't have low IgA because you need normal amounts to test for the elevated presence of the antibody in Celiac Disease. Might be worth looking into if you were not diagnosed that way.

As an added note....Celiacs do not have compromised immune systems. We have overactive ones.

I hope you feel better! You might need an alternative doctor to address the Candida issue because mainstream doctors don't get that either!

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I agree-- wanted to say for me, I never get sick, maybe one cold/sinus thing a year, I have been very healthy. I actually have had two colds since going gluten free after my diagosis, and appear to have swollen glands a lot, feel like I am "coming down with something" and then don't. I feel like having my immune system in overdrive was protecting me from illness!

If it is in any way possible, see a naturopath ASAP. These chronic infections sound serious, I would look outside your physician.

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I have chronic sinus infections and have had epididymitis. I think I have it now, I have the same pain but my urologist can't find any infection. I haven't been eating gluten free for awhile. I have read that people with celiac's immune system's are too busy fighting the gluten to be fight other things as well as they should.

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I have only gone at most 4 weeks without a yeast infection since february 2010. Diflucan no longer works. Have to use 7 day tetraconazole cream. Sucks!!! At my wits ends. I have low vitamin d. Gyno says weird resistant strain. Yeast is on the 300 symptom list for celiacs from university of chicago's website. I'm totally blaming celiac disease. I've had problems whole life but have been going downhill since my surgery in 2010.

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I'm the exact same way. I have to take Diflucan after EVERY course of antibiotics, and I've gotten a yeast infection practically every month since I was twelve. I'm currently on a 6 month course of Diflucan (once a week dose) and I missed a dose, and sure enough, I started developing a blasted yeast infection.

i've also had a history of infections. My friends and I went tubing, and both times, I ended up with conjunctivitis and ear infections. No one else in my group did. Another year, I swam in a pool that hadn't been really cleaned, and I was the only one who got an ear infection. During my junior year, I went backpacking for a week and didn't clean my face, but then again, no one in my group did either. When we got back, I got a staph infection on my face (non-MRSA, thank heavens) that would NOT go away. Again, no one else did. I am currently battling an atypical mycobacterial infection, which my dermatologist says is fairly rare, and I'm so frustrated. I feel your pain!

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