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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?  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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Leigh Ann

Do I Have Celiac Disease?

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Hello,

I am new to this board, and i hope I have found hope and experience in this forum. I really need support by others with celiac disease. Let Me tell you about me...I am 33 female my digstive history has been as such....

Malrotation of the colon...surgery to remove 9 inches of colon, IBS, GERD, and Hiatus Hernia. I have spent most of my llife on Prilosec or Nexium. I have bee anorexic for no apparent reason in my past and then came out of it. I am always distended after I eate...an I go through periods of symptoms that are unexplainable for years....a friend suggested I share these symptoms with other celiac disease patients to see if anyone experiences the symptoms that I have ongoing and periodically....Help i dunno how to pursue this agressively or anything. I have scheduled an appoinment with my Gastroenterologists for the 31st

My Symptoms (some present all the time others not);

constant diarhea mucus like and fatty- somedays worse than others

bloating and distention-always after I eat and a few hours later

headaches

irritated easily-I am usually so kind

loosing weight with out effort

blister or bumps on skin- year and a half ago it was severe and itchy on my upper arms I have scars today where I would scratch them they itched so much...now I get them only popping up here and there like on my forearms, head, back, and get sores on the corners of my mouth.

I have burning tongue and mouth periodically with no warning

I am TIRED all the time, and weak to want to do much

When I eat macaroni lately I really get so sick...the worst!

there is so much more...but can anyone help? Does this seem like I should demand some sort of test and if so what?

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Leigh Ann- sounds to me like you have all of the classic symptoms of Celiac. I am not even close to being a doctor but I definitely think that you should get a blood test to see if you have Celiac Sprue and then follow up with an endoscopy to make it conclusive. I am 26 and was just recently diagnosed. I did have some of the symptoms that you are experiencing (headaches, irritability, weight loss, hernia, etc.) so I am thinking that a gluten-free diet might be your answer. Hang in there, as soon as you have the tests all you need to do is follow the strict diet and you will be cured of all of those nasty symptoms. Good luck and let me know how the test results come out!!! :D

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Guest jhmom

Hi Leigh Ann, welcome :D

I had a lot of the same symptoms you mentioned before my diagnosis. Since you have not seen a GI doc yet at your first visit you should request him to run a "Celiac Panel". I think there are like 5 tests (not sure) but I do know about the: Tissue Transglutaminase IgA

Antigliadin Antibody Panel Gliadin AB IGG

Gliadin AB IgA

Also I suggest you write down all the symptoms you experience and try to keep a food diary to show him what foods seem to give you a problem.

I hope you feel better soon! :)

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Thanks to those who replied...anyone else with advice...and have these symptoms?

I can not wait til my appoinment

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Hi Leigh Ann,

Yes, I agree that you have many of the traditional symptoms of Celiac. I had many of those same symptoms prior to my diagnosis. The key word in that sentence was "had"! :D

Please do not "demand" anything of your doctor! That may put him/her on the defensive and actually be counterproductive to your health. Instead, explain your symptoms and ask if a Celiac Panel blood test is warranted.

If the doctor says any one of your symptoms are not indicative of Celiac, or if you are missing a symptom that is indicative of Celiac, please mention that recent studies indicate there are no absolute symptoms of Celiac Disease. In fact, some recently diagnosed patients show no symptoms at all! The disease was found while looking for something else!

The University of Chicago recently had a free Celiac screening. If I remember correctly, they had several asymptomatic subjects test positive on the Celiac panel! You may want to research this before seeing your doctor, so you actually have some legitimate ammunition.

In all cases, try to be cooperative with your doctor. The fact that you have many of the symptoms does not automatically mean you have the disease. Your doctor is still the authority. Work with him/her to find the root cause. If, after reasonable time and effort, you feel your doctor is not cooperating, by all means, find a new doctor!

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Guest aramgard

Leigh Ann, Try going on www.celiacwalk.org and checking it out. On May 22 there will be a celiac walk, where they will give free blood screening for Celiac disease. If you live close to one of the walks, this may give you an alternative to your own doctor. It costs $18 for the 1k and the blood screening is free. The money raised will go to research on Celiac disease. Prometheus labs do the blood work. I hope this helps. Shirley

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I have to disagree, slightly with another post about how best to deal with your doctor. I agree you need to have as much information as possible to bring to your doctor. Research and studies in medical journals are generally a MUCH more effective way to approach doctors.

Where I disagree is in asking the doctor if they think a test for celiac disease is warranted. The symptoms you describe DO warrant a blood test. Some doctors will decide within a few seconds (literally) of walking in the room, what is going on with you. Some doctors will dismiss a patient's very valid concerns. If you bring them, in writing, a list of your symptoms and concerns, and research from medical journals (found here possibly) and request bloodwork be done, I think any reasonable doctor would order the tests.

My understanding of the test is that it is CRITICAL to get all 5 screening tests done, in order to get accurate results. If you bring info from one of the labs that does all 5 tests, you will probably get much better response from your doctor. Prometheus labs is one of the labs that does a comprehensive screening panel. It is also VERY important that you remain on a diet that contains gluten before your testing is done, in order to get accurate results.

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Guest aramgard

Unfortunately I have dealt with doctors for many-many years who do not understand or know about the symptoms of Celiac disease. I always carry a written statement of my symptoms and explain all of the testing that has been done to me before. The doctors I have dealt with are not experts in the symptomotology of Celiac disease nor are most of the willing to study the symptoms to learn. The doctor who diagnosed me was willing to take my word for the fact that I thought it was Celiac and do all of the testing, so I stuck with him, because he believed me. This is a first for me, a doctor who actually believed what I was telling him. He did the blood work which was positive, then sent me to the GI doctor who did the endoscopy and confirmed the diagnosis. He just couldn't believe I had Celiac disease. My symptoms began when I was around 14 with the dermatitis and progressed to the intestinal problems because I was never diagnosed properly. I am now nearly 70 years of age and was diagnosed 3 years ago. This doesn't speak well for our medical professionals. Shirley

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Hi,

I'm 22 and for the last two years have been suffering with digestion problems (like heartburn constipation diahrea etc) and more recently for the last 6 months i've been getting really sick with diahrea, feeling week, constipation, never finishing a bowel mouvement etc Each time I have diahrea I get a skin rash that starts on my hands and ends up everywhere..My skin becomes really red and itchy...it sometimes feels like it's on fire. Now I don't know what's wrong with me. I've been trying to figure out what could be wrong...Gluten, diary, eggs I seems like I can no longer digest anything and I don't know what to do. I'm afraid to go very far from home in case I get sick, I'm afriad I'll be at school by myself and get an "attack" and not be able to get home in time. I stoped eating gluten and it doesn't seem to be helping. I thought I might try eating gluten again to see if I felt worse or not....I just don't know what to do anymore...

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How long have you been gluten free? Are you sure you're not getting contamination? Sometimes it takes a long time for damage to heal. If you have had diarrhea constantly for 6 months, then you probably have significant damage. If you are not going to the doctor for bloodwork and biopsy, then stay gluten free for at least 6-8 weeks before trying gluten again. You have to give your body time to detoxify, then to heal.

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Thanks...It's just so frustrating when your not sure what the problem is. Every time I eat something I wait and see if I'm going to get a reaction. It's hard to tell what food are hard to digest because in a day you eat more than one thing at a time. I'm a vegetarian and I don't eat gluten and I try to stay away from dairy and eggs. I try to eat healthy and avoid preservative and things like that...It just doesn't leave me with a lot of choices. I need help figuring out what to eat.

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