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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.

Does This Sound Like Gluten Intolerance Or Celiac Disease?

5 posts in this topic

In February I decided to finally seek medical attention for symptoms I've been dealing with life long (i.e., bloating, constipation, flatulence, chronic fatigue). However, it wasn't until this year I began to get pains in my abdomen. Initially, the lower left quadrant then later the left flank. The pains seemed to coincide with the foods I ate, specifically how indigestible they were (i.e., nuts, raw vegetables, bran cereal). The first doctor was quick to suspect a food intolerance, specifically wheat and lactose, based on my history and family history. When I was younger I often had GI upset with diary products and the same symptoms are shared with one of my older siblings. So, I was told to stop eating wheat and simply use Lactaid drops from then on. In addition, he scheduled me to see an allergist in April.

After seeing the allergist, I tested negative for any allergies and was sent off for blood work (IgE, TTG, etc.) along with stool, urinalysis, and a couple breath tests (H. Pylori and lactose). Unfortunately, I had been off the wheat for a couple months by then and my test results were all negative. I was advised that I probably "just had IBS" and could see a GI specialist in July. Since the pain in my abdomen had continued, my boyfriend advised me to seek a second opinion from his GP. Unfortunately, his GP's diagnosis was that my symptoms were entirely psychosomatic and I just needed to eat more All Bran, Metamucil, and Dulcolax. Suffice to say, one day of this recommendation was the worst experience ever. It felt like shards of glass cutting through my intestines along with bloating from the fiber supplement (fermentable fiber).

Searching for answers, I began to read up on IBS (i.e., Heather Van Vorous books, FODMAP diet, FructMal) and it seemed like nothing was working. Sometimes my symptoms improved, other times it worsened. It wasn't until I ran out of oatmeal that I noticed a change--I began to feel full after my meals. Typically after every meal I still feel hungry for some reason, despite consuming hundreds to thousands of calories each meal. I never seem to gain weight (5'3


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Yikes. I had so many of these:

Mysterious bruising on the body (i.e., legs, arms, stomach)

Raccoon eyes

Sticky, floating pale stools

Joint/bone pain (prevents sleeping at night)- this was HORRENDOUS

Cold hands and feet (intolerance to cold)

Extreme fatigue (14-16 h/day)

Panic attacks/anxiety (diagnosed)

It's hard to say where you may fall in the spectrum. Some Celiacs have negative blood work and positive biopsies, some have positive blood and negative biopsies, some people have neither but heal on a no-gluten diet.

If not eating gluten makes you feel better, then I say go for it, especially if you have no intention of getting the endoscopy done.

Good luck!


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I have been wheat free for a long time. This post just reminded my that the times I went to Subway I felt like my "food" was a brick in my tummy. When it was time for the next meal; I felt as if I had just eaten.

Do others feel as if your body doesn't break down the food if gluten is in it?

Gross, but true.

No wonder our bodies get goofed up. I remember a time during my pregnancies in which I could vomit hours after eating and it would come up looking unchanged. When I mentioned it to doctors they would say that is good, atleast some is getting in. Was it?. Well, I am still here.


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I had a lot of the same neurological symptoms as you. I used to have constant brain fog, excessive sleepiness, lack of concentration, along with being easily overloaded by sensory stimuli. I'm an OT and I'm convinced there is a link with food allergies/intolerance with people diagnosed with Autism.

However, I noticed a significant difference in my daily life interactions once being on a gluten free diet. It's amazing. I am less anxious, more able to tolerate excessive auditory/ visual stimuli, my concentration and memory have improved, and my ADD is no more.

You know your body better than anyone else. If being gluten free works, stick with it. Good luck!


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Honestly, it could be either, and without testing you can't know for sure. If you really want a better idea, you could do genetic testing to see if you have the genes for Celiac. If so, it would probably be safe to say it is Celiac.

Personally, I would treat it as celiac disease and be vigilantly gluten-free for life. Clearly, gluten is harming your body, whether it is causing an autoimmune response yet or not.


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