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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? - 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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

Looking For Some Reassurance
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Hi there

I am looking for a little reassurance. I come from a family where digestive problems are rife...we have IBS, reflux and all sort of problems on that front and we have always had issues digesting bread and pasta.

For the past 10 years, I have been ill for at least 50% of the time. Lots of sore throats, fatigue, poor immune system, digestive problems, indigestion, reflux, nausea, the big "D" on a daily basis, hypoglycaemia, bloating, gas, itchy skin, gum problems, I eat very little (less than my 8 year old child) but I am a bit overweight despite this, I have also had problems with anxiety and constant issues with headaches and "brain fog". I thought for a while I was going mad, because the doctor kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me and it was all in my mind.

Recently, my sister was diagnosed as celiac. I decided then to try stopping gluten myself after reading up on the symptoms, which I seemed to have. I was initially worse for 2 weeks - almost like all my symptoms were magnified, with night sweats, hives, bloating, gas, major mood swings. Then after that I felt much better. Lighter, more vital and stronger.

After six months on this diet, I feel MUCH better. My toilet habits returned to normal for the first time in 10 years after only 48 hours on the diet, the bloating and gas went, my reflux went, I don

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Yes, this is because of your exposure. You are almost definitely celiac. What happens is the longer you are off gluten, the more you heal, the stronger your immune system becomes. All those colds and viruses you used to get? That was because your immune system was too busy attacking your intestines to be bothered fighting off germs. But now it has reccovered, it is no longer constantly distracted with gluten, and so it is like a vigilant soldier, patrolling your bloodstream for offenders! And because it is basically unnoccupied, save for the occasional germ that gets in, when even a teensy weensy particle of gluten gets is WHAM, full fledged attack. All the troops are called in to kill it. Of course, gluten isn't a germ, so the real attack is on your body tissues, which happen to be in proximity to the gluten. And so now you get much sicker, much faster and much more violently then you ever did in your pre-gluten free world.

What you described is very, very typical amongst us celiacs. And while I wish I could say you will feel better tomorrow...probably not going to happen. For the lucky, a gluten reaction lasts a few days, for the majority, you feel lousy for a week to 10 days after, and slowly return to normal. For a few, the reaction can last for weeks.

From here on out, consider yourself a celiac. Be very vigilant about everything you come in contact with, even when it seems you are overreacting. It is necessary to not only save your life, but also to prevent you from a continual low-grade lousy feeling.

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