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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.

Hello, Introducing Myself
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9 posts in this topic

Hi, just thought I would formally introduce myself. I've been posting for a short while.

I've had mysterious illnesses much of my life. I've had lifelong struggles with migranes, stomach problems, insomnia, fatigue, depression, panic attacks and anxiety. I would occasionally pass out. My weight has gone up and down numerous times, and my menstrual cycle was irregular to the point of going years with none. I would sometimes have strange outbreaks, like hives, swollen eyes and lips, terrible mouth sores, or odd skin eruptions all over my hands. Many of these things I just accepted as quirks. I wasn't encouraged to go to the doctor, and I learned to just "be tough".

Soon after I married to my husband of 13 years, we tried to conceive, with no luck. About 2 years in, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I latched onto that as an answer to many of my issues. With a lot of time (4 years) and effort, diet changes, weight loss and some meds, I was able to conceive twins, and give birth succesfully. I then miscarried twice, and finally had my third child, four years after my twins.

After a few very stressful years, and the birth of my third child, I began to struggle more. I could not lose weight no matter what I did. I would work out for an hour a day with no results. Then, my husband got very, very ill, late last year. He was in the hospital for a week, then out briefly and back in. Not long afterwards, my health started to decline, very rapidly. I believe the stress kicked my celiac into high gear.

I became fatigued to the point of having to drag myself out of bed each morning, and spending much of the day on the couch. My weight ballooned, even though I didn't eat much, and had no appetite. I always looked pale and swollen. I didn't have a regular BM for months on end, they were all loose, and quite often bloody. I had shooting and dull pains in my abdomen. My sciatica occasionally acted up, my joints ached and I had constant pain in the heels of my feet. I could not shake my low grade depression, despite being on meds. Anytime I tried to exercise, my hands and knees would tremble. I woke up one morning shaking all over, unable to get out of bed at first.

I went to my PCP about the pains in my abdomen, and other concerns and he thought it was gallbladder. After several tests with no results, I was sent to a GI, had a endoscopy and colonoscopy, and was finally diagnosed with celiac and gastritis, atthe age of 35.

I've been gluten free since late June, and have seen improvement in some ways, and still struggling with others. Still very fatigued, taking supplements, and getting additional blood tests within the next day or two. I've lost about 16 lbs thus far, which is nice, but I'm most concerned with healing. I'm really grateful to have found this forum, and discover so many other people "like me". Congrats if you made it through my ramble. :)

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One more thing, if anyone has any advice for strengthing hair and teeth, I'd love it. I've been losing hair like crazy and my teeth are weakened. I've heard calcium and iron?

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Welcome to the Board! I'm sure many folks will have helpful advice to share with you. Regarding the teeth and hair, you might try adding magnesium as well as calcium. Brands of magnesium that are easy on digestion are Nature's Way Magnesium Complex and Bluebonnet liquid magnesium. Also, a good collagen product, like one made by NeoCell, will help with your hair, too, as will chelated zinc. Some of us have also had good results from BioSil, which contains silicon. Lastly, a good Vitamin B complex could help with your overall symptoms. I use Country Life Co-Enzyme Vitamin B Complex. It sounds as though your body has a lot of healing to do, and it can take 1-2 years before you'll feel completely well. Be patient--you WILL be well soon!

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My old PA (she moved away) told me Biotin supplement. Of course we never thought to investigate the cause; more concerned with low grade fevers.

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I tried Biotin for a couple of months after several hair dressers recommended it. It actually made the situation worse! I too have PCOS and of course the thinning hair goes right along with that. Since my GYN put me on metformin two months ago, my nails are growing like crazy and are much stronger. I have not seen a difference in my hair.

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Thank you all for the advice and the welcome, I will check out the products! I just had blood tests this morning (10 vials) to check my levels, so I'm hoping I'll get some answers.

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Thank you all for the advice and the welcome, I will check out the products! I just had blood tests this morning (10 vials) to check my levels, so I'm hoping I'll get some answers.

Hi and welcome!

Besides having studied Cosmetology, which led me to participate in hair forums, I also was studying Holistic Nutrition so I know quite a bit about nutrients, and one that I researched and has a lot to do with hair health but is also related to PCOS is iodine, please read go here.

Biotin is part of the B-complex and I learned that it's never a good idea to take a single B vitamin without properly supplying the other known 10 factors. Silica has worked for me, more specifically with MSM, a form of sulfur, another mineral that plays an important role in hair and skin health.

Magnesium "oil" (or liquid mg. chloride), intended for transdermal use, is applied by some people directly on the teeth, with a brush, to help strengthen them, especially when the enamel is worn out and the teeth look translucent. I don't know if these days it can be found at health food stores but I've been ordering mine online from www.health-and-wisdom.com because their prices are very good.

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Hi and welcome!

Besides having studied Cosmetology, which led me to participate in hair forums, I also was studying Holistic Nutrition so I know quite a bit about nutrients, and one that I researched and has a lot to do with hair health but is also related to PCOS is iodine, please read go here.

Biotin is part of the B-complex and I learned that it's never a good idea to take a single B vitamin without properly supplying the other known 10 factors. Silica has worked for me, more specifically with MSM, a form of sulfur, another mineral that plays an important role in hair and skin health.

Magnesium "oil" (or liquid mg. chloride), intended for transdermal use, is applied by some people directly on the teeth, with a brush, to help strengthen them, especially when the enamel is worn out and the teeth look translucent. I don't know if these days it can be found at health food stores but I've been ordering mine online from www.health-and-wisdom.com because their prices are very good.

Thank you for all the advice, I always find something new to research on this forum! :)

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Hello, I am Larry Gessner. I thought I would just say hello and let you know that I feel for all of you that have been diagnosed as celiac, and those of you who have other aliments that fall in line with having to have special diets. Just a little background on me. I live in ND and work for as a Quality Control manager for a flax company. I myself have not been diagnosed with celiac, however I have friends who are. Back in 2006 I woke up one morning and could not figure out why I felt so bad. I mean I felt really bad! It took me 10 or 15 minutes to get out of bed and I knew something was terribly wrong. I managed to get to the kitchen and make coffee but I was so weak and felt like I had contracted some kind of bad flu. Hours later I dragged myself to the local clinic and my bloodwork came back normal, so they had no idea what was going on. The best way that I can describe my condition is that I could not even pick up a broom and sweep the floor if I wanted to. This was devastating for me and because the doctor felt it might be rheumatoid arthritis she set me up an appointment with an arthritis specialist. I had to wait for two months to see this doctor and when I saw her she diagnosed me with muscle crystallization. I had never heard of this before and it scared the heck out of me. She prescribed a medicine and sent me on my way all in about a half hour. At the time I was a Sheriff and I felt it wasn't fair to my deputies that they had to cover for me because I could not work. it appeared that I was not getting any better and so I resigned so that my spot could be filled and they could hire another deputy. After a year of not making any progress I felt I needed a second opinion. I made an appointment with another doctor and He told me that the first doctor did not do a certain test to rule out rheumatoid arthritis. So they took more blood and my ANA was 364 when it should have been 124 so now they knew that my autoimmune system was attacking itself and prescribed medicine to help. I started to make progress but my strength was gone and I knew that any job I would have to have would be a desk job. To this day I have no idea what I ingested to make this happen and at 61 all I can do is ride it out until I can retire at 62.

I stated that I feel for all of you because I cant imagine what it must be like to not be able to go to the store pick out whatever you like and make that meal. I can only imagine what it must be like to not be able to go to restaurants and pick something off the menu. I realize that thing have progressed a lot over the years but since I started doing research on being Celiac, I see that one of the biggest problems you face is thinking you are getting Gluten free food and it turns out to be cross contaminated. Since this is now celiac Awareness Month I am  trying to get involved with any groups in my state to see what I can do to help get the word out. In Bismark ND they just opened a Gluten free bakery and it is its own separate facility. I hope that my state is doing all that it can to provide services for Gluten intolerant people and that someday this affliction is a thing of the past. I wish you all the very best and keep a positive attitude.

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    • Thank you all so much.  It's so great to know there are people out there that have shared my experience. I was feeling quite alone in this. I could never believe that I just had anxiety, and that was that. There has to be a reason for my body to act this way. I feel validated,and hopeful and that's a huge thing for me. I'm going to see my doctor next week, and see what she thinks. I'm hopeful that with all my symptoms (anxiety, skin rashes for months, sensitivity to light|sound, headaches, vertigo, temper) she won't shrug me off. My mom has Crohn's disease so maybe a connection. Thanks again for your advice and your ear, it truly helps.
    • I do buy Plantar's nuts too.so if you are looking for peanuts, cashews, etc
    • I have bought nuts from other suppliers like these black walnuts that only process their nuts (no fancy flavorings...just these black walnuts): https://black-walnuts.com/ You do need to confirm that nuts are not processed on equipment shared with wheat if they are not certified gluten-free or in a shell by calling.  So, mostly, being lazy, I just order from Nuts.com.  
    • We were diagnosed with Diabetes first, but I think she already had celiac prior.   Our doctor told us that she has celiac only 3 months after diabetes.   Her TTG was off the chart high.   Our endo offered to formally diagnose her with celiac without the endoscopy, but I refused to believe she had celiac.   She had no symptoms.   An endoscopy confirmed it.   We went gluten free.  She still is a silent celiac.   We would never know about her celiac if it weren't for her type 1 diabetes.   They did all sorts of blood test on her.   I think her ttg was already off the chart high when she was first diagnosed with diabetes, but since the diabetes is so overwhelming at first, they simply waited 3 months before telling us about the celiac too.  I think this was a kind thing to do. Looking back, she did have a symptom, she stopped growing for a little over a year!   My daughter was always tall for her age, she was a huge toddler, 90th percentile.   One of the tallest kids in her class, then suddenly, I noticed that she became the shortest among all her friends.   At the time of her diagnosis, she was 10 years old, and was only 25th percentile in height.   She is 13 now, and is growing and gaining height.   She is about 5' 2" now.  So while she does not get sick with gluten, we take her gluten free diet very seriously.   Our TTG has been dropping continuously over the 3 years, and it is getting VERY close to be under normal range.   Just on the border, but not quite there...yet.
    • Funny story ediblejack, foodiespoon, and several other companies make edible utensil. While they do have a gluten-free line the primary lines all use  wheat. You might run into these market, party, sampling event, or have a foodie/ecocrazy friend who has them. I considered using the gluten-free ones for my bakery and sampling a few years back and did my research.
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