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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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

It's Now Official!
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16 posts in this topic

I am self diagnosing celiac disease.

I failed to last more than 3 weeks on a gluten challenge, and the lab lost my results. My second test was done on 5 days of gluten (i.e. useless)By the time I had my endoscopy 3 weeks ago I had been gluten light about 7 weeks and gluten free for 3. That is on top of being mostly wheat free for 9 years.

So - I am not surprised that the 4 biopsies from the duodenum came back normal. I did find a small hiatus hernia too which they said might be responsible for reflux, but I have not had reflux since being gluten-free anyway. No H-pilori. Stomach normal.

It is a bit of an odd day now really. I guess I was hoping just a bit that something would come back from the biopsies, but really knew it wouldn't.

I have spoken to my GP who will now refer me back to a GI doctor. The GP is helpful, but happy to admit that I probably know more than she does about celiac now, and was happy that I told her I intend to go gluten-free for life.

I am hoping that through the GI I can get some dietary advice, pick up on my blood results (lowish normal on B12 and D) and try and get my kids tested. I am 98% sure I have celiac, and if not, 100% it is Non-Celiac gluten intolerance. I am trying to persuade my Mum to get tested, and think my Grandma and maybe 2 Aunties have it too.

I think it probably started in my early 20s, so is over 20 years undiagnosed.

I have such a history, lots of problems, but no one would put together or see it as related - here's some of the list:

recurrent miscarrages

migraines (2-4 a week at worst)

unexplained vomitting and D

reflux

injuries which refused to heal - whiplash, repetitive strain injury

anxiety, stress, depression

dizzyness

facial twitches, shakes

symphasis pubis disfunction (where the ligaments all stretch too much in pregnancy)

massive PMS, painful periods

weight gain

exczema

and more!!!!

So in the absence of a medical diagnosis, I just wanted to let the world know - that's it, I'm in for life, gluten free and relieved to have found an answer.

And to thank all you guys for being here for the last few weeks, it would have been a whole lot tougher without you.

Thanks especially to the self diagnosed too, it is tough to make that commitment without a diagnosis. Though a gluten challenge which nearly put me in hospital and 6 weeks gluten free where I have had more energy than I can remember for years were quite convincing.

Thanks for listening

Mw

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Welcome to the club! This is a great forum that has helped newbies like me so much...

I sure hope you continue to feel better and better. That alone should help you stay committed to your gluten free life. It's what does it for me.

It makes me crazy that clear, indisputable results from a gluten challenge aren't considered enough for a diagnosis of gluten intolerance

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Fantastic MW!

Bottom line is your health - if it improves without gluten - that is all you need to know. That you react strongly will reinforce your diagnosis regularly as accidents will happen.

I think it's wonderful that you can improve your health by adjusting food and that you realize it without a doctor granting a blessing - My hope remains that with time more doctors will actually listen when we say we cannot eat gluten and some thought-full researcher will find a test for celiac that will be conclusive without returning to eating a food that obviously makes us ill!

Welcome to the club :)

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Thanks very much for your support.

I am hoping too that medical science catches up with us. A test that doesn't involve a barbaric gluten challenge would be good. I'd also like to see routine screening become the norm. 1 in 133 should be telling us something.

It seems a shame that those of us who were a bit tuned in to our bodies and go wheat or gluten free then struggle to get diagnosed.

Still, at least it is not drugs for life. And it is forcing me eat better foods, I was SO sick on gluten-free replacement 'foods'.

Feeling less disappointed today, on with the rest of life...

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I am happy that you made your choice. Now, I hope you get very well.

Diana

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Hi Mindwarp, I too self diagnosed. I wish I had not, but I was too impatient to get all the testing done because my pain had me searching for an answer. I have a sister, an RN who also has fibromyalgia and has a lot of experience with food allergies, autoimmune diseases and her own circumstances. I first reached out to her because many things I was feeling looked like I could have also had fibromyalgia. As we communicated, via email, she probed me for more info. She wanted me to get tested, but she knew I was getting frustrated and wanted an answer faster than making an appointment and suffering for a couple weeks until testing was over.

As we went through discussions about it, she was concerned my symptoms were different enough to be something entirely different. She talked to the doctor she worked for and came back with questions that would more point toward celiac. It was like a checklist of what I was suffering from once we got started and we both continued to research and confirm info. She told me if I wasn't able to get tested and didn't mind not having an official diagnosis, that I could try to go gluten-free and see if that helped any of my symptoms. She didn't recommend it as the proper course to take, but she knew I wouldn't wait so it was the best alternative to official diagnosis.

2 days into it I felt renewed, full of energy and my symptoms were either gone or quickly disappearing. I was glutened 4 days ago and that proved the diagnosis. My symptoms returned in some fashion, but the stomach/intestinal cramping was unlike any I had before going gluten-free. My stool shows no signs of the iron supplement I take daily, which proved I had stopped absorbing it in the last couple days. All signs point to exactly what I knew and it's the only positive from getting glutened. The oily stool returned, D followed by C, fatigue, lack of absorption of vitamins, muscle weakness, dry skin and my heart was racing again one day off and on for a few seconds at a time. Day 4 and I'm almost back to my new normal and it's wonderful. I hope you experience the same wonderful and get to enjoy the happiness that a healthier intestine can bring when you're so used to feeling badly.

I worry about my sons. They get terrible headaches just like I did as a kid. I've ruled out obvious causes like dehydration, environment, allergies, etc. They don't have the physical signs yet of celiac and they both tolerate milk just fine. I'm lactose intolerant and have been my whole life. They were both forced to Soy formula as babies, but they grew out of the lactose issues. I'm watching them, one 16 and one 13 now, but so far they don't exhibit any signs of distress other than headaches and acne. For now, just praying they don't have it, but ready to get them tested if I see changes.

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Hey SMDBill

Thanks for your reply, and I saw in another post your symptom improvements. Wow it is great you are getting such a good reaction.

I would tell anyone to get a diagnosis if they can. However if for whatever reason it is not possible it worth giving gluten-free a go.

Looks like it has convinced you as it has me.

I have kept the list of symptoms I have from my gluten challenge, for if I ever question if I really need to be gluten-free. I dont expect to need it though.

Nice to 'meet' you and good luck

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I worry about my sons. They get terrible headaches just like I did as a kid. I've ruled out obvious causes like dehydration, environment, allergies, etc. They don't have the physical signs yet of celiac and they both tolerate milk just fine. I'm lactose intolerant and have been my whole life. They were both forced to Soy formula as babies, but they grew out of the lactose issues. I'm watching them, one 16 and one 13 now, but so far they don't exhibit any signs of distress other than headaches and acne. For now, just praying they don't have it, but ready to get them tested if I see changes.

Hi Bill-

Just throwing it out there - perhaps your sons should have get a full celiac blood panel now - current testing can be very confusing. With such a strong genetic factor to this disease, I'd get a baseline for them now.

If you had obtained an "official" diagnosis it would be recommended that all your children and siblings get tested every 3-5 years and more frequently should symptoms arise.

It can't hurt and may prevent some very serious health concerns in their future.

Very glad you had such a clear response to diet change - it doesn't always happen so quickly ;)

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Hi again Bill

I'd agree. I am starting the fight to get my 2 tested.

Mw

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Hi again Bill

I'd agree. I am starting the fight to get my 2 tested.

Mw

Hi Mw-

I'm stealing the game plan from Bartfull here -- simply tell your kid's doc that you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and would like to have a full celiac blood panel run on each of your children.

You simply leave out the word "self" in front of the diagnosed.

I was nervous to as our pediatrician to have my kids tested when I was "officially" diagnosed - I asked exactly the way I worded it above and doc didn't bat an eyelash. Should they not be familiar, gently educate them with the strong genetic link in Celiac.

ps...there is no official club card - if you look like a duck and quack like a duck - I'll call you a duck - not a self-proclaimed duck - and support your ducklings getting the tests they need to stay healthy!

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In the UK we tend to share a GP rather than have a separate paediatrician, so my doctor is my kids doctor!

.:);)

I have no problem with creative interpretation of my diagnosis!

She has referred me to a GI knowing I want my kids tested. I think she just wants someone to tell her it is ok to test

TBH I will find a way to do it. I might be back for some help with wording.

I'm definitely a duck. I'm just as quackers as the rest of you :) :) ;)

Thanks for your advice and support.

My other tactic is to persuade my Mum to get tested to try and add to my genetic evidence. Working up to that one

Cheers x

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I am hoping too that medical science catches up with us. A test that doesn't involve a barbaric gluten challenge would be good.

...

Here's one. The biopsied tissue sample does the challenge instead.

P.S. I lol'd @ "quackers" :lol:

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Tom

I've always said I was a Zeitgeist sort of a girl. I think I will add the article to the pile for my doctor. She will need to reinforce her desk before I visit again.

Someone cares about us celiacs (or at least can make some money from us which I can settle for if it helps).

I fear we may share a sense of humor...

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I plan to make an appointment for myself as soon as possible. I did some research and found that in the first few months there may be some success finding the antibodies since they keep being produced even after going gluten-free for up to 12 months. I'm only 6-7 weeks gluten-free and got glutened last week so I may have some luck. Either way, the GI and I will have a conversation and they can determine whichever tests they would like to do. I just refuse to eat gluten again so that's my only roadblock. I know how that feels now and I refuse to suffer through that again, especially for a month or more.

I'll post the details of the official tests and the doctor and I will discuss having my children tested. I have 4 kids so that should just be a grand time if they want to test them all :( But, better safe than ill later like I was/am.

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I too have a small hiatus hernia. Blood test don't show any signs of celiac disease. Also my guts were tested and are almost fine. Even if it doesn't show up that you have celiac disease you probably would have to stick on your diet.

Edited by Imre
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