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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.

Gluten Free Chicken? No Such Thing
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First off I just wanted to say, I'm not one of these whackos suggesting eggs have gluten, ect. The following is a real issue and I hope everyone takes it seriously.

Keep getting glutened from chicken and think its the added solutions? Could be, but there is another problem. The problem comes from the slaughter house. It doesn't matter if its a huge tyson factor, or a local farm. As they are slaughtered, there are guts, undigested wheat feed from the stomach ripped open, intestines, ect -not to mention the wheat already on the feathers and skin from rolling around in feed. The tables are absolutely contaminated with wheat. After they are rinsed, they look clean, but the powderous feed is already imbedded in the porous skin. At this point the chicken is reeking of gluten on the skin, and partially absorbed through the areas of the meat (the skin is not air-tight after being cut!). The inside of the chicken is lubricated with undigested feed (gluten) (from the removal and clinching of intestines -squeezes out undigested feed[gluten]) As the breasts, thighs, and legs are cut the knife will cut through this core at some point, contamining all cuts of meat. The unfortunate thing about this too is that gluten free chicken broths, are not 100% gluten free and may contain way more wheat than you would think. I personally I have tried progresso gluten free broth and I reacted within an hour or so.

So if your fed up with all of the factory brands, don't be suprised when you get glutened from a chicken at your local butcher.

Some folks think they are having a "chicken allergy" but I believe it is because of this issue. Obviously this is only going to effect supersensitve people, but if you really are celiac, you might want to think about cutting out chicken anyway even if you don't react to it.

Its hard to accept, and some of you may be in denial. However this is a real issue and I hope a lot of people find this post and it helps them.

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First off I just wanted to say, I'm not one of these whackos suggesting eggs have gluten, ect. The following is a real issue and I hope everyone takes it seriously.

Keep getting glutened from chicken and think its the added solutions? Could be, but there is another problem. The problem comes from the slaughter house. It doesn't matter if its a huge tyson factor, or a local farm. As they are slaughtered, there are guts, undigested wheat feed from the stomach ripped open, intestines, ect -not to mention the wheat already on the feathers and skin from rolling around in feed. The tables are absolutely contaminated with wheat. After they are rinsed, they look clean, but the powderous feed is already imbedded in the porous skin. At this point the chicken is reeking of gluten on the skin, and partially absorbed through the areas of the meat (the skin is not air-tight after being cut!). The inside of the chicken is lubricated with undigested feed (gluten) (from the removal and clinching of intestines -squeezes out undigested feed[gluten]) As the breasts, thighs, and legs are cut the knife will cut through this core at some point, contamining all cuts of meat. The unfortunate thing about this too is that gluten free chicken broths, are not 100% gluten free and may contain way more wheat than you would think. I personally I have tried progresso gluten free broth and I reacted within an hour or so.

So if your fed up with all of the factory brands, don't be suprised when you get glutened from a chicken at your local butcher.

Some folks think they are having a "chicken allergy" but I believe it is because of this issue. Obviously this is only going to effect supersensitve people, but if you really are celiac, you might want to think about cutting out chicken anyway even if you don't react to it.

Its hard to accept, and some of you may be in denial. However this is a real issue and I hope a lot of people find this post and it helps them.

This post begs a response...... :blink:

What your post suggests is that any chicken that is slaughtered is contaminated to the point where a Celiac cannot eat them and it's because of the wheat feed that a chicken consumes before they are slaughtered? Now, I realize that the process of slaughtering animals is not pretty and it may get pretty messy but I would like to think that chickens are washed well enough so that people won't be dying of E. Coli because that would be far more of a worry than wheat feed spilling from the intestinal tract of a chicken. What you have posted is utter nonsense and it fits in well with the "gluten in eggs" crowd. :lol:

Bottom line is that chickens or any other animal have to go through a pretty intensive wash process to eliminate stuff that would make us sick. Fecal matter would be the top worry and as many, many people consume beef, chicken and pork products daily without becoming ill, then they do a pretty good job of it. Yes, some get sick but most of that has come from heavily processed meats, with added ingredients. Celiacs or anyone else with a gluten issue need not worry about chickens and wheat feed....unless you eat the chicken feed yourself and I wouldn't recommend that!

Where has all the common sense gone?

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I pretty much get sick if I am at a party and make eye contact with someone who was thinking about cookies that contain gluten. I am also the single most paranoid person I know. Having grown up on a farm I can say with 110% confidence that you are so far beyond paranoid and have gone so far beyond the realm of science that I don't even know where to start. Chicken is fine. I'll leave it at that.

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If your eating a chicken breast from a restaurant, marinated buttered, ect. You probably wont feel the effects of the gluten from being diluted. For those of us that buy a whole chicken, SOME of us DO have a problem. I was trying to be funny when I mention it in detail (not paranoid). Bottom line is the tables are contaminated, from undigested wheat.

I'm speaking to the few people on this site who are actually come to this site FOR HELP, the people that area actually CELIAC FORREAL. Adalaide, it looks as though you have your own food issues, besides gluten. Everyone is different and through google searches I know a lot of people are just like me with chicken, after visiting a local butcher I decided to post this.

Thanks

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While there may be wheat in some commercial chicken feeds, the one I buy locally is corn.(They also sell an oat-based feed which isn't nearly as nutritious for the chickens.) I react badly to corn, you might even say I am supersenstitive to corn, but I am able to eat chicken every day with no reaction whatsoever. I can even eat grocery store chicken with no reaction. I always wash chicken well before cooking of course, just as I do with all meat except for the ground bison that I love so much.

Oh, by the way, no, I don't raise chickens. But there is a "stray" rooster here in town who hangs out on the lawn of a local B&B. When the owner is out of town, I take him food and water. We have gotten to be good friends, this rooster and I. My friends have taken to calling me "the chicken whisperer". :lol:

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Buckwheat, chicken skin is no more porous than human skin. Humans can't get glutened from touching wheat because the molicules are not small enough to pass through the skin. If you wash chicken well, it is perfectly safe.

I'm not saying you don't react to chicken. It is very possible that you have an allergy or intolerance to chicken, but it is not because of any gluten they eat.

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Nice that you found it comical. You obviously don't have a problem with chicken, other do and this is why. It is the real did and it is an explaination why a lot of people show some symptoms after consuming chicken, even from a local butcher. Bottom line is the chicken are not washed off that would, and wheat is sticky gets into pourous skin. It is no more far fetched than flour dust in the air contaminating gluten free production lines in a fritos factory.

A lot of people find they have various problems with different types of food. If chicken makes you sick, don't eat it.

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While there may be wheat in some commercial chicken feeds, the one I buy locally is corn.(They also sell an oat-based feed which isn't nearly as nutritious for the chickens.) I react badly to corn, you might even say I am supersenstitive to corn, but I am able to eat chicken every day with no reaction whatsoever. I can even eat grocery store chicken with no reaction. I always wash chicken well before cooking of course, just as I do with all meat except for the ground bison that I love so much.

Oh, by the way, no, I don't raise chickens. But there is a "stray" rooster here in town who hangs out on the lawn of a local B&B. When the owner is out of town, I take him food and water. We have gotten to be good friends, this rooster and I. My friends have taken to calling me "the chicken whisperer". :lol:

"The chicken whisperer"......that's beautiful, bartfull! LOL! :lol:

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ok noboday reads. the gluten is from the CUTTING TABLE, THE KNIFE, UNDIGESTED FEED. I never suggested the chicken's meat is contaminated in any other way except the butchering process.

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If your eating a chicken breast from a restaurant, marinated buttered, ect. You probably wont feel the effects of the gluten from being diluted. For those of us that buy a whole chicken, SOME of us DO have a problem. I was trying to be funny when I mention it in detail (not paranoid). Bottom line is the tables are contaminated, from undigested wheat.

I'm speaking to the few people on this site who are actually come to this site FOR HELP, the people that area actually CELIAC FORREAL.

So now you are saying that a "marinated or buttered" chicken will magically not have the gluten in it that all chickens will have from the wheat pellet smeared slaughter house?

Sorry, but your explanation is getting more convoluted as you go along.

I am speaking to all the people who come to this site for help--please, take it from this "for real" celiac who is telling you the honest truth...

you can rest assured your chicken is safe from gluten.

Buckwheat, I'm sorry---- but your theory lacks credibility.

You may not feel well after eating chicken, but it isn't from gluten.

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ok noboday reads. the gluten is from the CUTTING TABLE, THE KNIFE, UNDIGESTED FEED. I never suggested the chicken's meat is contaminated in any other way except the butchering process.

Actually, you did say it would get through the skin, but you edited your post after Bartful replied with her response.

We understand what you are saying to us, we just do not agree it is possible. Th chickens are thoroughly cleaned and then, most (wise) people clean them again before cooking.

Sylvia's post above has your post quoted as:

"Bottom line is the chicken are not washed off that would, and wheat is sticky gets into pourous skin. It is no more far fetched than flour dust in the air contaminating gluten free production lines in a fritos factory."

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First, I'm here because I do have CELIAC. FOR REAL. And I am one of the lucky (or unlucky, depending on your point of view) super sensitive people. You have no scientific evidence for where you are coming from. You just seem to be having issues with chicken and coming up with some convoluted ideas with why. I have participated in all stages of the chicken process, from raising the eggs, raising the chickens to killing them and butchering them. Gluten will not become magically and permantently embedded into your meat during this process, I assure you. I eat chicken at least once and usually twice a week. I buy it without additives and have no problems. I can tell you that if our chickens were being contaminated wholesale at slaughter I would be hospitalized by now.

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If your eating a chicken breast from a restaurant, marinated buttered, ect. You probably wont feel the effects of the gluten from being diluted. For those of us that buy a whole chicken, SOME of us DO have a problem. I was trying to be funny when I mention it in detail (not paranoid). Bottom line is the tables are contaminated, from undigested wheat.

I'm speaking to the few people on this site who are actually come to this site FOR HELP, the people that area actually CELIAC FORREAL. Adalaide, it looks as though you have your own food issues, besides gluten. Everyone is different and through google searches I know a lot of people are just like me with chicken, after visiting a local butcher I decided to post this.

Thanks

I am one of those FOR REAL Celiacs so I guess I am allowed to reply FOR REAL.

I have no doubt that chicken causes you grief because people can and do react to chicken. My thyroid doctor has an allergy to chicken and she itches all over, badly, from eating chicken. So she did the smart thing and stopped eating chicken.

You need to be less defensive when people post back in response to what you say when it makes no sense. We do read, and judging by the way you post, we do a pretty good job considering the stuff you have thrown out here. Chicken is NOT contaminated with undigested wheat feed during slaughter or Celiacs would not be able to eat it. In fact, most of the population would be very sick if chicken were contaminated with anything that comes from the GI tract of a dead chicken. We would be keeling over in droves and it ain't happening. If you want to continue to believe it's so, that's fine, but the rest of us have to make sure that newly diagnosed Celiacs don't read this and think they can't eat chicken. They can, as long as it isn't fried in wheat coating or smothered in a wheaty cream sauce. Does that make sense to you?

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I can perhaps add something here as I actually spoke to a chicken farmer about the slaughter process, although I do appreciate that different farms / slaughter houses may adopt different processes.

However, he said that here in the UK at least there are very strict rules that any meat which is spoiled by coming into contact with any fecal matter / digestive tract etc has to be thrown away. He also said that chickens are typically starved for a few hours prior to slaughter to minimise this risk, so there really should not be any partly digested food hanging around in their intestinal tracts.

I do also appreciate what the OP says about gluten on chicken skin though, and don't think that is as ridiculous an idea as others are suggesting. Let's face it - if other foods sat around in wheat and other grain pieces and dust before being hosed off for us to eat we might not be so keen!

Best wishes,

Carolyn

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You can have issues with chicken that have nothing to do with gluten. Some people ( like me) just do not tolerate chicken .

signed ,

a " for real " celiac .

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When I process my chickens, I do it in the morning after they have been without food all night. I do not cut open any part of the digestive tract, nor is there reason to (and plenty of reason not to). The chickens do not roll around in feed (especially commercial chickens whose feed is carefuly controlled), and the feathers are so protective that it's hard to get anything on their skin even when you're trying.

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Just wanted to chime in and agree that washing any meat before cooking it is a good idea. Chicken or not.

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First off I just wanted to say, I'm not one of these whackos suggesting eggs have gluten, ect. The following is a real issue and I hope everyone takes it seriously.

Keep getting glutened from chicken and think its the added solutions? Could be, but there is another problem. The problem comes from the slaughter house. It doesn't matter if its a huge tyson factor, or a local farm. As they are slaughtered, there are guts, undigested wheat feed from the stomach ripped open, intestines, ect -not to mention the wheat already on the feathers and skin from rolling around in feed. The tables are absolutely contaminated with wheat. After they are rinsed, they look clean, but the powderous feed is already imbedded in the porous skin. At this point the chicken is reeking of gluten on the skin, and partially absorbed through the areas of the meat (the skin is not air-tight after being cut!). The inside of the chicken is lubricated with undigested feed (gluten) (from the removal and clinching of intestines -squeezes out undigested feed[gluten]) As the breasts, thighs, and legs are cut the knife will cut through this core at some point, contamining all cuts of meat. The unfortunate thing about this too is that gluten free chicken broths, are not 100% gluten free and may contain way more wheat than you would think. I personally I have tried progresso gluten free broth and I reacted within an hour or so.

So if your fed up with all of the factory brands, don't be suprised when you get glutened from a chicken at your local butcher.

Some folks think they are having a "chicken allergy" but I believe it is because of this issue. Obviously this is only going to effect supersensitve people, but if you really are celiac, you might want to think about cutting out chicken anyway even if you don't react to it.

Its hard to accept, and some of you may be in denial. However this is a real issue and I hope a lot of people find this post and it helps them.

I have been thinking that I get glutened from my chicken meat for a while now. When googling, I came across this post. 

I made chicken soup a couple of days ago, with all fresh ingredients, and a whole organic chicken from our butcher, as usual. And again, as usual, I am sick today, and have stomach and bowel cramps and diarrhea. 

There is no way this is another coincidence, it has happened too many times. Thanks for your post, it explains a lot. I guess I'll have to stop eating chicken, which is pretty sad!

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once again, there is no gluten in chicken.  rinse your chicken if you think there is gluten ON it and you will magically rinse it off....

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Question for you as I have had problems with both chicken and eggs. Free range chicken and eggs from small farms (luckily, there are several in the area I live in) seem to be ok. If I eat chicken or eggs dining out I don't feel very well almost like I ate something contaminated with gluten. Red meat is extremely irritating and I can not eat it. Grass fed only is less upsetting, but not tolerable. I wonder if the issue is in what the animal was fed. Are we not what we eat?

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On ‎11‎/‎14‎/‎2015‎ ‎7‎:‎03‎:‎03‎, Peggy-O said:

Question for you as I have had problems with both chicken and eggs. Free range chicken and eggs from small farms (luckily, there are several in the area I live in) seem to be ok. If I eat chicken or eggs dining out I don't feel very well almost like I ate something contaminated with gluten. Red meat is extremely irritating and I can not eat it. Grass fed only is less upsetting, but not tolerable. I wonder if the issue is in what the animal was fed. Are we not what we eat?

If you are eating food while "dining out",  Maybe you are getting cc'd from the restaurant!  That seems the most logical answer.

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Yes, chicken you buy in the store can contain gluten.  Chicken meat will not contain gluten before packaging, but look at the excerpt below from an article entitled:

What's really in supermarket poultry (abbreviated title)

http://www.fourwinds10.net/siterun_data/health/food/news.php?q=1387401591

 

The article specifically mentions wheat  (it's toward the end of the passage) as a potential ingredient in the solution injected into the chicken meat.  They inject a lot of this solution into the meat, as much as 30% of the chicken weight you pay for can be the injected solution (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plumping).  If packaged chicken is gluten free it will say so below the box on the plastic wrap that has the nutritional information (calories etc).

Here's the passage:

His next task is to bulk out the trim by getting it to absorb water and additives. For this to happen, the manufacturer has to create a ‘brine’, a chemical solution that will encourage the meat to retain liquid using binding agents.

These binding agents are usually from five main sources, which can be used separately or mixed together.

The first is transglutaminase, an enzyme that is essentially a natural glue. Indeed, it is sometimes called ‘meat glue’. The second is from a group collectively known as hydrocolloids, substances that form a gel on contact with water.

These hydrocolloids include carrageenan, which is derived from seaweed, as well as the exotically named locust bean gum — extracted from the seeds of the carob tree — and guar gum, which derives from ground guar beans.

The third widely-used agent, especially in seafood, is phosphate, which is taken from phosphoric acid and is valued for its ability to make oil adhere to water.

The fourth is fibre, made from a source such as wheat, citrus or cellulose.

And the fifth is protein powder, which is made by extracting collagen from pigs’ skins.

Edited by kyle1960
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Yes, chicken you buy in the store can contain gluten.  Chicken meat will not contain gluten before packaging, but look at the excerpt below from an article entitled:

What's really in supermarket poultry (abbreviated title)

The article specifically mentions wheat  (it's toward the end of the passage) as a potential ingredient in the solution injected into the chicken meat.  They inject a lot of this solution into the meat, as much as 30% of the chicken weight you pay for can be the injected solution.  If packaged chicken is gluten free it will say so below the box on the plastic wrap that has the nutritional information (calories etc).

Here's the passage:

His next task is to bulk out the trim by getting it to absorb water and additives. For this to happen, the manufacturer has to create a ‘brine’, a chemical solution that will encourage the meat to retain liquid using binding agents.

These binding agents are usually from five main sources, which can be used separately or mixed together.

The first is transglutaminase, an enzyme that is essentially a natural glue. Indeed, it is sometimes called ‘meat glue’. The second is from a group collectively known as hydrocolloids, substances that form a gel on contact with water.

These hydrocolloids include carrageenan, which is derived from seaweed, as well as the exotically named locust bean gum — extracted from the seeds of the carob tree — and guar gum, which derives from ground guar beans.

The third widely-used agent, especially in seafood, is phosphate, which is taken from phosphoric acid and is valued for its ability to make oil adhere to water.

The fourth is fibre, made from a source such as wheat, citrus or cellulose.

And the fifth is protein powder, which is made by extracting collagen from pigs’ skins.

If you are going to copy someone else's article, please link to the source.  If you want us to believe it is true and from a reliable source, linking would help with that.  

 

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There are no warnings, in the US,  from Celiac center's or various Celiac Societies that a Celiac cannot eat plain meat.  If you are worried about what might be added to your meat, buy high quality meat that is cut or ground at the grocer.  Look at the sodium contents on pre-packed meat.  You will see that salt water is sometimes added - the sodium amount will be much higher per serving than plain meat.  

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     I am super sensitive to gluten. If I eat a tiny amount, I experience atrial fibrillation. In fact, my  wife and I call my heart the "gluten gauge." My diet has included chicken every day at least once--sometimes twice--a day, for well over a year. Recently I began to experience A fib regularly even though I have taken great pains to remove gluten from my diet. I was beginning to think that celiac disease had somehow ruined my heart as well as my digestive system. One night recently I forgot to cook chicken, so I ended up with a vegetarian dinner. I did not experience an irregular heartbeat that evening or the next morning, so I began to suspect that chicken was causing the A fib. I have stopped eating chicken for several weeks now; my heart is completely back to normal. I thought I was a goner. Now I feel like I have a new lease on life. I never would have believed that chicken could cause such a serious reaction until I experienced it myself. It is definitely not nonsense. By the way, I have always carefully washed off the chicken before cooking it, so I'm pretty sure there is never any gluten on the chicken....

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    • Hello Anonymous, and if nobody has said as much yet, welcome Don't worry (difficult to do when it can cause anxiety :P) it's very early days and you have a lot of healing to come.  If you've not already seen it there's advice and further info here:    It gets easier over time as checking becomes routine, you know your 'safe' products and your eating pattern changes. You'll get there  Maybe start a thread of your own if you'd like some input from others? Finally, back on topic. My Aunt has narcolepsy and although she's fiercely resistant to giving up gluten she has now made a connnection to eating bread and it's onset. As often, not conclusive but suggestive...
    • Hello again   Well first thing is the - Usual disclaimers apply... and this is something you have to follow up with your doctors as you know. But it's helpful sometimes to get another perspective so here's this layman see's from outside.  What I have seen from the various results posted here is that people's numbers vary wildly and, just as important, the numbers often don't bear any direct relationship to the level of intestinal damage revealed via endoscopy. Ultimately although you're not scoring much above positive, you are scoring a positive  and there are a couple of other risk factors you've mentioned that are suggestive if not conclusive - you have another autoimmune which raises the odds of having another one for example.  You've had two tests that are positive. The purpose of taking the second test was either to invalidate or confirm the first. I'd suggest it's achieved the latter, at least inasmuch as a GI may want to check you via endoscopy. That's still the 'gold standard' of celiac diagnosis and would give you an idea if there's any intestinal damage. I suspect with 2 positive tests and the history above that's what they'll suggest.  If your doctor or GI doesn't want to proceed with that you have a decision to make. Push for a second opinion or new doctor or if you're done with testing give the gluten free diet a proper try. Make a journal and see if some of those subtle things you reference may actually be symptoms. Fwiw, there are a lot of people here whose thyroid issues improved dramatically once they were gluten free, so whether celiac or gluten sensitive you should certainly give the diet a try. Only however once the testing is completed and remember: 
    • Hi! I've just been recently diagnosed as Celiac through the whole biopsy-shebang, and I have a little bit of insight on the whole diagnosis thing and how I was eventually diagnosed, and my advice for you. Brace yourself, this might be a bit long, but it might be worth the read and I promise I will eventually get to the point. If you don't want the huge story, skip to the long line of capital As: I first saw my doctor when I had a few problems swallowing. I've compared it to when you're nervous and you feel like you have a lump in your throat - but after I eat and (sometimes) drink. I just mentioned briefly it to my family doctor when I was addressing another issue, but right away he referred me to a gastroenterologist and ordered a barium swallow x-ray test. The x-ray came back completely normal, and so the g.e. then suspected GERD, put me on acid blockers to see if they would work, no harm done sort of thing. The only thing I got out of the acid blockers were the side effects, so it was back to square 1. The g.e. said that the next test he could do was an upper endoscopy with biopsies. (hint: the celiac test!) Wanting to find a solution to my problems, the endoscopy was scheduled. Pretty painless, I was in and out in a day, but the results took much much longer. Biopsies, or the little pieces of my esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, were sent to the lab, and they came back clean. I didn't really go back to the g.e. for a whole year after that because life became busy, I wasn't prompted to follow up, and I just dismissed the swallowing problems the best I could and went on my way. Now, I've never been huge on the gluten, big bread-y sandwiches or croissants or pies were never foods that I super "enjoyed". I wouldn't feel bad after eating them, I just didn't like the taste of bread so much, but I loved cookies, cake and a lot of other things that do have gluten in them. I lead a lowish gluten life but I wasn't really monitoring it that way. Everything changed when I got really nasty (systemic) poison ivy. My eyes were swollen shut, and the rash was everywhere. I almost went to the hospital, but cooped out at the family doctor's place and got a script for prednisone (a steroid). But, I found that after I had tapered off the steroids, I had magically become lactose intolerant. So back to the family doctor again probably because I broke my toe or something, but we also got to talk about this magical lactose intolerance business (because I love anything dairy and it was indeed devastating). He was surprised as there is literally no correlation between steroids and becoming lactose intolerant. He asked me if I still had the swallowing problems, which I did, and so it was back to the g.e. for round 3. because my family doctor "does not believe in coincidences". Meeting with the G.E., he mainly addressed the swallowing problems telling me that he had done what he could to diagnose with the technology that we had at the highly specialized hospital that we were at, and I would have to travel about 3 hours away to see a different doctor who would do some tests involving the muscles in the esophagus. But right before I was about to leave, we started talking about lactose intolerance. He brought up other foods that I was avoiding (if any), and then the conversation went to gluten. I mentioned that I had an aunt that was gluten-sensitive. He advised that I do the blood test that can show an indication of celiac whenever in the future. I decided to do it that day. At this point in time, I was not eating much gluten because of the fact that it was personal preference. The normal range for values in this test is from 0 to 20. A few weeks later, I learned that I scored a 35. A second upper endoscopy with biopsies was scheduled, but this time I was told to eat a moderate amount of gluten everyday before the procedure. I ate about two slices of bread per day, which is more than I normally would. I was normal for the first two-three weeks of the gluten plus diet, but then I became really sick. I started getting the normal celiac symptoms, like diarrhea and extreme tiredness. Near the end, I had debilitating stomach pain and I was 2 times more asleep than awake each day. I couldn't do the 2 pieces of bread a day some days, but the pain was still there. I knew that I wouldn't ever have to force myself to eat bread for a test ever again. I was called a few days before my endoscopy telling me that a kid in a worse state than me had to take the OR during my time. I forced myself to eat more bread for another month and a half. The day finally came. I was diagnosed celiac, which I have concluded to be initiated by (1) the steroids/poison ivy and (2) the gluten binge fest.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Celiac Disease isn't completely understood yet. Most of the time if you weren't showing symptoms when you were a baby (so your case) it means that celiac was/could be triggered by an event in your life that causes stress on the body (like stress, physical injury, etc.).  The positive result that you got from the blood test doesn't automatically mean celiac, but it could. Here's some options: Talk to your doctor (or a different doctor) or even a specialist gastroenterologist (you can get a referral from a family doctor (general physician)) and see if you can do the blood test again, you have to have some kind of gluten for this to work in advance, so if you don't want to break your gluten-free streak, than don't really invest in this option. If you feel comfortable, you could even ask to do this test under a few scenarios (no gluten (now) and after a gluten binge, compare results). If you do this test and your indication is low off gluten and then high after gluten, I'd probably skip the biopsy. That's a strong enough sign that you don't need to put yourself through the painful-gluten binge. Maybe this is what that first doctor just assumed. But having that test when you haven't had any gluten could make the difference - it acts as a control. Go straight to the biopsy. You could do this, but I'd probably do the blood test first. I went through a lot of stress with the gluten-binge that you have to do to get an accurate result, you would also be breaking your gluten-free diet that may/may not be helping you right now. Do nothing, stay on your gluten free diet hoping that it is helping you. But if you are not celiac or gluten-sensitive (celiac before it starts to wreck your small intestine), going gluten free isn't healthy - you can do some research on this if it interests you. If you feel bad/unhealthy after going gluten free it's probably a sign. Good luck, also know that you might come to a point of stress in your life that can start celiac's destructive path. Ultimately, it is your body, and you should not feel forced or hesitate to act on health issues that impact you.
    • I'm sorry that life is so hard right now. Really.  I can't imagine working 3 jobs and trying to manage this terrible illness.  I think about American society and their obsession with food often.  Whenever you look at the internet, there are all these fabulous gluten-free recipes, but when you don't have time or money to cook these things, a simple gluten-free lifestyle is just that - simple. There isn't a lot of variety, so it's kind of boring. But, I guess I have gotten used to being boring. I just eat corn chex and fruit or yogurt for breakfast. I eat a lot of eggs, beans, rice, corn tortillas, nuts, chicken, fruit and veggies.  A loaf of gluten-free bread will last me 4-6 months in the freezer.  I buy a bag of dried beans for $1.29, I soak them overnight, and put them in the crockpot the next day. I add different spices, sometimes chicken and Voila! - dinner is ready when I get home from a long day. Family gatherings are miserable and I haven't quite figured out the best way to deal yet. If my grandmother were still alive, I imagine she would be a lot like yours - well-meaning but not really able to understand the nitty-gritty.   I just reassure my family that I am fine and that they really shouldn't do anything special for me. I bring a bag of Hershey's kisses or other gluten-free candy I can nibble on along with my meal and then I try to treat myself to a nicer home cooked meal later in the week when I have time to cook - because who has time to cook during Christmas???? And, I agree with knitty knitty. If someone else in your family/friends were gluten-free for medical reasons, it would make socializing a bit easier. One of my husband's good friends is NCGS. When we get together as a group, we can make each other special dishes and it helps to feel less isolated.  Good luck!  
    • Hi!  Um, please forgive my quirky sense of humor..... Celiac Disease is genetic... All first degree relatives of people diagnosed with Celiac Disease should be tested for the disease, too.  Gall bladder problems are often associated with Celiac Disease.  Your diagnosis might save your whole family from further medical problems as they age and the disease progresses... You need to set a good example if relatives are similarly diagnosed.... and then everybody will have to eat gluten free at family gatherings....  
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