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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.

Intense Exercise : Good Idea Or Not For Us Celiacs?
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zamm0    1

Hi there, diagnosed 4 months ago and been gluten-free ever since. Only ever had mild symptoms including DH. I've been fairly physically fit all my life but last 3 years I've cycled competitively. This has involved intense training and racing. Often >95% of max heart rate and up to 15hours a week of training. I feel absolutely fine and 2012 was my best year ever BUT I know from a bloodtest my white blood cell count is down (neutrophils) over this 3 year period from 5 to 3.7. My question is - is it perhaps time to call it day with this sort of level of regime and take a more modest approach?? Intense exercise does affect the immune system but whether this should stop me doing what I love is up for debate.

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On the gluten free diet, celiacs should be as healthy as anyone else. There are Olympic and professional athletes with celiac disease. I see no reason to let it limit what you can do.

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tarnalberry    314

Hi there, diagnosed 4 months ago and been gluten-free ever since. Only ever had mild symptoms including DH. I've been fairly physically fit all my life but last 3 years I've cycled competitively. This has involved intense training and racing. Often >95% of max heart rate and up to 15hours a week of training. I feel absolutely fine and 2012 was my best year ever BUT I know from a bloodtest my white blood cell count is down (neutrophils) over this 3 year period from 5 to 3.7. My question is - is it perhaps time to call it day with this sort of level of regime and take a more modest approach?? Intense exercise does affect the immune system but whether this should stop me doing what I love is up for debate.

Celiac disease (assuming you are remaining gluten free and otherwise well nourished) just isn't a part of the equation here.

If the intense exercise is reducing your immune system, well... choose the exercise or the immune system. You may find that you can keep a more modest approach going for the next 30 years, where this approach may see you injured in that time.

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Opa3    3

........ white blood cell count is down (neutrophils) over this 3 year period from 5 to 3.7. My question is - is it perhaps time to call it day with this sort of level of regime and take a more modest approach?? Intense exercise does affect the immune system but whether this should stop me doing what I love is up for debate.

With that intense training, I'd be more concerned with your lipid numbers. I'm 67 and fought celiac disease for 30 years. My WBC's are close to yours (last 2 yrs- 4.4, 4.9, 3.7 low, 4.2, and 3.6 low; neutrophils, all within range). My lipids are OK. I did weight training during 2012. But had to stop due to recent headaches. Need to determine source(celiac disease or exercise). Your body will tell you when its time to slow down with age. I was ok until 2007(got IBS/GERD) and now headaches (late 2012).

I signed up for a 5K Warrior Dash with obstacles race, for Aug 3. I'm now concentrating on walk/jog intervals to determine my pace. Need to check with Doc for any bone issues since left hip hurts a little after about 5 minutes jogging. This comes and goes.

Due err on the side of caution.

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zamm0    1

With that intense training, I'd be more concerned with your lipid numbers. I'm 67 and fought celiac disease for 30 years. My WBC's are close to yours (last 2 yrs- 4.4, 4.9, 3.7 low, 4.2, and 3.6 low; neutrophils, all within range). My lipids are OK. I did weight training during 2012. But had to stop due to recent headaches. Need to determine source(celiac disease or exercise). Your body will tell you when its time to slow down with age. I was ok until 2007(got IBS/GERD) and now headaches (late 2012).

I signed up for a 5K Warrior Dash with obstacles race, for Aug 3. I'm now concentrating on walk/jog intervals to determine my pace. Need to check with Doc for any bone issues since left hip hurts a little after about 5 minutes jogging. This comes and goes.

Due err on the side of caution.

Cheers for the reply. This is the problem though isn't it if you've been used to and enjoyed pushing yourself to see what you can do? My tests don't show lipids but I will bear in mind - I try to eat oily fish at least 3 times a week and other good fat sources too. FWIW - b12/folate are fine and iron is on it's way up so obviously absorbing more (63>77 in 4 months). I think my plan is to keep training at my off season levels for a couple more months until I can get a follow up blood test, and effectively delay racing by a few months. I'll take it from there....

P.S. I've also got a suspicion that the corticosteroid cream Elocon used for DH for the last few years may've played a role in WBC suppression. Just a theory. As per usual with all this it's so hard to look for cause/effect relationships so you can act.

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Gemini    785

Low white cell counts are normal for anyone with autoimmune disease. White cells are part of the immune system. Mine are chronically low and have been for many years but I don't worry about it. It's only a problem if you are getting sick often and I don't. I have been doing weight training and cardio for the past 2 1/2 years but haven't had my blood work re-tested yet so don't know if it has affected it.....don't really care. Exercise is good for you and, unless it is really wiping you out after a work-out, just keep doing what you feel like doing.

Having Celiac will give you some wonky blood results. Some of mine is wonky and I don't let it phase me, as long as I feel good and am not getting sick. It's something you'll get used to. I prefer to think of it as "It doesn't matter how many white cells you have, it matters more that the ones you have work well!" Mine have been in the high 2's and yet I rarely get sick.

Go figure.

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zamm0    1

Exercise is good for you and, unless it is really wiping you out after a work-out, just keep doing what you feel like doing.

At no point have I found any difference in how I feel after working out pre or post diagnosis. The problem is the more you read on what can affect the gut integrity the more you think moderation is imperative. I've just been reading about 'Leaky Gut Syndrome' and how being Celiac fits within that context. It would appear that if you are doing absolutely everything to maximise gut healing only a small amount of quite easy exercise is best, and activities that don't jarr the body are better i.e. running ain't good, cycling better. I suppose it is up to each individual to assess the best course of action FOR THEM. Personally, I think my plan will be to continue exercising but only do around 50% of my normal load, limit any particularly high intensity riding, and re-assess in a few months - particularly when I get a new blood test.

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NorthernElf    10

Sometimes this whole thing can be such a mind game !!! Bood tests, food research, reactions that we have a hard time tying to what we ate...

I am a hardcore fitness instructor & enthusiast. I teach about 14 classes a week - some from the deck of the pool, some in, and some at a studio with intervals and weights. I get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, I eat fairly clean, and I avoid gluten like the plague. I limit dairy a lot - half & half in my coffee and some cheddar now & then. I don't eat much soy as it seems to bug me, as does chocolate.

I have been an undiagnosed celiac for over 10 years, undiagnosed thanks to a doctor screw up. I am very sensitive - I don't eat out and keep my kitchen stuff separate from my family's (there are 5 in our family). Exercise/fitness is my escape, my stress reliever, my thing ! If I have glutened myself I will take a day off or I will exercise moderately - walk and stretch. I will not run because that's probably the one exercise that my GI tract gets upset about if it is already compromised...and there aren't any bathrooms out there on the streets !!!!

Everyone has to find their limits and comfort in what they do with exercise already - I don't do regular blood tests, I go by how I feel. I like a challenge in my workouts & lots of variety. Don't drop out and stop exercising because of celiac. Lousy excuse - exercise is a medicine all on it's own - helps ones health in so many ways. If I am coming back from a glutening, exercise helps lift my mood, helps my GI tract function, just plain helps. Vary your intensity maybe, hydrate lots, and enjoy.

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Gemini    785

Sometimes this whole thing can be such a mind game !!! Bood tests, food research, reactions that we have a hard time tying to what we ate...

I am a hardcore fitness instructor & enthusiast. I teach about 14 classes a week - some from the deck of the pool, some in, and some at a studio with intervals and weights. I get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, I eat fairly clean, and I avoid gluten like the plague. I limit dairy a lot - half & half in my coffee and some cheddar now & then. I don't eat much soy as it seems to bug me, as does chocolate.

I have been an undiagnosed celiac for over 10 years, undiagnosed thanks to a doctor screw up. I am very sensitive - I don't eat out and keep my kitchen stuff separate from my family's (there are 5 in our family). Exercise/fitness is my escape, my stress reliever, my thing ! If I have glutened myself I will take a day off or I will exercise moderately - walk and stretch. I will not run because that's probably the one exercise that my GI tract gets upset about if it is already compromised...and there aren't any bathrooms out there on the streets !!!!

Everyone has to find their limits and comfort in what they do with exercise already - I don't do regular blood tests, I go by how I feel. I like a challenge in my workouts & lots of variety. Don't drop out and stop exercising because of celiac. Lousy excuse - exercise is a medicine all on it's own - helps ones health in so many ways. If I am coming back from a glutening, exercise helps lift my mood, helps my GI tract function, just plain helps. Vary your intensity maybe, hydrate lots, and enjoy.

This is incredibly good advice, Northern Elf! I find that working out in the gym, pounding those weights and doing the mountain climb on the treadmill the best medicine ever. I have been gluten-free for 8 years so have healed pretty well and was ready for the exercise that I am doing. I can walk into the gym in a bad mood and not feeling my best but after my hour exercising, I feel like a new person. No matter what your intensity, do not give up exercise while you heal. Just do it more gently until you are stronger. Don't rely totally on blood work, either. You should also factor in heavily how you feel. I don't even go to doctors that much anymore...the minimum amount required because they just aren't much help to me anymore. I do better monitoring myself and if you eat well, don't cheat and exercise regularly, you won't need them as much.

As for Leaky Gut......most Celiacs have Leaky Gut when diagnosed...or not diagnosed. That will heal also with the gluten-free diet and time. Patience is something that plays heavily with healing.

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zamm0    1

Another point I'd like to make to do with DH - and I think it's more pertinent to put it here than in the DH forum. One of things that does make DH worse is heat and sweat....so here in the UK it's seldom that warm so I've found going out on bike as per usual gets my mind off the DH and as long as you don't overdress the heat is not an issue. Same with indoor riding on my trainer....now I just ensure I don't wear a t-shirt on top and turn the fan in front of me up an extra notch and the DH feels much better i.e. it's not an issue AT ALL in this situation. Sometimes this is even one more reason to do some training. So...win-win.

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Opa3    3

...........One of things that does make DH worse is heat and sweat....

An opposing challenge to this remark. :) When time permits, I'll review some of the topics/post in the major DH heading.

I pondered over DH vs heat rash for a long time. No Doc ever Dx'ed me for DH. I reviewed/compared some photos on the internet and it can be nasty stuff. The rash(almost look the same) varies in intensity and body location for both. Last summer, I did get a itchy/blustery rash doing yard work. Many summers have gone by without any rashes.The Doc said it was poison ivy( grown from the neighbors side) and treated it with oral and topical corticosteroids. I used Zyrtec for the itching.

When I worked out(very intensely to lose weight) all of 2012, I didn't break out in a rash when sweating. In my case, I wonder what else( beside gluten sensitivity) can trigger a DH rash. My GFD is working well over the years. By reference, DH is treated with dapsone ( to relieve itching). Do you take this Rx for treatment?

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cahill    189

An opposing challenge to this remark. :) When time permits, I'll review some of the topics/post in the major DH heading.

I pondered over DH vs heat rash for a long time. No Doc ever Dx'ed me for DH. I reviewed/compared some photos on the internet and it can be nasty stuff. The rash(almost look the same) varies in intensity and body location for both. Last summer, I did get a itchy/blustery rash doing yard work. Many summers have gone by without any rashes.The Doc said it was poison ivy( grown from the neighbors side) and treated it with oral and topical corticosteroids. I used Zyrtec for the itching.

When I worked out(very intensely to lose weight) all of 2012, I didn't break out in a rash when sweating. In my case, I wonder what else( beside gluten sensitivity) can trigger a DH rash. My GFD is working well over the years. By reference, DH is treated with dapsone ( to relieve itching). Do you take this Rx for treatment?

For some of us dapsone is not an option or recommended.

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cahill    189

Celiac disease (assuming you are remaining gluten free and otherwise well nourished) just isn't a part of the equation here.

.

Hi there, diagnosed 4 months ago and been gluten-free ever since. Only ever had mild symptoms including DH. I've been fairly physically fit all my life but last 3 years I've cycled competitively. This has involved intense training and racing. Often >95% of max heart rate and up to 15hours a week of training. I feel absolutely fine and 2012 was my best year ever BUT I know from a bloodtest my white blood cell count is down (neutrophils) over this 3 year period from 5 to 3.7. My question is - is it perhaps time to call it day with this sort of level of regime and take a more modest approach?? Intense exercise does affect the immune system but whether this should stop me doing what I love is up for debate.

As long as you are well nourished no reason not to exercise to your limits ( and every reason to exercise to your limits )

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zamm0    1

An opposing challenge to this remark. :) When time permits, I'll review some of the topics/post in the major DH heading.

I pondered over DH vs heat rash for a long time. No Doc ever Dx'ed me for DH. I reviewed/compared some photos on the internet and it can be nasty stuff. The rash(almost look the same) varies in intensity and body location for both. Last summer, I did get a itchy/blustery rash doing yard work. Many summers have gone by without any rashes.The Doc said it was poison ivy( grown from the neighbors side) and treated it with oral and topical corticosteroids. I used Zyrtec for the itching.

When I worked out(very intensely to lose weight) all of 2012, I didn't break out in a rash when sweating. In my case, I wonder what else( beside gluten sensitivity) can trigger a DH rash. My GFD is working well over the years. By reference, DH is treated with dapsone ( to relieve itching). Do you take this Rx for treatment?

Firstly, I will say that the Elocon corticosteroid I use works brilliantly. However, I don't think very long term use is ideal so I'm trying to wean myself off of it - now trying to use it once a week and very very sparingly. While ice packs relieve the itchiness I would say only the Elocon gets rid of it without waiting a long time for it to go on it's own. I believe I read somewhere Dapsone affects red blood cell production so a no-no for anyone wanting performance.

As long as you are well nourished no reason not to exercise to your limits ( and every reason to exercise to your limits )

This is increasingly the message people are telling me, other than my parents - but I guess that's to be expected :-)

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On the gluten free diet, celiacs should be as healthy as anyone else. There are Olympic and professional athletes with celiac disease. I see no reason to let it limit what you can do.

Hi there, it's me!

Just wondered... who are these Olympic and prof athletes with celiac... I'm so interested to know... I've googled this many times and never come with anything?? Not even celebrities! (Probably due to search engine tactics here in UK!) I'm interested just as I'd very much like to exercise properly, but am petrified!! Mainly due to defiencies, allergies, severely limited diet. I haven't had a repeat endoscopy to see if I have healed yet either(7mths gluten-free), and still suffer from diarrhea :(

BUT! I have just started Tae Kwon Do up and I LOVE it. I have my arse kicked! Small step I know, I want to start my running back up. Like I said, I'm scared! 

Olympic Athletes with celiac would be an inspiration, seriously!

 

(I've been doing too much reading on celiac.com on refractory, bit depressed actually)

Cheers 

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