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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.

Odd Post-gluten-free Symptoms
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2 posts in this topic

Hello all,

This is a long one, so please be patient or skip to the bottom for the TL;DR version.

So, a little background before I get into my weird post-gluten-free symptoms. I'm 23, male, and a student at the University of Oregon. This last summer I was given a presumptive diagnosis of celiac disease based on blood work (120/30 ELISA units on an anti-tTg IgA blood test). Because I wasn't going to be able to get in to see a specialist for a biopsy for six months due to insurance issues, I went gluten-free at the recommendation of my primary physician.

My symptoms did start to recede, ever so slowly... but of course, by the time I was starting to notice a real difference, I got a consultation with a GI specialist, who told me to resume a normal, non-gluten-free diet for two months so as to not throw off the biopsy results. I started eating gluten again for those two months, got an endoscopy/colonoscopy/small biopsy, and - surprise surprise with 4x the "normal" amount of ELISA units - was positively diagnosed with celiac disease.

I'm now gluten-free again. It's been two weeks, and I'm just now starting to get over the worst of the gluten withdrawals. With the exception of an incident of very mild cross-contamination at the end of last week, I've been doing alright in my recovery process... with a few weird exceptions.

First, my BMs. Surprisingly, while I was back on my gluten-y diet in the leadup to the biopsy, I was pretty regular, and everything was as it was supposed to be. No floating, no malodor, no excess mucous, no partially digested food, etc. However, in the past two weeks since going back onto the gluten-free diet, all of the traditional symptoms of celiac in that department have cropped up. I've become irregular in my BMs, the consistency is off, it's definitely malodorous, digestion isn't working properly, and there's far too much mucous.

Huh? Isn't the opposite supposed to be happening? Interestingly, the first time I went gluten-free I also had an abundance of mucous, but none of the other symptoms.

Second, allergic reactions. One of the recurring symptoms I had pre-diagnosis was constant itchy, runny, red eyes, even when it wasn't allergy season. In fact, this is so consistent that when I was gluten-free the first time, I used this reaction to tell when I had been glutened. So when I got that cross-contamination last week, my eyes got all itchy, as usual. But then, yesterday... they got itchy again. And I'm 100% certain I didn't get glutened yesterday, since I was at work all day in a food-free environment, and the only things that went into my mouth were very carefully vetted and screened by me beforehand (and were all things that couldn't have been exposed to gluten).

Again... huh?

TL;DR version: Going gluten-free again appears to have actively made my intestinal issues and allergic reactions worse.

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HI Magister Mundi,

Welcome to the forum! :)

Going gluten-free seems to have an adjustment period for our guts, as well as our taste buds. Reversing damage to our gut and bodies can take some time, months or more even. It depends a lot on how sick a person was to start with and how much damage they have. But being back on the gluten-free diet means you have started down the path to healing, so that's good. :)

You could try taking some pro-biotics and digestive enzymes with your meals. Eating different foods can throw your gut bacteria off and that can cause symptoms. It also might be helpful to cut back on sugar and starchy foods for a while, until your gut bacteria stablize and your villi heal some.

Just for reference, I had hayfever symptoms that eased off over about 6 months after going gluten-free. Now they are very minor for me. So, your allergy responses may stabilize some as time goes on also.

Congrats on getting diagnosed!

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