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craziprincess's avatar

Gluten Intolerance?

Asked by craziprincess (135points) June 15th, 2008

Does anyone have this or know anything about it? Sometimes I think I might have it. I generally feel a little sick/tired/bloated after consuming foods containing wheat. I just started noticiting it. Can you request a test from a doctor to check if you have it?

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19 Answers

shilolo's avatar

Craziprincess. How old are you (roughly)? I ask because gluten intolerance (otherwise known as celiac disease) is most commonly evident in childhood. Although rare, some people are diagnosed in adolescence and during adulthood. Diagnostic blood tests exist, in addition to more invasive tests like small intestine biopsy (if necessary).

AstroChuck's avatar

You might just have food allergies. Your doctor can test you. I have two sisters-in-law that have wheat allergies. Wheat gluten is definitely not on their grocery list. This not uncommon.

sndfreQ's avatar

Here is a laboratory that does independent screening for many allergies and other kinds of tests:

Although their main customer base is parents of autistic children, they do have a panel test for celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

emilyrose's avatar

you probably don’t have celiac or you would have some serious symptoms, right shilolo?? But many people, including me, are intolerant. Try cutting it out and see how you feel. It’s hard though. Wheat is in EVERYTHING it seems. You may end up addicted to corn tortillas like me!

shilolo's avatar

With all due respect, I would strongly urge you to avoid independent labs of any kind. They have a vested interest in selling a product, which are tests. Since most of the tests are not in routine clinical practice, there is no way to know how to interpret them (although I’m sure they provide all sorts of information, little of which is verifiable). These companies are not interested in the positive or negative predictive value of their tests, statistical tools that permit accurate and meaningful interpretation of the results. Thus, you are just getting a bunch of numbers and perhaps an “interpretation” of the numbers, all of which is meaningless.

pattyb's avatar

@emilyrose, my wife has celiac, and has no symptoms. But to answer the ?, only a test ( a scope to look at the walls of the intestine, or an old fashion biopsy) will indicate that you have celiac. But your doc will run a blood test to see if all the signs are pointing In that direction. In my wives case, she was having thyroid issues at first, wich led to other testing.

emilyrose's avatar

pattyb, thanks for that info, I didn’t know that! I don’t know much about it and don’t have any close friends with it but have known a few folks in my life with it. One woman and her dad both had it and he was literally close to death until he saw a naturopath that figured it out…...then they figured out she had it too…......

so if you can be celiac and have no symptoms, how is it causing problems in the body? Or is it just that you can have it for a while and not know and then eventually you DO get symptoms…....

shilolo's avatar

I would say you are both right. Most people with celiac disease are diagnosed in childhood, and most people are symptomatic. But some people are diagnosed in adulthood, typically because of anemia or other extraintestinal symptoms, and some people have few symptoms at all.

pattyb's avatar

i think what happens is that you do not absorb any nutrients and vitamins ( or very little) so although you might not show symptoms, the long term effects can be very harmful. And although my wife shows no symptoms, she does know many who have awful symptoms if they stray from the specific diet. It is most serious for children, they tend to have growth/development problems.

pattyb's avatar

just to add, be careful when investigating online. There is a lot of quackery and snake oil salesmen ready to make a quick buck on behalf of the confused and uninformed.

shilolo's avatar

Good point PattyB, see my answers above.

cooksalot's avatar

My MIL has it and really the best thing to do is go to The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network for accurate information. Food allergies can be very serious and it is best to know what you are dealing with.

lindabrowne1's avatar

If you are, here is a fantastic blog called Gluten-Free Girl:

She has many more blogs and informational websites on her blog.

Good luck in finding out. My daughter had a wheat allergy when she was ten months’ old. She outgrew it when she was two.

fedesilva's avatar

@Craziprincess By all means go see a doctor. There is no other way of being sure as other people has stated above.

I myself am a celiac ( is it a word in english? it is in spanish: celĂ­aco ) diagnosed when a baby and my most noticeable symptom is weight ( or lack of it ) for an adult.

drucilla_e's avatar

You may have gluten intolerance or celiac disease – an intolerance to wheat, rye, barley, and most oats. Gluten intolerance is NOT an allergy, it is an immune mediated intolerance which can eventurally result in damage to all organ systems if left untreated. It is NOT rare – a 2003 NIH study confirmed that 1 in 100 people have this condition, although many remain undiagnosed because the American medical community is still catching on to its prevalence. In Europe, and especially Italy, screening for celiac is common and gluten free products are widely available. It is NOT a childhood disease – a recent study found that most people being disagnosed are adults. Additionally, most people who are diagnosed are overweight, not malnourished as one might expect. The good news is that it is nearly always curable with a only gluten-free diet, and this diet is becoming easier as American manufacturers catch on to the fact that the market is, and will be, huge. The bad news is that left untreated you may eventually experience lymhoma, ataxia, osteoporosis, and other conditions. I encourage you to see your physician and be tested. However, I will also say that doctors are still requiring positive blood tests and a positive EGD biopsy, before they will diagnose celiac disease and recommend a gluten free diet. The fact is that you may very well have gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity and will still not have a positive blood test and/or biopsy. A study has been recently published that is the first that I’ve seen which questions the necessity of a positive biopsy. Despite the earlier negative feedback on private labs, many in our celiac/gluten-intolerant community have been diagnosed through fecal antibody testing at – including me. Many credit this test with turning their lives around and even saving their lives. It will be years, perhaps decades before the medical community accepts fecal antibody tests, despite its intuitive applicability and medline supported studies. Anyone with thyroid issues, osteoporosis, Type 1 diabetes, undiagnosed ataxia, Sjogren’s, irritable bowel syndrome, lupus erythematosus, migraines, uncontrolled seizures, chronic bloating, chronic diarrhea or constipation, or generalized ongoing fatigue should be screened for celiac disease, and/or gluten intolerance. Many people who have been tested for celiac disease because they have a relative with the condition, have been found to have total villous atrophy, despite having no symptoms. So if you have kin with the condition, you should also be screened.

craziprincess's avatar

shilolo, i’m 31 years old. wow i really didn’t think i’d get this much info, thank you guys. i’m definately asking my doctor for a test. in the meantime, specially since a blood test might be worthless, i’ll try cutting gluten out of my diet and see how i feel. hopefully i won’t get addicted to CORN TORTILLAS!
also if anyone is interested or thinks they might have food allergies, i know of some doctors who test for food allergies (you can find practitioners on, not the greatest marketing but i’ve met people who say they’ve been cured by these doctors, it’s all done naturally).
they accept insurance (just not mine!).
thanks again for all the feedback, i really appreciate it!

shilolo's avatar

@Crazi. Good idea to see your doctor. I should clarify. There are blood tests that can help determine if you have celiac disease. But, I encourage you to speak first with your doctor and proceed that way. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to try a gluten free diet as an experiment. There are plenty of web sites out there to help in that regard.

As an aside, I went to the website you listed. I looked at Devi Nambudripad’s CV. She lists herself as an MD, but her MD was from some school in Antigua in 2002, which looks to me like a fake degree just so she can say she has an MD. She is not licensed to practice medicine in the US. Most (probably all) of the practicioners listed are not medical doctors, but rather chiropracters and acupuncturists. While I certainly believe that allergies exist, they most certainly are not the root cause of most diseases as Ms. Nambudripad states “We now know that most illnesses (i.e.headaches, back aches, joint pains, addiction, PMS, indigestion, cough, body aches, etc.) are caused by undiagnosed allergies.”

Caveat empor!

adreamofautumn's avatar

Go to the doctor if you suspect it at all. It is widely believed that the celiac gene can be carried, lay dormant and be “set off” due to a traumatic event to the body (illness, injury, etc). I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 19…but I never realized how awful I felt until I wasn’t sick anymore. Also…if left unchecked it will kill you slowly. I would highly recommend speaking to a doctor.

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