How do I know if I have celiac disease?
You know you have celiac disease if you have been tested by your doctor and diagnosed by your doctor. There are over 300+ symptoms of celiac disease and you can not be diagnosed soley based on symptoms, you need to be tested for it.
What symptoms are associated with celiac disease?
There are over 300+ known symptoms of celiac disease, some common ones are:
- Bloating / gas
- Discolored teeth
- DH (dermatitis herpetiformis)
- Joint pain
- Weight change
- Thin bones (- beyondceliac.org)
It’s important to note that you can have no outward symptoms of celiac but still have the disease.
How long does it take for your small intestine to heal after a celiac disease diagnosis?
This is definitely a question to ask your doctor. There is no one answer fits all and healing is dependent on multiple factors. You small intestine can heal in as short as a few months to as long as a few years.
“Normalization of abnormalities may occur within one year, but generally takes longer, depending on the severity of villous atrophy, level of dietary compliance and age at diagnosis(Dickey et al, 2000; Kaukinen et al, 2002; Lee et al, 2003; Abrams et al, 2004)” – Eat Right Pro Evidenced Based Library
Does your small intestine actually heal?
This question is sort of related to the above question. Most people diagnosed with celiac disease can heal their small intestine after diagnosis. There is a small (emphasis on small) number of people with celiac disease who have what’s called “Refractory Celiac Disease” which is defined by a few things, one of which is your small intestinal health not improving, despite following a strict gluten-free diet.
If you’re concerned or have questions about your intestinal health, please bring them up with your doctor.
Do I only need to buy certified gluten-free products?
Everyone’s gluten-free meal-pattern will look different. Everyone has different standards that they are comfortable with and that impact their quality of life differently. That being said, in general, you do not have to ONLY buy certified gluten-free products. If you’re unsure about if your standards are celiac-safe, 1:1 support from a dietitian can be a great resource to make sure you’re staying on the right track!
Do I need to avoid foods other than gluten to heal my small intestine?
The most important and helpful thing you can do to heal your gut after a celiac diagnosis is to eat gluten-free. Research shows that complying with a strict gluten-free diet has the most impact on repairing your small intestine.
Several studies report that improvement in villous atrophy is not dependent on the type of gluten-free dietary pattern; however, villous atrophy is significantly associated with dietary compliance.(Janatuinen et al, 1995; Kemppainen et al, 1998; Kaukinen et al, 1999; Selby et al, 1999; Lohiniemi et al, 2000; Janatuinen et al, 2000; Ciacci et al, 2002; Janatuinen et al, 2002; Peraaho et al, 2003; Hogberg et al, 2004; Peraaho et al, 2004; Baudon et al, 2005; Ciacci et al, 2005) – Eat Right Pro Evidenced Based Library
That being said, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other things you can do to help support your gut health. In fact, there are tons of fairly easy habits you can built to improve you gut health beyond eating gluten-free. These things just aren’t as important as staying gluten-free.
Do I need to use GF beauty products?
There is not a lot of research out there supporting or dissuading the use of gluten-free products if you have celiac disease. As of right now, the use of gluten-free products is not mandatory to live a celiac-safe lifestyle. Instead, choosing to use gluten-free beauty products is a personal choice.
I personally use gluten-free beauty products (click here to see what I use) because I touch my face to much to have to worry about whether or not I am exposing myself to gluten. I also personally break out in a rash when gluten touches my skin and experience hair-loss when I wasn’t using gluten-free shampoo, these factors have also influenced my to use gluten-free beauty products.
I should say however that my skin reactions are likely not due to celiac because gluten can not be absorbed through the skin. I likely am responding this way because of some other reason (I have sensitive skin or an allergy I’m not aware of).
Do you have a question you believe belongs on this FAQ page? Contact me to let me know!
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This post is not to be used in place of individualized medical care. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, bring them up with your doctor.