In a comment on My Health Experiment post, Casey asked:
When you were deciding to eliminate gluten, did you pursue testing for celiac? Do you mind me asking how you made the decision to test or not to test (if it came up)?
I was going to answer in the comments there, but I realized that I had a lot to say.
Here’s why I am not pursuing testing for Celiac Disease, even though I think I have it.
My quitting glutenÂ was a spur of the moment decision based on chronic pain. I just wanted the pain to go away, and I quit eating it the same day my friend suggested it.
If I’d planned a little more, I would have had the Celiac Disease testing done before stopping gluten.
My doctor did do the blood tests for celiac 2 weeks after I’d stopped gluten, and they were negative. From everything I’ve read, there’s a good chance those results are a false negative. Apparently, the tests look for antibodies, and if there’s no gluten in your system, there would be fewer antibodies.
Since I stopped eating gluten, two different doctors have told me that my symptoms suggest I have Celiac Disease.
The only way to know for sure if I have it is to go back to eating gluten for a few weeks and deal with the pain that would ensue (and the bloating and diarrhea and excess gas and sluggishness, etc).
The only treatment for Celiac Disease is a gluten-free diet, and I’m already doing that. Since I’m following the diet anyway (and see profound results from it), I don’t see a need to put myself through the torture of eating gluten for an extended period of time in order to confirm the diagnosis.
Is it possible I don’t have Celiac Disease? Yes. It’s also possible I have a gluten sensitivity. It’s possible that the tests would show nothing at all. The bottom line is that I have less pain, significantly less digestive distress, more energy, and generally feel better on a gluten-free diet, so I’m sticking with it.
© 2013, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.