I've been gluten-free for almost a year because I suspected that I may have Celiac. Recently, I decided I wanted to determine for sure whether I have Celiac or not. After a gluten exposure, is there any good way to differentiate between the IMMEDIATE reaction I would have if I were celiac and the immediate reaction I would have if I were not Celiac but exposed to gluten for the first time in a while?
If you were truly celiac, you would know it when you ate gluten. Trust me.
But that's not to say you aren't gluten-intolerant. And depending on how gluten-intolerant you were, you might be able to eat it with zero noticeable effects- both because gluten reactions can manifest completely as non-gastrointestinal symptoms (arthritis, lupus, auto-immunity etc), but also because either the noticeable or unnoticeable effects might take multiple or cumulative gluten exposure.
I.e. if you have abstained from gluten and other gut-irritants for a while, one-time exposure to gluten may not cause enough damage to really do anything negative at all. But consume gluten say 3 times in a week, or perhaps 15 times in a month or whatever, symptoms may start appearing.
Personally, I think there is no clear line between gluten intolerance and celiac. I think it is all on a continuum between those who have really bad reactions to those who have less bad reactions. Even for me, who has no apparent reaction to wheat consumption, there might be some slight damage to the intestines when I eat wheat, but just not enough to cause obvious immediate symptoms. But there is no easy way for me to know for sure.
I don't have any reaction to gluten, but my N.D. says I have celiac disease based on blood tests (not the gold standard, I know). I DO have T1 diabetes, possibly caused by the celiac disease, but I never notice a reaction from gluten, which makes it awfully hard to know if I'm truly gluten free or not.
So... I'm just saying that even if you do have true celiac disease, some people are asymptomatic.
You can have symptoms for years and have NO idea you have celiac.It shows itself in really bizarre ways sometimes.I had horrible mood swings,intense joint pain,endless hunger,weight gain for no reason,muscles tearing,vomiting.Now that I've been off it for awhile,I will actually vomit/pass blood after consuming gluten,in addition to neurological problems,stomach pains, diarrhea/constipation.
Well, it depends (I know, you didn't want to hear that!)
Some people with Celiac have a clear reaction immediately after exposure. I do, I get intense pain in my gut within an hour, a headache, and a rash. Surprisingly it took me many years to figure this one out!
Some people with true Celiac don't have a clear reaction. You should try to pay close attention to how your whole body and mind are feeling: foggy mind, headache, moodiness, congestion, pain in the gut, itchy skin, rashes etc..
In terms of intolerance or reaction because you haven't had gluten in a while, you can also check other foods. For example, I can eat rice a couple of days in a row, but more than that and I start having cravings, bloating and heartburn. So I react to rice eventually but it's more like a digestive intolerance than an auto-immune reaction.
Does it really matter? Would you avoid gluten less if you had uncomfortable symptoms, but they weren't officially celiac? This article makes the case (with a good sample of condemning abstracts) that gluten sensitivity is as serious a problem as true celiac, and that gluten's damaging effects are not limited to those with the clinical diagnosis.
Hi I have celiac and am very early on in my journey so my gut is not totally healed yet. I still have days when I can feel really rough and its not from gluten. When I have been accidentally glutened I know about it. My stomach bloats within 45 minutes until i look 8 months pregnant and I get intense pain, I can't sleep at all, I feel nauseous which can last a few days and I get really depressed and tearful for no reason. From everything i have read though everyone has different reactions and some people with diagnosed celiac have no symptoms so I don't think there is any hard and fast rule to your answer.
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