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How long does my gluten challenge need to be?

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Old 09-30-2011, 11:04 PM   #1
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How long does my gluten challenge need to be?

Hi all,

I'm going to get the blood test soon to check for celiac. What I'm wondering is how long I need to be consuming gluten before the test?

I spent pretty much my whole life consuming ridiculous amounts of gluten, and having various symptoms that I didn't realize until recently could possibly be due to issues with gluten.

About 5 or 6 months ago, I went gluten-free for a week or so, then went back (mostly) to gluten for a bit, then spent about 3 or 4 months where I was mostly gluten-free.

I felt much better when I was mainly gluten-free (although I wasn't gluten-free every day - I've often had some wheat-containing muesli for breakfast, but this was still way less gluten than I used to consume).

Anyway, I've started deliberately reintroducing gluten into my diet recently, since I'll be taking this test. I've been doing this for maybe two weeks or so.

The first week I wasn't paying attention to whether I was having gluten every day (or how much I was consuming), but this past week I've been making sure to have gluten every day.

I'm already starting to notice some of my old symptoms coming back, although not as bad as they used to be.

If I'm getting symptoms, do I still have a good chance of getting a reliable result from the blood test if I've only been consuming lots of gluten for the past 2 weeks or so (after 3 or 4 months of mostly avoiding gluten)?

I'm worried that the 3-4 months of gluten-free living might have caused too much healing - how ironic, eh? Who would have thought that too much healing would be bad thing.

Also, I've had recent issues with ovarian cysts (still ongoing - will be going for a follow-up ultrasound in November). And I know that a lot of my current symptoms could be caused by them, although I've also had a lifetime's-worth of other symptoms that fit pretty closely with celiac.

Thanks to everyone for reading this, and any advice would be appreciated!

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Old 10-24-2011, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: How long does my gluten challenge need to be?

From what I've read, you need to be eating the equivalent of 6 pieces of bread a day for the past 6 weeks.

Keep in mind that Celiac Disease tests can be inaccurate, and if you feel better eating gluten free, that's the best answer to any test you're going to get.

Old 10-24-2011, 07:38 PM   #3
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Re: How long does my gluten challenge need to be?

Yeah, it kind of sucks that these tests aren't always accurate, eh? I should be hearing back soon about mine. I'm almost hoping for positive results, since at least then I'll have something concrete to work with. If it's negative, I still might have celiac, or the very least I still might have a gluten sensitivity.

Either way, I'm planning on cutting out gluten after this is done, but I'm hoping to have a better sense of whether it's celiac or gluten sensitivity, or possibly something else.

My worry is that if it's celiac but I have a negative blood test, I might still accidentally eat food that has gluten in it, but won't realize that I'm causing damage because my symptoms aren't acute. If it's a gluten sensitivity, I'll still cut out gluten but it won't be as potentially dangerous if I still have a little gluten.

If it does happen to be celiac, and if that's confirmed by the blood test, then I'll know for sure to be extra vigilant about avoiding all sources of gluten.

Oh well - I'm guessing it'll probably be negative either way, since I only started reintroducing gluten for a couple of weeks before the test.

I felt much better when I cut out wheat and gluten, but I was also cutting out other stuff at the same time, so it's hard to know what the main cause was for me feeling so much better.

I'll probably have to do an elimination diet at some point to figure out which other food(s) I react negatively to.

Anyway, sorry for such a long reply - I'm super-tired at the moment, and I always get especially wordy when I'm tired, lol.



Old 10-24-2011, 07:57 PM   #4
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Re: How long does my gluten challenge need to be?

My antibody test went from negative to positive. I have a positive gene test, family history of CD. I had low foliate and b12. I didn't have the biopsy. I was told it was going to be 12 months until I could, so my GP told me to just go gluten free. I did and I felt a lot better and my deficiencies went normal.

I hope you hear back about your results. If your blood tests are positive, do not cut out gluten until you've had the biopsy.

Some people with Celiac Disease are asymptomatic too. The severity of your symptoms doesn't correlate with the damage (if any) being caused. Once you cut gluten out of your diet you will be more sensitive, this happens to everyone who stops eating it. It's best to be extra vigilant anyway.

I hope it shows something for you, but if not, just avoid whatever makes your symptoms worse.

Haha no problem, my reply's a bit all over the place, so sorry for that!

Old 12-22-2011, 02:05 AM   #5
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Re: How long does my gluten challenge need to be?

Originally Posted by paperbgprinces View Post
My antibody test went from negative to positive.

Hi there, I am interested what time frame was the negative to positive anti body test?

I am currently on a gluten challenge and am nearly 6 weeks in. I have been ill for a long time but only had limited gluten, for example 2 pieces of bread but not every day. I have a lot of the classic CD symptoms along with others like lots of hair loss, nails not growing, absolutely exhausted, insomnia, body hurts, have the abdominal bloating and pain, look 7 months pregnant. The pain is there all the time literally from my ribcage down. The pain also worsens immediately after eating gluten, sick most days, I could go on. I did go gluten free for 5 weeks pre this challenge and my symptoms started to improve and even my nails started to grow, WOW.

So my question is I need to book in for a blood test and wandered what other peoples experience was in terms of going from negative to positive or testing positive but how long their gluten challenge was to give these results.

I am either CD or have gluten sensitivity and it's finding out accurately which one.

I will appreciate any feedback on this please.

kind regards and Merry Christmas!

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