Celiac Disease Diagnosis:
A Curse Or A Blessing?

If you have received a Celiac Disease Diagnosis you may be pretty bummed. There are all these foods you love that you have to give up.

At least you’ve come to a great place to get you started on your gluten free diet. There is a lot to eat out there! And a lot of people to share recipes, favorites, and stories with.

But if you’re one of many people who have symptoms that haven’t been explained, you may be very happy to receive a celiac diagnosis. At least you would know how to get better.

But a diagnosis may be hard to get. In fact a positive celiac disease diagnosis used to take months or years to get. Either the tests came out negative for some reason, or you were given tests for something unrelated, or you couldn’t get a doctor who didn’t think you were a hypochondriac or something.

This is changing now fortunately, with new tests and growing awareness of the diversity of the symptoms and the seriousness of the disease. If you learn as much as you can, you may be able to speed up the process.

Historically Diagnosis Has Been
A Long Drawn Out Ordeal

Speeding Up A Celiac Disease Diagnosis

Celiac Disease Diagnosis Is Historically Slow

Part of the slowness of getting a diagnosis has been due to a misunderstanding of the disease, which was believed to always have the symptoms of diarrhea and weight loss.

This resulted in a lack of willingness to perform tests by the medical profession, for good reasons: they weren’t cheap, and why test for something they didn’t believe to be possible.

But it turns out Celiac disease is a much more complicated disease than doctors thought, and many are more open to testing for it. But getting a Celiac disease diagnosis can still be difficult. Why?

  • There is a wide range of possible celiac disease symptoms.
  • Imperfect testing methods make it difficult to diagnose.

  • Some Celiac symptoms are similar to symptoms of many other medical problems, including stress.
  • The other conditions besides ingesting gluten and inheriting the genes that make you susceptible could be a number of things, including stress. (See below) Some believe these to be a factor in the causes of Celiac disease. There is a lot of controversy.

Stress has a similar array of symptoms as Celiac disease. When you’re in a stressful situation, the digestive system stops functioning so you can use your energy to fight or run away. It’s a great system, but it’s designed to be short term. When you’re continuously stressed and your digestive system is always shut down, it can result in similar malabsorption symptoms as the damaged intestine in Celiac disease.

Conversely, according to Dr. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University, stress may be a factor in the existence of an autoimmune disease. (See his book Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Holt Paperbacks, 2004.) Could stress be one of those conditions that make celiac symptoms occur? See What Is Celiac Disease?

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Celiac Disease Diagnosis
May Be Speeded Up

Many doctors are now on board and willing to test you, but if yours isn’t:

  • Talk to your doctor about the discovery that many people who have symptoms other than the classic symptoms (diarrhea and weight loss) have been diagnosed with Celiac disease.
  • Send her to this website for more information and to read about the variety of celiac symptoms of people who have been diagnosed.

  • Know what’s involved in celiac testing, and be sure those are the tests you get.
  • If your doctor is still reluctant, see if you can talk her into prescreening you. The gene test and antibody tests are inexpensive, and will tell you both if you need to pursue further testing with a small intestine biopsy.
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