I was diagnosed with Addison's Disease a few months ago, and have been advised that Coeliacs Disease often accompanies this. Addison's is an autoimmune condition, as is Coeliacs, hence the connection.
Due to ongoing fatigue which doesn't seem to want to shift, I've been strictly gluten-free for a week now to see if this is possibly a contributing factor.
It's worth mentioning that I'm on steroids 3-4 times a day for the Addison's, at quite a high dose, which may be masking the gastric symptoms of Coeliacs by reducing the inflammation. I do get occasional diarrhoea, but this could be Addison's-related as much as gluten, and no other gastric symptoms - no pain, discomfort, bloating. I'm just trying to isolate possible factors at present. The fatigue is my main issue.
So...after seven days strictly GF, how much longer before I can consume a piece of cake the size of my head large bowl of pasta to test the theory most effectively?
Avoiding gluten isn't a reliable way to test for coeliac. Avoiding wheat can show it up as an intolerance when you start eating it again but the best way to check for coeliac disease is a blood test for which you need to be eating gluten.
Oh, OK...I was told the serum test for gluten was unreliable with a high return of false negatives and would still need to try an exclusion diet. I'd definitely prefer a blood test over this exercise in deprivation! Is it one a GP can do, or would I need to be referred for allergy testing?
I would advise not giving up gluten and approach your GP to ask for a blood test as soon as possible, if you give it up for too long it could produce a false negative, have the test and then give it up to see how you feel but if you have coeliac I've read it could take 6months or longer for the effects to ease? Though if you do have it I would think you will start noticing changes in a few weeks. I don't have coeliac but am gluten intolerant, if I do eat it now my symptoms are a lot worse than before
In your situation I'd suggest what I just tried with my daughter over Christmas - 2 weeks gluten-free then back on gluten and see what happens. Your steroid requirements might increase the chance of false negative on blood tests for coeliac, plausibly. Alternatively, stay gluten-free for as long as it takes for your fatigue to improve and then do a challenge But you'd need to set a timelimit on that approach!
(I admit it was less difficult for my daughter to do a gluten-free trial as I'm gluten free anyway so all the christmas baking was available to her ...)
I've been to the GP today and he's sending me for Coeliacs testing on the basis that I'm a higher-risk group. He's pretty confident I'm not, since I have no gastric symptoms, but he's happy for me to be tested. I'll leave it until next week since I've spent this week GF, so I'll carb-load for a few days (yaaaaay! )
I think you'll find, if you look at the Coeliac Society's website, that you need to eat gluten for something like six weeks before the test.
Interesting though that the blood test throws up a lot of false negatives. I have tested negative twice, despite having classic symptoms of coeliac while eating gluten, and having other auto immune disease.
I was GF for only 6 days (been merrily consuming wheat-containing items for every meal today). I assume it takes just as long for your body to get it out if your system as it does to get in, so wouldn't have done too much towards messing things up? I'll leave the blood test til the end of the week, maybe.
Two of my DC have coeliac. You need to be consuming gluten for at least six weeks in a decent amount to get a part accurate blood result. One DC suffered badly with symptoms so was checked (they didn't think it was coeliac) so we had the others checked. Eldest is a silent coeliac. No tummy issues or anything. Blood tests can come back negative despite being coeliac.