Stubborn Symptoms |
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Stubborn Symptoms

March 22, 2011


I got diagnosed with celiac disease via blood test last May, and I am still having symptoms, i.e. inflammation in my digestive tract, fatigue, migraines, mouth sores, rash and flu-like symptoms.  I am being extremely careful to follow the gluten-free diet.  What could be the problem?




Hi Karena. I’m very sorry to hear you are still experiencing symptoms, despite your careful adherence to the gluten-free diet.  A few things come to mind that you might want to follow up on:

First, have you been tested for any other autoimmune conditions? In addition to celiac disease, conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and many others can cause the symptoms you are describing.  I suggest you speak with your doctor to determine if he or she has ruled out other possible autoimmune conditions.

Second, you state that you are being extremely careful to follow the gluten-free diet, and I’m sure you are. However, if you eat outside of the house, one of the biggest challenges is making sure all the food you are consuming is strictly gluten-free.  In addition, in the home, you will want to make sure there are no issues with potential cross contamination from gluten-containing foods. 

Finally, there is always the possibility that in addition to having celiac disease, you may be experiencing sensitivities to other foods.  Although there is not much research that has been done in this area, one theory is that the damage to the GI tract from gluten can make certain individuals more susceptible to developing other food sensitivities.  Different clinicians recommend various testing options including elimination diets, ALCAT testing and MRT testing.  You may want to read the following article that describes the nature of food sensitivities and provides information on possible testing and treatment options.

Personal disclosure: I have personally used the MRT test (discussed in the link above) on myself and have recommended it to some of the clients I see in my private nutrition practice.

I wish you all the best in getting to the bottom of your symptoms!

In good health,

EA Stewart, MBA, RD