The celiac disease test results are back. And they say…

This WebMD photo is explained with the following description: "In people with celiac, the body's immune system is triggered by gluten in food. Antibodies attack the intestinal lining, damaging, flattening, or destroying the tiny hair-like projections (villi) in the small bowel. Damaged villi can't effectively absorb nutrients through the intestinal wall. As a result, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals get passed through the stool. Over time, this can lead to malnutrition."


I’m logging into Google Docs so I can write down what I just had for dinner. I’m seven days into keeping a food journal, and I’ll be honest — I was pretty lazy about details the first several days. For instance, for Dec. 2, all I have written down is: “Lunch: Smoked salmon bagel sandwich.” I know I ate a lot more than that.

I’m trying to do better. Today’s entry (so far):

  • Breakfast: Coffee with creamer
  • Lunch: Salad that included cheese, stuffed olives, pumpkin mousse, pasta
  • Dinner: Veggie chicken patty, spreadable cheese, gluten-free bread
  • Snacks: A chunk of an oatmeal raisin cookie (stopped because not sure if it had peanuts)

I’m resistant to this whole food journal thing because I don’t want to track every single thing I eat or drink. You might remember that just before Thanksgiving, I went in for long-overdue blood work to determine if I’m sensitive to gluten. I was worried, but I was looking forward to knowing.

Now I know. And what I know is that I don’t know. At the end of November, I found out none of the tests indicated I have any kind of sensitivity to gluten. That means I’m back to square one. My doctor’s office suggesting keeping a food journal for two weeks and then going to discuss. I’m grateful I don’t have to avoid gluten. But the test results also mean I can’t narrow down the reasons why I feel that I must be somehow mistreating my gastrointestinal system, since I feel bloaty and ugh much of the time.

One thing I’ve noticed from being better about the food journal is that I put a whole lot of different food items and beverages into my body each day — many more than I thought. Lots of little things here and there. If I wanted to truly isolate food sources, my diet would look completely different.

A gluten-free zone?

So the question is: Should I try to cut out gluten and see how I feel? The same I started my food journal, my sister’s friend posted this on Google+:

I’ve been eating #glutenfree for about 5 months now and have noticed a significant improvement in my health. While I didn’t test positive for Celiac, there is definitely a scale of gluten tolerance…

It is interesting that they’re finding a huge increase in gluten-intolerance in general these days. I wonder if it has anything to do with the GMO crops or other modern day agricultural changes…

At least today there are tons of gluten-free options available in grocery stores – from mixes and flours to packaged cookies and even bread!

Baking is one of my first loves and was the hardest to reconcile when I first cut out gluten, but I’ve found great success in flour blends, sometimes better than wheat flours!

She included a link to this New York Times Magazine storyabout that asks, “Should We All Go Gluten-Free?”

Comparing blood samples from the 1950s to the 1990s, [Dr. Joseph A.] Murray [a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.] found that young people today are nearly five times as likely to have celiac disease, for reasons he and others researchers cannot explain. And it’s on the rise not only in the U.S. but also in other places where the disease was once considered rare, like Mexico and India.

Celiacs aren’t the only ones who are grateful. Athletes, in particular, have taken to the diet. Some claim to have more energy when they cut out gluten, a belief that intrigues some experts and riles others.

Then there’s the question of cutting out wheat.

I’m not cutting anything out just yet. So…I guess I’ll keep a food journal for a few weeks and then go from there. I know I can start by eating less in general — that’s a given. I’m hoping the discipline I’m gaining with a six-day-a-week practice will make this an easier process.

(Photo/cutline credit:’s “Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Celiac Disease”)

© and Rose Tantraphol, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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12 thoughts on “The celiac disease test results are back. And they say…

  1. Have you ever tried an elimination diet? That would test for more than gluten. I also have never tested “positive” for Celiac or sensatvity, but after playing around with taking it out of my diet I’m 100% sure it is there.

    Test often fail to really tell us about our bodies!

  2. My mum has Celiac and a little while ago I thought I had it as well. I developed bad rashes and had stomach problems. While my test results came back negative for Celiac Disease, I decided to remove gluten from my diet for a month. It is amazing how much better I felt, my rash didn’t go away because it turned out I have developed psoriasis (which is an auto immune disease, similar to Celiac, and can be hereditary) but that’s another story.
    There are so many amazing food products out there these days, compared to 20 years ago when my mum was first diagnosed.
    If you would like any suggestions, please, feel free to email me.
    Good luck with everything :)

    • Thank you again for sharing your experience and for offering to be a resource. I will keep that in mind and take you up on the offer to email you if I have any questions down the road. Right now I am keeping the food journal and not making drastic changes. (As for little changes, I actually have been buying lentil chips, black bean chips, etc., that do not contain gluten, so I guess I’ve already started down this path.)

      I do have one question right off the top, though. I eat a lot of wraps. Have you found a good substitute for wraps? I’m interested in reducing the amount of gluten products I consume, and I think I would have to start with that. Thanks!

      • Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back to you, Rose.
        I have not found a decent sub for wraps. Corn tortillas are simply too crumbly so I’ve opted to just having a tupperware and putting everything in there instead of in a wrap. It takes a bit to get used to but once you do it’s just as good. Might take a little more space in your bag.
        Have you ever tried anything like Ezekiel bread? They use only sprouted grains so the nutrients have essentially been made accessible to our bodies. I don’t know how that would affect you though because they do have whole wheat in them.

  3. Rose- I took the blood test and it came out negative as well. I was told by my doctor that this could have been because I stopped eating wheat 3 weeks or so before the exam. Only if you are consistently eating wheat (everyday) the antibodies will show up in your blood. I refuse to eat wheat for a month to prove I have a gluten sensitivity/allergy. I have been gluten free for almost 3 years and I feel tons better! I was just doing some research today on ways to continue healing my digestive system. I think my lower intestine has not completely healed. This is a good website for all things gluten ( ). I was also thinking about going to Born in Grand Rapids ( ) they specialize in gluten and food allergies and I have heard great things about them. I could talk your ear off on this subject….. please keep me posted on your findings! -much love

    • Thanks so much for these resources, Emily. That is impressive that you’ve been gluten-free for three years! I plan on using this website as a resource, and I would love to hear how your visit goes. All I know is I loved that gluten-free hot blondie I got from Ethel’s Edibles. :-)

  4. I know, this is about a year old now, but I thought I would throw in my sisters experience.

    She was feeling very awful all the time, throwing up and all that. She eventually went to a naturopathic doctor for skin itchiness she had always had. Well, he started her on some vitamins and a blood type diet. Which is where certain blood types should eat or avoid different foods. Some people and doctors don’t believe there is anything to the blood type diet, but my sister tried it out, and her severe itching and stomach issues went away in a couple of weeks. So I would definitely say that it can work.
    Whenever she starts to stray from the diet, she starts feeling sick in a day or two.

    • Thanks for sharing your sister’s experience! This is so interesting because just the other week, my friend showed me her book about the blood type diet. We found a lot of similarities for my blood type (A+) and pitta dosha.

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