Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Coeliac and Chemotherapy

I have been following a gluten free diet for around 8 years now after I was diagnosed from a biopsy following a blood test that showed indicators. Two years ago I was diagnosed with Cancer and underwent chemotherapy. I have now had two blood tests to check to see if I am still Coeliac and they have come back as normal but I am still not convinced. I have been eating a few things that contain gluten as I know I would need to do this for the blood test to show anything.. but maybe I was not eating enough gluten products for it to show up? I also read somewhere that a blood test is not always reliable and only a biopsy can really tell.

I feel really worried as if I go back to a 'normal' diet and I should have still been gluten free what kind of an impact will this have on my cancer coming back?

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hi there - you do need to have been eating a decent amount of gluten regularly (I think they say 6 weeks here (UK) tho I have a feeling it's 12 in the states (I may be wrong there). And that it should be a fair bit each day (a couple of slices of bread at least). So if you only ate a few things maybe not enough (or long enough?) to do the job. And yes, you can show negative on the blood tests (I was one of them, for decades, and only showed up on biopsy with a large amount of damage).

However if you've been gluten free for years, and haven't had that much gluten recently, then there may not be enough damage to be seen on biopsy if that makes sense.

I think you are absolutely right to be concerned - as far as I'm aware coeliac is a lifelong condition and that won't be affected by chemotherapy I wouldn't have thought.

Whose idea was it to "check if you are still coeliac" - does seem very odd.

I think you would be much much safer to absolutely assume you are still coeliac. That, or do a serious amount of gluten consumption (if you can stand it) and test (both blood and biopsy) again.

Sorry you are having this hassle on top of it all.

Tilly

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Agree, I was told lifelong condition and GF diet for the rest of my life.

I would seriously question your health professional on why they think it may have gone!!

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hi,

here's a link in which the writer refers to an association between Coeliac disease and cancer (2nd paragraph under the heading "If I Have the Gene, What's My Risk?" might be worth showing your health proffessional.

verywell.com/hla-dq2-the-pr...

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You were diagnosed as coeliac and have undertaken 8 years strictly gluten free, a follow up blood test will show that you are no longer damaging your intestines. It doesn't say you are no longer coeliac (it says you've been compliant) and whoever says otherwise wants reporting for total ignorance!

I would expect my bloods to show likewise. The blood test showing no antibodies means you're following the diet NOT that you're no longer coeliac!

Regardless of the type of cancer you had, I would not submit my body to inflammation if I was hoping to remain cancer free, therefore don't go back to eating gluten. It will cause inflammation in susceptible persons (coeliacs). If your cancer was abdominal then all the more reason to avoid it.

Stick to the diet - it's one of the few non drug cures for a disease.

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