Welcome to the family celiac genes, we are not pleased to have you!!

I have been quiet lately. I have my reasons. Those of you following the Facebook page will know why….

I have been UBER busy coming to terms with the reality of celiac genetics. The reality is, that me and my son, both have the genes. Yes, genes! We both have BOTH the celiac genes. Congratulations to us.

Its funny how after 4 years of joking with my celiac buddies that I am probably a “closet celiac’, and 2 of my favourite doctors agreeing its safe to assume I am celiac too, now that I have this paper, I am in TOTAL denial. And I mean total. I haven’t eaten gluten for over 4 years, but now that I have this result, all I want to do is run out and eat gluten…!

After over 4 years of being pretty sure that I have the gene (and not doing the test because I wasn’t emotionally ready – read chicken) I am now in total shock and denial. I keep re checking the paper to see if its really true, if I really have the bloody gene, I read it and re read it, and I keep laughing (rather hysterically mind) because this is us, and of course I have the gene!

(Did you watch Friends? The episode where Chandler and Monica are in bed and they are talking about who the father of the baby they are about to adopt may be, and Chandler says, this is us, ofcourse its the ax murderer. Well thats a bit like me and my family, and a constant joke between me and hubby.)

I keep saying to myself that fine, its just a gene, and obviously I don’t have celiac. Obviously right??? Never mind the bone pain, the migraines, the fact that until I cut gluten I was the skinniest girl in the world and that Ive had stomach issues pretty much my entire life…… All of a sudden in my head all this… – not gluten related at all! (Im in denial, didn’t I tell you?)

Never mind the fact that we just spent 11 days in Greece and that I ate gluten free but not contamination free and a week after getting back my tummy is still in absolute bits and I can hardly move its hurting so bad. Stress you know…. (told you I was in denial).

For my son, we stuffed him with as much gluten as we possibly could during holiday and did another celiac profile. His profile that was done at the same time as the genetic test was negative…. Im not sure why… the previous was inconclusive. I know he has a rash that is gluten connected and he himself says he feels confused and forgetful at times (when eating gluten) – could it be he is describing brain fog?

Clever 8 year old that he is though we have talked to him about the options, and he wants a positive test before cutting gluten, just so he can know for sure and be careful. I hope the next profile is positive so we can just be done with it, if not I will speak to our celiac professor and see if they can do a biopsy on him. If he had no symptoms I would just keep doing the profiles I guess, but there are symptoms, mild, but still symptoms. Some may argue we should just cut it and be done with it, but without a diagnosis I fear he will not be strict and continue to eat gluten at parties and play dates. This is not an option if he has celiac, so I do feel in his case its important to pursue a complete diagnosis. He agrees, and not because I talked him in to it. we listed his options and he picked “knowing for sure” and having a biopsy if needed. I am so so proud of him. SUPER proud.

For those of you who have no idea what Im talking about, heres the deal. There are two genes connected to celiac, one of them is pretty common and the other rare. You can have one or both genes and never ever develop celiac disease. However, if you do have one (or both) of the genes, its important to remember celiac can develop at any time – statistically its more likely that it wont though.

Usually a genetic test is used to rule out celiac, it is not used to diagnose, as it only tells you if you have the genes necessary to develop celiac, not if you actually have the disease. A positive celiac blood test (which looks for antibodies to gluten) and a positive biopsy of the small intestine is still the go to method for a celiac diagnosis. 

In other cases, the genetic profile may be done to gather information when you cant do the celiac profile, like my case. I am not eating gluten, so the celiac blood test would show a negative. You need to be eating gluten for a celiac blood test to be accurate. 6-8 weeks of daily gluten, minimum! Going back on gluten is usually called a gluten challenge or a gluten force. 

In some countries they say to test first degree relatives for celiac every 1-2 years, others say if there are symptoms only. Of course, if you have a negative genetic result, further testing would be unnecessary. I wish more countries would make genetic testing easier to get. Here in Poland its relatively cheap and we just walk in to a private lab and request it. 

Ho hum, so thats us all up to date. This closet celiac is still in the closet and now also in denial. I cant do a gluten challenge as it would make me to ill.

I also dragged hubby to the lab and had him do the genetic profile, he already has his DH diagnosis and a positive blood result under his belt, but he too is in denial, for a long time now, haha, what can you do.

I guess the name for the blog, Gluten Free & ME, is just so much more fitting now.

-Linda

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3 thoughts on “Welcome to the family celiac genes, we are not pleased to have you!!

  1. Which lab did you go to for genetic testing? Does it test only for the Celiac gene or all genes? Thanks.

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