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BTD Forums  /  Live Right 4 Your Type  /  Celiac and non-secretors
Posted by: Adopted4, Thursday, May 9, 2013, 9:15pm
How many of you, diagnosed or suspected of having celiac, are non-secretors?

I'm also curious about the celiac testing and whether or not blood testing is enough to get an accurate diagnosis? An endoscopy of the colon sounds pretty evasive.

I have a confirmed non-secretor son who may be thinking of joining the military, but I've read that diagnosed celiacs cannot enlist. Perhaps it would be a good idea to get this figured out first as he does have a fair number of symptoms, although I"m not convinced it's celiac and may be gluten sensitivity.

There are a number of websites dealing with this issue and how to recognize the symptoms, but they don't factor in secretor values for obvious reasons.
Posted by: Maria Giovanna, Thursday, May 9, 2013, 9:23pm; Reply: 1
I am an A secretor celiac
Posted by: C_Sharp, Thursday, May 9, 2013, 9:30pm; Reply: 2
Be aware for Celiac testing to work you need to be eating gluten.

I presume I do not have celiac, but I am not willing to eat gluten for an extended period of time so the testing will be valid.

Ti is just not worth it to find out.

I know what I need to eat to avoid problems, so the formal diagnosis of having the disease not having it makes no difference to me.
Posted by: Andrea AWsec, Thursday, May 9, 2013, 10:21pm; Reply: 3
It is done with an Endoscopy-- gastroduodenostomy not a colonoscopy--

They do a tissue biopsy of the duodenum.
Posted by: Chloe, Thursday, May 9, 2013, 11:01pm; Reply: 4
I'm an A secretor who had many signs of celiac too but off gluten for 8 years and like C sharp said,
I too would not want to ingest gluten again to find out.  The fact that off gluten I have
no celiac symptoms tells me my gut is healing.  And whether I had celiac or just celiac symptoms in
the past, right now it is totally irrelevant to me to hear an actual diagnosis.  One way or another, I'd
have to give up gluten with a celiac diagnosis.  And I already know that eating gluten gave me celiac symptoms since I was in my early 20s.  Decades ago, an upper and lower GI series given by an gastroenterologist left me believing I had a condition called "gastritis"....a cute little name for gut
problems.  :)

http://www.celiac.com/articles/1106/1/Celiac-Disease-Symptoms/Page1.html
Posted by: PCUK-Positive, Friday, May 10, 2013, 12:05pm; Reply: 5
there are test available without the need for biopsy that is old fashioned and potentially dangerous.
Posted by: DenverFoodie, Friday, May 10, 2013, 4:58pm; Reply: 6
I'm not a confirmed celiac but my health has improved as I continue to avoid gluten!
Posted by: Adopted4, Saturday, May 11, 2013, 12:11am; Reply: 7
I agree that many people that suspect celiac prefer to just avoid gluten the best they can. However, this doesn't put the question to rest when, for enlistment purposes, an accurate diagnosis is necessary to determine whether or not it will prevent my son from joining at all. He doesn't want to take much more time in deciding whether to go into the military or go to college. He wants to talk to a recruiter and take an exam to determine what the best position within the military will be to utilize his talents.

From what I understand, celiacs are currently not allowed to enlist, so it seems like a waste of time for him to talk to a recruiter if indeed the test shows high levels of antibodies. If eating any form of gluten  in moderate amounts over an extended period of time is the prerequisite to the blood test, then I will probably continue to let him eat small amounts oatmeal as it doesn't produce the nasty side effects that wheat does.

Another reason why it would be good to know what the diagnosis is for sure is that it will likely cause my son to take his possible condition seriously if he tests positive. Otherwise, if he's out of the home and has an opportunity to eat a meal or a snack loaded with wheat/gluten, he will not hesitate if that's what everyone else is doing. He won't really consider how it will make him feel the next day. Maybe that sounds strange but it's probably not uncommon for a teenager to splurge on something that he knows isn't particularly good for him.
Posted by: Donna, Saturday, May 11, 2013, 12:29am; Reply: 8
I did not test positive for Celiac, but I do believe I had developed a sensitivity to gluten.
Posted by: Possum, Saturday, May 11, 2013, 1:00am; Reply: 9
Most O's do
Posted by: Seraffa, Saturday, May 11, 2013, 1:22am; Reply: 10
I'm grain intolerant. Never had the diahrrea and bloating that celiacs had; only bulimia! It makes me laugh surmizing what the military thinks celiac must be: throngs of recruits with celiac constantly having to be in the latrine. It should also make your son start wondering about the crud the military serves at the mess hall, since the military isn't D'Adamo-enlightened. (it would be too expensive for them to provide the proper foods for each blood type.)
Posted by: Possum, Saturday, May 11, 2013, 3:42am; Reply: 11
As so many grains are GMO'd or hybrids, more people are having trouble digesting them properly! Not to mention that as crops such as corn & oats are cross contaminated by or contain gluten themselves - it is going to be hard to find people fit to serve in the military in the long run :-/
Posted by: C_Sharp, Saturday, May 11, 2013, 5:49am; Reply: 12
Quoted from Adopted4
I agree that many people that suspect celiac prefer to just avoid gluten the best they can. However, this doesn't put the question to rest when, for enlistment purposes, an accurate diagnosis is necessary to determine whether or not it will prevent my son from joining at all.


The way I read the Standards of Medical Fitness, it does not matter if he has celiac or not.  If he has a significant intestinal issue he should be rejected.

But my opinion does not matter. The local recruitment station should be able to provide informed guidance about what would be an issue at MEPS and if waivers could be obtained.

Here is what I think is the applicable section from Standards of Medical Fitness. (Celiac is not specifically mentioned, Crohns is. There is discussion of the issues and you can form your own opinion.)

Quoted Text
2–3. Abdominal organs and gastrointestinal system

a. Esophagus. Current or history of esophageal disease, including, but not limited to ulceration, varices, fistula,achalasia, or Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) (530.81), or complications from GERD including stricture, ormaintenance on acid suppression medication, or other dysmotility disorders; chronic, or recurrent esophagitis (530.1),does not meet the standard. Current or history of reactive airway disease associated with GERD does not meet thestandard. Current or history of dysmotility disorders, chronic, or recurrent esophagitis (530) does not meet the standard.History of surgical correction for GERD within 6 months does not meet the standard. (P42 esophageal correction, P43stomach correction and P45 intestinal correction.)

b. Stomach and duodenum.

(1) Current gastritis, chronic or severe (535), or non-ulcerative dyspepsia that requires maintenance medication does not meet the standard.

(2) Current ulcer of stomach or duodenum confirmed by x-ray or endoscopy (533) does not meet the standard.(3) History of surgery for peptic ulceration or perforation does not meet the standard.
c. Small and large intestine.
(1) Current or history of inflammatory bowel disease, including, but not limited to unspecified (558.9), regional enteritis or Crohn’s disease (555), ulcerative colitis (556), or ulcerative proctitis (556), does not meet the standard.(2) Current or history of intestinal malabsorption syndromes, including, but not limited to post-surgical andidiopathic (579), does not meet the standard. Lactase deficiency does not meet the standard only if of sufficient severity

to require frequent intervention, or to interfere with normal function.
(3) Current or history of gastrointestinal functional and motility disorders within the past 2 years, including, but not

limited to pseudo-obstruction, megacolon, history of volvulus, or chronic constipation and/or diarrhea (787.91),regardless of cause, persisting or symptomatic in the past 2 years, does not meet the standard.

(4) Current or history of irritable bowel syndrome (564.1) of sufficient severity to require frequent intervention or to interfere with normal function does not meet the standard.

(5) History of bowel resection does not meet the standard.
(6) Current symptomatic diverticular disease of the intestine does not meet the standard.
d. Gastrointestinal bleeding. History of gastrointestinal bleeding (578), including positive occult blood (792.1) if the

cause has not been corrected, does not meet the standard. Meckel’s diverticulum (751.0), if surgically corrected greaterthan 6 months prior, is not disqualifying.

e. Hepatic-biliary tract.

(1) Current acute or chronic hepatitis, hepatitis carrier state (070), hepatitis in the preceding 6 months, or persistenceof symptoms after 6 months, or objective evidence of impairment of liver function does not meet the standard.

(2) Current or history of cirrhosis (571), hepatic cysts (573.8), abscess (572.0), or sequelae of chronic liver disease(571.3) does not meet the standard.

( 3 ) Current or history of sy m p t o m a t i c  c h o l e c y s t i t i s , a c u t e o r c h r o n ic , w i t h o r w i t h o u t c h o l e l i t h i a s i s ( 5 7 4 ) ,postcholecystectomy syndrome, or other disorders of the gallbladder, and biliary system (576) do not meet thestandard. Cholecystectomy is not disqualifying if performed greater than 6 months prior to examination and patientremains asymptomatic. Fiberoptic procedure to correct sphincter dysfunction or cholelithiasis if performed greater than6 months prior to examination and patient remains asymptomatic may not be disqualifying.

(4) Current or history of pancreatitis, acute (577.0) or chronic (577.1), does not meet the standard.

(5) Current or history of metabolic liver disease, including, but not limited to hemochromatosis (275.0), Wilson’sdisease (275.1), or alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency (277.6), does not meet the standard.

(6) Current enlargement of the liver from any cause (789.1) does not meet the standard.

f. Anorectal.

(1) Current anal fissure or anal fistula (565) does not meet the standard.

(2) Current or history of anal or rectal polyp (569.0), prolapse (569.1), stricture (569.2), or fecal incontinence (787.6) within the last 2 years does not meet the standard.

(3) Current hemorrhoid (internal or external), when large, symptomatic, or with a history of bleeding (455) withinthe last 60 days, does not meet the standard.

g. Spleen.

(1) Current splenomegaly (789.2) does not meet the standard.
(2) History of splenectomy (P41.5) does not meet the standard, except when resulting from trauma.
h. Abdominal wall.
(1) Current hernia, including, but not limited to uncorrected inguinal (550) and other abdominal wall hernias (553), do not meet the standard.


(2) History of open or laparoscopic abdominal surgery during the preceding 6 months (P54) does not meet the standard.


i. Other. History of any gastrointestinal procedure for the control of obesity does not meet the standard. Artificial openings, including, but not limited to ostomy (V44), do not meet the standard.
Posted by: Andrea AWsec, Sunday, May 12, 2013, 5:52pm; Reply: 13
Adopted-- my nephew is preparing to join the military and for a few hundred bucks will be hiring a lawyer to go with him to his signing--too many stories of people not getting what was promised at enlistment.
Encourage you to think about doing the same.
Posted by: Adopted4, Sunday, May 12, 2013, 6:25pm; Reply: 14
Thanks for all the continued input everyone. There is a lot to consider, and although it is unclear yet if my sons health issues would prevent him from joining the military, he does have options aside from the military. We just want him to be presented with all viable options and we are encouraging him to weigh the pros and cons of each one. His twin brother is in the same situation, but is much healthier and wouldn't likely have health problems if he enlisted.

Andrea, I will ask my dh to ask around if he's heard about such problems occurring around here for new enlistments. He works on a navy base as a civilian engineer.
Posted by: Mrs T O+, Friday, May 17, 2013, 2:53pm; Reply: 15
Would he be interested in joining the Reserves or National Guard? They still have boot camp, but he will not have a long-term bad diet. This would show how his body reacts & will help him make decisions for the future.
Posted by: Adopted4, Friday, May 17, 2013, 9:19pm; Reply: 16
Yes, I was also thinking about a position that doesn't require long and extensive deployments in areas that have limited food choices. I've read blogs about people diagnosed with celiac years after joining the military and some are able to stay in but no longer deploy.

The more immediate near term concern is that my sons are applying for part-time jobs at several food service businesses in the area. They got interviewed this week at a local fast food restaurant. If they don't get hired there it may be another fast food restaurant or convenience store. We were discussing strategies for maintaining their blood type/genotype diets as a dramatic increase in convenience or processed foods will not only negatively impact their general health but could also result in poor quality or loss of work. I hope they are mature enough to understand the consequences of their actions should they choose to indulge in fast food occasionally.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Friday, May 17, 2013, 9:46pm; Reply: 17
Many people who work in fast food places completely lose their taste for the food they sell. They smell it day in and day out and it completely loses its appeal.  I've heard that from people employed in ice cream shops and burger joints- though I'm not sure about convenience stores.
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