This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc. Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease SymptomsWhat testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease ScreeningInterpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test ResultsCan I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful?The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-FreeIs celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic TestingIs there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and DisordersIs there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)Gluten-Free Alcoholic BeveragesDistilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free DietFree recipes: Gluten-Free RecipesWhere can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity
My wife gets hives, up inside her elbows. Its only happened twice though- once when we used a lotion that had gluten in it [that was scary. They swelled up like horsefly bites] and once when we totally overloaded her system after a month gluten-free. We had a pizza because she was convinced she wasn't feeling better.... turns out, she'd been feeling a lot better than she'd thought.
I think mine is probably gonna be quite short compared to the stories already here. Partially because its my wife, so I have only my own observations [she's not much of a social person] and partially because we caught her illness so soon.
She'd always had bad skin. Excema bad enough that we had to resort to ice packs to numb her hands down so she couldn't feel them itching, massive ammounts of dry, flaky psoriasis, all of that. She'd had insomnia ever since she was quite young, and a whole plethora of menstral problems. Suffice to say they were irregular, heavy, painful and slightly abnormal. She didn't eat brilliantly healthily- lots of bread and pasta, not huge on the fruits and vegetables. She was also moderately overweight, although interestingly, her waist/hip/bust ratio was 9 inches- she had a very narrow waist for her figure and the fat wasn't collecting the way it would in someone who was fat through sheer overindulgence. She's always struggled to lose weight.
When she was 17 [not long after we met] she slipped in her kitchen and managed to gash her shoulder open. Luckily I've never had an issue with blood- I patched it up just fine until we could get her to a hospital. It was quite a deep gash, and took weeks to heal. She always healed pretty slowly. Just after it healed, she got glandular fever severe enough that she spent several days in hospital. She was in for her 18 birthday and everything. We think it was this that was the 'trigger' for her celiac's to manifest, since before that although she'd had the bad skin, insomnia and weight issues, the other stuff didn't start to show until after that, and I mean literally right after.
We lived pretty much in the dark for the first year- she went off to university, and we blamed the weight gain and insomnia/crushing tiredness cycles on the student lifestyle- living in a dorm room and not being bothered to eat properly because cooking for one is dull. She started getting massive stomach/abdominal cramping all the time. Apparently, it felt like period cramping, but even with her freaky cycle it definitley wasn't.
We moved into a new place the next year, and her health got worse. Bad mood swings, more weight gain, permenantly low iron count despite my best efforts in the kitchen, she always looked ill and malnourished, she was sleeping 20 hours a day and still tired and unable to move, the cramps got worse. I was at my wits end. We nearly called off our engagement.
The doctors weren't all that helpful. University doctors have three default questions. What have you taken? How much have you drunk? Who have you slept with? Not very helpful. Towards the end though, simple because we were consistent, they did some thyroid tests [all over the place] and other blood tests for iron and such. Again, all over the place.
In the end, it was our chiropractor that said she was showing classic wheat-allergy signs, and recomended a private lab that would do the testing. It cost a lot an I was pretty skeptical about sending off a blood sample for testing, but her father picked up the bill and I was on the point of turning to witchcraft by then.
Lab results weren't brilliantly clear, [lots of numbers] but effectively said 'massive numbers of wheat and gluten *whateverthey'recalls*. Cut this out of your diet.
We actually ignored the results for a few months. The tantrums from her just weren't worth it. Her hormones were so all over the place that even bringing up the idea has her in huge 'I won't be able to eat anything I like ever again' tantrums. Then in passing I mentioned to an online friend of mine that she'd had this diagnosis. Guess what he suffered from....
He pointed us here, gave us massive ammounts of advice, and I think to be honest saved our marriage.
So, no biopsy or anything else here. Just a blood test that the doctors won't recognise or work to because it wasn't done by the NHS and some good advice from a friend. Either way, I don't need a doctor to tell me that its best we keep the gluten cut out. Her skin has cleared up, her mood swings are gone, the stomach cramps are gone, she's lost weight, she's sleeping normally... she's a lot more like the woman I met at a concert when we were still in our mid-teens.
I have to say that when a teenager decides they want something, very little will stop them. Mayhaps back off from it a bit? I know that both myself [i'm not 19] and my sister [who just turned 14 and damn are we feeling it] pretty much automatically tend towards anything we're not supposed to do. Try cooling off on the issue for a while. Might help ease things up and leave space for discussion.
I always tell people. Even if its just someone saying 'y'know, I feel real bloated today' I pop up with, 'have you ever figured you might be gluten intolerant? Lotta people are...'
I mention it every time I get chance. Little and often seems to percolate gently into peoples brains... more often than not, people will reject a new concept the first time they hear it no matter what its about, and about 95% of the time, you let them sit and think about it they'll start to come around to it on their own when they've had time to think about it rationally. Its the way I have to do things with my wife- tell her something, then back off for a day or so and let her think about it, and then bring it up again.
The Xmen evolution cartoon was suckage in a can. The original series? Was what got me into the comics in the first place. I never saw the suck in the 90's stuff though until recently when I started picking up the back issues. Damn but things did change...
Hey, its no problem! I suck at prayer, but I've often been told that a candle and a quiet thought can work as well as a prayer cried to the heavens... I normally have a few candles on the go. I'll keep yours lit until you're outta the woods!
Maybe if they can't make you a wig from your hair you get yourself something in day-glo... pink or orange.