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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      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 Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can 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-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is 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 Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Heart Burn Versus Chest Pain
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11 posts in this topic

I'm not sure if I've been experiencing heart burn or if the sensation I'm experiencing is a chest (heart lung) thing.  I've had a sort of tighness/discomfort/burn in my chest under my sternum, and slightly to the left for weeks now. It has coincided with an increase in fatigue too. I did eventually get a mild cough that was productive for a few days but I didn't really get "sick" - I still felt like I was fighting it off, which is also how I tend to feel when I'm having some autoimmune problems acting up.  I should also mention that I was accidentally glutening myself with small amounts of wheat for about a month or so prior to this.

 

Anyway, the cough passed but I still have this tickly discomfort where my heart is, under my collar bone and towards my shoulder. i also had a sore upper back and out to my shoulder but that part passed after a few days.  Now it's mostly this tickle.... it feels like the "burn" you would get if you were outside running hard and fast in cold weather. Inhaling bothers it more. I went for a very walk up a hill with my boys (slight exertion) and it bothered me more for hours afterwards.

 

I wonder if this is heart burn? I get a sensation like this when I eat popcorn but I don't know if it's actually heartburn. I sort of doubt it is but I would love to hear what others think.... I know many of you have had to deal with terrible GERD, and you all are always so willing to hel,p so I thought this might be a good spot to ask for opinions.  :)

 

I do have some other autoimmune issues so I'm also considering pericarditis, pleurisy, as well as (walking) pneumonia - but I don't feel sick, and asthma - but i doubt it would it last for weeks and weeks... I'll be seeing a doctor in a week about thyoid issues, and will discus it with him then.

 

Thanks!

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Don't mess around with this. Go to the emergency room.  NOW. A friend of mine had the same sensations that lasted for weeks, then went away. It came back a few weeks later, then it went away again. The third time he finally went to the ER and found out that he had been having heart attacks.

 

As a matter of fact, pretty much the same thing happened to my grandfather. The third one killed him.

 

And remember, women often have different symptoms than men do. Please, go get it checked. If they give your heart a clean bill of health we can figure out if it's heartburn or whatever, but please, please, please, rule out the life-threatening possibility first.

 

Let us know and in the meantime, you will be in my prayers (and ARE in my prayers, even as I type.)

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I'm not sure if I've been experiencing heart burn or if the sensation I'm experiencing is a chest (heart lung) thing.  I've had a sort of tighness/discomfort/burn in my chest under my sternum, and slightly to the left for weeks now. It has coincided with an increase in fatigue too. I did eventually get a mild cough that was productive for a few days but I didn't really get "sick" - I still felt like I was fighting it off, which is also how I tend to feel when I'm having some autoimmune problems acting up.  I should also mention that I was accidentally glutening myself with small amounts of wheat for about a month or so prior to this.

 

Anyway, the cough passed but I still have this tickly discomfort where my heart is, under my collar bone and towards my shoulder. i also had a sore upper back and out to my shoulder but that part passed after a few days.  Now it's mostly this tickle.... it feels like the "burn" you would get if you were outside running hard and fast in cold weather. Inhaling bothers it more. I went for a very walk up a hill with my boys (slight exertion) and it bothered me more for hours afterwards.

 

I wonder if this is heart burn? I get a sensation like this when I eat popcorn but I don't know if it's actually heartburn. I sort of doubt it is but I would love to hear what others think.... I know many of you have had to deal with terrible GERD, and you all are always so willing to hel,p so I thought this might be a good spot to ask for opinions.  :)

 

I do have some other autoimmune issues so I'm also considering pericarditis, pleurisy, as well as (walking) pneumonia - but I don't feel sick, and asthma - but i doubt it would it last for weeks and weeks... I'll be seeing a doctor in a week about thyoid issues, and will discus it with him then.

 

Thanks!

I'm going to second the opinion of going to the ER.

 

GERD varies from person to person, this is true. When i get it bad, it feels like someone is sitting on my chest. There's a massive burning in my throat.

 

There is something more going on here.

 

Please get looked at.

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Thanks girls, but I am almost certain that it is not that serious...I strongly doubt it is a heart problem. I have a slow pulse, low blood pressure and my cholesterol is off the bottom of the charts...plus I am not even 40 yet.... But that is getting closer.LOL. If it gets more troublesome, I will go to a doctor this weekend but I think it will be fine.

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Whatever it is, it's not likely heartburn.  Get checked out.  Burn/tickle after exertion could be asthma but might be something else, you could also have picked up some sort of nasty lung infection - or a heart virus -  or get this-  I've had severely pinched nerves from my neck play havoc with muscles in my shoulders, upper arms, and chest.  Also could be costochondritis, the inflammation of the rib soft tissues which feels like you're self cased in burning cement.  But you won't know until someone cases it out.  Better safe than sorry. 

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Thanks Takala. I'll mention that to my doctor...good ideas.

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I also thought costochondritis. I had this a few years ago. Started after a mild cold, just as an odd ache in my ribs, over my heart. Then one morning, BAM! worst pain ever! I had no idea what was going on. So I go myself to emergency, they checked on all the heart stuff first, just in case. It went away with anti-inflamatories, but it was no fun.

 

So, you should probably get in to see a doctor sooner rather than later. It might be nothing, but it could be serious, so better to know now before it gets worse.

 

In any case, hope it's nothing and you feel better soon.

 

Peg

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I saw the doctor today (for my thyroid issues) and mentioned my chest pain. He agreed that it was costochondritis. He also said there is nothing to do for it, which I knew.

 

I reminded him that I am waiting to hear from rheumatologyfor an appointment but he didn't look concerned...not that he ever does. LOL I KNOW that it could be related to a connective tissue problem - really, it is a connective tissue problem - but he wasn't about to try and hurry up my rheumatology referal with it.

 

I also asked for labs to retest my celiac when I do my next thyroid labs because that will be my 1 year gluten-free "anniversary". I wanted to see if my ttg IgA or EMA IgA have gone down (these are the labs I tested positive in last year).  He denied my request. He said the labs are not to monitor but simply to diagnose.  He said I should be monitoring my celiac by the stomach aches and/or gas I get... which is true but it was very hard not to roll my eyes at him or argue (pointlessly) with him... I REALLY have to pick my battles with him as it's hard to get him to see my way, and I already argued with him about my thyroid meds in this appointment so i knew I wouldn't win all of my battles.

 

Thanks for the advice guys.  I appreciated it.  :)

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Take ibuprophin or another anti-inflamatory, but that's really all you can do.

 

Hope it gets better!

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Thanks Pegleg.  :)  It's not too bad, just annoying really. I haven't had to take anything for it at this point - I think I've been lucky.  :)

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you need a new doc.  Would you put up with this behavior from any other vendor you but services from????

I saw the doctor today (for my thyroid issues) and mentioned my chest pain. He agreed that it was costochondritis. He also said there is nothing to do for it, which I knew.

 

I reminded him that I am waiting to hear from rheumatologyfor an appointment but he didn't look concerned...not that he ever does. LOL I KNOW that it could be related to a connective tissue problem - really, it is a connective tissue problem - but he wasn't about to try and hurry up my rheumatology referal with it.

 

I also asked for labs to retest my celiac when I do my next thyroid labs because that will be my 1 year gluten-free "anniversary". I wanted to see if my ttg IgA or EMA IgA have gone down (these are the labs I tested positive in last year).  He denied my request. He said the labs are not to monitor but simply to diagnose.  He said I should be monitoring my celiac by the stomach aches and/or gas I get... which is true but it was very hard not to roll my eyes at him or argue (pointlessly) with him... I REALLY have to pick my battles with him as it's hard to get him to see my way, and I already argued with him about my thyroid meds in this appointment so i knew I wouldn't win all of my battles.

 

Thanks for the advice guys.  I appreciated it.  :)

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    • Will my doctor test me? So many symptoms...
      Yep, get tested for celiac.  You have plenty of digestive symptoms to indicate it.
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie, It definitely sounds like you got glutened.  Over here in the USA they can't label foods gluten-free if they are made from gluten ingredients, period.  So your barley drink would not be labeled gluten-free here.  A while back I read something about the testing for gluten in foods not being as accurate for detecting barley hordein as it is for wheat gliaden.  So the gluten-free testing (if they do any) that your drink maker does may not be reliable. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition.  So the immune system starts reacting when it detects gluten and damages the gut lining.  An immune reaction is not like a food poisoning event, where most of the damage is only while the food is actually in your system and then ends.  An immune reaction can continue for weeks to months.  The immune system is really quite serious about protecting our bodies.  And since it is designed to detect and attack micro-organisms it reacts to tiny amounts of gluten. Wheat, barley, and rye are the main gluten grains that affect celiacs.  But some celiacs also react to oat gluten.  
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie,  Glad you are feeling better. I wondered have you been officially diagnosed with coeliac disease? Just wondering as you say you are anaemic, that is one of the symptoms of coeliac disease, along with other general malnutrition. You don't need to eat meat for iron though, you can get it from non-heme foods, like spinach or parsley. Just be careful with the drink with barley, it may be that you only start to have symptoms if you consume a lot of it, but if you have coeliac disease the damage is still been done to your gut regardless of whether you have symptoms or not, which will ultimately lead to malnutrition as well as other things.
    • Weird Reaction
      I think, if all this is caused by glutening, it could be that it takes a while to work its way out of your system. I should explain about what I said about organic broccoli.   I don't have a problem with organic food,  in fact, I buy organic milk and carrots all the time, but I don't want to try organic broccoli in case it is the broccoli that is the problem, not the insecticide.    I meant to ask, are you a coeliac or is it non-coeliac gluten intolerance that you have?   I wonder what sort of support you get in Australia for these conditions once diagnosed?   Here in the UK I think the understanding is that if new gastro symptoms have lasted for more than six weeks it needs to be investigated.   I have found this very helpful advice because I do get odd twinges of pain and sometimes changes in bowel movements (sorry if tmi) but they rarely last more than a couple of weeks.   If they do persist I mention it to my gastroenteroligist and he follows it up.  I recently had a sigmoidoscopy for left sided pain and they found nothing.  Turns out it was to do with lactose intolerance, but I always imagine the worse!    
    • Will my doctor test me? So many symptoms...
      Welcome, @iwillmoveamountain! Of course you are not wrong to pursue getting testing for celiac. My advice is to drop that doctor and find a new one, preferably one who is celiac savvy, and who will listen to you and test you for the disease.  
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