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Does It Sound Like I Could Have Celiac?

celiac disease diagnosis symptoms test doctor bloating

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#1 sammy01

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:03 PM

I am going to my doctor as soon as he is back off holiday but I would like to know if this could possibly be Celiac, if anyone can help?

 

Every now and again I would always seem to get an upset stomach. All my life I've suffered from constipation, only going once a week, twice if lucky lol. I also have chronic fatigue, find it hard to concentrate/suffer from brain fog. A few weeks ago things started to get really bad, I bloated so much and had stomach pains, cramps, gas, lack of appetite and feeling full quickly when eating, I also felt pressure in the middle of my stomach a while after eating. The bloating never stayed constant, it went down a while and came back. About a week passed and the bloating and other symptoms stayed although my appetite increased slightly. The symptoms were the same up until this week were I have felt all the same symptoms other than lack of appetite, this time I've been feeling so hungry I eat more than ever. I went on a diet in November and was losing 4lbs a week and then gaining 2lbs or so. The only thing that has changed is that I am eating more pasta, noodles and wholemeal bread than ever before. I only ever have a small amount of milk in a coffee as the slightest bit too much starts to make me feel nauseous and I don't eat other dairy products either. I also had a sharp pain last week on my left side near my belly button, it feels slightly tender now but I havn't had the same feeling since. Also I have dry skin mainly on arms and scratches don't seem to heal I end up with scars from small things. Also really easily irritated lately and my family have noticed it too.

 

None of my immediate family seem to have these problems other than me, there has also not been anyone in the family diagnosed with Celiac.

 

Thanks for any help.


Edited by sammy01, 22 April 2013 - 07:30 PM.

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#2 nvsmom

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:28 AM

It sounds like you have something autoimmune going on to me - your symptoms sound so very much like mine did (except that I had more joint problems) and unfortuantely I have a few AI issues. I'll comment on your symptoms as they related to mine; I'm not a medical professional so I can only add what I've learned based on what I've researched because of my own experiences.

 

A few weeks ago things started to get really bad, I bloated so much and had stomach pains, cramps, gas, lack of appetite and feeling full quickly when eating, I also felt pressure in the middle of my stomach a while after eating. The bloating never stayed constant, it went down a while and came back.

These are pretty classic celiac or non-celiac gluten intolerance NCGI) symptoms.  That pregnant look that almost makes you want to double over is a pretty common symptom around here. It usually isn't constant (not many AI disease symptoms are) but will come and go over hours or days; it can appear minutes after a "glutening" or a day or so. In some people it creeps up over time, and in others it appears pretty suddenly over a matter of days.

 

Celiacs are quite often lactose intolerant. This sometimes passes after months or years gluten-free. I personally get almost the same GI symptoms when I consume milk products as when I eat wheat, it's not as bad when it is baked into something. You might want to switch to a rice, almond or coconut milk. We like coconut milk in our house and I usually use the chocolate flavoured "milk" in my coffees as a morning treat.

 

I would advise you to get tested based on those symptoms alone.

 

I too waslike you with the weight loss. If I made an effort to eat less grains and cut calories, I could easily lose 3-7 lbs a week in the early weeks of weight loss. On the flip side, I can easily gain weight if I eat sugar, or feel poorly. Over easter I had too much sugar, and prior to that i was accidentally glutening myself, and I gained 10 lbs in 2 months without eating excessive amounts... just extra sugar. I don't know if this is specifically celiac related or not.

 

I also have hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's) which has similar symptoms to celiac, and is found more frequently amoung celiacs than the regualr population. You might want to get that checked out too as it could account for your dry skin, slow healing, brain fog, fatigue, and constipation. Hypothyroidism slows your metabolism by up to 10-15% so everything moves a bit slower. These could also be celiac symptoms - there's a lot of overlap there.

 

If you get tested for celiac, these are the tests you could request:

  • Deaminated Gliadin Peptides (DGP IgA and DGP IgG)
  • Tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG IgA and tTG IgG)
  • Total serum Immunoglobulin A (IgA - this is a control test)
  • Anti-endomysial antibody (EMA IgA)
  • Anti Gliadin antibodies (AGA IgA and AGA IgG - older tests)

 

The first three tests would be the best for detecting early celiac disease. The EMA is a very specific test but you need a lot of small intestinal villi damage for it to be positive. make sure you are eating daily gluten for 6 weeks (or even more) prior to testing. you could also have an endoscopic biopsy done.

 

If you want to look into hypothyroidism, these are helpful tests:

  • TPO Ab - should be very low
  • TSH - should be near a 1
  • Free T4 and Free T3 - should be in the upper 50-75% range of your lab's normal reference range

 

Get copies of all of your tests. Doctors are not perfect (or sometimes even good at) at interpretting lab results and you'll want to recheck you results to be safe. For example, for years I accepted that my thyroid was fine based on my normal (or almost normal) lab results (TSH's of 4-6.5) in spite of my hypo symptoms... My doctors were clueless when it came to subclinical hypothyroidism and I was trusting so I accepted that it must just be aging (in my 20's - pshaw). I regret my trust in them now, because of my trust my 20's were not nearly as healthy as they could have been and I can't get that time back.

 

Anyway, welcome to the site. Ask lots of questions, there are some really knowledgable people around here.  And best wishes.


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#3 sammy01

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:26 AM

Thank you for the great info. I'm definitely going to bring it up as a possibility and perhaps a lactose intolerance test too. I had a blood test for hypothyroidism once by a doctor filling in for him, when he came back he told me the test results just showed I was anemic.


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#4 nvsmom

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 06:00 AM

You might want to find out waht that thyroid test was - I was always told I was normal but when i got my medical records because my doctor left, i discovered that I wasn't always normal, or I barely was within range. I've heard many stories about celiacs who had slightly abnormal tests glossed over too... it's discouraging.


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"Acceptance is the key to happiness."

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Celiac - June, 2012
Hypothyroid - August, 2012

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