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Celiacs Diagnosed As Anxiety
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My 9 year old daughter has been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder. She has been very anxious and was having a very difficult time at school. After weeks of trying zoloft, therapy appts and a modified school schedule we finally had some blood work done. Everything was normal except for her tTG was over 100. Is it likely she has Celiacs? Has anyone else experienced major anxiety as a symptom? Thanks!

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We were told that my daughter had abdominal migranes due to anxiety. This was at age 3, and she'd been complaining of stomach pain since she learned to talk. I never bought the abdominal migrane idea - it was obvious to me that her anxiety/fussiness was the RESULT of the pain, not the cause. We knew the problem was food-related, but we could never quite figure it out. Once the doctor got it in her head that she had no physical problem, there was nothing we could say to change her mind. When I expressed skepticism at the abdominal migranes diagnosis, the doctor's response was that MY anxiety about my child's health must be rubbing off on my daughter! It was truly exasperating. We were in a total catch-22. Needless to say, we found another doctor.

Now, at age 4, she just tested positive for tTG-IgA, DGP-IgA, and DGP-IgG. Both of her IgA numbers were in the mid-60s. She's having an endoscopy in a few days to confirm, but from what the nurse said on the phone it sounds like the pediatric GI doctor is clearly expecting her biopsy to be positive. Extreme irritability and clinginess has been one of my daughter's main symptoms since infancy. I can certainly see how someone would interpret that as anxiety.

If the tTG was the only test run, perhaps there could be another explanation. But with your daughter's number over 100, celiac sure seems likely. I hope they are able to investigate further soon and give you a clear diagnosis! If it is celiac, it would be so good to find our now so you can get her feeling better.

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Yes, anxiety has been an issue for my whole life.  It has also been an issue for the family I grew up in and the family I am mother too.  I hope she will soon have a definitive diagnosis and feel better.

 

Diana

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Anxiety..... of course she has anxiety. Wouldn't you be anxious if your life caused you pain? If no one seemed to notice how hard you tried or listened to you? 

However treating a symptom (alone) isn't going to help and neither is the doctor's condescension. As a parent, straighten you back, raise you chin look straight in that doctor's eye.

Tell him/her to either pay attention or you will be finding someone with the compassion due your daughter.

Say it in an even tone without raising your voice.

Don't let your gaze waver.

Do let your daughter see you stand up for her in a positive way.

Then be prepared to either discuss the situation or find another doctor but either way your daughter will know someone has her back.  Keep letting her know that and the anxiety should start getting better.

It might help to talk to a grief councilor too. It's not going to be easy to learn how to be different from the other kids since she has already been traumatized but you are on the right track now. 

Good luck, tell her we are all cheering for her :)

Edited by Ksee
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Thanks for the feedback.  Oddly the anxiety seems to be her only symptom, she rarely complains about stomach pain or cramping.  The doctor felt that the high tTG may be a false positive but she referred us to a GI to be sure.  I think I will ask them to run another blood panel first to see if the level remains high. 

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Thanks for the feedback.  Oddly the anxiety seems to be her only symptom, she rarely complains about stomach pain or cramping.  The doctor felt that the high tTG may be a false positive but she referred us to a GI to be sure.  I think I will ask them to run another blood panel first to see if the level remains high. 

Good idea. Other conditions can cause the high ttg.

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My 9 year old daughter has been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder. She has been very anxious and was having a very difficult time at school. After weeks of trying zoloft, therapy appts and a modified school schedule we finally had some blood work done. Everything was normal except for her tTG was over 100. Is it likely she has Celiacs? Has anyone else experienced major anxiety as a symptom? Thanks!

I'm sorry, I over-reacted. I was thinking about being in the third grade with anxiety issues. It is so hard to be in the third grade but this has to be intolerable for your poor baby. I'm sure you are suffering as much as she is having to watch her struggle. 

In one way you are lucky, many doctors don't recognize anxiety in children and don't treat it thinking they will grow out of it. I know you don't feel lucky with treatment not going well yet.

I have a sister with major anxiety problems. She went undiagnosed most her life and paralyzed in fear. I'm sure I projected my anger from that with my response. I guess my feeling helpless to do anything for her just came out.

It's no fault of yours though. Again, I'm sorry for reacting that way.

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My son got diagnosed with anxiety right around that age.  At age 10 he got diagnosed with celiac disease and the anxiety went away.  It comes back when he gets glutened.  I often wonder how he would have suffered if he hadn't gotten that celiac disease diagnosis.  We are very fortunate that he has a well informed pediatrician.

 

Anxiety was his only noticeable symptom until he started vomiting several times a day which led to the celiac disease diagnosis.  Looking back I can see other symptoms, but nothing brought us to the doctor.

 

I hope that you get things settled with your daughter soon.  It is hard to watch your child suffer.

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my anxiety has gotten much better going gluten free!  I think it's smart to ask for another blood test, but when you do, insist on a complete celiac panel if it has not already been done.

 

that consists of:

DGP iga/igg

TTG iga/igg

EMA

total iga serum-this is a control test that makes sure enough iga is produced to validate the other iga results

 

in addition, here is a link to some other known causes of high ttg:

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/archives/faq/after-going-gluten-free-can-a-positive-ttg-mean-anything-other-than-gluten-present-in-my-diet

 

 

greenbeanie, would it be worth it to send your previous doctor a letter of your daughter's experiences after you left that office and her diagnosis?  yes, it might be a little smug and provide some validation, however she should know for the future that if a celiac panel would have been run, it would have provided an answer much sooner.  glad that you're getting some answers now  :)

We were told that my daughter had abdominal migranes due to anxiety. This was at age 3, and she'd been complaining of stomach pain since she learned to talk. I never bought the abdominal migrane idea - it was obvious to me that her anxiety/fussiness was the RESULT of the pain, not the cause. We knew the problem was food-related, but we could never quite figure it out. Once the doctor got it in her head that she had no physical problem, there was nothing we could say to change her mind. When I expressed skepticism at the abdominal migranes diagnosis, the doctor's response was that MY anxiety about my child's health must be rubbing off on my daughter! It was truly exasperating. We were in a total catch-22. Needless to say, we found another doctor.

 

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Does brain fog and anxiety run rise together?  I think mine does.  I am thinking these are neurological troubles and hard to talk about and define until one discovers what it is like without them.  I mentioned that because of the comment that she had little other symptoms.  I think the fog, fatigue, and anxiety were my hardest symptoms.

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Ksee, no worries. I didn't take your post as rude. This has been a frustrating process, trying to get psych treatment and countless hours in emergency rooms and therapy apps. All this time we were treating her mental/emotional symptoms and never even considered this could be a physical condition. I'm anxious to get her blood work redone so we can begin getting her gluten free and hopefully feeling better. I'm a bit relieved that some others experienced only the anxiety as well, it gives me hope that perhaps this is a physical condition that we can treat. Thank you all for your help!

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