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For Those With Constipation...

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The reason I am asking (obviously not for myself, I would celebrate if I ever became constipated, after years of diarrhea), but for my sister. My sister has also had years of intestinal problems, but she tends to be constipated quite often. She is also exhibiting other symptoms that relate to celiac. I have tried to convince her to go get tested, but she thinks that it is only diarrhea, and not constipation, that celiacs have. She is also starting to believe she has fybromyalgia (sp?), and I honestly believe she has celiac.

Also, she is married to a Greek, and of course, they are huge bread eaters.... I would like to convince her to go get tested, any suggestions how to show her this is a possibility?




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Take a look around the site for the articles listing symptoms - the newer ones include constipation. Also, try searching for journal articles discussing celiac such as this one, and this one, and also this one (which is titled "Constipation can be a sign of coeliac disease", but the text isn't available online and you might have to find the journal at a local medical scool), and definitely this one (which specifically sites that 15% of celiacs have constipation).

I'm one of those who got the constipation end of the spectrum.


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Hey Karen: You could show your sister this post about MY celiac disease symptoms which included mostly constipation but rarely diarrhea:

I had MANY celiac symptoms from the time I was about 6 years old: bloated stomach, frequent bouts of 'stomach flu' when I would wake up in the middle of the night throwing up (but nobody else in the house caught the 'flu'), a chronic rash that could have been DH, steatorrhea (floating, mucous covered stools) and hard, infrequent stools (constipation?). My mother focussed on the symptoms and took me to a doctor for a weight control diet for my protuding tummy (ignoring my skinny arms and legs), put ointment on my rash daily and gave me laxatives and frequent enemas. I 'outgrew' the rash, but kept the bloated tummy and constipation throughout childhood and added anemia once I started menstruating. I was the shortest person in our family. I later had a year of amenorrhea. The dermatitis returned in my early 20s as well as more anemia. I lost more weight but never could predict when my stomach would get bloated and gassy, so I felt 'fat'. In my 20s I took laxatives just to stay 'regular'. In my 30s I ate more 'fiber' for regularity and stopped laxatives, but my periods disappeared for another 10 years. (I never had any pregnancies.) In my 40s I started taking extra magnesium for constipation, but experienced more cramping with the bloating and gas. I was diagnosed with gastritis and acid reflux and prescribed antiacids (which contained gluten) and Zantac. I also was later diagnosed with the 'constipation' form of Irritable Bowel syndrome and told to eat more high fiber (wheat bran) cereal. <_< Despite magnesium, lots of fruits and vegies, daily wheat bran cereal and milk the constipation became more severe and unpredictable. I developed painful hemorrhoids after years of constipation and needed surgery to remove those 5 years ago. Along with bloating, cramps and lotsa gas I began to occasionally experience what felt like bits of broken glass passing through my intestines with more severe constipation (about once a month). When I saw a naturopath about my symptoms, he wondered about celiac, but we dismissed that because I was always CONSTIPATED, but rarely had diarrhea. A year later, after a frightening experience with an impacted stool, I saw a newspaper article about celiac disease which included as symptoms cramping abdominal pain, gas, bloating and CONSTIPATION. I called the wife of a celiac friend about the the possibility that my symptoms were celiac disease related and started avoiding gluten the next day. After 2 gluten-free months I did the Enterolab tests which confirmed I had gluten AND casein sensitivity and the gene for celiac disease. Removing gluten helped to resolve the chronic constipation, but avoiding casein helped even more to become 'regular'. However, every gluten or casein 'slip' brings back the cramping/bloating/gas symptoms and then a few more days of constipation. I have read that the classic celiac symptoms of diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss only describes 10% of celiacs. Many more have bloating, gas and cramping pain. Others ALSO have CONSTIPATION. <_<

Tell your sister to get tested ASAP. Chronic constipation can cause hemorrhoids which requires a painful surgery and recovery. Undiagnosed celiac can lead to a whole host of other autoimmune diseases (which may include fibromyalgia) as well as intestinal cancer. She won't have to give up breads, pastas or pastries. There are MANY great gluten-free substitutes for all those gluten sources. I wish I would have heard that CONSTIPATION is a celiac disease symptom years ago and not struggled for sooo many years with undiagnosed celiac disease. :(



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