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Hello, I have been reading through the boards with a lump in my throat on the verge of tears. it makes me happy to find so many people have found out what is wrong, and are improving, however I have had no such luck. In the past month three people have called me to diagnose me, and I have told them the same thing: I was tested years ago, and I don't have it!

But everything I read suggests i do. It has been seven years, after a road trip around the country, that I have been "ill". What started with "my stomach hurts" has turned into years of increasing agony, testing, and no relief. Years of prescribed meds have done nothing but turned me off to medication. My gallbladder has been removed, and i have been poked and prodded more times than i care to count. I have been told "IBS" and i REFUSE to accept that.

I started with small amounts of stomach discomfort, bloating, pains. Those pains became more frequent and turned into all-out episodes of excruciating pain almost daily. Then the diarrhea started. Every day for years now, I have been in the bathroom more than 5 times a day. Then started the food restrictions, some at the doctors orders (following diagnosis after diagnosis) and the medications. I took more and more pills, ate less and less, and went to the bathroom more and more. Then the first panic attack hit. It has been downhill ever since. For two years I have been

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Assuming your doctor did the right tests, which is a HUGE assumption, you may still have a false negative. And that's EVEN if he/she was being generous reading the results. (For instance, four out of my five tests came back "negative" - the lab doesn't have a quantitative number. Only my antireticulin IgG (I think) came back positive. Not exactly a classic diagnosis, and most docs would have said "Oh, you're not celiac." But my doc labeled the results "inconclusive", and I tried a gluten-free diet, and even though I'm close to asymptomatic, I still noticed a difference.)

Honestly, the easiest thing to do is to just try the gluten-free diet. If you keep things simple, it's really not as hard as it sounds. Particularly if you focus on eating whole foods that are obviously gluten free, like rice, vegetables, beans, fruit, meat, etc. You may find that - with a bit of help and advice - "trying" a gluten-free diet isn't hard. It's likely - at this point - going to be easier than getting a doctor to help you figure out what the problem is! It could mean a month or two of bland, boring food. But that may lead you to your final answer.

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Mindy,

You sound like me, only more so! I'm 27 years old, too, and I feel like my body has been slowly betraying me ever since I was born. Doctors have never been able to figure me out. I didn't have digestive symptoms until recently, though, so I fortunately haven't had to deal with the "cop-out" diagnosis of IBS.

Let me reassure you of one thing: NONE of this is in your head! It is all real, and it most emphatically DOES sound like celiac disease. It is definitely possible for blood tests to come back negative and be wrong--and the same is true of a biopsy. Tests for thyroid function are also of questionable value, since they say nothing about what is normal for YOU--just the mythical "average" individual. Allergy tests will not detect celiac disease, because allergies and celiac disease are mediated by different elements of the immune system.

I am sure you will want to have a look at Enterolab.com. They offer a panel of tests for celiac disease that are reportedly MORE sensitive than blood work or even a biopsy, and the price ($100-$400) is reasonable when you stop to think about it. I believe these tests are fairly new, which explains why they are not used by mainstream doctors yet--most doctors continue to operate on research that is ten to fifteen years out of date! As soon as I can afford it, I will be having myself and my children tested (and my husband as well, if I can convince him to play along), even though my intuition tells me I have found the problem and we are all doing much better on a gluten-free diet.

If you get to the point where you are ready to try going gluten-free, a nutritionist or dietitian FAMILIAR WITH celiac disease would be invaluable to you. Remember, too, that we are all here to help you through the adjustment process--just let us know how we can help!

I have noticed that celiac disease has been getting a fair bit of press time recently, which is wonderful! Now, perhaps, doctors will catch on that this "rare" disease isn't so uncommon after all, and people won't have to suffer needlessly for 27 years--or longer--before getting an accurate diagnosis! Good luck to you!

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    • Below is copied & pasted from this thread:   My celiac doctor is Dr. Syed Jafri, in Webster, TX (just south of Houston -- basically the Clear Lake City area), saved my LIFE.  I would recommend him to the whole, entire world.  I was desperately ill, and am still struggling, and he's a wonderful, sweet man who listens and is very proactive in helping you solve whatever problems you're having.  I wish all doctors were like him.  I have to fight and struggle with too many doctors to just listen to me and what I live with, day in and day out.  He's not like that.  Good luck to you.     There are recommendations on this thread too:  
    • I never worried about cross contamination because i was originally told i was just intolerant. after going gluten free i felt so much better up until this last march. dairy and fructose have been giving me problems but both lactose and fructose test came back negative.  this is what my gi doctor emailed me today 
    • Any place you know of to find more info? Seems like I am still in so much pain/bloat, I am not even sure if I would pick the right 5 foods!
    • Don't freak out worrying about other maladies yet. You would be absolutely amazed at the things that can/will resolve on the gluten free diet. Some take longer than others -- neurological seem to take the longest for most people but really, I guarantee, there will be things you had no idea or expectation of resolving will. There were tons for me and then there were things I sort of "woke up one day" & said, "hey, that's gone and that & that & that". Other, larger things had taken my attention so I hadn't paid attention to the smaller things until...... On the other hand, not everything is related to celiac but I bet you wouldn't find a handful of celiacs who didn't say something very similar to what I said above. Yes, thyroid problems are common with celiac but I'll also tell you there are/have been people on here who were hypothyroid before dx but after being gluten-free for a while they actually went back to normal thyroid numbers. My husband is one (yes, we both are celiac - it happens). He was on synthroid for 20 years or more. Guess what? He's not on it anymore. We've had his thyroid panel done several times since about a year gluten-free & he is no longer hypothyroid. 
    • Yes please, that'd be awesome Having a fun time trying to reply on my phone due to broken screen but will be back on tomorrow after results of doctor appointment to get to the bottom of why they've given me seemingly wrong advice re: next steps. Yup I'll admit to pity, anger, frustration and outright fear, been through the mill of emotions in this first week that's for sure. One thing before I go for that; back when I was self-diagnosing I wanted a full thyroid panel (T3, T4 etc.) and also ESR & CRP checks for vasculitis and similar maladies. Now it seems from my reading they can often follow celiac so my worry level of those has gone up a notch, more blood tests ahoy it seems? Main reason for worrying about those is the nearly constant tight / tender head I have at the moment. Top and sides of scalp. Could be the stress tensing the shoulders and occipital muscles at back of head but after the celiac diagnosis being missed I'm fearful of anything else being missed. Did anyone else have this tight head feeling at the start? Feels like the skin is being pulled inwards, sometimes goes down for a few minutes here and there and gets worse when sitting I think. I see the term "brain fog" a lot but luckily don't seem to have too much of that at present, this is more a physical sensation.
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