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Linea Nigra, Not Pregnant
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I have a linea nigra - it's the brown line you get when you're pregnant, and it extends from the belly button downward.

The strange thing is that I'm not pregnant. I have never been pregnant. There is 0% liklihood that I am pregnant now - it would have to be an immaculate conception. Plus, I've had this for years.

What's up? I did a search on "linea nigra" + celiac and found nothing. Do I have another condition? If so, I can't figure out what it is. Does anyone else have this?

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It may just be the way your skin colouring is, and likely nothing to be concerned about. The wikipedia page suggests that increasing folic acid intake may decrease it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linea_negra

When I'm pregnant, my linea negra extends from the bottom of my ribs to below my belly button...my skin has a tendency to darken where I have scars or injuries as well...and takes a long time to fade away.

Michelle

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Yeah, that makes sense on some level. But if that's the case - that it can be natural - then why, when you do a search on it, does it always talk about it appearing during pregnancy and going away after?

I read that it can also be related to adrenal insufficiency... don't know what to think.

Thanks for the post.

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Yeah, that makes sense on some level. But if that's the case - that it can be natural - then why, when you do a search on it, does it always talk about it appearing during pregnancy and going away after?

I read that it can also be related to adrenal insufficiency... don't know what to think.

Thanks for the post.

Because "they" always talk about averages. There will always be people that experience things differently. Some people simply have darker pigmentation, and the way that their skin appears will change over time. "Age spots" are one example.

If you are concerned, go to your doctor to get it checked out. Have blood work done to rule out hormone issues, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, etc.

Michelle

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Thanks for your replies, Michele.

I'm not able to easily go to the doctor because I don't have insurance. Plus, I lost my job a couple weeks ago. So I'm doing what I can to research things myself for the time being. The only thing I know I have at this time is a gluten sensitivity.

You mentioned that your skin is darker in scarred areas and where you've been injured and the darkness takes a long time to fade away. This seems consistent with Addison's disease, which is the adrenal insufficiency I mentioned earlier. It's also an autoimmune condition, and it occurs more often in people with celiac than in the general population.

Of course, it's completely possible that this has nothing to do with Addison's. It seems it'd be hard to try to figure it out without going to the doctor, since there is a lot of crossover in symptoms between celiac and addison's. Plus, celiac is supposed to make you pale, and addison's is supposed to make you dark (especially in certain areas).

I'll go to the doctor when I can. Thanks again for your posts.

Mary

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Thanks for your replies, Michele.

I'm not able to easily go to the doctor because I don't have insurance. Plus, I lost my job a couple weeks ago. So I'm doing what I can to research things myself for the time being. The only thing I know I have at this time is a gluten sensitivity.

You mentioned that your skin is darker in scarred areas and where you've been injured and the darkness takes a long time to fade away. This seems consistent with Addison's disease, which is the adrenal insufficiency I mentioned earlier. It's also an autoimmune condition, and it occurs more often in people with celiac than in the general population.

It's possible that's why my skin is like that, but I am very fair and tan quite easily which I think is the more likely reason. BTW, I'm now noticing white patches here and there in my skin...starting to wonder if it is vitiligo, which is also autoimmune. So far it's a big fat negative for celiac with the testing I've done. I strongly suspect I am at least gluten intolerant, and possible casien intolerant...just not going to end up with a positive diagnosis to support it.

Of course, it's completely possible that this has nothing to do with Addison's. It seems it'd be hard to try to figure it out without going to the doctor, since there is a lot of crossover in symptoms between celiac and addison's. Plus, celiac is supposed to make you pale, and addison's is supposed to make you dark (especially in certain areas).

I'll go to the doctor when I can. Thanks again for your posts.

Mary

I'm not so sure that celiac necessarily makes one pale. It would depend on how your body exhibits symptoms and which autoimmune issues you have. Those with DH can end up with dark spots where the lesions erupt. Those who have psoriasis will have a difference in skin colour in affected areas too.

If you suspect you're gluten sensitive, then by all means try the diet. It's free, and it can be a very healthy way to eat.

Michelle

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Just for the sake of conversation and what "they" always say....

I've been pregnant three times, and I've NEVER had a linea nigra. :)

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It's possible that's why my skin is like that, but I am very fair and tan quite easily which I think is the more likely reason. BTW, I'm now noticing white patches here and there in my skin...starting to wonder if it is vitiligo, which is also autoimmune. So far it's a big fat negative for celiac with the testing I've done. I strongly suspect I am at least gluten intolerant, and possible casien intolerant...just not going to end up with a positive diagnosis to support it.

I'm not so sure that celiac necessarily makes one pale. It would depend on how your body exhibits symptoms and which autoimmune issues you have. Those with DH can end up with dark spots where the lesions erupt. Those who have psoriasis will have a difference in skin colour in affected areas too.

If you suspect you're gluten sensitive, then by all means try the diet. It's free, and it can be a very healthy way to eat.

Michelle

Hi Michelle. Vitiligo is also associated with Addison's disease.

No, celiac doesn't necessarily make someone pale, but it is one of the common possible symptoms. I'm very pale myself.

What do you think about EnteroLab (http://enterolab.com)? They do testing to determine if a person is gluten sensitive. I believe they can also test for casein sensitivity. I have only had their gene test because I don't have the money (yet) to do anything else.

I am gluten free now. Going gluten-free removed some serious symptoms I'd had for a few weeks, and it also removed a couple of long-standing symptoms. A couple weeks later, not being totally sure I was gluten sensitive, I took communion at church and got sick again.

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Hi Michelle. Vitiligo is also associated with Addison's disease.

Interesting...I didn't know that. I'll have to look into it. It certainly isn't something my doctor(s) have suggested, but they seem to be content with just saying, "but you look so healthy!" Blah. I don't feel healthy, and my symptoms certainly don't indicate healthy!

No, celiac doesn't necessarily make someone pale, but it is one of the common possible symptoms. I'm very pale myself.

What do you think about EnteroLab (http://enterolab.com)? They do testing to determine if a person is gluten sensitive. I believe they can also test for casein sensitivity. I have only had their gene test because I don't have the money (yet) to do anything else.

Well, I'm a bit of a skeptic, so until insurance covers the cost of Enterolab testing, I won't be paying for it. All other labs, tests and doctor visits are covered by health care and/or extended healthy insurance here.

I am gluten free now. Going gluten-free removed some serious symptoms I'd had for a few weeks, and it also removed a couple of long-standing symptoms. A couple weeks later, not being totally sure I was gluten sensitive, I took communion at church and got sick again.

I've been going back and forth on being gluten free. I'm afraid I've been caught in the "I don't have a diagnosis, so why do I have to worry about it" thinking...and using the fact that I'm waiting for my colonoscopy before going back to gluten free. Now that my test got moved to August (!!!), I really need to get back on the gluten free diet and give it an honest shot, especially since my skin is getting worse, my moodiness is getting worse and I'm losing more hair now (including my eyebrows!) :blink:

Michelle

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Interesting...I didn't know that. I'll have to look into it. It certainly isn't something my doctor(s) have suggested, but they seem to be content with just saying, "but you look so healthy!" Blah. I don't feel healthy, and my symptoms certainly don't indicate healthy!

...I really need to get back on the gluten free diet and give it an honest shot, especially since my skin is getting worse, my moodiness is getting worse and I'm losing more hair now (including my eyebrows!) :blink:

Michelle

Hey Michelle. It certainly sounds like you've got something autoimmune going on!!!

What other symptoms do you have? You said you don't feel healthy. Are you fatigued? I put in three of your symptoms - hyperpigmentation, hair loss, and moodiness at this site:

http://symptoms.wrongdiagnosis.com/cosymptoms/

And I got these possible results: Addison's Disease, Polycystic ovary syndrome

It's always possible you have more than one condition that could complicate diagnosis. But both of those conditions, apparently, are known to cause all three of those symptoms.

Look at the back of your neck in the mirror. Is the crease in your neck a darker color? Look at your gums. Are there dark spots on your gums?

Check out this site on Addison's:

http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/addison/addison.htm

What's getting worse about your skin? Also, does your hair come out in round patches, or is it thinning?

Are you sure you're gluten sensitive? You might be. And you might have other stuff in addition. But it's possible going off gluten might not solve all of this stuff. It wouldn't hurt to try, though.

It sounds like you need different doctors!!!! Maybe an endocrinologist would be best.

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Hey Michelle. It certainly sounds like you've got something autoimmune going on!!!

What other symptoms do you have? You said you don't feel healthy. Are you fatigued? I put in three of your symptoms - hyperpigmentation, hair loss, and moodiness at this site:

http://symptoms.wrongdiagnosis.com/cosymptoms/

And I got these possible results: Addison's Disease, Polycystic ovary syndrome

It's always possible you have more than one condition that could complicate diagnosis. But both of those conditions, apparently, are known to cause all three of those symptoms.

Look at the back of your neck in the mirror. Is the crease in your neck a darker color? Look at your gums. Are there dark spots on your gums?

Check out this site on Addison's:

http://endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/addison/addison.htm

What's getting worse about your skin? Also, does your hair come out in round patches, or is it thinning?

Are you sure you're gluten sensitive? You might be. And you might have other stuff in addition. But it's possible going off gluten might not solve all of this stuff. It wouldn't hurt to try, though.

It sounds like you need different doctors!!!! Maybe an endocrinologist would be best.

I checked out your link on Addison's and the symptoms don't fit with what I have. The skin darkening doesn't follow with what I experience either.

The list of symptoms I have fills a couple of pages. I've written it all down, and my doctor has a copy. From there I've seen a dermatologist (who incorrectly biopsied for DH...so the neg. result is really inconclusive) who sent me onto another dermatologist/internist for patch testing and confirmed significant contact allergies, and who also suspects I may suffer from psoriasis (which I was told was eczema many years ago - by a different dr.)

I've already seen allergists before, and have a good handle on my IgE mediated allergies (which have changed/increased since childhood). I've had ultrasounds, test for osteoporosis, & barium swallow...all normal. I've seen a GI with whom I've had a gastroscopy (endo) which showed hiatal hernia and gastritis (but she didn't take many duodenal biopsies, so I consider the neg. celiac results as inconclusive)...and from there she confirmed I have "IBS" (for 20 years now!) and "Chronic fatigue syndrome".

I've had problems with numbness in fingers and toes, resteless leg sydrome, insomnia, itchy "acne" which has been gradually spreading from my hairline and behind my ears to my jaws, cheeks, back and chest. My skin is and always has been very sensitive. I am lactose intolerant...and possibly intolerant to other sugars. I'm losing my hair more in one area than others...the left side...and this is the eyebrow that is thinning now too. I don't think the dr takes my hair loss issue seriously enough, because I have a very thick head of hair, so it's really not so noticable to others, except if I were to demonstrate by running my hands through my hair. The eyebrow thing is new, so I haven't brought it up yet w/my dr. Oh, another new thing now is getting flushed when I have alcohol. My friends noticed that I got bright red patches across my nose, eyes and ears when I had a drink yesterday. That was a new thing for me...just a tad freaked out about it! I don't drink very often at all...and not very much when I do.

We've tested hormone levels to confirm I'm not perimenopausal. I do not have PCOS...and had no trouble getting or staying pregnant. My thyroid tests (including free T3 & T4) all are normal, but I want to monitor it because of family history (both sides) of thyroid problems. The only abnormal lab I've had was low ferritin.

My moods swing dramatically, and I get anxious and stressed very easily (note my avatar!) I also have very flexible joints and wonder if that isn't a reason for my hernia (such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)...and could have a bearing on my intestinal issues. Waiting for my colonoscopy to confirm if there is anything obvious going on.

Add to that a family history of GI problems, allergies, diabetes, depression, thyroid, etc. I've put up with symptoms/issues for so many years and am finally making the effort to connect the dots. I just can't continue along this way. So I figure that looking at food intolerances is as good a next step as any. Time to get serious about it. ;)

Michelle

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Michelle, I did a search on the red flush you get from alcohol. Weird! Most of the results came up as "Asian Flush." One person said an allergy to sulfites can cause it. Everything else talked about this genetic thing that is predominant in Asians, and possibly Jewish people. It has something to do with an enzyme that's supposed to break down something in the alcohol... if I understood it right. I just skimmed the info. I wonder if complications from celiac/gluten sensitivity can cause it by depleting the enzymes? I have no idea. Check out these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_flush_reaction

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=...&id=3620414

http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/2327.html

A lot of your other symptoms really DO sound like gluten sensitivity. Of course, you already knew that. I really feel for you. It sounds like you really are having a tough time.

You talked about being very flexible. Did you have late developmental markers as a kid? Did you walk late, talk late, etc? There's something called hypotonia. People who have it are super flexible. A hypotonic person can have poor spacial awareness - easily bumps into things and is poor at ball sports, etc. It's not actually a disorder in itself, but it generally indicates that there is probably a disorder that has caused it. I guess that means it's more like a symptom. It's associated with Ehlers-Danlos, like you mentioned. It's also associated with celiac. When information indicated something can be a symptom of celiac, I tend to assume it can also be a symptom of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. I'm actually a member of a hypotonia listserve because I discovered I have it.

Have you heard of peripheral neuropathy? It sounds like what you're experiencing with the numbness in fingers and toes. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are highly variable, so as you look at the sites below, don't think you have to have all the symptoms to be experiencing it.

http://millercenter.uchicago.edu/learnabou...outpn/symptoms/

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/periphe...lneuropathy.htm

Below is a table I got from http://jnnp.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/72/5/560.pdf

It appears that 29 out of a group of 83 people with celiac disease had peripheral neuropathy.

Table 1 Neurology of coeliac disease

(based on a review of 35 papers of single or multiple case reports from 1964 to 2000)

Total number of patients 83

Male to female ratio 44:39

Mean age 48

Neurological diagnosis

Ataxia 29

Peripheral neuropathy 29

Myopathy 13

Ataxia with myoclonus 9

Myelopathy 4

Dementia (usually with additional features) 6

I also got this from the same article:

Only one third of the patients with neurological disorders associated with gluten sensitivity have villous atrophy on duodenal biopsy. Even some with biochemical markers of malabsorption such as low serum vitamin B12, low red cell folate, or vitamin D concentrations had normal conventional duodenal histology.17 These cases may illustrate the patchy nature of bowel involvement in coeliac disease and the inaccurate interpretation of duodenal biopsies by inexperienced histopathologists...There are, however, patients where the immunological disorder is primarily directed at the nervous system with little or no damage to the gut.

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Michelle, I did a search on the red flush you get from alcohol. Weird! Most of the results came up as "Asian Flush." One person said an allergy to sulfites can cause it. Everything else talked about this genetic thing that is predominant in Asians, and possibly Jewish people. It has something to do with an enzyme that's supposed to break down something in the alcohol... if I understood it right. I just skimmed the info. I wonder if complications from celiac/gluten sensitivity can cause it by depleting the enzymes? I have no idea. Check out these links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_flush_reaction

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=...&id=3620414

http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/2327.html

I'm neither Asian nor Jewish, though it's not unheard of in other populations as well.

A lot of your other symptoms really DO sound like gluten sensitivity. Of course, you already knew that. I really feel for you. It sounds like you really are having a tough time.

You talked about being very flexible. Did you have late developmental markers as a kid? Did you walk late, talk late, etc? There's something called hypotonia. People who have it are super flexible. A hypotonic person can have poor spacial awareness - easily bumps into things and is poor at ball sports, etc. It's not actually a disorder in itself, but it generally indicates that there is probably a disorder that has caused it. I guess that means it's more like a symptom. It's associated with Ehlers-Danlos, like you mentioned. It's also associated with celiac. When information indicated something can be a symptom of celiac, I tend to assume it can also be a symptom of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. I'm actually a member of a hypotonia listserve because I discovered I have it.

I actually was right on time for development as a child, and am very coordinated (was a dancer for 20 years, and a strong swimmer since I was two) and competitive in sports. There is a history of meniere's disease on my dad's side, so if I end up developing that too, then my coordination will be affected...but I'm not seeing it now. I'm really good at my yoga practice though. :D

Have you heard of peripheral neuropathy? It sounds like what you're experiencing with the numbness in fingers and toes. Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are highly variable, so as you look at the sites below, don't think you have to have all the symptoms to be experiencing it.

I have heard of it, and have wondered if that is what is causing the numbness...again, a reason for going gluten free. :)

I also got this from the same article:

Only one third of the patients with neurological disorders associated with gluten sensitivity have villous atrophy on duodenal biopsy. Even some with biochemical markers of malabsorption such as low serum vitamin B12, low red cell folate, or vitamin D concentrations had normal conventional duodenal histology.17 These cases may illustrate the patchy nature of bowel involvement in coeliac disease and the inaccurate interpretation of duodenal biopsies by inexperienced histopathologists...There are, however, patients where the immunological disorder is primarily directed at the nervous system with little or no damage to the gut.

This info is important to note. I could very well be exhibiting many symptoms without obvious villous atrophy...which means I likely will never get an official diagnosis, unless they develop other methods of accurate testing that focus on the triggers for the other symptoms. Dietary response will be the best test for me.

Michelle

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This info is important to note. I could very well be exhibiting many symptoms without obvious villous atrophy...which means I likely will never get an official diagnosis, unless they develop other methods of accurate testing that focus on the triggers for the other symptoms. Dietary response will be the best test for me.

Michelle

You're right about the difficulty in getting a diagnosis! Check out this horror story I got off a glutenfreeforum profile signature off the bottom of a post:

celiac 49 years - Misdiagnosed for 45

Blood tested and repeatedly negative

Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002

[which means they did an endoscopy and finally saw signs of celiac after 45 years of symptoms]

Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias and arthritis All resoved with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002

Some residual nerve damage remains as of 2006

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