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I am wondering what you, more experienced persons think about this. I am worried about both of my kids. I have been tested for celiac disease after being gluten-free for 3 1/2 years with a short ( probably too short) gluten challenge of about 4 weeks where I did not eat as much gluten as I probably should have. My results came back highly positive for the anti-gliadin antibodies (IGG) but inconclusive, still within normal for the other 2 blood tests. Obviously I feel much better gluten-free and my symptoms resolve also. My lactose intolerance and acid reflux both completely disappeared on a gluten-free diet.

I primarily got tested because both of my children have a lot of stomach complaints. My oldest child suddenly became very heavy as a teenager and then lost a lot of weight fairly suddenly. Now , in her 20's,she is extremely thin, tired and cold all the time, and consumes truly astounding quantities of food without gaining any weight. I cannot describe how much she eats -it has to be seen to be believed. She is also lactose intolerant and is in her 20's. She is not bulimic.

My other daughter eats next to nothing and is slim and complains of nausea and bloating on an almost daily basis.

We are of Irish descent ( the western part) and are 2nd generation Americans.

Does anyone know of relatives with symptoms such as this and should I be concerned that they have undiagnosed celiac disease?

Also - has anyone ever read of a connection between celiac disease and atrial fibrillation? ( I ask this question on my father's behalf)

Thanks for any help!

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Your family all needs to be tested, and probably needs to stay gluten free. You might also try adding electrolytes to your diet for the rapid heart beat. Before I was diagnosed I often had episodes of rapid heart beat and after I added a banana and some extra electrolytes to my diet --and going gluten free, I rarely had a problem. Shirley

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Sabina,

Your children sound like my sister and me! When I was in high school and college, I had very little appetite and weighed less than 100 pounds (I am 5'5" tall), but despite my pediatrician's concerns, I did not have an eating disorder. My younger sister, however, was quite pudgy until she hit adolescence, when she suddenly stopped gaining weight and may even have lost some during her growth spurt. Now, she is quite willowy herself.

After college, on the other hand, I ballooned to 150 pounds (BEFORE my first pregnancy)! I managed to drop the excess weight after each pregnancy, and now I weigh a relatively ideal 115 pounds (I am small-boned even though I am tall). Before I went gluten-free, though, I was always tired, cold, and ravenous. People tried to blame my hunger on breastfeeding, but although that accounts for some of it, I don't find it a satisfactory explanation for why I had to consume four meals and two snacks every day just to keep going (and often had to get up at night to forage some more)! It got to the point where I realized that if I ever felt full but not bloated, that was my cue to get up and fix some more food, because fifteen minutes later I would be dying of starvation!

I have told my family a bit about celiac disease and that they should be tested, but I'm not sure any of them will follow through. I wish they would, though! It would be great if your relatives would get themselves checked out.

I seem to remember that nutritional deficits and electrolyte imbalances can cause heart rhythm abnormalities, and celiac disease could certainly be the underlying cause of these conditions. Your father should definitely be tested, as well.

Good luck to you and your family as you seek a diagnosis!

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