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Possible Celiac- College

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 01:06 AM


I am a 20 year old college student, and I've been trying to figure out what's wrong with my stomach for about two years now. It started at the end of high school, with family doctors suggesting that my diarrhea was a result of academic stress. Later, I was treated for irritable bowel syndrome, with no results. About halfway through my second semester in college, I had lost about 10-15 pounds, and discovered that I had a kidney stone. Because I was scheduled to have a colonoscopy on the day that my stone was discovered, I was hospitalized. The colonoscopy showed nothing, but later test indicated that I possibly had crohn's disease. After nearly 8 months of taking pentasa for crohn's, I am still exhibiting many symptoms, and a recent set of blood tests showed nothing for crohn's. Earlier this year, for no apparent reason, I suddenly became unable to tolerate milk or most milk products. I have also noticed vomiting and diarrhea after consuming pasta. Also, I was struck by the discussion of "brain fog" as mental fogginess has plagued me increasingly for the last two years, becoming quite debilitating to my college studies. My girlfriend has noticed in me (and I agree) severe irritability and mood swings, usually accompanied with skin and eye irritation, all of whice surround the ingestion of food. Also, I had the enamel of a tooth crumble for basically no reason. I worked really hard to get to earn an academic scholarship to a really expensive college, and I am seeing it all thrown away, with peers and instructors accusing me of laziness (I find myself having to sleep all of the time). If anyone could tell me what they think the probability of this being Celiac's disease is, or if you could just give me some good advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you.
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Posted 08 February 2004 - 04:36 AM

The symptoms you describe sounds very much like Celiac Disease. Have them test you for the antigliaden antibodies and they can give you a biopsy in your small intestine to confirm. If you are currently wheat free though, this will skew your test results and be difficult to diagnose. I think reading around this site has probably confirmed what you are already thinking.
Please don't give up on the doctors. Be vocal and don't let them tell you nothing is wrong. Many celiacs fall through the cracks, dr.'s want to treat us for all the symptoms we are producing and don't realize it's the disease that's the problem. You will feel better once you find out exactly what it is in your diet that is bothering you.
I come to this site often and learn something new all the time. I'll be thinking of you and hope that you find someone to help you very soon!

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Posted 08 February 2004 - 10:22 PM

Dear Kyle, welcome to the board. Two of my main symptoms were
brain fog and eyes which burned constantly, sometimes pulsating.
My MD, allergist, thyroid doc, all said allergy. My skin test were positive
for the usual trees, grass, mold and ragweed but NEG FOR WHEAT.
To make a long story short, I began to have GI symptoms, nausea,
diarrhea, pain in right side along with the eye problems. After a score of tests
my new GI doc gave me a diagnosis of IBS,GERD, and an allergy to wheat
Fast Forward to 11/03 I began a gluten-free diet which cleared up all of these symptoms
except the brain fog after eating. I read a post on the old board that brain fog
can be caused by ingesting milk, so I am now lactose free and doing much better!
P.S. I also got brain fog from a dental cleaning, now I make sure there products
are gluten-free. Hope this helps...
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gluten-free since 11/03, neg biopsy, IGA elevated

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 04:16 PM

Sounds classic to me! Whether or not you can afford to get tested, or whether or not your tests show you have it (there is sooooo much debate on whether they are accurate) it can't hurt to go gluten free for awhile at least and see how you feel. Not that that is easy to do, but it is much better than feeling like you do when there is a possible and doable solution. Good luck and let us know how things turn out!
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Posted 11 February 2004 - 09:57 AM

Please ask for testing before you try the gluten free diet. I am speaking from personal experience, it is much harder to get accurate testing, and also causes more damage to your body to go back on gluten after being gluten free. You have to be on a normal to high gluten diet for tests to be somewhat accurate, and even then sometimes the tests fail due to human error in the doctor, lab techs, etc. But don't be discouraged. You are on the right track and need testing done to confirm it. Ask for a complete celiac panel and have them include the total serum IgA.

God bless,
Mariann :)
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~West Coast-Central California~

Mariann, gluten intolerant and mother of 3 gluten intolerant children

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