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Possible Celiac- College
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Hello,

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.

Kyle

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Kyle,

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!

Blessings,

Lily

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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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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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Kyle,

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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    • I thought I would update you all.  I started to eat gluten shortly after this post.  I was miserable by the time I had my EGD.  The doctor gave a diagnosis after the EGD was completed, duodenitis, gastritis and hiatal hernia.  I had abnormal mucosa of the whole stomach and severe inflammation.  The biopsy results came back today, they stated early stages celiac disease.  I wonder what it would've shown if I wasn't on a gluten free diet for two years?  My doctor said he still wants me to come in for a talk, he doesn't really know if he should call it celiac disease since it's early stages....  WTH!  I've really got to find a doctor that specializes in Celiac Disease...    
    • thank you for the info, its very helpful to hear from someone else who has it and knows a lot about it. When you say I may be eliminating one problem vs 3, what would you think the other problems could be? It's frustrating because I even buy Uldis gluten-free bagels and what not and I still find myself reacting sometimes to that, I don't use butter but just gluten-free peanut butter, but like I said I don't know for sure if its from that or maybe something else. I have read on this site about a couple others that have had issues with uldis breads so could be that. but like you said I guess it can also just take awhile to get better. I read the other day that a lot of throwing up can put stress on your small intestine which can maybe cause your body to react to dairy, do you know anything about that or if that's true?
    • Thanks for the reply!  Yeah, I really should have gotten testing done before the elimination diet.  I had asked my previous doctor, but she didn't want to do it.  I was transitioning to a new insurance and couldn't get a doctor's appointment for awhile, so I thought I would just do the elimination diet.  After all, it might not have been gluten.  (<--that was my thought process...) Hindsight is 20/20.  I felt pretty good during those 3 weeks gluten free, and was not expecting how bad it would be when I added it back in.  Anyway, I found a new doctor and I think she would totally be willing to test me again 9 weeks out. I think she would also be willing to order the endoscopy if I brought her research and really pushed for it. Now that I know how good feeling good feels... I just can't see staying on gluten for another 9 weeks.  I honestly don't know how I would survive.  Even if it's not Celiac, and it's ONLY the wheat allergy... it's making my life absolutely miserable. Thanks again for the reply!  I think I'll go in Friday for the blood test and take it from there.
    • Hi Alok, I suggest not eating any soy.  Soy is one of the top 8 food allergens in the USA.  Soy has other things about it that are not helpful to us.  Plus it is often sprayed with pesticides that are not so great for people.  Maybe you can try some other food for a while?  Also it might help to wash all your vegetables before using them. Just some ideas, I hope they help.
    • What she said!     The antibody panel is an important part of follow-up!
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