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I'm Not Sure If This Is The Answer Or Not
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I just found this site today. I'm relieved to hear that other people have similar digestive problems and survive them somehow! I'm 24, and my digestive problems began when I was 21, a couple of monthes after I was hospitalised for severe depression and put on medication. I've since been diagnosed with bi-polar II disorder and am on mood stabalisers. That problem is pretty much taken care of, but my digestive symptoms have just gotten worse. I developed an intolerance to dairy, had frequent diarea, have stomach cramps gas and bloating and recently sharp pain on the right side of my stomach. And recently my eyes have been super itchy. Constant fatigue and mental fog definately.

I worked with a dietician for a year, she said I was suffering from malabsorbtion and thought if we eliminated dairy and a couple of other things (soy, red meat) I would stop having all the digestive problems but I never did. She thought about eliminating wheat but I was very much against the idea, thinking it was one of my last "comfort foods". I never knew before browsing this site that lactose and gluten intolerance often go hand in hand.

I am seeing a gastoentorologist in July, which is way too long to wait in my opinion, but I live in Canada where there is a shortage of any kind of specialist. It will be free but in the mean time I am trying to cope. I'm seeing my general physician tomorrow. I have been working towards going on a low-glycemic index diet (www.gidiet.com for anyone who wants a peek) which is low in grains anyways, and can be done gluten free. I'm seriously considering going gluten-free to see what would happen. My only worries are the increased cost of groceries and the increased time and planning that would go into food prep. I'm on a student budget, living with my fiance who's also a student, it's really a bad time for such a big change but I'm starting to feel so crappy with all these symptoms that it might just be worth it. Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome

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My suggestion to you is to not go gluten free until after you see the specialist in July. I know it is a long way to wait, but you could mess up your test results by going gluten free before the tests,even if it is only for a short time. I spent two years fighting for a biopsy, once I knew that gluten was most likely my problem, and I finally gave up and went gluten free, only to have the doctor agree to a biopsy two weeks later. Now during my lifetime I had been gluten free for a few time periods of about two weeks to two months, while trying different weight loss diets, and according to a book called "Dangerous Grains" by James Braly and Ron Hoggan, it can sometimes take as long as 5 years for the damage to return in the intestine enought to diagnose Celiac Disease after a person has been on a gluten free diet. So rather than take chances with the testing, not to mention a few months of higher food costs, you would be wise to wait. If you end up getting terribly ill before July, then you could probably just check into a hospital and get the tests done then. Hopefully it will not get to that point.

By the way, I did go back on gluten for two months, and my biopsy still came back negative. I had testing done by Enterolab that says I do carry the gene and I am producing antibodies consistent with gluten intolerance, so I do know that is my problem. And I feel much better gluten free...

God bless,

Mariann :)

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I went gluten free about 2 1/2 weeks before the biopsy, asked the doctor if that would mess the test up. He said "no this test is so precise that nothing could mess it up" Got the results back - negative. Took one bit of a caramel candy-guess what? I think the test was WRONG!

Is there any testing that can be done on a gluten free diet?

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I went gluten free about 2 1/2 weeks before the biopsy, asked the doctor if that would mess the test up. He said "no this test is so precise that nothing could mess it up"

Your doctor was wrong. The lining of the intestine can heal in as little as three days! So 2 1/2 weeks could certainly cause a false negative. The only tests out there that can show if you have Celiac Disease while on a gluten-free diet that I know of is the tests offered from Enterolab . And even then it usually can only tell from the stool sample for up to a few months. You could ask Dr. Fine (head of Finer Health and Enterolab) if you should still get the stool test or just get the gene test. The gene test cannot tell you if you have an active case of the disease, but can tell you f you carry the gene(s) that cause it. It is recommended that you still go gluten free if you have the gene to avoid getting the disease later, but if you have symptoms that improve on a gluten free diet, you are most likely gluten intolerant.

I suggest you check into the tests at Enterolab, or ask your doctor for a gene test. If your doctor is like mine they won't believe the Enterolab tests. I do, and I told my doctor I didn't do the tests for her, I did them for me and my own piece of mind! :)

God bless,

Mariann

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    • Thank you everyone! Good to know I am not alone with this. I am asking for a referral to a new cardio. Hopefully it will all go away the longer I am gluten-free. It started up in February/March after a gluten challenge and mostly vanished until July when I had a lot of shortness of breath. It absolutely was CRAZY just a few days after the glutening. I was gasping for breath and the beats were all over the place just walking through a parking garage and I was only mildy anemic at the time.   But it seems to "quiver" and do funny things for a bit still. I sort of theorized maybe it was inflammation in the heart because after this last glutening, my head felt like it was in a vice and my eyes would sting or get stabbing pain hurt (that is finally going away thankfully...knock on wood).  The head/eye pressure I learned also happens to my sibling who has celiac and his naturopath told him that sometimes the brain gets inflamed. Hopefully I can meet the new cardio soon and feel confident that he is taking me seriously. It is sort of difficult to feel confident in the opinion of a doctor that your ticker is ok when they are not really listening and end up making you cry. LOL. A friend of mine in the mental health field recently listened to my story of doc after doc and test after test and said that it was akin to the folk story of blind men describing an elephant. A group of blind men all feel one part of an elephant (tusk, tail, ear, tail) and then compare notes only to find they all disagree.  In some  versions they argue intensely. In other versions they have to collaborate and listen to each other in order to "describe" an elephant.    
    • Good afternoon! I am new to this board and fairly new to researching Celiac Disease, although I had a general idea what it was. My health has become a huge mystery to me, and it's one that I am desperate to solve. The biggest issue right now is horrible, life affecting fatigue. I have been dealing with it for several years now- as many as 5 to 6. It has gotten progressively worse, and nothing at all helps. Sleep apnea has been ruled out. Intestinal issues are something I have dealt with for almost two decades. I'm 45, but I've already had two colonoscopies as well as two endoscopies. My first endoscopy was as a child for persistent, severe stomach pain. My last colonoscopy and endoscopy was two years ago. The only thing that has come from those is an Irritable Bowel type condition and GERD, which is pretty bad. My bowel movements have always been crazy. They can be very normal and healthy to completely crazy. I've had periods of persistent diarrhea to occasional constipation, which is a fairly new thing within the last year. Last week, I went from having diarrhea that morning to hard, round balls of stool by that evening. My most common stools here lately, though, are not quite diarrhea, but more fluffy, large piles. Gas is an ongoing, daily issue for me. I have copious amounts of gas every day no matter what I eat or drink. Most of the gas in non-odorous but it can be very loud. I am currently on a total of 60 mg of Ritalin per day just to function. I often add energy pills, purchased from places such as GNC, because the Ritalin isn't working. Yesterday, I took both doses of Ritalin and two energy pills, and I passed out on the couch after work. I work from 7:30am to 3:30pm, and my work day is nothing too crazy. I try to keep very consistent sleep hours and could easily sleep to 1:00pm or longer if I don't have to get up for something. I sometimes have short periods of energy in the mornings, but that is usually over by noon. The quality of my life is greatly affected. I don't want to go anywhere or do anything because I am way too tired. I'm trying to keep up with my exercising, but that is also a struggle.  I have a history of clinical depression for practically all my adulthood, but it has been very well managed for the last four years. The fatigue is currently causing a great deal of depression, but it is very different from the clinical depression that I use to deal with. When I don't feel sleepy and tired, I don't feel depressed. When the fatigue sets in, I feel very irritable and sad. I realize that the stimulants can cause irritability, but I don't feel irritable or sad when I'm not feeling fatigued.  I've only recently began to explore that the fatigue and the intestinal issues could be related. I have always accepted that I have a sensitive, cooky digestive track. The increasing, unrelenting fatigue is what has lead me to exploring the possibility that everything could be related. I did have blood work last November. My doctor did not test for anything Celiac Disease specific, but she did do a Vitamin D, ferritin level and overall metabolic panel. All of that is normal. My thyroid level is also normal, and I do take thyroid hormone because I had half of my thyroid removed 11 years ago due to what turned out to be a benign thyroid tumor.  I just saw my doctor two weeks ago, and she increased the dosage of my Ritalin. That has not helped at all. She has never mentioned Celiac Disease to me before. I made an appointment for this Friday afternoon to talk about it, but I keep wondering if I'm even heading in a direction that makes sense. I decided to post here for some guidance. I'm sorry this has been so long. I'm not really into cutting something totally out of my diet just to see what happens. I also feel like that if I have something that is poisoning my system, I need a real clinical diagnosis of that. I feel like maybe I'm grasping at straws now and imagining a correlation that isn't there. I am not looking for a quick fix, but right now I have no idea what needs to be fixed. I am open to any information and/or suggestions. Thanks so much!   Jennifer
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    • I too have heart palps, flutters, skips whatever you want to call them. Ecg shows nothing. I was told by my doctor it is due to my low iron which is due to celiac. They pretty much went away after being gluten-free. But occasionally do come back. I've actually been having them for the past 3 days. But I was glutened with really severe reaction about a week ago so not sure if its due to that. Or if iron is low right now. I am on supplements but it still goes up and down. I hear you about doctors. It seems if you don't do research yourself or ask questions they don't say or do or test for anything. 
    • For a number of years pre diagnosis I had irregular heartbeats - anything from a fluttering type thing to seemingly skipping one or more beats to rapid beats to something like a short drum riff. I had multiple ECG's which didn't find anything odd. It never did it when I was at the doctors or getting the ECG's. Sometimes it seemed to pound very hard & rapid, at these times I discovered if I just laid down flat on my back, it would restore normal rhythm almost instantly. These things happened at random whether I was at rest, sitting, standing, running or working hard. It was always short lived -- lasting only 1 to several seconds, perhaps the longest was close to a minute. I too have little faith in docs as I've had my share of being blown off, to misdiagnoses. The whole heart thing quit after I had been gluten-free for a while but if I get glutened, it returns.
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