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End Of My Rope
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I have been sick for over 4 years now, and im a 21 year old college senior. I have had about 5 or so different gastroenterologists, had 3 upper endoscopies, a colonoscopy, and multiple other upper and lower GI series tests. My blood tests came back positive for the IgG antibody. I had my first upper endoscopy and it came back negative- the Dr. said he didn't see anything wrong. The second one had the same result. The third endoscopy and third Dr. said that it didn't look like celiac disease but that my duodenum was "pale" which is indicative of malabsorption. Since Celiac disease causes malabsorption of the small intestine- I don't understand how with all of my symptoms, a positive blood test, and malabsorption of my small intestine that I could still not be diagnosed with celiac disease!! I was so infuriated.

I went on a gluten-free diet for a while and felt better. But after about 5 months it got too hard to handle and since I haven't officially been diagnosed with celiac disease, I didn't think it was really necessary. I am a college senior who does not like to cook and am pre-med with an extreemly busy schedule. Since I spend most of my time in hospitals as an EMT and with pre-med internships, I just don't feel like going back to insensitive doctors who will not do anything for me. But now my symptoms are getting a lot worse again and literally every time I eat (which usually contains gluten) I immediately have diarrhea. I tried to give blood a couple of weeks ago and my hematocrit was too low- the nurse there told me that I was mildly anemic. I don't know what else to do and am very much so at the end of my rapidly fraying rope. Does anyone have any advice for me or know of any good GI doctors who specialize in celiac disease in NJ or PA? I would really appreciate any help.

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Hi, I can't help you with finding a doctor since I'm not in your area but I just want you to know that there are a lot of people out there (and on this list) that are not officially diagnosed with Celiac. My doctor specifically told me I did not have Celiac. He's wrong.

I had symptoms for years, like you and have the runs every time I eat gluten. I went on a gluten free diet and all my symptoms went away. So to me, thats all I needed to know.

However when my mom started to show symptoms and my daughter gets belly aches a lot, I did have my genes tested and I have the 2 main genes that cause celiac. So that confirms it for me, my doctor was wrong and all the specialists I went to were wrong. You can have celiac and not have your intestines damaged (yet), which is why my blood tests were negative.

If you read this list a lot I think you will see that a gluten-free diet really isn't that hard. I travel often and I do fine out there in airports and the real world. I eat a lot of simple food, fruit, veggies, plain grilled meat, rice, potatoes. When I travel I always pack a few snacks for the plane. Find a good health food place, like Whole foods Market (I drive almost an hour to get to one) and they have a lot of great easy and quick gluten-free foods and snacks.

Each person has to make their own decision but for me to get rid of the runs, which I had for over 8 years (so badly I was often confined to my house) there is no way I'd eat gluten again.

I wish you the best! Susan

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I am in the same sort of position as you. I felt a freak with a denial-oriented world stacked against me. I have asked myself over and over, why should I follow this freakish diet?

I still need a suitably serious diagnosis, not only for my employers, but also - by giving it - my GP might catalyse himself into furnishing me with appropriate ongoing advice!

It was an excellent book by Karen Brody that listed on-line discussion forums on the subject and I have had my nose stuck in it every chance I have had, during (less than) the last 3 weeks.

As a result I have got proportion, perspective and courage and no longer feel outnumbered. The doctor is only human - in reality the outcomes of the various tests are truly, phenomenally variable - celiac disease has only so much as been heard of for a few decades - the advocacy person I've got hold of will somehow help me persuade the doctor to make some kind of helpful move.

There are thousands of posts here on every aspect from the last one and a bit years, from hundreds of special, special people that have been where you & I have been and are.

So glad you made it to get in touch.

Michael

:rolleyes:

P.S. there is a doctor portion of the forum, read it first in case someone in your area has already been mentioned.

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... I meant, stuck in this one ...

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    • Here's another thing.  Feeling deprived?  Order two of the same item.  I was hungry by the time dinner arrived! 
    • The doctors just made me feel like I was crazy because they did not have a clue of what was wrong with me. I did a stool test (positive) and I did a genes test (positive for two gluten sensitive genes, one in each chromosome).  Blood test are not so foolproof, if you read the comments/experiences in such topic you will see the problems. Biopsy can give a false negative if taken from an undamaged area. If you have medical problems that go away once on a gluten free diet then gluten is the problem. The medical establishment profit from managing your medical problems and big pharma makes money by pushing pills so we need to be careful because they won't benefit if a gluten-free diet solve your problems. Since I started a Gluten free diet I have been free of the following: (all related to Celiac)  Irregularity, Intestinal noise, Irregular stool, Tooth enamel defects, Rash in upper arms, Abdominal swelling, depression, fatigue, irritability, lactose intolerance, 
      loss of memory, dandruff, uncontrollable bladder, suicidal thoughts, unable to sleep, Canker sores/ Mouth ulcers, high blood pressure, and probably others that I did not realize. I was at the end of my rope, thanks to Google and the people that are able to talk about this I was able to get my life back. I am passionate about this because I know how bad its can get. 
    • Well, I have never cruised on Carnival, but I am sure they can accommodate you.  I assume that you have already alerted them that you require gluten free meals.  If not, please contact Carnival immediately. Here are my own tips.  Some folks eat off the buffet line, but not me or hubby except for coffee/drinks and baked potatoes (jacketed) and fruit that we wash in the restroom (people touch everything!)  Okay, I am OCD, but my last glutening which occurred the previous summer made me sick for three months (GI tested my antibodies to prove it).   When we board, I go to the buffet restaurant ASAP and ask to speak to the Head Waiter (they are usually there greeting customers and often trying to up sell to specialty restaurants.   Let them know you have celiac disease and must be gluten free.  They may try to tell you that each dish is clearly marked gluten free, but really?  Who's to say that some other passenger is not going to switch spoons (or I have seen passengers wandering around with serving spoons...I kid you not!  The staff usually will  go downstairs and fetch a gluten free meal for me from the main dining room's kitchen as there is usually a dedicated area for allergies.  We have to wait up to 20 minutes or so but it is worth it.  Starving?  Get a baked potato wrapped in foil until your gluten-free meal arrives.  Now, do not do this every single time.  Those folks have to go down several levels to fetch food and you don't want to be a pain.  But if the main dining area is closed, they need to make an effort to keep you safe.  On our last cruise, we were advised not to eat anywhere but the main dining room and that included room service (they are not trained to handled allergies).  My headwaiters have sent goodies (prepackaged gluten free rolls and cookies for us to keep in our room.  We can always grab whole fruit (I wash it first) to snack on.  I bring gluten-free non-perishable items with me to eat while at port in case we can't find anything (which can be often).  Again, when we get back to our ship, we contact our headwaiter and he/she can prepare some snacks until we have dinner.   Be grateful and not picky.   We eat all meals in the dining room (or at least as much as possible).  Our headwaiter had a few other celiacs on our cruise this summer, so they prepared some gluten-free waffles, etc. for our breakfast!  What a treat!  At breakfast, we'd have different waiters, so our headwaiter would always instruct our waiters each and every time!  They even let me tour the kitchen and showed me the allergy section.   The only time I did not feel safe was at the buffet.  We once ordered gluten-free pizza and I realized (I watched) that that restaurant didn't really have the gluten-free thing down), do I called him on it.  Got the manager etc.  So, be careful.  Other cruises made us frozen Udi"s which was just fine with us.  They covered it up in foil so that we would not get any cross contamination from their pizza oven. So, have fun!   Tipping?  We prepaid our gratuities, but we gave our headwaiter an extra $200.00 for his time.  For us, it was well worth the service and safety of our food.  It does not hurt to slip some of the tip ahead of time (like after your first meal!)   Oh, I checked your ship.  You must eat in the diningroom if you have special dietary needs.
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