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Puffy/swollen Eyelids
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Hello! Since I was a teenager, I have woken up EVERY morning with swollen eyelids (top and bottom), and sacs of fluid underneath my eyes. I tried for years to figure out why, but the only possibility came down to a slight allergy to dust mites. I have hardwood floors, cover my beds with dust mite covers, sleep with silk bedding, have a hepa air purifier, wash my bedding in solution that kills mites every week, take allergy shots, and take an antihistamine before bed....my point....I highly doubt the fluid sacs around my eyes are from dust mites.

All of my labs for every disease or illness under the sun that cause puffy eyes came back normal. I am healthy and have a low sodium diet. My hands do swell at times, but other than that no other parts of my body are ever swollen.

Two weeks ago, I received my results from enterolab stating that I have anti-gliandin levels of 68 units (well above normal)...aka, I am gluten intolerant. I have not been tested for Celiac. (Should I trust enterolab results?)

As far as my eyes go, there is no real itch most of the time, the side I sleep on tends to be worse (although it always affects both eyes), and my eyes are very red. Preparation H causes much less fluid retention, so that leads me to believe this is due to angioedema (some sort of intolerance/allergy). I have seen an ophthalmologist, ENT, oculoplastic surgeon, and allergist who all agree, but can't figure out what the problem is.

I have been off gluten for about a month (but have been accidentally glutened) and have seen improvement. Do/did any of you wake up with swelling around your eyes due to gluten on a daily basis? How long after going off gluten did this issue go away? Its so frustrating!

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I am not sure if this is gluten related just yet since I only started my gluten-free diet one week ago, but for the last year, I've had a puffy-feeling face that is red and I can feel it but others cannot see the puffyness, but I know its there. I had stomach problems before this and then was put on flagyl which made things much worse, so my face could still be having side-affects from the flagyl or the gluten or both. Hopefully we will both see changes soon.

It is frustrating but we have to stay positive. You are a strong person!

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I wake up mornings with swollen eyes and bags and have not found that being off gluten has helped much. The only things which have helped was when I did a whole year or so of internal body cleanses (parasite, kidney, liver flushes and various liver support and toxin removing herbal programs). Its possible that you have some food allergies and if you are not digesting your food properly the food antigens could be passing into your body. You may have a silent reflux so when you lay down small amounts the undigested food backs up into your esophagus and mouth and the food antigens may be spread in saliva across your face as you are sleeping.

I found a book which guided me in removing toxins from both my body and environment. If you are reacting to some chemical then anything with a chemical solvent may be causing your reactions even the polish on your shoes, formalin in your bedding, furnature polish, traces of detergent on clothes and bedding, recently painted surfaces, traces of cosmetics. It took me several years to clean out the all the toxins from my home. You might also have molds growing in the structure of you house, especially the bathroom and kitchen.

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Mari,

Have you been able to pinpoint what is causing your eyes to swell up in the morning? How long have you been off gluten for? I guess the reason I thought it was from gluten is because of the decrease I have seen in the puffiness every day since going gluten-free. But, I am definitely willing to explore more options and other areas as a source of the problem. Thanks!

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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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