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Chronic Diarrhea


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Miserable

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 05:52 PM

Hi all,

I have been suffering from chronic diarrhea for over two years now, and it is seriously effecting my quality of life. I put it down to bad IBS but recently I have gotten so sick of the symptoms I went to my doctor to find out if there were any other underlying causes. He mentioned coeliac disease to me and I am now wondering if my symptoms fit. I have read a few posts on this forum and it seems to me that there are a lot of people who suffer from weight loss and lethargy but little mention of diarrhea. Is diarrhea a major symptom of coeliac disease? I am constantly tired even though I sleep over 12 hours a night but I have experienced no weight loss. On top of that I have become extremely sensitive to lactiose, so I have cut that out of my diet and it has helped. I have always been lactose intolerant, but it is worse now than before. Also, would I be able to ask for feedback on test results I am expecting on Monday (blood and stool)?

Thank you for any feedback I get given on this!
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#2 shopgirl

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:30 PM

You're definitely a Celiac candidate but if you want accurate test results, you need to keep eating gluten. Cutting it out for even a short time can effect your tests. You need to keep it in your system.

And I'm surprised you didn't see diarrhea as a symptom since that's always been the classic symptom of the disease although many of us don't have it.
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"My experience has been that there is, surprisingly, always hope." - Eleven

Positive blood test & endoscopy / Gluten-free 10-07-10 / Dairy-free / Soy-free

#3 Miserable

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 11:32 PM

Thank you for the feedback. I am not cutting out any gluten at the moment because I am mindful that it would effect future tests. Have you had an endoscopy? What is it like? It doesn't sound pleasant....I think that I will probably press for that to make certain that I don't have coeliac disease. As I said, blood tests come in on Monday. What constitutes a result of coeliac disease?
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#4 shopgirl

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 04:33 AM

Before the endoscopy, they give you a small cocktail of drugs similar to cold medicines to make you very drowsy. You're technically responsive if they spoke to you, you'd respond but you won't remember anything afterward. While you're all hazy, the doctor puts a long scope down your throat with a camera attached. They'll check out your esophagus and your stomach while they're in there and then go down to your small intestine to take several biopsies again, completely painless. You'll wake up a little while later without feeling a thing except a little groggy for awhile.

The lab will look at the biopsy samples under a microscope for evidence of damage to the villi. The villi are little fingerlike appendages in your small intestine that are responsible for sucking in vitamins and nutrients. In Celiac, these little villi start to get blunted and smoothed out. You have blunted villi? You have Celiac. Some people have complete atrophy. Others, like me, have partial damage because it was caught after only a few years. The worst part about the endoscopy is not being able to eat the morning of the test. It's really not a big deal.

The endoscopy is usually called the "gold standard" test for Celiac. Although even if your tests come back negative for Celiac, that doesn't mean that you don't have a non-Celiac gluten sensitivity or intolerance. That's something you'd have to find through dietary changes.

One more thing, Celiac can present through hundreds of different symptoms or none at all. You mentioned some of the more classic symptoms: diarrhea, weight loss; but in my case, I gained about 50 pounds for no apparent reason (I eat well and exercise daily), developed chronic constipation, and had zero abdominal pain or discomfort. Some Celiacs are completely asymptomatic and don't know they have the disease until their tests come back positive.

I hope some of this helps. :)
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"My experience has been that there is, surprisingly, always hope." - Eleven

Positive blood test & endoscopy / Gluten-free 10-07-10 / Dairy-free / Soy-free

#5 Marz

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 07:28 AM

Welcome, I hope you get some firm results from the blood test and endoscopy. Please do post your results, we can help explain them if the doctor isn't being helpful. Also I hope the doctor has requested the full celiac blood test panel?

Yes, diarrhea and chronic fatigue are classic signs, with or without weight loss. Most doctors just look out for the classic symptoms, but as someone else mentioned, there's a huge range of symptoms associated with celiac disease/gluten intolerance.

Even if the test and endoscopy comes back negative, it's quite possible you're still gluten-intolerant. Once tests are done (including endoscopy), you can immediately start the gluten-free diet, and see if it makes a difference to your symptoms. Some people follow that up with a "gluten challenge" a few weeks later to see what response the re-introduction of gluten will do, a re-appearance of symptoms pretty much conclusively tells you gluten's the problem. You won't need to do that if your tests are positive though :)

Just note that if you do try the gluten-free diet, you need to be strict to see good results quickly - a small amount of gluten will still keep the inflammation going in your system.

It can take a few days to several weeks to see improvement, I hope in your case it will be rapid relief from the big d! :)
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Feb 2010 - Start of continuous GIT problems and panic attacks
July 2010 - Blood and biopsy -ve, went gluten free after testing which completely relieved symptoms
July 2011 - 1 year gluten free, food intolerances (Chicken, eggs, olives, goat milk) gone!

2012 - Soy no longer a problem
*************************************************************
Gluten intolerant

#6 Miserable

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 02:47 PM

Thank you for describing the endoscopy test for me. It doesn't sound as bad as I was imagining. I am getting my test results on Monday for blood and stool and I will post them here for feedback. I really hope that I can get this diarrhea cleared up, I really can't go on living like this! Thanks for your support.
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#7 luvs2eat

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Posted 12 November 2010 - 06:49 PM

Thank you for describing the endoscopy test for me. It doesn't sound as bad as I was imagining. I am getting my test results on Monday for blood and stool and I will post them here for feedback. I really hope that I can get this diarrhea cleared up, I really can't go on living like this! Thanks for your support.


Endoscopy is about the best test I've ever had! There's no yucky prep involved... they knock you out good... I wasn't responsive at all, I was OUT, completely under anesthesia. I work up w/ just a little scratchy throat. I went home and took a nice nap.

Diarrhea was my main symptom. Immodium helped and my doctor told me I could take it every day if I needed to.
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luvs2eat
Living in the beautiful Ozark mountains in Arkansas
positive blood tests and later, positive biopsy
diagnosed 8/5/02, gluten-free (after lots of mistakes!) since that day
Dairy free since July 2010 and NOT happy about it!!

#8 Sammyj

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 11:27 AM

Endoscopy is about the best test I've ever had! There's no yucky prep involved... they knock you out good... I wasn't responsive at all, I was OUT, completely under anesthesia. I work up w/ just a little scratchy throat. I went home and took a nice nap.

Diarrhea was my main symptom. Immodium helped and my doctor told me I could take it every day if I needed to.


I eliminated diarrhea when I eliminated Coffee.
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#9 Miserable

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 04:03 PM

I am already avoiding coffee and dairy products. Both have improved the diarrhea but not gotten rid of it. It is especially bad in the mornings, and I suffer from the moment I wake up. I am confused about one thing: for coeliacs, do they experience diarrhea after eating gluten or at any time of the day. I don't feel any better or worse immediately after eating bread or other glutens. Is that normal for someone with coeliac disease?
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#10 Miserable

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 01:04 AM

I got my test results today for coeliac disease and it came back negative, less than 5. So I guess that I don't have coeliac disease. The diarrhoea is still a mystery, I am booked for a colonoscopy in a few weeks time. Would coeliac disease show up on that? Or would it only be on an endoscopy?
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#11 shopgirl

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 06:51 AM

Celiac can't be diagnosed through a colonoscopy only an endoscopy.

You can still cut gluten out of your diet completely and see if you get a positive dietary response. Celiac tests aren't 100% accurate. And you might have non-Celiac gluten intolerance. Try eliminating gluten for at least a couple months and see if your symptoms improve.

No one said modern medicine was infallible.

(Okay, some have, but they're very, very wrong.)
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"My experience has been that there is, surprisingly, always hope." - Eleven

Positive blood test & endoscopy / Gluten-free 10-07-10 / Dairy-free / Soy-free

#12 andreae2

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 02:22 PM

Hey Miserable

Please give us an update.

I'm new to this forum, and have similar symptoms as you. I have had the colonscopy and gastroscopy (at the same time!!) and I'm not celiac. I believe I may still have gluten intolerance.

I am day 9 into a gluten/dairy/sugar free diet and am having diarrhoea days 5, 6, 7 and 9. I think raw nuts are causing my diarrhoea, so today I am cutting out nuts and tahini (which I was really enjoying!!!). Hopefully I'll see some improvement soon.

I am 97kgs, 44, female and have suffered from IBS on and off for most of my adult life. I also suffer really bad back and period pain. 18 months ago I had a procedure which burned the inside lining of my uterus, so the period pain has lessened 90%. The back pain and IBS symptoms continue. This is my major last ditch attempt to work out my dietary intolerances, so I can deal with whatever I need to deal with. Sugar cravings are gone, I'm aiming to keep it that way!

Love to hear an update of how you are going.

:)
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