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Gluten Intolerance? Ibs? Or Both?
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3 posts in this topic

2 years ago after finding out there was a history of celiac in my family (grandfather) and me having celiac symptoms (explosive diarrhea, painful gas, and infertility), my doc put me on a gluten-free diet and my symptoms went away AND I got pregnant within 4 weeks (after 7 year drought). Now 2 years later after still being gluten free, I am having severe attacks of painful gas and diarrhea. Since I have occasionally "cheated" once a week over the last 2 years with mild forms like soy sauce, or a single cookie in one day, any random attacks I've had I attributed to the cheating. But now being 100% gluten free for 5 months, there is no reason for it.

I went to an allergist and was tested for all food allergies, I have NO allergies to anything else including wheat,milk, eggs, corn, etc.. (didn't bother to test for gluten since it would be negative anyways with no gluten diet). He said that he is not actually convinced I have gluten intolerance, that he leans more to IBS since I have boughts of constipation once a week the day before I have the diarrhea. He said wheat would have inflamed the IBS in the same manner as if I had GI. He suggested I go on high doses of fiber, see if the attacks go away, and then even possibly re-introduce gluten just as a test to see if it was simply IBS all along.

I was hoping someone would have any experience for me with these two. Is it possible it's just been IBS (which is inflamed with wheat and dairy and stress?) Or does GI go hand in hand with IBS frequently and I may just have both? I have a few months before we do the re-intro diet..and the suspense of whether I am not actually GI is killing me, lol. Is there any way to know the difference?

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It is possible for you to be intolerant, which is not the same as an allergy, to something else. I would stay away from dairy to start with and then if nothing changes maybe take soy out too. If in fact you do have celiac disease, then your villi in your small intestine are damaged and by cheating you have continued to do damage. You have to be 100% gluten-free for this to work.

IBS is a symptom of something else, you have an irritable bowel from something.

I think if you really buckle down you will start to feel better. You need to not use the same condiments that have had a gluten knife in them- peanut butter, jelly, mustard, mayo, butter, etc. You will need a new toaster-because of gluten crumbs- and if your non-stick pans are scratched you will need your own new pans for gluten-free only, any wooden kitchen ware that has had gluten containing foods on it is contaiminated (CC) and can make you sick, scratched plastic needs to be replaced also. If your SO eats gluten you can get CC from kissing them before they have brushed their teeth. There are some people here that 'just a crumb' will make them very sick.

I hope you are able to get some answers so you can get better.

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IBS is not a diagnosis, it is a description of a set of symptoms caused by something. You will need to find out what that something is before you get better. If you are eating fruits and vegetables you should be getting plenty of fiber - unfortunately most other fiber is gluten (although there is psyllium husks.) Check out the fiber supplements for gluten free and see if we can put that theory into a cocked hat (which is where I think it probably belongs :P ) It is an MD favorite, as is IBS.

With a family history of celiac that is far more likely to be the culprit and I would advise you, as dixiebell has, to get really scrupulous about eliminating the gluten, including from all personal care products like lip gloss, toothpaste, hand lotion, shampoo, etc., in addition to what dixiebell mentioned. Check all scrips and OTC meds for gluten too. You have to get it ALL!

Good luck on your detective work. It worked before - it can work again!

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