Get email alerts Get Celiac.com E-mail Alerts  




Celiac.com Sponsor:
Celiac.com Sponsor:




Ads by Google:






   Get email alerts  Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts

Undiagnosed With Questions
0

11 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

I've had amenorrhea (absence of menstrual cycles) since I was 12, and I've been taking birth-control pills to regulate my periods since 16, as the doctor's conclusion was that I had a hormonal imbalance. I'm 33 now.

I've always been constipated (sometimes diarrhea but not as often as constipation) and always overweight, even as a little child. I never had any abdominal problems other than the constipation and bloating, but I never felt any pain.

I went to doctors so many times complaining about being depressed, suffered severe mood-swings & anxiety, tired and constipated, and I even told them that I ate healthy and exercised, but they always smirked at me and linked my problems to my weight. They told me that nothing was wrong with me, to go home and start eating vegetables and cut down on pasta. A gynecologist even told me that there was no need for me to get periods at all, so even the birth-control treatment was needless!

I started reading a lot about hormonal conditions because I wasn't satisfied with the treatments I got from doctors, and I falsely came to the conclusion that I had PMDD (advanced state of PMS), so I went to yet another gynecologist and explained all my issues to him. All he did was prescribe a different type of birth-control pill and gave me anti-depressants, which only made things worse.

I however read on a PMDD website that a good natural treatment for PMDD was to cut gluten, sugar, lactose, salt, caffeine and salt from my diet, so I did that. That's when I started feeling better, but still not all the time (since I had no clue I had to be 100% strict! I still ate processed foods and ready-made sauces which I had no clue contained gluten).

As I was visiting family this summer, they all tried talking me out of gluten-free eating because they felt bad that I couldn't enjoy all that food they were eating. They told me it was all bullshit and silly because no doctor actually told me to stop eating gluten. I was almost convinced since I wasn't really feeling so good anyway, but I went online a see if any websites confirmed it was all a myth.

That's when I found that amenorrhea is a symptom of celiac disease. I always thought that my digestive issues were caused by my hormonal imbalance, and not the other way around. I dismissed celiac disease before because the doctors told me I had a hormonal imbalance. I didn't know doctors could be so stupid.

I also discovered that my gluten-free diet wasn't effective while reading about celiac disease. I had no clue I was still eating so much "hidden" gluten.

Discovering I might have celiac disease made so much sense, because whenever I exercised, I would feel weaker after.. and people are supposed to feel stronger after working out, but I would have such awful muscle weakness (not pain) that pushing on the bicycle paddle was harder than the previous day, until it would be too difficult, so I'd stop working out until the next week (where my strength would be back). It also made sense because I don't have hair or acne on my face or any faulty reproductive features which could be caused by hormonal problems.

Now I'm watching every last ingredient if I buy any ready-made good or sauce, and I even try to avoid anything in a jar or a can. I'm sticking to only fresh stuff and keeping check on all the hidden gluten in flavorings and whatever. Even my weight has been going down, but I have a few questions that I'm hoping you guys can help me with, since there is no way I'm going to a god-forsaken doctor anymore.

1. How do I know what kind of supplements I need? My teeth are slightly transparent and decayed but I don't have any serious bone or dental problems. My nails tend to bend even when they're short.

2. I sometimes get dandruff and itchy scalp. Will this be treated by dieting? I'm currently using VICHY shampoo which I hope is gluten-free (they're not answering my emails).

3. Since I don't get any immediate symptoms (like cramps or sore throat) after eating gluten, how do I know I've made a mistake before it's too late? All I feel is constipation, bloating and anxiety.

Thank you anyone who reads this. I appreciate any help and pointers, specially since I don't know anyone else who knows about this. My entire family cares less about ingesting gluten even though I've told them it's hereditary. Not a single doctor I've met ever thought twice about helping me since to them being overweight pretty much sums it all up for them. My weight has been going down on it's and I pretty much eat the same amounts as I always have.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Ads by Google:

Just to address the chewing gum and ketchup issue. I don't chew gum but I haven't heard of any with gluten. I would think sugar free gum would be OK. In the US, i haven't seen any ketchup with gluten.

Have you had yourself tested for anemia, iron, ferritin, B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D? Severe vitamin deficiencies are a result of the intestinal damage. You can't absorb the nutrients.

I assume through all this they are watching your thyroid?

Not every pain or problem is related directly or indirectly to gluten. Your back might just hurt because you lifted something wrong. Alot of things, like bad fingernails, can be related to the vitamin deficiencies caused by celiac. They can also be related to thyroid, dry air, etc.

Make sure you are not deficient and supplement what you are lacking.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to address the chewing gum and ketchup issue. I don't chew gum but I haven't heard of any with gluten. I would think sugar free gum would be OK. In the US, i haven't seen any ketchup with gluten.

Have you had yourself tested for anemia, iron, ferritin, B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D? Severe vitamin deficiencies are a result of the intestinal damage. You can't absorb the nutrients.

I assume through all this they are watching your thyroid?

Not every pain or problem is related directly or indirectly to gluten. Your back might just hurt because you lifted something wrong. Alot of things, like bad fingernails, can be related to the vitamin deficiencies caused by celiac. They can also be related to thyroid, dry air, etc.

Make sure you are not deficient and supplement what you are lacking.

Thanks kareng. I'll get myself tested when I get back to Sweden. I'm currently on a trip in the middle-east. The chewing-gum and ketchup are local brands. The gum contained dexterin and the ketchup some type of flavoring. I did a thyroid check a few years ago because I was gaining unexplained weight (which turned out to be due the anti-depressant paroxatin). They said my thyroid was not under-active.. but I'm not sure if that has anything to do with celiac disease symptoms.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks kareng. I'll get myself tested when I get back to Sweden. I'm currently on a trip in the middle-east. The chewing-gum and ketchup are local brands. The gum contained dexterin and the ketchup some type of flavoring. I did a thyroid check a few years ago because I was gaining unexplained weight (which turned out to be due the anti-depressant paroxatin). They said my thyroid was not under-active.. but I'm not sure if that has anything to do with celiac disease symptoms.

Who knows in the middle-east? I didn't even know they had ketchup!

IN the US. dextrin and flavorings are considered safe.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been reading some other posts and some new questioned have come up! I would appreciate your input and advice.

Can Dermatitis Herpetiformis appear on a single finger? I was getting a rash where the skin broke and got flaky together with tiny blisters. It both itched and burns (specially at night). I went to a doctor and he told me it was allergies from dish soap, and gave me cortisone cream for it. The rash went away when I started using gloves when washing dishes, and the cream was quite effective if it showed up again. This rash only appears on my right middle finger and the back of my left hand but milder. A few weeks ago I got a red flaky patch on the bikini line as well but it didn't have blisters. It was very itchy and a little inflamed though. They've both gone now that I've gotten off gluten 100%. I'm starting to think it might be a mistake not to get myself diagnosed now.

I'm trying to figure out which one of my parents has celiac, even though they're not taking me seriously. My mother is very short and skinny, can suffer from constipation, and has a red rash patch (small and flaky but no blisters) on both her knees. She doesn't have diabetes and I don't know about her thyroid.

My dad on the other hand has diabetes, thyroid problems, constipation, and suffers severe mood swings like me (I used to think he was bipolar because he'd be calm for months then become overactive and irritable the next months). But he's quite tall and his bone structure is wide. Is it possible that both my parents have celiac?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites




Hello forum dwellers,

I've sadly not gotten any responses to my questions, but I know that the forum is large and it's hard to give every last poster your attention. I've luckily read around and found answers to most of my questions as well so no worries:-)

Nevertheless I'm still having stomach aches. I just never had them before, or maybe I just didn't notice them, or maybe they're just placebo.. I don't know, but I've been getting them often since getting off the gluten. The constipation is gone on it's own for the first time in my life but I don't know why I'm getting stomach aches. Like when I sit or lie down on it, it hurts. I didn't stop the lactose yet because I'm on trip in the middle east and the yogurt dishes or dishes that are eaten with yogurt are made really often. Could the lactose be causing the ache? My stools are kindof loose as well (sorry for the grossness). Will continuing to eat lactose prohibit my intestines from healing as well? I'm going home in a week.

I'm also wondering why getting diagnosed is very important.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dani

Doctors like getting you diagnosed as they think that celiacs need to be very strict about the diet to avoid further health problems. They currently think that people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may not need to be quite as strict, and may even have a level of tolerance to ingesting small amounts of gluten. However I haven't managed to find any research to back this up, and many of us think that doctors are simply missing many celiac cases because of problems with the testing (or simply not testing when they ought to). Given the wide range of symptoms experienced by diagnosed celiacs (from near-death to completely silent)you could argue that if you have observed any form of gluten sensitivity, strict avoidance is less risky.

A formal diagnosis also helps other family members get tested, as medical guidelines encourage the testing of first degree relatives. Celiac disease is strongly heritable, and one day you may need to have your children tested. A diagnosis also helps to stop other family members thinking you are simply odd to avoid gluten for no reason validated by a doctor!

As for the ongoing stomach aches etc - well, it just takes time to heal. Until you do, it may continue to hurt for a while.

Continuing to consume lactose won't help you heal. Lactase to digest the lactose is produced in the tips of the villi. If these are damaged by celiac, you won't be able to digest it. I don't know if consuming it will actually set you back in healing, but I personally feel it is likely, albeit not the same extent as gluten ingestion. I tried some hard cheese for the first time yesterday (after 5 months gluten free), and it just gave me stomach ache, gurgling and bloating. Not as bad as a gluten reaction, but not helpful either. I'm going to continue to avoid it for a bit longer. I agree it is tough for you though, if you are trying to eat while travelling, and dairy is in most of the local food. I hope you enjoy your trip despite your discomfort. It is a fascinating area of the world.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was lactose intolerant for milk, ice cream, cream and frozen yogurt (not really yogurt), but was able to tolerate yogurt, cheese and sour cream without any problem. This is because these products have cultures and enzymes which digest the lactose for you and are mostly lactose free. I believe it is probably not worth spoiling your trip over not consuming a little yogurt - you can find out whether or not it bothers you when you get home, but do avoid the full lactose products like milk, etc.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dani, watch out for ketchup in the MIddle East. Only eat it if it is from a packet. They add water and other stuff to "stretch" the Ketchup in my experience. It tastes bad when they do this. We follow this rule anywhere outside the US to be honest but I really noticed the weird ketchup in the Middle East.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dani, watch out for ketchup in the MIddle East. Only eat it if it is from a packet. They add water and other stuff to "stretch" the Ketchup in my experience. It tastes bad when they do this. We follow this rule anywhere outside the US to be honest but I really noticed the weird ketchup in the Middle East.

Yeah I don't eat it anymore. Thanks

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      104,357
    • Total Posts
      920,528
  • Topics

  • Posts

    • 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!)  
    • <strong>Celiac Disease & Gluten-free Diet Information at Celiac.com. Gluten Free Diabetes ::The 3 Step Trick that Reverses Diabetes Permanently in ... View the full article
    • I had a biopsy done (2 samples, 1 on a lesion and 1 next to lesions), and also more bloodwork done. All came back negative. However, I only had been eating gluten for 2 weeks prior, and it took a week of gluten for lesions to reappear. I also used a topical steroid off and on (1x a week approximately) for a month or so before testing. The dermatologist told me to stay off gluten though, and said she wants to do more allergy testing (her next open testing appt is in 6 months!!). I know I'm not the DR, but I dont think it's allergies...without a doubt, my skin begins clearing about 2 weeks post gluten-free diet...this is without changing anything else in my lifestyle. And when i had to go back on gluten before my biopsy, it took about a week, but did reappear. Now, about 2 weeks post biopsy and gluten-free, it had begun clearing until i worked outside all day in heat, humidity,  sweat etc and it has definitely irritated all the places that were healing (not new breakouts, just aggravating what was going away!). All that being said, i have a friend who is an MD( who's hobby is to attend conferences on skin conditions!), and she has told me that without a doubt, I have celiac/DH.  I think I just feel like I need test results and paperwork to show for it...especially to show family members who are unsupportive (gross understatement!) of the extreme changes I've had to make!
    • Sorry ! I have never cruised before.  Just wanting to follow your topic.  Good luck! Have a great,  safe vacation.  
    • Hi there, I hope you're all having a good day! I'll be heading on a week-long Carnival cruise shortly and had a few questions: -What is the tipping protocol? I've prepaid gratuities, but feel like the food request will warrant something extra. Should I tip the headwaiter? Hostess? Regular waiter? Chef? Those cooking at, say, the sandwich or pasta bars? If so, how much is appropriate, and should I tip at the beginning of the cruise, the end, or split it up? -It looks like the main dining room will be closed during lunch hours on most days. Any recommendations on safe bets for midday meals? I'll be on the Carnival Sunshine, for what that's worth. Thank you so much for any information you can share!  
  • Upcoming Events

  • Blog Entries

  • Recent Status Updates

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      61,432
    • Most Online
      1,763

    Newest Member
    rbeckler60
    Joined