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Hi everyone, I am new here but I would really appreciate any help or advice. I am a 20 year old female and have been having chronic diarrhea, bloating, gas, and pain for about 7 years. Around the same time that my GI problems began, I also began getting eczema really bad on my neck and arms. I used to have really oily skin and acne and now my skin is dry and painful no matter how much fluid I drink or how much lotion I put on. My lips are almost always chapped and cracking at the corners. Well I never really was treated or talked about any of my problems except the eczema. Now that I am in college, I know that what has been going on is not normal and I want answers. I went to my nurse practitioner who said I had IBS and gave me antispasmodic medicine that did not help at all. In a separate visit to the health services doctor on campus, I was diagnosed with "angular cheilitis" which explains the cracking of the lips. I seriously do everything I can to eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and take care of my skin but I feel that everything is out of my control. The rash has spread to my eyelids and my lips are so red and painful, and I am so embarrassed even to go out in public or talk to anyone that I know. I went to a different doctor again today who said that she thought it sounded like celiac, and she did a blood test for celiac. My question is, do any of these symptoms sound like celiac? If so, does the rash and angular cheilitis go away on a gluten-free diet? Thanks in advance for any help!

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Welcome to the board. Yes it does sound like you may be celiac. Do make sure you don't go gluten free until all testing is finished. However even if your test results are negative you should still give the diet a good strict try as false negatives do happen.

If you do have problems with gluten then yes the problems you are having should hopefully resolve. You may want to get some stress level B vitamins as that may help a bit.

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Hi racheldeniseh,

I can't add to what ravenwoodglass already said, but just wanted to say hang in there! I'm sure it's difficult to juggle these health issues with schoolwork and your social life, but it sounds like you're taking good care of yourself and you're on your way to getting some answers. Good for you! Hugs!

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You certainly sound like a typical celiac from the symptoms you described.

Be happy your're a typical celiac and not a celiac like I am. I have some digestive problems(gas, poor digestion) but the bulk of my celiac symptoms or neurological and psycological. Crippling Anxiety, and messed up hormones. Blows. The eczema I can relate with. I have eczema on my right achilles heel, right hand, and belt area of my stomach. Its minor when I am gluten free but when I eat something with gluten it literally explodes.

Go get a test I suppose but some people can be extremely gluten intolerant and not show up on a Celiac panel. Thats my case. I can't even eat the Gluten Free Food products.

Couple of questions

You mentioned skin. Do you get dandruff? I had terrible dandruff with my overall dry, cracked skin. Getting better though.

DId you have some sort of trauma that caused these symptoms to start back 7 years ago? Physical/Mental Trauma/Stress can cause gluten intolerance to appear. Did for me.

Main Advice: Go gluten free. Fruits, Veggies, and meat only. Its not that Bad. You get used to it. Also remember to stay with it and don't get discouraged and cheat. It could take months or even years for your body to repair itself. Its been 4 months gluten-free for me and I am alot better but not everything is back to normal. Stay the course kiddo.

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Thank you so much everyone for your responses! It makes me feel good that I have support and people that can relate to what I am going through. :) To Lownskater52: I do have really bad dandruff.. My entire body is just always dry. I do not think I had any trauma during that time, but I cannot remember that time period very well. I wish I would have sought help sooner about all of this. Hopefully my results come back soon. I am still eating gluten as of now, but I will talk to my doctor about what to do next if it is positive or negative.

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Bingo. You sound just like me.

Get tested and whatnot then go gluten free. Whole Foods = Mecca. I guarantee some improvement but I do not guarantee being back to 100%. I'm not even there yet and I've been gluten-free for 4 months.

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One more thing. DO you have dark circles/bags under your eyes? I do and its a sign of overall toxicity.

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YES! I always have dark circles under my eyes!! Everyone always tells me how tired I look. What does overall toxicity mean? Thanks Lownskater52!!!

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Hahaha. Sounds like we have the same thing going on.

Dark circles are a sign of toxicity or hormonal imbalance. Most likely both. Your body prob sees the gluten as a toxin and you develop these bags under your eyes. In addition to this, this toxicity in your blood also causes hormonal imbalances (in your adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, ovaries etc...) for the double whammy effect.

Going gluten free will help. Idk if it will get you to 100% but i know it will help. hormonal imbalances also can take years to correct so stick with it.

Keep it up. I know how it is. When I got sick with this disease for the first time 1.5 years ago, I was in my last semester of college.

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I will let you know how my test turns out.. All my favorite foods have gluten but I would happily sacrifice if it meant I didn't have to suffer anymore. P.S. Are you a male or female?

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Aw you're a a cutie.

I'm a macho man.

We'll get you well. Can't be sick for the college experience.

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    • I figured I would update those who were wondering.  I have gotten the appt. so far moved up to August 30. I am waiting to have gene testing done via swab for all 3 of my kiddos tomorrow. My daughters celiac antibodies came up negative but her IgA is low which the ped said could cause false negative antibodies for celiac so she will need to see a GI dr. also. The pediatrician is going to call the GI to try to get them in sooner. I am keeping them all on a gluten diet until the GI dr. decides what to do. I am on the cancellation list already for my son, however I am not going to be persistent with my phone calls to them until I have the results of the gene test. I really want that result in my hand before going to the GI dr if I can. Maybe if he is positive, along with his bloodwork and my history they can forgo the endoscopy. But he will eat gluten till then.  My husband and I have been very honest and upfront with him as to what is going on and the possibility of the endoscopy and what that entails and although scared in general he seems ok after assuring him that since I have it he has me to help him every step of the way.  Going through his current diet with him I realized that he is truly on such a low gluten diet that I am actually surprised his bloodwork shows antibodies at all!  So I told him to make a list of allllll the gluten he could possibly think of eating and he needs to pound it until the GI visit or endoscopy. Funny thing is everything he keeps thinking of to want to eat...is already gluten free!  The other night we were at a friends and he asked if he could be done with his hotdog. I made him finish just the bread 😂 Thanks for your help and advise and I will keep y'all posted on both kids!  My oldest is a ok as far as all his antibodies. Just actually had a follow up for other immune issues and all his levels are now normal!
    • I like your plan Cara, I may have to include it in my sons.    Poor little guy is still very very sick. I think he is resisting and cheating, despite having the support of two other siblings and a 100% gluten-free home. 
    • Despite it being a nightmare, I did wait for my kids to get biopsies. At one point I had one severely ill child gluten-free and two more waiting having to eat it. It was worth the wait though and I think long term a biopsy may be worthwhile, especially for school. I have already had issues with schools and camps so having a firm diagnosis has been helpful. 
    • Knowing that the reaction to gluten in celiacs is an uncalled for immune system reaction, I was thinking of how a cure would be possible. Maybe a medicine that somehow turns off the immune system. The only thing that i've heard do that... HIV.  obviously that's way worse than celiac. Just some food for thought.
    • Well, you can probably get an apple or something.  You might be able to get someone to boil you some eggs.  But be careful of things like nuts that should be naturally gluten free.  They have almost always been soaked in a flavor solution that usually containes caramel coloring, "soy" (wheat) sauce and other aditives.  If I am really hungry and must eat in a Chinese restaurant, I order plain white rice and steamed vegetables.  But even so, you must monitor it carefully.  The rice sometimes has other substances added to give it a better texture, and very often the vegetables have in fact had "just a little bit" of soy sauce added.  To be fair, celiac disease is hardly ever found in East Asians, so understandably people are not tuned it to it.  Also, culturally, with the exception of fruits, it is generally thought that the flavor of foods needs to be enhanced, so it is had to find anything natural even in the "western" gorceries. Even in the western restaurants, be careful.  Fish and meat and often vegetables are usually pre-marinated. I will not even attempt to address the issue of cross-comtamination, since that is a whole higher order of things. I do know what I am talking about; I have celiac and have worked here for nearly 7 years.  
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