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What To Do Now?
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I guess I am just mostly venting because I'm frustrated that I can't figure out what is wrong with me. Last fall I was having gastro issues (bloating, D, cramping) and also some skin issues - severly itchy bumps that would come and go. I went gluten-free (I realize now that was dumb before seeing a doctor) and the GI issues resolved almost completely except I was still having loose/soft stools and occasional undigested food. I went to a GI doc because of these issues (at this point it had been going on for about 3 months and I also still had random itchy bumps) just to be sure there was nothing else wrong and she couldn't find anything. Obviously she didn't do any celiac tests because I was still gluten-free at that point. She did say I had a slightly elevated folate level which could indicate bacterial overgrowth and also I was slightly deficient in vitamin D. Ironically by the time I had my GI appointment (literally that day), I had a "normal" stool and did for the couple days after. I had also cut out dairy for the past month or so.

So, I decided to start eating gluten again because I really didn't have any reason not to. Yes I felt better without it but I also thought maybe it was just a virus or bacterial infection or something that took a long time to get rid of. I am not so concerned with a definite diagnosis if it is celiac but I am more concerned with some diagnosis if it is NOT celiac if that makes sense, so I am back on gluten just to try to rule it out as a cause. I am still off dairy because I don't want to add both back in at this point, although I have had a little greek yogurt and small amounts of hard cheddar.

So here's what has happened over the past 10 days eating gluten. I have no pain really, but some bloating. I don't know what is "normal" for someone's stomach to bloat after they eat but in the morning my waistline is about 27 inches and then after breakfast it is about 29 1/2 - 30 inches. I have been eating Cream of Wheat for breakfast but this morning I had just a piece of whole wheat toast and a smoothie and my tummy was 30 inches.

I still have "loose" stools and I only go in the mornings. Usually the first one is just loose and unformed and then I may go again once or twice and those are considerably looser, and usually very thin.

I still have the itchy bumps but they are coming in different forms now. I still have the tiny blistery types ones occasionally but I am now getting bigger more bug bite-looking ones. I have two on each arm now and had one on each side of my abdomen earlier this week. They do not look like typical DH but I have no idea what they are. They have sort of like a little indentation in the middle and after they itch/burn they are also sore.

So I guess I am just confused and a little worried because obviously something is not right. It doesn't appear to be celiac but also there doesn't seem to be anything else wrong that shows up on any tests. I am temtped to go back to being gluten-free but even then I had the loose stools and tiny bumps. Maybe I didn't wait long enough? But if it is gluten wouldn't I be having more severe reactions now?

I know this is all rambling but it helps to just get out my frustrations!

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I would consider seeing a dermatologist at this point, your rash does sound like DH. I would ask a Dermatologist to biopsy it...I would tell them you had GI issues for months/years, and that they were unable to determine a cause, and that you went gluten free...and now that are adding it back in your rash is changing/worsening. Ask them to biopsy it (they should biopsy it along a active lession). I would also ask the dermatologist to do the blood test for celiac, a FULL panel.

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I would consider seeing a dermatologist at this point, your rash does sound like DH. I would ask a Dermatologist to biopsy it...I would tell them you had GI issues for months/years, and that they were unable to determine a cause, and that you went gluten free...and now that are adding it back in your rash is changing/worsening. Ask them to biopsy it (they should biopsy it along a active lession). I would also ask the dermatologist to do the blood test for celiac, a FULL panel.

Thanks for your advice! And thank you for reading my long post! :)

I think I will try to make an appointment with a dermatologist.

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    • Hi Lisa, I completely understand why you didn't do a biopsy on your daughter.  I went through the appendix thing myself...not fun!  I was diagnosed with just bloodwork and no biopsy, but did have the full panel.  I would go back to your PCP and ask for a full panel to include TTG, EMA and DGP tests.  Since she was already willing to test you, I'm sure she would be willing to order these.  Good luck!
    • What a gross title–it bothers me and I wrote it! It wasn't my idea originally. The research paper the data came from was entitled, "Experimental hookworm infection and gluten microchallenge promote tolerance in celiac disease" published recently in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. View the full article
    • katesyl.........this is an older topic so the OP most likely won't answer.  I can, however, offer a piece of advice for you. Just going gluten free will probably not drive your inflammation markers down into normal.  It does depend on how high they were to begin with but with all autoimmune diseases, there will be inflammation going on forever.  Get used to wonky blood work because most of us will have that issue. I have 4 autoimmune diseases in total and, although I have driven certain inflammatory markers way down, my recent sed rate number was elevated.  The normal is supposed to be 30 and under in a woman my age but mine is 50.  With 4 AI diseases, I doubt it will ever be normal and I don't let it bother me. I am not willing to take major meds at all and use more natural anti-inflammatory supplements.  You can do whatever you feel comfortable with in regards to treatment but don't expect normal numbers with Celiac Disease. Inflammation will improve but normal?  Most people never get there completely.
    • My daughter's PCP did not go against anything, she offered to do the biopsy - I was the one opposed to it. My DD, who was 10 at the time had just spent 3 weeks in the hospital, very sick with a ruptured appendix, then had 2 surgeries a few months after. I didn't see the need to put her through anything else with her numbers so high and all the classic symptoms. Apparently, in some other countries, if your numbers are all high, they forego biopsy. Anyway, I was really asking about myself and whether I should push for add'l testing. I am still new this this and trying to get up-to-date and wasn't sure if my PCP should conduct other blood tests before I go completely gluten-free. I have been somewhat gluten-free, but not entirely. I have no problem going gluten-free, but want to make sure that I am doing it for the right reasons. I wasn't sure if the Gliadin Abs IgA was sufficient to point to Celiac and possibly doing a biopsy for me. Or if additional blood test would make more sense.   Thanks!!
    • I would like to know if you have found out the source of your inflammation yet. I'm gluten free three years but my inflammation test was high.
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