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What To Do Now?
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3 posts in this topic

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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    • Thankyou both! I was wondering if my high levels left much doubt on the diagnosis. I don't see the GI until the 15th Sep and I don't think I can stand to eat gluten in that time. If he tells me to I will do so after then. After 25 years of symptoms I don't think there is much chance of healing my bowel In a couple of weeks. I'm actually terrified of the damage they might find. But I think I will need the endo since there may be other things going on with me. So great they didn't put your son through the biopsy! Once I have a formal diagnosis I have my kids to worry about also. I can't even stand the thought of my daughter having a blood test. I think she would need to be sedated as she is so fearful and pain sensitive. My son is not yet 2 so I don't think they will test him. I'm feeling so off at the moment. I think I have some anxiety and reflux going on complicating things quite a bit.
    • My son's antibodies were 300. Based on his extremely high levels, his pediatric GI suggested genetic testing instead of the biopsy. Genetic testing can't diagnose celiac on its own but combined with such high levels, the gi dr was confident a positive genetic test would confidently diagnose celiac. He warned that biopsies are small snapshots of the intestine and can miss damage. He said this is an approach used very often in Europe but not as much in the US. What sold me on that approach was the ability to put my son directly on a gluten free diet instead of waiting three weeks for the biopsy, during which time he would continue to eat gluten and feel terrible. I'm not sure if this is more common with younger patients though (our son is two), based on the idea that he's had less time to inflict damage that would show in a biopsy? We are very happy that we immediately started the gluten free diet and chose the genetic testing. Our son got the proper diagnosis and his recent number shows a drop to 71 after only 4.5 months gluten free! Not sure if this helps. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!
    • We have been off gluten for a while now, and symptoms return when I've allowed gluten full meals… so something still isn't sitting right with me.  Checking with her doc about seeing a pediactric GI although I'm not sure how long that will take since we live in small town America. I know she didn't get at least one of the recommended full panel tests but maybe two, can someone help clarify, or is she missing two? DGP for sure and possibly EMA? And if I understand what I'm reading in other posts that the DGP can be more accurate? Thanks Her blood panel results: Ttg ab iga <.5u/ml ttg igg <.8u/ml aga ab iga <.2 u/ml aga an igg <.7u/ml iga 61mg/dL  
    • I was tested for the full panel, I believe. I had normal values for t-transglutaminase (ttg) igg,t-transglutaminase (ttg) iga, deamidated gliadin abs igg, deamidated gliadin abs iga, and immunoglobulin a qn serum.  
    • Going gluten free may be beneficial if you're among the roughly 10 percent of people who suffer from celiac disease, a genetic immune disorder, ... View the full article
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