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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Not What I Expected
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19 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,

First I want to say THANK YOU for what a huge help this forum has been. Even if I end up not being diagnosed with Celiac, I'm grateful for all the support and information I've seen while lurking here.

I had no idea that everything I've been going through can be linked to Celiac! The diarrhea/IBS, skin issues (keratosis pilaris and a small patch of DH), the vitamin deficiencies, the absolutely debilitating fatigue, and even an unexplained incident of a piece of bone breaking off my leg (that was surgically replaced).

I've got an endoscopy on Tuesday and I'm really worried about it. I'm still eating a "normal" diet but it's awful. Ever since I went gluten-free (or tried to) for three AMAZING days, my symptoms have gotten worse. That was almost a month ago and I've been bleeding after going D. No wonder the GI fit me in so fast...

I'm just scared and overwhelmed by the whole thing. The endoscopy, the possibility that it's not Celiac (but worse?!), and how I'll manage the diet. I'm not very good at menu-planning and I've been blessed with the type of body that just stays the right weight without effort. I had a nasty issue with Cheerios about a month ago that sparked this whole attempt to find a better diagnosis than IBS. When I first started researching Celiac, I figured it was just an allergy. Like...worst case scenario, if I'm out and want to have a big gluteny cupcake, then I'll just "pay for it later" with diarrhea. Now I know better, that it's an auto-immune disorder.

I'm sorry this is so long and I appreciate it if you've gotten this far. I will post my biopsy results as soon as I have them. I wish I could get out of this sickly rut and stop feeling so darn sorry for myself. It's just that it's been a very rough month and I'm not enjoying Labor Day weekend very much.

Take care,

Ivy

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Good luck with your endoscopy on Tuesday! :)

You don't have to be a great menu planner to eat well gluten-free, I find the key is just to make extra so you can always pack leftovers for lunches. LOL If you make eggs, make enough for two meals. Chilli is great to have in the freezer. Stuff like that. Oh, and I always carry a Lara bar in my bag in case of "snack emergency" ;)

I'm 2 months into the diet, and it does get easier. It seems almost simple now. You can do it. And the pay-off of no stomach aches, migraines or bloating? Good health is a really gratifying thing.

Best wishes to you. I hope you feel well soon.

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Welcome!

Transitioning to living gluten-free is very tough, but it does get easier with time. You mentioned you had an amazing three days when you tried removing gluten which bodes well that you will be feeling much better once you remove ALL gluten - which will give you more time and energy to help ease your transition.

You mentioned vitamin deficiencies, but I don't think you mentioned Celiac blood tests. Make sure you have a full celiac panel before you remove gluten. If you haven't had recent vitamin/mineral tests you might want to ask for B, D, K, iron, ferritin, copper and zinc so that you have all the starting data to compare future improvement. You should be able to have it done the same day as your endoscopy. You may have already had them all, but if not you could call on Monday to make sure it happens so that you can remove gluten as soon as your endo is done on Tuesday.

Good Luck :)

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Welcome to the forum, Nicole!

You've been through so much, conquering a gluten-free diet will be so much easier in comparison.

Like NV'smom, I cook extras too, to either freeze or refrigerate. I'm not a menu planner either, and don't particularly enjoy grocery shopping. I've found a huge benefit from being gluten-free: you cut a substantial amount of time shopping by hitting only the meat, fish, produce and canned good sections of the store, sometimes the freezer section.

I'm glad your gastro worked you in and wish you a much improved quality of life!

Here are a couple of things that I've found helpful...

An indoor grill (The Indoor Grilling Cookbook" is fabulous and has many recipes that are quick and use things you'll have on hand or can substitute.) I got my copy at a thriftstore, so it may be out of print.

Boil some eggs every now and then. They're great to have when you don't feel like cooking but need some protein. You can make egg or tuna salad, or add them to a salad or just have one on it's own, make devilled eggs...and Salad Nicoise always cheers me up, which is just a salad somebody dreamed up with left over potatoes, green beans, tuna, chopped egg, some greens and a simple dressing.

I find peeling potatoes very boring but have discovered that you can watch a movie while peeling them, it just takes a little scheming (vs. planning). You need a pot for the spuds, a bowl for the peels, the bag of taters, a peeler, your couch, a movie...

Then you boil the potatoes, mash some of them and save others for breakfast or lunch. Leftover mashed potatoes are great microwaved or as the topping for shepard's pie.

You will soon be over the worst of it and ready to steam forward.

Wishing you well,

Marilyn

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Hi Ivy,

Having a positive reaction to the gluten-free diet is a good sing you are on the right track. That wouldn't happen if there wasn't something going on when you eat gluten. Cooking your own food dosne't have to be complicated. You can cook a good meal in a simple skillet. For breakfast/lunch today I put onions, mushrooms, eggs and Daiya cheese sub shreds in a skillet and threw a lid on it. Usually I would add something green like peas or green beans too. Let it cook for 10 minutes or so on low heat and then chop it up and eat it in a corn tortilla. Rice wraps are available also from Rudi's.

Here's a bunch of threads that might help you get started. The meal threads for breakfast., lunch, dinner and desserts are good for ideas.

Some starting the gluten-free diet tips for the first 6 months:

Get tested before starting the gluten-free diet.

Don't eat in restaurants

Eat only whole foods not processed foods.

Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.

Take probiotics.

Take digestive enzymes.

Avoid dairy.

Avoid sugars and starchy foods.

Avoid alcohol.

FAQ Celiac com

http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/forum-7/announcement-3-frequently-asked-questions-about-celiac-disease/

Newbie Info 101

What's For Breakfast Today?

What Did You Have For Lunch Today?

What Are You Cooking Tonight?

Dessert thread

Easy yummy bread in minutes

How bad is cheating?

Short temper thread

Non celiac wheat sensitivity article

http://www.nature.com/ajg/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ajg2012236a.html

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Thoughts and prayers for you through your testing.

Some peeps are here with other health issues that a gluten free diet help.

There is emotional support here for medical testing, no matter what the outcome is. :)

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Welcome!

Transitioning to living gluten-free is very tough, but it does get easier with time. You mentioned you had an amazing three days when you tried removing gluten which bodes well that you will be feeling much better once you remove ALL gluten - which will give you more time and energy to help ease your transition.

You mentioned vitamin deficiencies, but I don't think you mentioned Celiac blood tests. Make sure you have a full celiac panel before you remove gluten. If you haven't had recent vitamin/mineral tests you might want to ask for B, D, K, iron, ferritin, copper and zinc so that you have all the starting data to compare future improvement. You should be able to have it done the same day as your endoscopy. You may have already had them all, but if not you could call on Monday to make sure it happens so that you can remove gluten as soon as your endo is done on Tuesday.

Good Luck :)

Wow, good catch! Yes, I had an awesome three days...it's not like I was instantly cured, but I think in comparison to the way I regularly feel it was pretty great! :) And no, the only test he ordered was the Transglutaminase test.

I doubt they'll answer on Monday as it's a holiday, but I'll call first thing Tuesday morning before I go to get my blood drawn. Might as well get pricked only once, right?

Thanks to everyone who responded, especially the notes on helping newbies navigate this glutened world.

Have a great, gluten-free weekend!

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I don't even know what to write. My endoscopy was on Tuesday and the anesthesiologist gave me Lidocaine (sp?) before I even got a chance to talk to the GI doing the scope. So I was a bit out of it, but I managed to ask how many biopsies he would do and he said 4 was their "standard."

Well I called yesterday and got them to rush things and now I've got my results: my intestines are normal. No sign of Celiac. Still haven't done the TTG blood test as lining up childcare isn't easy and I'm not very good about getting blood drawn.

I am devastated. No one cares. No one is rushing this unless I rush them. Anyone with a brain and an internet connection knows that you have to do multiple biopsies for Celiac. I've read that 8 to 12 are recommended. There is one nurse who seems to have taken an interest in me and will talk to the dr and call me tomorrow.

I don't even care anymore.

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I don't even know what to write. My endoscopy was on Tuesday and the anesthesiologist gave me Lidocaine (sp?) before I even got a chance to talk to the GI doing the scope. So I was a bit out of it, but I managed to ask how many biopsies he would do and he said 4 was their "standard."

Well I called yesterday and got them to rush things and now I've got my results: my intestines are normal. No sign of Celiac. Still haven't done the TTG blood test as lining up childcare isn't easy and I'm not very good about getting blood drawn.

I am devastated. No one cares. No one is rushing this unless I rush them. Anyone with a brain and an internet connection knows that you have to do multiple biopsies for Celiac. I've read that 8 to 12 are recommended. There is one nurse who seems to have taken an interest in me and will talk to the dr and call me tomorrow.

I don't even care anymore.

My GI took 6 biopsies and one of those was tested for H.pylori. At that time I had not even heard that 8 to 12 were recommended (I read that on here much later).

Since the samples are sent to the lab for a pathologist to examine them, it took me much longer to get the test results but because I had already had the blood work done, I went gluten-free the day of my endoscopy. Be sure you pick up a copy of the actual pathology report when you meet with your GI.

Let us know what you find out today when the nurse calls back. I know how frustrating it is to play the waiting game. I hope you can get the blood work done soon and then you can go gluten-free.

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My GI took 6 biopsies and one of those was tested for H.pylori. At that time I had not even heard that 8 to 12 were recommended (I read that on here much later).

Since the samples are sent to the lab for a pathologist to examine them, it took me much longer to get the test results but because I had already had the blood work done, I went gluten-free the day of my endoscopy. Be sure you pick up a copy of the actual pathology report when you meet with your GI.

Let us know what you find out today when the nurse calls back. I know how frustrating it is to play the waiting game. I hope you can get the blood work done soon and then you can go gluten-free.

The dr and nurses haven't mentioned H. pylori, I guess I'll have to research it myself. Thankfully the lab is open on Saturdays, so that's what I'll be doing tomorrow. Then I'm going gluten-free. I tried to get a diagnosis, he sent me for the TTG (that's tomorrow) and an endo. THEN he called me this morning and said he "didn't realize" that I had bleeding and wants to schedule a colonoscopy. Well it would have been way too convenient to do both at the same time, don't you think? So I scheduled the colonoscopy, thought about it, cancelled it...and here we are.

I tried to do this the right way, I tried to get a diagnosis, I called and made appointments, I had to keep harassing them to get the SOONEST appointments (um hello? Bleeding diarrhea here?), and now it's "gee whiz, let's do another invasive procedure that won't tell us anything except that you have inflammation!" Then I can get misdiagnosed again. Yay!

So that's the plan. Get the TTG done tomorrow, maybe I can get my PCP to order the full Celiac panel, and then I'm going gluten-free. No wonder this disease is so misdiagnosed/under-diagnosed.

Dear Medical Community,

Thanks for nothing.

-A Celiac Sufferer

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(((hugs))) Hang in there. You'll get them sorted out in the end.

Best wishes.

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Really sorry to say that the medical establishment really lacks (ok, sucks) when it comes to celiac disease. Hope you're okay. You tried to do everythng right. Keep us postted.

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I was told by my the head RN at the Surgery Center that I was really lucky I had the Gastro I chose. She said every other GI in town would have scheduled my upper and lower on separate days to maximize rembusement. There is soy in Lidocaine too. Nasty stuff.

If you're bleeding from the rectum, it would be a good idea to have a colonoscapy IMHO. Sorry a lot. It will probably be quicker and less hassle to see the original dr. vs. seeking a new one. You can chew him a new one at the time of your choosing. Might be good to wait until after the procedure.

Meantime, going gluten-free won't disrupt your test results for a colonoscopy. I hope you feel better soon!

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Yeah, I'm still pretty annoyed about having to go under again for a colonoscopy. I did the bloodwork on Saturday morning and I should have the results tomorrow (Wednesday). I've been trying to go gluten free, but it doesn't seem to be helping this time. The rash now appears daily, but it doesn't look like the pics of DH I've seen online. It's just an itchy, patchy redness that goes along both arms, my entire torso, and my knees.

I'm so tired and discouraged. I'm praying that the TTG will provide an answer tomorrow.

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Yeah, I'm still pretty annoyed about having to go under again for a colonoscopy. I did the bloodwork on Saturday morning and I should have the results tomorrow (Wednesday). I've been trying to go gluten free, but it doesn't seem to be helping this time. The rash now appears daily, but it doesn't look like the pics of DH I've seen online. It's just an itchy, patchy redness that goes along both arms, my entire torso, and my knees.

I'm so tired and discouraged. I'm praying that the TTG will provide an answer tomorrow.

Do not judge if you have DH by pictures of others rashes.

Judge it by your reaction to gluten. If gluten makes it flare, that's a strong sign. If you are sensitive to iodine (meaning ingesting iodine makes it flare) that's another sign. Theoretically, a biopsy is the best bet (better to do it on gluten and quickly if you are going off).

Gluten can cause many different skin reactions, judging by what we see on the board. It may or may not be DH.

But don't judge it by how it looks, just my $0.02.

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I want to thank all of you again for all your help!

I went back to the dr and he convinced me that it is NOT Celiac. And I believed him enough to go through with the colonoscopy today. Well I have Ulcerative Colitis. He says it's treatable with medication...unfortunately when my husband and I went to pick up the meds on our way home, we found out that our insurance won't cover the Lialda! So there's some hoops to jump through.

I have a follow up with my dr next week and need to ask about H. pylori then.

I really appreciate you all being here for me through all this. I guess I need to find a forum about UC that is as awesome as this one! :)

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I want to thank all of you again for all your help!

I went back to the dr and he convinced me that it is NOT Celiac. And I believed him enough to go through with the colonoscopy today. Well I have Ulcerative Colitis. He says it's treatable with medication...unfortunately when my husband and I went to pick up the meds on our way home, we found out that our insurance won't cover the Lialda! So there's some hoops to jump through.

I have a follow up with my dr next week and need to ask about H. pylori then.

I really appreciate you all being here for me through all this. I guess I need to find a forum about UC that is as awesome as this one! :)

Well, at least you can eat whatever you want and ulcerative colitis can go into remission for decades (I have a friend whos aunt has crohns, same thing except different areas and she has been in remission since 17, shes 37.) What was your ttg score by the way? What lead you to think it was celiac more so than other issues?

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Well, at least you can eat whatever you want and ulcerative colitis can go into remission for decades (I have a friend whos aunt has crohns, same thing except different areas and she has been in remission since 17, shes 37.) What was your ttg score by the way? What lead you to think it was celiac more so than other issues?

I forgot to ask for a copy of my TTG. He said it was normal and I think another nurse told me it was negative.

Part of the reason is because I went gluten free again after my bloodwork and didn't notice a difference. Part of it is that I've had the diarrhea since I was 14, but it's always been on & off. Also, I got some pictures from my colonoscopy and you can actually SEE the inflammation! And they already did the endoscopy and found nothing there.

I'll keep you all updated. It's been such a LONG journey and I hope all of you get answers and start feeling better soon!

One funny tidbit: after the colonoscopy, the dr told me about the meds he wanted to put me on & I asked how soon I could expect them to take effect. He said that I "could be back to normal as soon as 3-4 days." I looked at him and totally dead-panned, "What's 'normal' like?"

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"normal" and "negative" mean the same thing in a tTG blood test

Glad you got an answer and hope you heal very quickly!

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    • Last posted 2013 - Improving health
      When I first started this journey, roughly 11 yrs ago with symptoms, I had no clue. Eventually, having no luck with doctors (hypochondriac or psychosomatic), I googled my symptoms over and over looking for something... ANYTHING... that would give me a clue. Among other issues, my insides would not move, I was turning gray, felt like death, and had a persistent cough. I can't remember who but someone had posted on the forum and I found some of my symptoms. Eureka, I immediately began a gluten-free diet to see if it made any difference. Of course that was a journey, not realizing what products contained gluten. Long story shorter – first I went gluten-free, symptoms began to reappear, then it was soy (first organic was okay, then not), symptoms reappeared, took out corn, symptoms reappeared, then it was all grains. So the last couple of years I have been grain-free plus no sulphates. Actually, truth be told, my Celiac pharmacist gave me the recipe for health. I asked her if she liked a certain product. She answered, “I don't know, I have never tried it.” I asked her what she did use. She replied, “Nothing out of a box, a bag, or a bottle.” And that has pretty much been my life for the last couple of years. There is the odd product I try but it always has an after effect and I have to way the consequences against the enjoyment of it. I am one of those who react to 1 crumb in the butter, flour dust in the air, sulphates in anything, sometimes things that don't even seem like they would be a problem, like avocados and blueberries when I am contaminated. January 2016 I began this recitation. It is now May 5th, 2016 - Here I am 4 months later and I feel like screaming to anyone who will listen, “Things are improving!! My gut is healing!!” So what happened?? Someone suggested digestive enzymes. My insides were so compromised that I couldn't eat much besides fruit, veggies, and meat; all plain, all without being touched by people other than me. I could barely stand salt at times when I was compromised. Haven't been to a restaurant in years since I am not in a city that would have one to cater or understand this much of a problem. I started digestive enzymes but I read the label wrong and started with 5 first thing in the morning. Whatever... I began to notice improvements in what I could eat. Not anything different but just that I could eat without feeling ill or having my gut shut down. I stayed on those for a month and a half.. then I picked up a parasite from someone living in a very unclean apartment and visiting there and helping to clean. Well, that was a huge battle. I had to eat to discourage parasites. But in the process my insides began to heal dramatically. I was eating blackberries, drinking garlic keefir (which I couldn't have done 5 mths ago and gave me the first clue my insides had improved substantially), drinking oil of oregano or peppermint oil drops in a glasses of water, eating cabbage and green roughage. Drinking water with apple cider vinegar in it and Aloe Vera juice. After a couple of weeks my insides were a whole different story. I had a feeling of wellness that I hadn't had for years! I FELT like trying to eat something different. So I decided to try Gluten-free Rice Chex. Haven't had them in years.... and I am so happy! I can eat them!! (Not to say they are healthy, cause they are processed crap) but I didn't get sick and that was the amazing part. So now I am beginning to try a few things that would have set me back previously, I have made my own crème brulee because I have always been able to eat eggs. But the sugar was causing problems, but now it's okay. The issue I have now is that I want to try things too fast so I am having to exercise restraint. So here is it – parasites are very common, everyone has them however whether they cause problems depends on your immune system. Does it not makes sense that they would cause leaky gut? An over abundance in the gut would destroy gut tissue and take nutrients from a person and possibly put holes in the gut leading to food reactions? Digestive enzymes help to destroy the protective coating around parasites. Foods that discourage them or kill them are blackberries, garlic, cabbage, oil of oregano, peppermint oil, aloe vera juice, Braggs apple cider vinegar and more (google to find). I found medication didn't do anything so I turned to all the other. So this is how it is today. I don't suggest it is the answer to anyone else's problems but when I found this site, hidden in the posts was the beginning of the answers for me.  I may still be gluten, soy, corn intolerant but I am feeling so good now and I just thought I would tell someone.  I just wanted to share. Thanks for reading.
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