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So, I've had ibs symptoms for about eight years now, referring to loose stools. Over the last two yeras I've experienced a little weight loss (8 pounds), and been through a variety of blood tests. My family doctor told me he didn't see anything in my blood tests that looked suspicious, and he even tested my blood for celiac disease, which came back negative.

He referred me over to a gastroenterologist and that doctor set me up with a few different tests. He sent me home with a stool test to see if I had abnormal fecal fat in it. He also tested my blood. The results came back and he said that I did have more fat in my stools than I was supposed to have, and that it was quite significant. I think he said something like I was only absorbing 70% of my daily fats. Obviously, not good.

But, here's where I need the help. The way he told me was like he was saying it was REALLY bad. He said, "most of my patients who have this much fat in their stool have been smoking for twenty years, and they're in their 40's and 50's." This bothered me a lot. I asked him if he thought it might be celiac and he said since my family doctor tested my blood for it already, he didn't think it was that, but he didn't seem to remove it from the equation.

He didn't say anything about crohns, UC, or anything else, and really didn't say it was anything. But he did make it known to me that it was a serious thing. Now, I'm 33 and I would say I'm fairly healthy, aside from this. I don't drink, never have, don't smoke, and I don't overeat, nor do I undereat. My symptoms have been the same over the last eight years, except over the last two I've had issues with losing weight, and now a little joint problems. I have a good appetite, no pain, and I sleep well. I honestly thought it was ibs for a long time, so I didn't pay it no mind.

So, since I have fatty stools, and these symptoms, does this sound like any of the things you go through? I'm being set up for a MRI, and some other type of visual test to see my lower abdomen soon. Then, at the end of November I'll be getting a edoscopy and colonoscopy. Can you guys offer me any moral support? I feel like I'm alone with this, and my doctor just kinda left me guessing, and not in a good way. Thanks.

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Well, it could be by chance. Have you noticed any tummy troubles after you eat (feeling bloated, upset stomach, etc)? Granted there are some celiacs that have no symptoms (silent) and those who are to the extreme.

IBS is a catchall term that they use when they have no idea whats going on.

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Why didn't the GI run a full celiac panel again? Find out what blood tests you had originally - there is a very good chance you didn't get all the testing done and your original doctor is wrong.

Also, you can have negative blood tests and still have celiac disease. An endoscopy may show damage. It may not.

After you are done with testing try the diet - regardless of the test results - and see if you don't improve. Give it a good try, 100% for three months.

Also do lots of research so you can ask good questions. Make sure your doctor knows how to do a proper endoscopy and takes enough samples (many do not.)

Do not change your diet until after all testing is done.

Cara

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It definitely could still be celiac. I'd ask for testing (biopsies) or find another opinion. He sounds reluctant to get to the root cause.

It's gross, but it's important so I'll throw it out there. Since at least 2006 I have had occasional oily stools. I didn't understand why but I just attributed it to my lactose intolerance (since birth) and figured that it interacted with fat absorption. It was not frequent enough to concern me and there was no blood or other issues at the time. But, fast forward to the last year and nearly every fatty meal (steakhouse, fast food) left me with the same problem, usually also with D. It got heavier and as it got worse, so too did my other symptoms that I never thought were related.

Once I went gluten-free 6 weeks ago I never had another issue with it until I got glutened, and that was one of the first signs I noticed along with the D.

Oily/fatty stool, if like me, is just one symptom of a bigger problem. You may not have celiac, but it's a sign of something causing incorrect digestion and lack of absorption. There are conditions, such as gallstones, that could also cause the fatty stool, but if they've ruled those others out as possibilities I'd look to trying gluten-free. If it stops while gluten-free, there's your answer.

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I know this sounds odd, but I don't notice so much of the oily residue floating in the toilet bowl as much when I'm eating fatty foods as I do if I eat a bowl of oatmeal the morning of. In other words, I feel like I see more oily residue when I have oats.

Anyway, I'm just worried. My doctor left me completely in the dark, and I'm just at a loss. My weight loss is my biggest concern, and I take it that's because of my malabsorbtion. But, my doctor put me on Creon, and told me to take like 2 pills every meal I eat. I don't really know if it's helping honestly, but it's only been a short time. I guess if I did have Celiac it would be the "silent" version, since I don't have abdominal pain.

Also, one of my other issues lately is lactose intolerance. I've never had such an issue with it up until recently. I can have a little, but if I over do it or over eat, I have to take gas-x, otherwise I feel like I'm going to explode.

Thanks again.

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    • Another link: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/7351/PDF
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