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I would just like to tell you about my recent medical history and I would like to know if any confirmed celiac cases could give me some advice.

As of March of 2012 my health went downhill. One morning I felt like I was coming down with the flu, I waited for a few days and I didn't feel better, so I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with pneumonia in my left lung. I took antibiotics and I felt fine for a month, then one day I just felt exhausted. I went back to the doc, got more antibiotics, and I felt better for a few more weeks. Then I got sick a couple of more times with bronchitis and ear infections. After a bunch of tests I was finally diagnosed with chronic or recurrent epstein barr virus. All of my lymph nodes (and spleen) were enlarged, I was exhausted, and I felt an extreme and unnatural amount of anxiety. The doc put me on antibiotics for a while, in case I had been exposed to Lyme disease. Fast forward a few months and I still have fatigue, brain fog, and abnormal blood work. The physical exhaustion has gotten better as has most of the strange anxiety. (I can tell you that the anxiety was something physiological, it was not a normal mental thing). I thought I had encephalitis or something. However, I still can't concentrate on things for very long without feeling worn out. My joints all make loud popping and cracking sound. Its like my bones are made of old creaky wood. This is the most unsettling symptom to me besides the brain fog. Does anyone else have creaky joints? I briefly had eczema on my forearms last spring, which I had never experienced before. I have a splotchy rash that sometimes appears on my chest, neck, and a bit on my face.

After a few months of having mono, and still no change in symptoms I tried a gluten free challenge on a whim. I tried to cut out gluten as best as I could. Some days I did feel better, but other days I felt like crap again. When I did go off gluten, I felt like my stomach was messed up (Which I attributed to all the antibiotics I had taken in the past) Prior to this I really didn't have any GI issues. So I asked my doc about celiac, and he acted like I was another hypochondriac crazy patient. He tested me anyways, but it came back negative.(However I probably hadn't eaten any gluten for a week before the test.) oops.

Prior to all of this, I was pretty healthy, a bit skinny, but I had a huge appetite. Now I feel like an old man. As far as family history, my mother and some others have hypothyroism, my uncle had colon cancer at a young age, and my grandma had rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune diseases do run in my family(probably on both sides). No one with known celiac though.

I also saw a rheumatologist based on my bloodwork, and he said it was a possible lupus case. However, I doubt this as I am a white male and I would assume that celiac would probably be 100X more likely than lupus. (I calculated this based on stats.) Also, my ANA was negative, and I don't think my rash is the same as the butterfly rash. Here are some of my blood test results. I was wondering if any of this is in line with celiac disease. I am really hoping its not lupus. Or some sort of infection (I lived and worked outside in new mexico last year, and I thought it could be valley fever at first, although that came back negative.)

I know that the bloodwork doesn't appear promising, but I swear that I wake up sometimes and almost feel 100% normal. And this feeling seems to coincide with a meal that I ate the night before such as stirfry, corn tacos, or baked chicken and mashed potatoes that didn't have any gluten in it. I have to make a new appointment with a new rheumatologist, since I recently moved because I ended up not enrolling in graduate school like I had planned on doing.

Neutropenia - borderline low

WBC - low

RBC - normal

Low complement c3 and c4

Lupus anticoagulant: PTTLA, and hexagonal phase phospholipid - high

anti-dsdna - mildly elevated

ANA - negative

EBV antibodies

Hepatitis - neg

lyme - neg

Sjorgens, anitsmith, RNP, anticardiolipn,antiscleroderma, anticentromere, CRP - all negative

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Welcome!

Do you know which celiac antibody tests were ordered? Did your doctor order nutrient testing? Celiac Disease prevents absorption of nutrients which can lead to all of the symptoms you list.

Have you had any thyroid testing? Many doctors test only the pituitary hormone - thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Request Free T3, Free T4 and thyroid antibodies to properly evaluate your thyroid.

I believe you should be evaluated by a GI that specializes in Celiac - do not remove gluten until all Celiac testing - including possible endoscpic biopsy - are complete. Take a written list of your symptom progression along with photos of skin issues to your appointments.

Do establish care with a new Rheumalogist as well. Autoimmune disorders tend to run together so it is important to have as many oppinions as possible when attempting to figure out a complicated puzzle.

Keep a food/symptom log.

Take pictures of skin issues.

Keep looking for answers - doctors can be dismissive when the majority of test for non-specific symptoms come back "normal". It is up to you to push for answers.

Good luck to you :)

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Thanks for the advice, I will ask about the other tests at my next appointment. My thyroid was fine, but they only took blood for the basic test. Also, I am not sure what celiac test was ordered, the doctor just told me it was negative.

"Normal" - thats all I want out of life right now, haha.

Thanks again, your response was very appreciated

Gene

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I agree that your thyroid needs to be tested. Hypothyroidism can cause aching/popping joints and bones, fatigue, mental fogginess, etc.

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    • I found when I went gluten free I started eating more dairy and that gave me worse stomach aches and bloating than the gluten did. So now I have to avoid gluten and dairy.  Maybe you have a similar problem with something you are eating.  I hope you feel better soon.  
    • Hi! I received my "official" celiac diagnosis last week. I had an endoscopy last month that was originally looking for ulcers and h. pylori, but they did some biopsies of my duodenum since they were in the neighborhood and the biopsy came back "consistent with Celiac's disease" and later. They urged me to get my blood checked and follow up with my primary doctor. My blood work came back negative, but my doctor was confident it's Celiac so told me to stay away from gluten. I've been completely gluten free (or to the best of my knowledge) for 2 weeks now, and my results are mixed. At first, I felt great! My stomach was no longer CRAZY bloated once I stopped eating pasta and bread, my acne started healing, and the red rash on the back of my arms started to fade. That was the first few days. Lately, though, my acne is once again flaring up and I've been SO EXHAUSTED. I feel so tired all the time. Even now I have fatigue in my head, limbs, and I could hardly walk or move my body earlier today. I'm overweight and I like to go to the gym, but what used to be an easy workout for me is kicking my ass! I used to go to the gym and tear it up: HIIT on the treadmill followed by 40 minutes of heavy weight lifting. Now I can hardly finish 3 reps in my first set without feeling like a nap. I can't run anymore because my body feels clumsy and heavy. Also, I'm still bloated. I don't suffer from painful, acute bloating, but I struggle to pass gas and I look like I have pregnant belly. I think I'm also retaining water all over my body, and I'm not sure if that's normal? For whatever reason, I have this belief that water is mainly retained in the core and not arms, legs, and face. Anyway, I'd love to hear what you have to say/what you've experienced. Is this typical to first going gluten free?
    • Thanks Stephanie & Gemini for the info. that the 4 of 5 doesn't apply to children. I wasn't aware of that until now. 
    • I think the posters above have given you very good information and I will throw in my 2 cents worth.  I am surprised that they did not test her DGP IgA also.  I am sure that would have been positive.  They switched off with antibody classes and usually they do both tests for both antibodies.  IgA is more specific to Celiac but the IgG is also useful.  The testing shows your daughter is producing antibodies to the gluten in her diet. (DGP IGG). THe tTg shows positive for some damage or inflammation. You know........your daughter is only 4.  She hasn't been on the planet or eating gluten that long. It can take years for enough damage to occur for it to be able to be found on biopsy.  I would say it is highly likely that this is Celiac, especially with her symptoms. But because the damage hasn't graduated to bad enough yet, they won't diagnose her. I think you need to do what others have said and get all copies of testing and find someone else who will take a look and give a diagnosis, especially if they have you do a dietary trial and her symptoms go away.  That might be the only recourse if you want faster proof. I know I would want faster.  I would not really be happy if I thought I had to keep feeding her something that was making her sick.  If you keep her on gluten long enough, the diarrhea will probably show up. BTW.........the criteria mentioned regarding diagnosis does not apply to kids.  I know it's silly and stupid but most leading Celiac specialists do not go by this criteria for kids.......adults only.  Keep that in mind because it might come up.  You could recognize it but they might not. Have you considered gene testing, to help bolster a diagnosis? As far as false positives go, it's the other way around. False negatives happen more frequently than many people think.  It's a recurring theme here.  With her symptoms, which is what I had, a bloated belly and tummy aches are telling.  Have they tested her for lactose intolerance?  That can cause similar symptoms, although it sure won't raise those 2 blood tests.  Keep looking for Celiac because there are many red flags here.
    • This 4 out of 5 criteria does not apply to children. I was never given a reason why, but it isn't.     That said, you may try to get a second opinion from another GI who may be willing to give her a firm dx.  We were in your boat 6 years ago and while I'm sure I'll get slammed for it, I wish we had kept gluten in our kiddos diet till he scoped positive for a variety of reasons.  Again, even family is different and you have to find what is best for you!
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