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Many Questions - Feedback Appreciated
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Hello, I am a female in her early 50's. 8 years ago I was diagnosed with IBS. My major symptoms were diarrhea, bloating and cramps. I could go months without having any issues and then would have an outbreak. These outbreaks started getting closer and closer together, and the symptoms worse until I was pretty much in pain all the time and was afraid to go anywhere

About two months ago, after 3 particularly bad episodes with watery diarrhea (which I had never really had before) I realize that right before each one (for lunch, and the symptoms would start late in the evening) I had eaten something on a large bun (sub sandwiches & Carl's Jr. hamburger)

I had just seen something on Celiac disease, and I thought "no, couldn't be - the symptoms started so gradually, and then all of a sudden to have them all the time?" But I gave it a shot (as I had with lactose, chocolate and some other items I thought might be the issue in the past) and decided to try a gluten free diet.

After about 3 days the diarrhea cleared up. After 2 to 3 weeks, so did the cramping pain.

I then began to test myself by eating something with a tiny amount of gluten in it (like soy sauce on my rice for example) and like clockwork, in the late evening I would start cramping, and have diarrhea in the middle of the night. I did this test about 4 times, and had the same reaction each time, with the symptoms clearing up 2 or 3 days later after consuming no more gluten.

I have not seen my doctor yet for any testing, but have an appointment scheduled for the beginning of January. I know the biopsy test will not work correctly unless you have been eating gluten, but frankly, I am so uncomfortable that I am actually scared of eating it now.

So - my questions

1) Can you become sensitive to gluten so late in life?

2) Is it possible to have been able to tolerate some gluten and then suddenly be able to tolerate none?

3) Is it possible to have had only sporadic outbreaks which progressively worsened and got closer together until I was having symptoms all the time?

4) Any other advice, hints, words of wisdom are appreciated.

Thank You so much for reading this - tried to make it as short as possible :) - Dana

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1. Yes. Anytime.

2. Yes.

3. Yes.

4. Try to eat a little bit of gluten each day before any tests, if possible. (Beginning of January? 2 months? R-U-KidN-Me ? Any primary care doctor can request a celiac blood panel. Draw blood, send to lab, tah- dah. No need to wait that long, esp. if you have debilitating symptoms.) Then, no matter what the outcome, go on a gluten free diet and stick with it, as celiac tests miss a percentage of people with it, and there is currently no standard "test" for gluten intolerance.

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Yes to all.

I would have terrible "D" after eating pasta or burgers when we would go out to eat. I lived with it. The moment i went off of all gluten all my issues at the time ("D" and vomiting mainly) stopped.

I should note that i delt with this for about 9 years. I can remember the first incident of it happening. And if i didn't get "D" i'd get a bad bellyache. But it just had to be IBS right? Stupid catch all term.

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Just saw this on Facebook on The University of Chicago's page and thought of you.

"Approximately 20% of patients are older than 55 years when diagnosed with celiac disease. How old were you at diagnosis?"

You might want to look at the Celiac Center website for lots of info:

http://www.curecelia...ow-does-it-work

"I’ve heard that I don’t necessarily have to endure 12 weeks of eating gluten if I have a severe reaction. Is that true? How does it work?

The gut needs time to mount an antibody response that can be measured in the blood, which is why we recommend 12 weeks of eating gluten. If you experience symptoms immediately, it’s likely that the gut itself has quickly become damaged. In these cases, you and your medical professional could consider a shorter gluten challenge (3-4 days) and then have a biopsy.

Diagnosis is not an exact science, each person responds differently to the presence of gluten in the small intestine and the amount of time it has been there. Be sure to work with your medical professional to adjust your diet, if needed, during your gluten challenge."

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Thank You all for your responses. I was able to schedule the blood tests for the week after Thanksgiving. It sounds like that is the best place to start. Then will discuss the findings with my doctor in January.

Still doing very well on the gluten free diet with my intestinal pain completely gone. So I am sure that no matter what any test show or don't show, I will continue being gluten-free as it makes me feel so much better :)

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