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Celiac? Help!
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6 posts in this topic

I'm wondering if someone here can point me in the right direction. I'm making an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, but I want to make sure that I ask the right questions and request the right tests.

I am a 28 year old woman. I have always had digestive difficulties that resemble IBS including lactose intolerance. I am always sick to my stomach in the morning and am often sick to my stomach throughout the day (bloating, flatulence, loose stools sorry tmi). I am very short and had late-onset puberty. I have asthma and a long list of environmental allergies. I have anxiety/depression and Asperger Syndrome. I tend to be anemic.

After my second child's birth I began to experience lethargy and weight gain. I became infertile and was diagnosed with PCOS (even though I have no actual cysts on my ovaries) and probable endometriosis because of the intense pain I had in my abdomen (despite the fact that this pain was in the bowel). I began to have intense pain before BMs, but because it was worse during periods they suspected endo. In passing the doctor recommended I try a gluten-free diet as I might be sensitive to it. She didn't do any testing for it so I'm not sure why she said that. I did not go on a gluten-free diet at that time.

Over the next few years after this I began to develop neuropathy pain and tingling. My lactose intolerance and asthma became far worse as well.

A few months back my husband and I did an Atkins diet together. I've never felt better in my life. I jumped out of bed in the morning with more energy than I'd ever had. It was nothing short of miraculous. My lactose intolerance disappeared during this time. It reappeared with a vengeance after we quit the diet. My energy levels are very low again.

Over the past month I have developed a horrible rash of red bumps on my scalp. They ooze a little and are painful and a bit itchy.

Two weeks ago I contracted a respiratory virus. It effected my family members minimally, but I was laid up in bed for about 2 weeks with horrible diarrhea. I was existing on ginger ale, crackers, and pasta. I am on an antidepressant that is prescribed off-label for IBS, so I should NOT be having diarrhea. Neuropathy became worse as well.

I have been on a gluten free diet for two days and have not had diarrhea in 24 hours. I have to think that it is not a coincidence. The rash on my head is still awful, though. I'm afraid my hair is going to start to fall out.

Any thoughts? What should I tell my doctor?

Thanks!

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I'm wondering if someone here can point me in the right direction. I'm making an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, but I want to make sure that I ask the right questions and request the right tests.

I am a 28 year old woman. I have always had digestive difficulties that resemble IBS including lactose intolerance. I am always sick to my stomach in the morning and am often sick to my stomach throughout the day (bloating, flatulence, loose stools sorry tmi). I am very short and had late-onset puberty. I have asthma and a long list of environmental allergies. I have anxiety/depression and Asperger Syndrome. I tend to be anemic.

After my second child's birth I began to experience lethargy and weight gain. I became infertile and was diagnosed with PCOS (even though I have no actual cysts on my ovaries) and probable endometriosis because of the intense pain I had in my abdomen (despite the fact that this pain was in the bowel). I began to have intense pain before BMs, but because it was worse during periods they suspected endo. In passing the doctor recommended I try a gluten-free diet as I might be sensitive to it. She didn't do any testing for it so I'm not sure why she said that. I did not go on a gluten-free diet at that time.

Over the next few years after this I began to develop neuropathy pain and tingling. My lactose intolerance and asthma became far worse as well.

A few months back my husband and I did an Atkins diet together. I've never felt better in my life. I jumped out of bed in the morning with more energy than I'd ever had. It was nothing short of miraculous. My lactose intolerance disappeared during this time. It reappeared with a vengeance after we quit the diet. My energy levels are very low again.

Over the past month I have developed a horrible rash of red bumps on my scalp. They ooze a little and are painful and a bit itchy.

Two weeks ago I contracted a respiratory virus. It effected my family members minimally, but I was laid up in bed for about 2 weeks with horrible diarrhea. I was existing on ginger ale, crackers, and pasta. I am on an antidepressant that is prescribed off-label for IBS, so I should NOT be having diarrhea. Neuropathy became worse as well.

I have been on a gluten free diet for two days and have not had diarrhea in 24 hours. I have to think that it is not a coincidence. The rash on my head is still awful, though. I'm afraid my hair is going to start to fall out.

Any thoughts? What should I tell my doctor?

Thanks!

Aak! Sounds like you are reliving my life, but you're younger. Tell your dr. you want a celiac panel blood test. If he doesn't know what that is, tell him to write it in, any lab will know.

Good luck, wish you good health!

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Hi Don't Blink,

I am sorry you have been suffering like this. I hope you will find a definitive answer to your health problems. I would tell your doctor everything above. I would also ask them to do a complete Celiac profile. Caution do find the whole list on the forum. I will try if I remember. The tests really should be done before you go gluten free to be accurate. Otherwise you could get a false negative.

You already have had a positive reaction to the diet. Several of the symptoms you mentioned are discussed on the forum. The rash could be anything, but could also be a result of the diet. For me, when starting a natural remedy, such as diet, I count any reaction as good. Sometimes one gets a little worse before they get better.

Diana

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Boy, you sound like a prime candidate! Okay, first off this is really, really important.

You must not stop eating a normal gluten filled diet until ALL testing is finished including an endoscopy/biopsy.

If you do, you will run the risk of false negative results.

Here is the current FULL celiac blood panel:

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG

Anti-Endomysial (EMA) IgA

Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA

Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP) IgA and IgG

Total Serum IgA

The DGP test was added recently to the full panel.

Also can be termed this way:

Endomysial Antibody IgA

Tissue Transglutaminase IgA

GLIADIN IgG

GLIADIN IgA

Total Serum IgA

Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP) IgA and IgG

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A fellow aspie!

The advice you received above is excellent (as always). And remember, keep eating gluten until all testing is done.

Then regardless if the results, if I were you, I'd go gluten-free. I feel much less autistic when I am gluten-free (and dairy free helps even more). If I get glutened, I can feel myself withdrawing and my sensory issues (touch, sound) take on a life if their own. This goes along with my D and rash (which I suspect is DH).

I'm curious - did you feel "less autistic" when you were on the Atkins diet? In addition to finding relief with your other symptoms?

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A fellow aspie!

The advice you received above is excellent (as always). And remember, keep eating gluten until all testing is done.

Then regardless if the results, if I were you, I'd go gluten-free. I feel much less autistic when I am gluten-free (and dairy free helps even more). If I get glutened, I can feel myself withdrawing and my sensory issues (touch, sound) take on a life if their own. This goes along with my D and rash (which I suspect is DH).

I'm curious - did you feel "less autistic" when you were on the Atkins diet? In addition to finding relief with your other symptoms?

A fellow aspie!

The advice you received above is excellent (as always). And remember, keep eating gluten until all testing is done.

Then regardless if the results, if I were you, I'd go gluten-free. I feel much less autistic when I am gluten-free (and dairy free helps even more). If I get glutened, I can feel myself withdrawing and my sensory issues (touch, sound) take on a life if their own. This goes along with my D and rash (which I suspect is DH).

I'm curious - did you feel "less autistic" when you were on the Atkins diet? In addition to finding relief with your other symptoms?

I become withdrawn when I feel ill. I am very sensory-defensive, so any extra stimuli on top of the illness seems magnified because I'm already so overwhelmed. So I wouldn't say I felt "less autistic" on Atkins, but my sensory difficulties were not as pronounced. I still had overwhelming urges to read for hours on end, a strong aversion to social situations, the tendency to put a song on repeat for hours, and an inability to pick up on sarcasm, just to name a few of my quirks. ;-) Now that I think about it, my mind was less "foggy." The fog can make it hard for me to focus and complete tasks. Fortunately I'm sort of a compulsive list-maker, which helps a great deal.

Thanks for all replies. I will go back on a gluten diet (UGH). I had been feeling a bit better, but I am not feeling so well today after eating some gluten-free pretzels and cookies. Gassy and running to the bathroom (sorry tmi). I think I'll stick with less processed items.

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    • SquirmingItch, I really appreciate you gathering info for me! To answer your questions, yes, I'm on Dapsone now and have been on it for about 4.5 weeks. I have been gluten free for the same amount of time. I started on 50 mg of Dapsone which didn't seem to help much. I spoke to my doctor about it and after about a week she raised it to 100 mg. Since then I did notice a huge improvement in both my rash and itch. I no longer have any active rashes and my itching isn't completely gone but it's very minimal. I have been getting weekly blood tests done and will soon be moving to monthly.  My DH skin biopsy was done before the gluten free diet and Dapsone. My results for the skin biopsy came back as inconclusive, but even with those results, my doctor was convinced I had DH. I specifically asked her about the fact that she took the biopsy directly from the lesion rather than next to it and if that affects the result. Her explanation was that if it's a fresh enough lesion that isn't scratched, there should be IgA antibodies present. But she said that an inconclusive result isn't surprising because the IgA antibodies come and go from the skin so quickly that it can be very difficult to get a positive result, even in someone who is positive.  That's when she decided to run the celiac blood panel on me. And even though those results came back positive for the deamidated gliadin and negative for tTg, she still is very convinced that I have DH. I am happy that my doctor seems to be certain, but I would just feel better if the results were more definitive. The one other thing I am waiting on is I have been asked to attend grand rounds at the local academic hospital in 2 weeks. I guess grand rounds is where all of the academic dermatologists and dermatopathologists get together to review certain complicated cases. They will meet with me, review all of my pictures, biopsies and blood tests. My situation has been so complicated so they asked me to come. I am hoping maybe then I will get some more answers. 
    • It sure is, it really is. 
    • shellyb, I have info. for you & you may yet be able to get an official dx from your dermatologist as she sounds like she would be willing to learn. If you are dx'd with dh it is definitive & no other testing is needed. You don't need to see a GI. Im in FL & have had a long day watching Tropical Storm Hermine & making preparations for it's track which is over where I live. I'm tired! I will have links for you to reputable medical info. on the rash but it make take me till tomorrow or even longer if we lose power.  I'll be back as soon as I can. Question: You're on Dapsone now? How long have you been on it? How is it working for you? Are you getting the proper testing at regular intervals to make sure it isn't doing bad things to you? Were you gluten free before the skin biopsy?
    • Thank you so much for your quick response, GFinDC. While I wouldn't be completely opposed to another skin biopsy, I already had 4 done (3 were done prior to my dermatologist suspecting DH) so I don't love the idea of  yet another hole and scar on my body. Plus, fortunately I don't have any fresh lesions now, which I believe is needed for the biopsy. I wish I would have known to see a GI before going gluten free but I was so desperate to get any relief that I started that and Dapsone as soon as my doctor mentioned it to me.  My rash is definitely symmetrical and I have it in all of the "classic" DH spots although it basically spread over my entire body. As much as I'd like a more formal diagnosis, I really don't think I can go through all of that again. It was so bad that not only was I getting no sleep but I had to change my sheets every morning because there was blood all over them. Sorry, TMI. The worst part is that this all developed during my ninth month of pregnancy and got much worse after I delivered my baby. So not only was I dealing with this insanely itchy rash but I had a newborn and a toddler to take care of.  My daughters' pediatrician did mention doing DNA testing on me first and then my daughters to see if there's any concern that they may be susceptible. I may just go that route for now. I was just curious if others have had similar test results to mine and how did their doctors treat it? Thanks again!
    • Hey guys, the last year and a month of transitioning to totally gluten free was hard, but I now seem to be healthy. The first six months I got horrible cramps that would suddenly come and hit hard, but I really havent seen any of those since about February-March. One thing that I wouldnt say has gotten better is my psyche. I was always sort of an anxious person (hard not to be when you dont feel well yet you have "IBS" and you're just "nervous", which all of you probably know), but I am borderline hermit now. I finally went to the doctor today and was prescribed prozac, so hopefully that helps, but I was just wondering about you guys? Thanks  
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