For years, I've had digestive problems, reflux, bloating, gas, constipation (but stools are loose and messy!), lactose intolerance, IBS, depression, and weight gain issues.
Living in the United Kingdom from 2000-2008:
In 2001 and 2002, I had miscarriages (one at 12 weeks and one at 6 weeks) then unable to get pregnant afterwards.
At 40 years old, was perimenopausal (my first menstruation started 2 months after my 11th birthday)
In 2005, my gallbladder was removed with one massive stone. Digestive issues continued. Then, I found out I had a hernia because of the gb operation, weakend the muscle wall. The hernia op was a big one, then got an internal infection which cleared up with antibiotics.
Then the rashes started. Knees, shoulders, back, neck, behind the ears, butt. I itched all over and didn't know why. The rash was always preceded by an itch and I got to the point I hated scratching because I knew a rash would develop. Prescribed creams didn't do anything and my doctor stated it was an allergy. But to what???
I asked my doctor if I could be celiac, with the rashes and digestive issues. "You're hardly wasting away, so no." That was it. Throughout the years, I would give up certain foods regularly, because "it doesn't agree with me, it must be a sign getting old" Bread was one of those foods.
Back home in Canada since 2008:
I am now on tablets for high blood pressure.
I am on prescribed iron pills (still low iron despite being on the supplement)
I am on prescribed B12 pills for my B12 deficiency - normal levels now, but just at the low end of normal. I asked if I could go off these and was told that if I do, my levels will be too low again.
Began an exercise program, 1 hour per day plus no junk food and smaller portions - actually gained weight! I am overweight but not obese.
But in the past year, I started noticing so many other things that really scared me:
- No Energy - I couldn't even wash dishes without resting and would have to rest between putting my socks on
- Fatigue but not being able to sleep at night
- Couldn't walk down the stairs anymore without experiencing excruciating pain in my knees (down the stairs one by one resting in between)
- Forgetfulness was scaring me, and the first thing I think Alzheimers.
- Numbing often on the left side of my face
- Nightsweats and severe hotflashes, worse than when I first started menopause
- Extreme blushing/flushing
- Red cheeks all the time
- Indigestion, reflux and heartburn intensified
- A feeling of trembling, vibrating inside me
- Right ankle pain that sometimes prevents walking - this also has gone into spasm where my toes start curling up and foot turns inwards, pain radiates up shin (massage eases it.)
- Irritability that put strain on my marriage
- Sometimes feeling like I can't swallow, have almost choked a few times!
- There is so much more but I've gone on long enough!
I went gluten-free for a month in November 2012, as a test for myself. I actually cried at how well I felt. But it was going to be a month before I could see my doctor, knowing I would have to do the gluten challenge for any tests she wanted done.
I went to my family doctor in early December, and presented to her why I would like to be tested for celiac disease. I had it all written down for her! She was quick to get on the bandwagon and ordered a lot of bloodwork, testing for lupus, arthritis, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, cholesterol, liver, creatine, and celiac disease screening. I went back on gluten for 2 weeks and the blood test for celiac disease came back positive. Now I am waiting for my referrel for the endoscopy/biopsy. Oh, all other tests came back negative!
My doctor has put me back to gluten-free diet only because, in this part of Canada, it could take months for my appointment and she doesn't want me to suffer anymore than I have to. The good thing is with it being months away, I'll have a few months from the date my appointment is scheduled to when I actually go for the biopsy, so a few months for the challenge.
But after all these years of fear and suffering, there's finally a possible reason and I look so forward to feeling normal. I don't know if I've ever felt normal because everything associated to being glutened has been the norm for me! Thank you for reading and thank you for this wonderful site! Good day to all!