NatalyaMember Since 06 Aug 2010
Offline Last Active Feb 22 2011 12:47 PM
For all my life, my symptoms had been relatively minor and merely interfered with my lifestyle - until I hit 30. My health suddenly got out of control. The best way to describe it would be a "hibernation" state my body entered, accompanied by severe digestive problems and other related symptoms. I could barely function and was in the process of getting fired from work. I crossed roads at a red light and lost balance in the middle of a street. Instead of gradually fading away until indefinite, this "flare-up" only worsened over the past year.
I've seen at least a hundred doctors of various specialties . I've wasted so much time and money, just to keep getting negative test results and referrals to a psychiatrist due to my "psychosomatic" symptoms. I searched through the web based on the symptoms. The word "thyroid" topped the list all the time. I repeatedly asked doctors to check the gland. Supposedly extensive blood work was done many times and always came back negative. As it turned out later, none of these tests was complete. From a physician's perspective, "complete" means 1. commonly performed, but not necessarily thorough, and 2. whether the insurance covers it. The concept is similar to that of the general blood work performed when you see a physician once a year. Not until recently some doctors included testing vitamin D levels because before it was not even covered by most insurances. And I used to think they really check "everything" when they say so.
So upon my 125th or so visit to a new GI (still searching for answers), another "complete" thyroid test was performed... and what a miracle! it showed Hashimoto. What this doctor did was he simply tested the thyroid antibodies, which NO OTHER DOCTOR DID in almost 30 years of my traveling from one provider to another. I was like "Yes! My assumption finally confirmed!” They put me on synthroid and at least a half of the symptoms was gone since the very first day I started the medication.
In the meantime, I was still being treated from Gastroesophageal Reflux disorder, however, my digestive system was only getting worse. All kinds of antiacids did absolutely nothing. So I resumed getting ready for my own funeral.
Just around that time, I met up with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a few years. She just graduated from a law-school, and we spent a few days together. She told me a story that she had recently been diagnosed with Celiac and described the symptoms… Those were 100% identical to mine - from A to Z. And when I asked what happens when the decease is left untreated, she totally described my mom…
Having my usual flare-ups during those days, I complained to my friend without thinking. And she always pointed at the things I ate a few hours ago – gluten containing food. I didn’t even pay attention to what I ate, while she was watching me. She suggested that I go on a gluten-free diet for a few days, which I did, and OMG… Most of the symptoms were completely gone in the first two days!.......................
To see whether it’s gluten or just wheat-related intolerance, I slowly introduced gluten containing foods to the diet. The cause-and-effect reaction was so obvious that it took me less than a month to come up with the verdict - celiac. So there I was, diagnosed... by a LAWYER!
I’ve searched for more info online and found that both thyroid and celiac deceases often accompany each other (like Sjogren's Syndrome goes with Thyroid). There's a whole bunch of autoimmune disorders that complement one another. Once you have one, you’re in a high risk of developing another.
I had bloodwork and biopsy performed in April 2010. (FYI, I had to fight for my blood test because one GI “forgot” to pull it, and the other one I visited that same month said I didn’t look like a celiac patient... ?! The results came back negative, as always. No wonder, by statistics, 97% of celiac patients get negative results! http://www.uchospita.../uch_007937.pdf
As for biopsies, your digestive track must go through years of damage in order to be considered “damaged” by contemporary healthcare specialists.
“Several studies have now revealed that it is only those with significant villous atrophy of the small intestine who regularly show a positive antiendomysial or anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody, the specific tests relied upon most heavily for diagnosis of gluten-induced disease…” (link to the full article: http://www.celiac.co...-MD/Page1.html0
What's most outrageous to me is that none of the doctors I've ever seen has even suggested the problem could be food-related. Not necessarily gluten, just some allergy (given that I already have long history of allergies)...?! They've put me through endless and expensive procedures, and it's too hard to believe in this sort of incompetence, or ignorance, or both. As a celiac “freshman,” am I really doomed to be considered officially OK because the healthcare says so, regardless the pain, bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting on the train and in the bathroom at work 5 times a day? Doesn't make any sense, does it? Come to think of it, do doctors really benefit from making a diagnosis? Think of the money these providers make while you keep coming to them trying to rule out the problem. Once the problem is solved, you stop coming, right? The doctor has lost the patient..... Think about it.
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- Member Title New Community Member
- Age 35 years old
- Birthday August 3, 1979
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