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Member Since 29 Jun 2012
Offline Last Active Jun 30 2015 01:07 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Lip Inflammation, Constant Peeling And Redness

29 June 2015 - 07:58 AM

Larkie - Thanks for your response. I've been to two dermatologists and an allergist, they all gave me steroid creams to apply which didn't have any affect on my lips. I've booked an appointment to see an oral specialist next week hopefully she will be helpful. I've also read about the liver and colon cleansing but i'm not sure if it's safe - that will be my last resort to be honest. At the moment i'm focusing on accepting this condition and making life less stressful :) At least moisturizing helps stop the peeling (although temporarily) for you - my lips still peel even if I moisturize them 24/7. 


Haunted Eyes - Thank you so much for your detailed response. I really appreciate it. What testing did you do to find out you have all these food allergies? I went to an allergist here and she said that she had never seen this lip problem before and it was unlikely that a food allergy was causing the peeling. She didn't do any testing at that time (although a year back i did get a prick test done for another issue and no food allergies showed up only mild dustmite allergies). 

For me, the peeling has either been low iron or food allergy (due to oral allergy syndrome, which is not a common allergic reaction), or exposure to gluten. Celiacs can get angular chelitis, which can be caused by nutritional deficiencies. When I researched angular chelitis, I saw that lots of times it was due to low B vitamins, or low iron. If you get gluten when you are celiac, you damage the intestines which then makes it difficult to get the proper nutrients out of the food you eat ... which also means vitamin supplements you may eat, thus malnutrition. I tried B vitamins, and that didn't effect the lip cracking, peeling, burning that I was getting, but did help with other health issues. I then tried iron supplements, and the burning around my mouth went away within hours, and the lip cracking and peeling improved hourly to totally clear within one or two days, three days if it was really bad. 


Sometimes when I do get the facial swelling and the lip swelling from a food (think lips swelling bigger than Loretta Switt's would look like if she were doing botox injections), the swelling causes blistering, lip cracking, peeling and burning. It is an allergic reaction, but is called oral allergy syndrome because it is actually an allergy to an environmental allergy. The immune system is just confusing the proteins in the environmental allergens with the proteins in the food. So technically, you aren't allergic to the food, but you are having an allergic reaction to it because of your allergy to the environmental allergen. If you get your body to where it doesn't react as much to the environmental allergen, and avoid the problem food, then eventually your body may stop confusing the food with the environmental allergen and you may be able to add that food back in. 


For myself, when I react to the foods, the FIRST reactions I get may be some burning inside my mouth, lip swelling toward the middle of my upper lip, and then some burning around my mouth which may or may not include some itching. If it progresses, the lips start to crack and peel, swell more. If it gets worse, I can get blisters, crusting, and lots of itching. The worst reactions I have had had progressed to eyelid swelling (itch and burn) and facial swelling, with the eyes swelling so badly my eyes were swollen shut.


I have been doing allergy shots for my environmental allergens for several years; I had about 13 of them (including cedar, elm, bermuda grass, three types of mold, dust, cats, dogs, horses, cottonwood, and some other trees). After about 3 years of the shots, I now only show mild allergy to the cedar, dogs, dust, and misc. trees and am continuing the shots for these). My allergist thinks it's either the cedar or dust that are causing the oral allergies to the foods, with the most likely culprit the dust. He said even mild, the body could be really, really not liking the dust allergens.


The allergist said that when the environmental allergens get in the air, you actually swallow a lot of them (one reason why dust is so bad ... there can be lots of dust around, so lots swallowed). The swallowed allergens get to the stomach where a person who has problems with them can get all sorts of gastrointestinal issues from it, or the confusion I mentioned above where the body thinks the proteins in the environmental allergen are the same as the problem foods (because their proteins are actually pretty similar), so it triggers an immune response to the foods.


Anyhow, if you want to try some iron to see if it helps, make sure to take it with food, and I'd advise with something with Vitamin C. Iron is best absorbed with protein and Vitamin C, and can make a person nauseous if you don't take with food. I wouldn't take iron long term unless you know you're outright anemic, but periodically when you have the lip issues (if you find it helps you). You can be temporarily low on iron due to fasting. You may not deliberately be fasting, but perhaps just not feeling well so not eating much or maybe on a diet. I.e., Just this past week I wasn't outright fasting, but for a few days had a bad migraine, so I was barely eating ... the lip cracking, peeling and burning started up again from that. I took an iron supplement for three days and that cleared right up.


For my allergy testings, I had skin prick tests (IgE), Elisa blood testing (IgE and IgG), Entero Lab's stool testing (IgA), plus the typical celiac diagnosing testing, and then basic elimination diet trial and error. While the validity of some of the various allergy testings is controversial depending on who you talk with, all of the testing has been accurate for me because I notice reactions to all of the items that turned up as problematic immune response items on the tests (reactions including gastritis flare ups, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, edema, muscle pain, migraines, eye twitching, swelling, hives, nerve damage, etc.). I've actually had the least accuracy with the skin prick testing, I think because I tend to have delayed IgE immune responses, so they're not seeing the immediate responses an allergist wants to see in the office when they do the skin prick.


All of my bad reactions improve if I avoid the items from the tests. The immune system is weird, and is very individualized; not everyone reacts the same nor to the same degree. Immunology is still probably about where brain surgery is at ... there is still a lot doctors don't know, and they're still learning. They know a lot, but it's still pretty new science. 

In Topic: Lip Inflammation, Constant Peeling And Redness

26 June 2015 - 10:17 AM

Thanks for your reply HauntedEyes! Since being diagnosed I've had low iron (though not anemic) which hasn't change even on supplements. I suspect that it maybe a food allergy but i just can't figure out what food maybe triggering it because the peeling seems constant. If you don't mind me asking, what foods do you react to? 

I have mild chicken egg and corn allergies. IgA intolerant to gluten (celiac responses), casein (dairy), soy, egg, beef, pork, chicken, tuna, nightshades, corn, and rice. IgG intolerant to coffee (severe, so treat like an allergy), garlic, sesame, avocado, asparagus, crab, chicken egg, watermelon, and blueberries. I have gotten the extreme facial swelling to garbanzo beans (and soon thereafter lentils and most other legumes except peanuts, but those were a more mild reaction), celery, honey dew, cantaloupe and mango. The facial and lip swelling has been to any of these items, and the severity or whether I react, comes and goes I think as my body heals up from the damage caused by celiac. My allergist thinks the facial reactions are actually caused by tree or dust allergy ... body just is confusing the food proteins with the tree and dust proteins. 


At the time I was reacting to the legumes, celery, and melons, the worst that was within 6 moths to a year of going gluten free. I have recently started adding those back in some, but I still watch for reactions ... still can get a slight lip swelling with the legumes and celery. I watch closely for a genuine celery reaction because celery allergy can be as severe as peanut allergy. I think I will be cutting out celery and the melons again because the last time I tried them, they caused the inside of my mouth to burn. I am VERY allergic to poison ivy, so I am not surprised at the mango reaction ... I have not allowed myself to add that back in. 


I do think I am getting slight lip swelling from some other food, but it is difficult for me to pinpoint right now. 


I do allow myself some of these foods because I have to eat SOMETHING. I base what I eat on what I react to the least. I avoid the dairy, chicken egg, and soy as much as I can. Totally avoid gluten. I do allow myself the meats because I have to get protein somehow. I stomach beef the best, can do small amounts of the pork, don't like tuna anyway so still don't eat it, though I do eat other fish and shell fish. I don't do turkey very often, either ... bothers my stomach. I sometimes eat lamb if I can find it on sale. I am still not stomaching chicken, so don't eat it. Almond milk and nuts are OK for me. I can have the IgG foods (except coffee and the eggs) if I do small amounts and rotate them. I avoid the nightshades, definitely don't stomach potatoes, though can occasionally do small amounts of tomatoes or peppers. Sometimes sneak in some rice. I eat a lot of the other vegetables and fruits, though not too many apples. I think apples are one of my mild lip swelling foods, but I am pretty sure that is to tree allergy.

In Topic: Lip Inflammation, Constant Peeling And Redness

08 June 2015 - 10:42 AM

I used to get the same problem, especially after first going gluten free when I was first diagnosed, or if I knew I had accidentally been glutened. For me, it is always a sign of low iron or an allergic reaction to a food. If I know I haven't been exposed to a food allergen, then I know I was probably glutened and have gone anemic. Usually if I supplement with some iron, within a day or two it goes away. I usually have to maintain the iron supplements for about a week, then I am usually healed up enough.

In Topic: Does Hair Loss Stop When On G.f. Diet?

08 June 2015 - 09:57 AM

I have been gluten free for about 3 years, except for a few months last year when I decided to get extra testing so needed to do a gluten challenge. I've had a big problem with losing lots of hair, most noticeable in the drain after I shower (enough to block the drain each morning, then still a handful in the hair brush afterward). However, at the start of this year I started using PatchMD vitamins (a vitamin supplement that is a patch, so totally bypasses the digestive tract and goes through the skin directly into the bloodstream, a big plus for a celiac who is still healing up). I can't say for sure how truly well the patch works scientifically because I haven't had any blood testing to confirm, so can only say how I have observed my health improving while on the patch. 


When first starting the patch, after being on it for a while I just happened to notice I wasn't having to clean lots of hair out of the shower drain. Then there was about a month I ran out of patches and had to wait to order more. The time period I was without the patch, my hair loss in the shower started up again. When I received more of the patch, my hair loss stopped again within a couple weeks. I stopped a couple weeks and started up again to confirm, and had the same results. So for me, for sure, the hair loss is malnutrition/malabsorption from celiac. And after several months on the patch, my hair is growing longer, faster, without the scraggliness and breakage I had in the past. 


I've also noticed much healthier looking fingernails and toenails, and my skin and complexion look and feel much better. My facial skin had been really dry the last few years, but I've noticed with my patch supplements my skin is getting oilier again (not oily in the bad way that promotes acne, etc., but the healthy way that your skin naturally takes care of itself). 


The last two months, I've also managed to feel alert, more energetic and awake throughout the entire workday, which is something I have not experienced in more than 20 years. And the brain fog is slowly going away.


So, yes, I do think the malnutrition caused by celiac disease can cause hair loss and the proper combination of nutrients can help. For me, most of the various multi-vitamin pills just don't work ... they make me vomit, and I just don't think I absorb them correctly. Besides gluten, I am also intolerant to soy, corn, potato, rice, dairy, and eggs, which in one way or another are used as binders or fillers in the various vitamin pills and probably are what causes me to vomit them. The PatchMD vitamin patches have helped me a lot -- at least for hair, skin, nails, energy/alertness, and mental clarity. I take their multi-vitamin patch, the Vitamin D/Calcium patch, and the B-complex patch. I still have not experienced the brighter yellow urine a person will get when you've taken too much Vitamin C or the B vitamins, so I don't think I've overdone the B's yet. If my urine winds up becoming yellower, I'll stop the B-complex, since I'll assume that will be a sign I'm finally getting enough B from my food ... but for now I'm not getting that so I believe I still need the extra B's.

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