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MattandGut

Member Since 08 Mar 2013
Offline Last Active Mar 17 2013 10:12 PM
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Topics I've Started

Never Had Gi Symptoms Before gluten-free Diet But Now . . .

08 March 2013 - 09:04 PM

I was diagnosed with celiac disease six weeks ago following an endoscopy/biopsy to confirm a positive blood test. Prior to being diagnosed I had never had any GI symptoms whatsoever. My wife used to tease me about how we could set a clock by the time of my daily bowel movements. I had a healthy appetite and was rarely among those who caught stomach bugs when they went around. I was only tested for celiac disease after dozens of other tests failed to turn up any explanation for my persistent anemia, low B12, peripheral neuropathy, concentration problems, and severe migratory joint pain. Even the doctor who ordered the blood test said she was just grasping at straws.

Though surprised by the blood test results, I was desperate for some relief and thoroughly educated myself about the gluten free diet so by the time the biopsy was done, I was prepared to give up gluten, which I did that same day. My wife also gave up gluten, we cleared all gluten-containing foods, soaps, chapstick, etc out of our house, cleaned out the fridge, and bought new cutting boards and wooden spoons. Since then, I have not eaten a single thing without being able to confirm that it was completely gluten free. I have also kept a log of everything I have eaten.

I was prepared for it to take a while for the diet to have a positive effect. I was not prepared to have numerous and severe new symptoms appear once I gave up gluten. For the past month, I have been nauseous, had no appetite, alternated between extremely severe diarrhea (to the point of being incontinent at the worst of it) and constipation, and had frequent (2-4 x week) bouts of severe abdominal pain that last 6-12 hours before easing up. The abdominal pain is the worst part and--at its worst--is comparable to the level of pain I felt when I broke my arm a few years ago, I've lost 15 lbs in the last 4 weeks.

If I had experienced GI symptoms all along, I would understand why they aren't better yet. But why would eliminating gluten cause such severe new symptoms? Is this something others with celiac disease have experienced? Is it possible that the blood test and biopsy were false positives and the damage to my intestines was caused by something else (that gluten was helping to keep in check, maybe?)

Any comments or thoughts would be appreciated.