Celiac.com 07/22/2016 - You think you have a crazy celiac disease diagnosis story? Try this one. When a college student fell and struck his shoulder while showering, he went to the emergency treatment center.
The patient was a 20-year-old, seemingly healthy Asian man, whose omnivorous diet should have provided enough B-12 to sustain normal blood levels. That meant that the next likely cause was poor B-12 absorption through the stomach or intestines.
Besides pernicious anemia, which is marked by the absence of a protein in the stomach, the most frequent causes of B-12 malabsorption include celiac disease, HIV, chronic inflammation of the pancreas and even a type of tapeworm infection. The man's youth and general good health seems to rule out pernicious anemia.
Although he had adhered to a more typical Chinese diet that was heavy on fish and rice, he had recently been eating a lot of pizza. Pizza means gluten. Lots of gluten. So could he have celiac disease?
Although most commonly associated with some sort of gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea or abdominal cramping, celiac disease can have other symptoms, such as fatigue and numbness of extremities. Celiac often interferes with the gut's ability to absorb vitamin B-12.
Ultimately, the patient met with a gastroenterologist who diagnosed celiac disease. The patient saw his B-12 levels return to normal when he began a gluten-free diet. The numbness has also improved.
So, remember, celiac disease can have some vague and confusing symptoms that will usually improve significantly with a gluten-free diet.
Have a wild celiac disease diagnosis story of your own?