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Man's Fall in Shower Leads to Celiac Diagnosis


Photo: CC--Chris Violette

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.

There, in addition to shoulder pain from the fall, he complained of numbness in his feet, along with general weakness and fatigue in the preceding few weeks. Blood tests showed the man had mild anemia, prompting the doctor to check his vitamin B-12 level, which was also low. This was puzzling.

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?

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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?

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1 Response:

 
Joanne
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
23 Jul 2016 10:43:34 AM PDT
He was lucky it was caught early. I went without a diagnosis for years. Multiple doctors saying it was in my head . This guy does not know how lucky he is. I'm permanently disabled from late stage diagnosis.




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We freeze portions in a regular freezer zip lock bag.

That sounds good. Do you have a machine that seals without air or do you just use bags? Is it possible to buy bags only? I remembered the other type of froz food I sometimes get - Saffron Road.

You can always check to see how long the lab order lasts, if you'd like to continue eating gluten longer.

Might be something else in there, perhaps he ate something else with gluten, something was mixed in the chips, the chips were flavored or in a snack mix with pretzels. I get that way with gluten, but the last 2 times the gut issues render me unable to argue like that but I do go Mr. Hyde like =. ...

I hate to say it and be Mr. Negative ass here. But I had this exact same thought about having kids, I do not wish any kids I have to have my AI issues, and decided I would wait a few decades if need be for the new gene editing things they are working on so we can have them changed. Call me crazy.