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Introduce myself



G'day to you. Nice to see you here. I'm Keight; a middle aged woman from Australia. I am a truck mechanic by trade and I have two teen sons, who are the light of my life. 

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As a baby, I had massive intestinal issues and could not hold down the baby formulas on the market at that time. Eventually, I was given a mix of evaporated milk and vitamin drops. I have had a life long problem with severe constipation, always thrived on meats, fruit and veg, had stomach cramps with milk and yoghurt, and have always tested anaemic. 

Around the age of 9,  I had a mysterious rash appear on my legs. It appeared again over the years in other places on my body. It seemed to correspond with me eating more bread and pasta. 

Fast forward to 2010-2013, and I found myself signing on to a body building coach who had me remove gluten. She said it helped keep clients guts flat; important for comp time. I did three comps and placed in my third. Bodybuilding has saved my body and soul from self destruction.

It was post comp refeeds when I got an inkling of why I was forever feeling less than ideal. I began to eat oats again, and the odd muesli bar and cake slice. My gut would bloat within an hour and the gas coming from me evacuated the house!! My coach said I was melodramatic and I dropped chasing it up with my doctor. 

In mid 2019, I went to Malaysia for a short break. I ate what I wanted, but 'healthy'. After eating a piece of pineapple I went into anaphylactic shock. I sought a doctor who gave me tablets try. They worked, thankfully, but after four days, I had barely enough energy to leave my hotel to buy food. So much for a fun, action filled break. 

I returned home and saw my GP. I explained all my symptoms.

*lethagy *decreasing performance at the gym *no libido at all *grumpiness and quick emotional changes *gas *bloating *sweating on a cold day *dizziness *the pineapple allergy *hay fever *constipation *not putting on weight with extra food intake etc

I expected to hear I was starting menopause. It made sense, but instead, my low iron status caused my doctor to suspect Coeliac, especially as my diet is squeaky clean and I eat a lot! After serology tests coming back very high, I booked a biopsy. 

That four week challenge was the worst month of my life. I kid you not. I felt almost suicidal. I had not really eaten much gluten in the last ten years, so I was horridly surprised to discover how four pieces of bread a day made me feel. I learned to eat the bread after I finished work, so I could feel wiped out at home. Still, I was ill enough to have been sent home a few times during that period. 

The endoscopy was easy. Fasting felt good! My intestines were grateful for the break! It was done in an hour and I was told to start a gluten-free diet straight away. No advice on how, but just start. That is where my bodybuilding diet came in handy. I began following what I had used in 2010-13. 

Within a week, I was smiling again. The bloat and gas slowly left and I was regaining energy. 

A month later, I sought the assistance of a dietician who is an ex-mechanic, a bodybuilding coach and wants to specialise in diabetes prevention in middle aged folk. I had known of him years before and I knew he has a passion for helping people be their best. He is aware of Coeliac, but I am his first Coeliac client presenting with Marsh score 3b and doing heavy manual labour. 

Things have gotten better in the last four months, and some have stayed the same. More about that in future entries. 

I am about to see my doctor about my lethargy - again. Ciao for now. 



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What a story!  Although bits of it are different, it shares a common theme that so many celiac.com members have shared.  I am glad that you are on your way to a complete recovery!  

Like you, I was anemic always.  It was blamed on a genetic anemia, Thalassemia and the fact I was a menstruating women.  Just by luck, I went in for a routine colonoscopy because I had hit 50 (all my friends were getting them ?).  My consulting GI took one look at my chart and ordered a celiac blood panel.  I am glad he ordered the complete panel, because I test positive to only the DGP IgA even in many follow up tests.  Like you, I had a Marsh Stage IIIB.  

I was lucky. My learning curve to the gluten-free Diet was mastered on day one.  My hubby had been gluten-free for 12 years prior to my diagnosis.  Still, it took time to heal.  I felt better within a few months in terms of my iron-deficiency anemia resolving (lab markers).  At a year, I felt normal.  

Two or three months after my diagnosis, I fractured two vertebrae doing NOTHING!  I was devastated to learn that I had osteoporosis.  That meant no cycling for a year.  No running.  Just gentle walking and swimming.  Once I was sure I had healed, I started back on my bike.  I gave up Skiing and skating.  While my back has healed and due to my age, I am concerned about falling.  Bone scans show no improvement, but my osteoporosis has not progressed.  

So, be careful.  Give yourself time to heal.  Then get back to a strenuous workout.  

Edited by cyclinglady

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Hi Keight,

Fatigue is fairly common in newly diagnosed celiacs IMHO.  It can take some time to get the gluten-free diet down right.  Mistakes are common enough and even one can set healing back for months.

People are often lacking some vitamins and minerals also, and that slows healing as well.  Plus not absorbing carbs and fats well reduces the energy available to the cells.

It all tends to get better with time on the gluten-free diet though.  Remember your gut is damaged even if you can't see the damage.  So treat it gently and give it time to heal.  I think chocolate is especially beneficial for healing :)  At least the soy and dairy free kinds.

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Thank you for the very kind welcomes! 

Dark chocolate (95%+) fan here. And I am really enjoying organic cream. My body feels starved of fats, so I am lapping them up. I am looking forward to getting hold of animal oils to cook in. Food does taste much better cooked in them. 

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"That four week challenge was the worst month of my life. I kid you not. I felt almost suicidal." 

 Indeed. Amazing you finished 4 weeks. 

I cried and said  before attempting I didn't think I could finish a 2 week challenge. I attempted and had all of my gi symptoms, brain fog, neuropathy etc.I had to pull over often for nausea and bowel then stopped driving all together during my attempted challenge. I would walk to my local bakery to gluten myself. As my challenge went on the darker and nihilistic thoughts were awful. I stopped at 6 days stating, I have 2 kids I need to finish raising and a spouse that needs me to help raise our kids. I really did want a final Farwell to a Chicago deep dish pizza and a Chicago style hot dog, but the challenges revealed  what my husband and I already knew.

Welcome to the community. 

What great accomplishments you have had in bodybuilding congrats. It has helped you in so many ways.

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