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birdie22

Gluten Challenge And Now A Rash...coincidence Right?

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I am 12 days into a gluten challenge. Today I woke up with a lacy rash on my arms and legs (I almost look sunburn) and joint pain in my wrists, knees, and fingers. A bit of googling and I think it is the virus Fifth Disease. My kids don't have it but I've been taking them to swim lessons for the past two weeks so I'm exposed to lots of other kids. It doesn't bear resemblance to DH. Total coincidence right?

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Does this rash itch? Your description of 'lacy' makes me wonder if it might be livedo reticularis. I have that and it seems to be related to inflammation at least for me. It was so bad I was purple before diagnosis but since I went gluten free it has resolved greatly, unless I get glutened.

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It doesn't itch per se but gets a bit prickly in spots (like the feeling of walking in tall grasses) mostly on my legs. I was reading on fifth disease and in adults it isn't uncommon to not have the slapped cheek look (which I don't) and for adult women to get joint pain, which I do have. But I don't and haven't had in the last few days a fever, or headache, or cold symptoms which are usually symptoms. And of course being the 4th of July I can't call my PCP. I don't feel sick at all so doesn't seem worth wasting time going to an after hours place.

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I just wanted to update this in case anyone else happens upon this thread in a search. I ended my gluten challenge that very day figuring it wasn't worth the symptoms, especially if this was related. The rash lasted another 2 or 3 days. The joint pain lasted about 4 or 5. The joint swelling in my fingers and feet lasted a solid week. I also noticed around this time that my cheeks were red and it would come and go. The red cheeks (as stated in my other post) did not happen at the same time as my rash. My kids and husband never came down with anything before or following this episode for me.

 

So my follow up with my PCP was about a month after this episode and I mentioned it to her and said, I know, it's probably a coincidence and it was viral and just happened to occur during my gluten challenge. I was surprised when she responded, no, she doesn't think it was coincidence at all and that rashes, flushed face, joint pain and swelling are common responses to food intolerance and/or allergy. I was surprised because while she is quite celiac knowledgeable in many regards she also didn't believe in referring me for an endoscopy based on negative serology and doesn't find genetic testing at all helpful. So she didn't think it was Fifth's Disease virus at all and has solidified my diagnosis as NCGS.

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