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nwfn

Should I Bother Getting Diagnosed?

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I've been off gluten for about a week now. I never had severe celiac symptoms; I just felt bloated and gassy after meals, regardless of gluten content, though meals with gluten seemed worse. Now the bloating is gone and the gassiness is much less. I also have a mild rash on my stomach that has marginally improved (I don't think it's dermatitis herpetiformis because it doesn't look anywhere near as bad as that, but who knows?).

 

And I'm not sure if this is related, but a couple of coworkers have commented that I seem to be in a better mood this past week. I'm under increased stress in my personal life and not getting much sleep, so if anything I have reason to be in a worse mood. So maybe this is due to the gluten too?

 

On the negative side, I think I am losing some weight, and I don't have any to spare, probably because I can't eat out as much and don't cook. But in general, my gluten-free experiment is tentatively positive.

 

Should I bother with hounding a doctor to confirm (or deny) celiac? Is there any benefit to official diagnosis?

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The upside of having a diagnosis is in case you need special accommodations for school or work - you could be taken more seriously. It helps doctors when considering other health problems like nutrient deficiencies (D, B12, foate, iron, ferritin, calcium, potassium, zinc) but you, you can request those tests without a diagnosis. Other autoimmune problems related to celiac disease could crop up, and a good doc will be on the lookout because of the celiac disease link... But there aren't a lot of knowledgable docs out there (when it comes to celiac disease). Also, some people find it easier to go and stay, gluten-free with a diagnosis.

The down side to testing is that you need to be eating gluten everyday for up to 12 weeks prior to testing.... Not exactly healthy. False negative tests do happen too, so soe celiacs will resume eating gluten if they get a case get a false negative.

It's a personal choice. :) Best wishes.

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If I could re-run  my own life, I'd go a diagnosis now, whilst the symptoms are relatively mild, as they do tend to increase with increasing exposure to gluten; and you don't sound convinced enough to stick this out long-term. Also, you probably haven't even done enough research,yet to fully eliminate Gluten from your diet. It crops up in some very surprising places.

 

Yes, there is certainly  a danger of getting a false negative;  also, you might be gluten intolerant rather than celiac (which basically means you get the symptoms, but no detectable antibodies etc). Don't rule that out!  Still, the possible benefits of a timely diagnosis outweigh the problem of a false negative, IMO (which is only as muchof a problem as you let it be! To the medical profession, refusal to do the challenge and negative result are just about equally weighted, in my experience )

 

Whichever you choose, good luck!

 

jay :)

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