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My Latest Lab Tests (Fat Absorption) - Thoughts?

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After going through the last year and a half of tests thinking I could have Celiac's Disease to RA, the gastroenterologists I've been seeing wanted to check the fat absorption through a stool test. He had already done an upper endoscopy on me and found that I had inflammation in the stomach but didn't know the cause. They checked for Celiac's as well, but I have been off of gluten for 9-10 months, so I'm not sure how accurate the biopsies of the villi would be. However, since I'd gone from about 155 pounds down to 130 pounds (I'm skin and bones), he wanted to do the fat test. After the first round, they called me and told me that the fat was "high" in my stool indicating that I may not be absorbing fat properly. They had me do another round of stool tests, and sure enough, they are now saying my body is not absorbing fat correctly.


So they want to do a cat scan next of my pancreas and they will be calling me this week to set that up. I'm concerned about the cat scan and wondering if I should call them back and ask if I could possibly do an MRI or ultrasound instead due to the high radiation.


All of these symptoms began with severe joint pain in my hands, then moved to my wrists and other joints in the body. Now I have chronic popping in the jaw, shoulders, and wrists and beginning to have popping in feet, knees, and hips (though not nearly as much as the shoulders and wrists). I've lost all this weight, and I'm walking around looking like a skeleton. I don't have energy throughout the day, and I've been eating about as clean as possible over the last year (nothing but water, fruit, vegetables, lean chicken, fish, nuts and seeds). I thought the weight loss was from my diet and my high metabolism, but the lab results are confirming a fat absorption issue.


Could this be Celiac related even though my gastro doctor did biopsies of my stomach and they came back negative? Could the lack of fat absorption be causing joint issues, popping, and other problems due to changes in enzyme production?


I guess the worst case is that I have some kind of cancer in my pancreas, but if so, I really don't like the idea of doing a cat scan on that area.


I know these are questions for my doctor (who I have yet to see). I'm just reaching out to see if others might have similar problems with joint pain, weight loss, etc. I'll also add that when all the joint pain started, that's when my sudden food sensitivities began with it. I can't do dairy, gluten, eggs, tomatoes and a host of other foods without almost immediate (10 minutes to 24 hours) symptoms of joint pain. When I eat, something triggers the pain and popping. I don't really have many stomach issues, although I'm starting to have trouble with salads and beans over the last 2-3 months.


One last note, I just went through another thorough round of blood work with a rheumatologist, and my results were all normal...again.



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I wonder if digestive enzymes would help you break down your food. 


I get joint pain after having   tomatoes and potatoes, but I don't think mine is nearly immediate. 


Many people with celiac do not absorb fat well.  There may be other reasons for mal-absorption.  According to my Functional medicine nurse the villi in the small intestine are supposed to tell the pancreas to fire.  If the villi are damaged they don't tell the  pancreas to fire. 


The things you have said would make me think that you might have celiac.  The symptoms could be caused by celiac and the tests likely may not find it when you are not eating gluten.  Have you had a positive response to the diet?  Have you had your nutrient levels tested?  Are you absorbing well, but for the fat?  I suspect that answer is no, because of your weight.


I hope you will get some definitive answers soon.  GET Well, and gain weight.  Don't get discouraged, I can tell my body is still being healed up at 18+ months gluten free.



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