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mrsmaciii

How To Ask My Doctor About Testing Based On My Symptoms

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I wanted to bounce my symptoms off of a community that has experience with this before I go back to my doctor in 2 weeks. I also wanted to know how you approached this topic with your own doctors.

 

First, a little background.. I'm a 25 y/o female. I drink about 6 bottles of water a day, exercise regularly (I'm a marathon runner), and I take my multivitamins every. single. day. I do have year round allergies and very very rare asthma attacks (I haven't felt even slightly tight chested in well over a year) No family history of gluten allergies or celiac. I had stress related acid reflux in elementary school that I took Zantac for daily, but when those stressors were removed in middle school I stopped taking it.

 

Before I even go into my symptoms, I'll be the first to admit that I eat a LOT of gluten products. But I married into a Sicilian family... so pasta and bread are pretty much staples in our house. lol

 

Here are the symptoms I've been experiencing since Nov 2012 (excuse the extreme grossness, but I'm sure you've all heard or experienced similar or [i hope not] worse)

 

-periods where stool is bloody (bright red); very high fat content in stool; severe gas with fecal leakage, bloating

 

-habits go from diarrhea (3-4x a day; loose stool) to severly constipated (going once very 8-12 days; compacted stool) ... i feel like I lose about 5 lbs every time I poop when the latter occurs. No joke. I go down a whole jean size and then some.

 

-headaches, lightheadedness every time I stand, blurred or blacked out vision for a few moments when I stand up, my memory has become terrible and it's hard for me to focus on a daily basis.

 

-fatigue. I have a toddler that runs me ragged on a daily basis, but lately I HAVE to take a nap in the afternoon, whether we have a lazy movie day or we're playing soccer for 3 hours.

 

-a suspected but never confirmed lactose intolerance. throat has very minor swelling. sinus cavities swell but no leakage. increased saliva production.

 

Also, in 2009 I had an episode where I lost my vision for a good 4 minutes, felt nauseous, broke out in a sweat, and passed out. Went to the hospital and they called it a migraine (which I didn't feel like I had before the incident, but sure did after I went home). I'm unsure if this could be related in any other way.

 

Spring of 2013 doctor visit: had a pap that revealed inflammation and a rectal that ruled out hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

 

Could this all be stress related? My husband is in the military, and we've been transitioning into that lifestyle. Or could this be something more?

 

I just had blood drawn for a lipid panel the other day that comes back in a few weeks, and a urine test for idk what (because there's no way I'm pregnant).

 

Thoughts?

Opinions?

Advice?

 

And, I'm unsure (or I guess lacking in confidence) if I should suggest testing because he's the doctor and I'm not.

 

Thanks!

Edited by mrsmaciii

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All of your symptoms could be related to Celiac - but they could have other, more serious causes as well.  Getting things checked out is a must.

As far as suggesting specific tests from your doctor - do not feel like this is somehow stepping outside the boundaries of the doctor-patient relationship.  It's your body, your health, and your life.  You have to be your own advocate.  If you haven't had a full blood panel lately - which is something they will likely want to do anyways - just ask them to also request the panel of tests for gluten antibodies and Vitamin D level.  If they ask why you want them, simply tell your doctor that all of your symptoms fit Celiac Disease, and while you also want to make sure it isn't something else, you also want to know if it's that.  Any decent doctor will include the extra tests.

 

For what it's worth... I only know I have Celiac because I insisted the doctor run the tests (in my case I have a close family member who has it).  It wasn't anything my doctor came up with.

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I think people who are in touch with their symptoms and know how to educate themselves usually diagnose themselves correctly. If you think you could have an issue with gluten, then you probably do,.. It's just a matter of getting the doctors to see what you are saying.

 

Your BM problems are pretty common around here. Hemorrhoids and the resultant bloody stools, constipation and D are all common symptoms of gluten intolerance.

 

I have experienced your headaches and lightheadedness when standing. For me, it was postural hypotension, meaning when I stand up my blood pressure drops - in most people it goes up. I now take a flourohydrocortisone (Florinef I believe it's spelled) and It has cleared it up almost entirely. I fainted every other year due to this, and if I was sitting for more than 30 minutes it was a guarantee that when I stood I would lose my vision through tunnel vision and walk into a wall if not careful - or pass out if I pushed it. If I was sick, I would get tunnel vision for longer periods like you described.  Have the doctor take your blood pressure while laying down and then again immediately upon standing to test for this.

 

Fatigue, cognitive problems, and headaches are also common celiac symptoms.... you might as well be tested. Plus it's genetic so it is possible that your issues could affect your toddler too. :(

 

The symptoms you listed could belong to other problems too.  I also have hypothyroidism (along with all of your symptoms) and I think you might want to check into that too. It can zap you of energy and mess with your bowels too.

 

Good luck, and welcome to the board.  :)

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