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WinterSage

Mother And Son Intolerant

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Hello, new to the forum.

 

So my son over the past two years has had increasing stomach pains, occassionally accompanied by sever heartburn and acid reflux. He and I both have always been restless sleepers, both wake up "giving the world a dirty look" as my beloved husband would say it. I've been a chronic insomniac, depressive with violent mood swings, and anxiety for years. My son also started to display these symptoms, he is just 13 as of last July, so at first I attributted it to puberty. My son is also on the autism spectrum. Spent the first years of his life between hapier then happy and screaming bloody murder for no apparent reason. =( My daughter who is 15 is sensitive to dairy, but not hugely so.

 

All of us have chronically runny noses. Blah.

 

Anyways, after several trips to the doctors office, I took us off dairy and gluten to see if my poor boy's stomach would stop hurting him. And it worked, I've had him off dairy before and it helped him a bit, but now we're off all of it, gluten and dairy.

 

He and I are both getting good sleeps. No problems falling asleep which is fantastic, I'm quite overweight, and although I am eating plenty of good whole foods, no less calories then before and I think a bit of a higher fat ratio, I have just dropped from 178.9 on Thursday to 174.2 today. Which is insane. I have been struggling with my weight.....since my early twenties.

 

Also neither my son or I have that "lead weight" bloated feeling in our guts. neither of us have "fuzzy brains". I haven't had a major headache since thursday, and I get headaches daily. My mood is stable and elevated. I don't feel like I need to stretch to breath at night and my asthma seems to have improved to the point of my chest no longer feeling tight and I just got through a 30 minute cardio workout without chest pains, or raw feeling lungs.

 

Now, I haven't gotten us tested, I was desperate to alleviate my sons stomach issues, and went off the dairy and gluten to support him. But what are the chances that there are allergies there? And is it common for symptoms to start clearing this fast?

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Well, first of all, the gluten thing is not an allergy. If you have celiac, that is an autoimmune disease. And if you don't have celiac, but a sensitivity to gluten, that is called non-celiac gluten intolerance. The difference is that with celiac there is intestinal damage, and with NCGI, there isn't. It seems obvious to me based on your response to the diet that you have one or the other.

 

Also, be aware that celiac runs in families. You probably should both be tested. That would mean going back on gluten because the tests will show false negative if you aren't eating it. These are the tests you should ask for:

 

tTG IgA and tTG IgG

DGP IgA and DGP IgG

EMA IgA

total serum IgA control test

AGA IgA and AGA IgG (older less reliable tests)

 

And it is not uncommon to see improvement so soon. It usually takes a long time (months, and in some cases, a couple of years) to see complete healing, but most people see enough improvement within days to let them know they are on the right track.

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Thank you. I'm not really sure if getting a diagnoses is fundamental. Certainly it wouldn't hurt but now, after feeling so much better the idea for either of us to eat in our "normal" way seems to be a put off. Feeling good and healthy is much more important then a claim. But I can see the wisdom of where you are going. And you are right. However knowing which tests to request are a great help! =) We may go back in future, but, as of now I'm going to assume we are in the intolerant range. I wouldn't claim to be celiac without a proper diagnoses, simply saying, I don't eat dairy or gluten, because my body does better without is enough.

 

One thing I am a bit curious about though, seeing as it is an autoimmune disease, when celiacs are consuming gluten products on a regular basis, do they tend towards getting sick more frequently then the average person of good health? It seems that I more then my son, tend to get colds and flu's quite frequently, even got my flu shot this year because the past two years were horrible and I missed a lot of work. 

 

I of course won't know until I have spent the span of a year off gluten and dairy as I am now, whether I have a health improvement, but my doctor ran a full spectrum of tests and I am not deficient by their standards in nutrients, and we eat a very healthy diet of, well not many grains anymore, but grass fed meat, nuts, fruits, and veggies. Always have.

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I get sick less often now that I am gluten-free but some of my autoimmune issues (it's not uncommon to have more than one AI disease) would produce symptoms that felt like I was sick (headaches, fatigue, sore joints, sore throat from ulcers), and those don't happen as frequently anymore either.

 

Another reason to get tested soon is that for the tests to be accurate, you need to be consuming gluten in the 2 months prior to testing. All celiac tests will eventually test negative (for all but a small minority of celiacs) after being away from gluten for a time.  If you have only been gluten-free for a week or so, you could resume eating gluten for just a couple of weeks and you will probably test accurately. The longer you go gluten-free, the longer of a gluten challenge (2 months) you will require.

 

Not all celiacs are deficient in nutrients , nor are all deficient in the same ones. That being said, the most common problem nutrients seem to be: D, A, potassium, calcium, iron, ferritin, B12, zinc and copper. I personally was barely low in A and exceeded the upper normal limit in B12. It varies.

 

Welcome to the board!

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Just wanted to add that you may want to get a bone density test, as low bone density due to poor Vit D and Calcium absorption is very common in Celiacs - even if the blood levels show normal. 

 

As far as being more likely to get sick, that does sound reasonable as your immune system is constantly fighting something it cannot kill.  However, for me I've always been pretty healthy and rarely get sick.  I would get a cold every year (haven't gotten it yet this year - but will now I've said that) - but colds that would go around and land people in bed for a week would give me the sniffles for a few days.  Stomach bugs that would keep people out of work for 3 days would make me feel a bit queasy for a day and then go away.  In the last 20 years I can think of 3 times I've had to call in sick.  So go figure... everyone is different.

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