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Wisgal

What Do Intestines Look Like?

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I just had an endoscopy today after seeing a GI doctor last week Friday. He did bloodwork for celiac (not sure which specific tests) which aren't back yet. He told me after the endoscopy that the stomach and small intestine looked healthy - no ulcers visible-but he did do biopsies which I will find out the results in about a week. I was a bit out of it and didn't think to ask if the small intestine typically looks normal with celiac or can you usually see actual damage during the endoscopy?

My story is that I have a 4 month old daughter (and 2 older boys). I started getting terrible upper abdominal pain a few weeks after she was born, but only sporadically. Then the last 5 weeks it became daily and usually after eating. They did an abdominal US, no gallstones. They also ruled out H Pylori bacteria for ulcers. I experienced this pain after my boys were born as well, but it went away after a few weeks and didn't happen daily. I had 3 miscarriages before my daughter, still unexplained even after alot of testing. I have also had problems with general fatigue, headaches and neck/upper back aches and pains for many years. The other weird thing I have going on that they found a few weeks ago is an elevated eosinophil count (about 20%, the normal is 0-6%).

Last Friday was the first I heard celiac mentioned- so I haven't tried the gluten-free diet yet.

I guess my big question is about the intestines (about them looking normal), and any other advice you can offer, questions I should ask when I call for the bloodwork results later in the week.

Thanks- Stacy

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From reading your symptoms, I would guess that you may have celiac. Villi damage is hard to see unless you look at it under a microscope. They will have to look at your biopsies underneath the microscope to see if there was any damage done.

and any other advice you can offer, questions I should ask when I call for the bloodwork results later in the week.
My advice would be to try not to stress about the whole thing until you hear your results. Stress can make symptoms worse! And if you find out that you do have celiac then we are here to help. Well, we are here to help either way :) We can give you gluten-free product lists, advice on where to eat, recipes, and meal ideas. Please keep us posted :)

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Guest Viola

A healthy intestine has healthy villi .. or tiny little fingers all over it. These villi collect all the vitamins and minerals from the food and then sends the waste on. When you have Celiac disease the villi is damaged, sometimes to the point where they are really flat and can no longer collect any nutrients. If the damage has just started, this can only be seen by microscope. Only severe damage can be seen by the specialist when they are doing the biopsy. :rolleyes: Hope this helps explain it a bit.

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Thank you so much for your replies! That does help explain it. I guess I went in thinking they would automatically see some damage and kind of assumed there was some from the pain I've been having. So this makes sense now.

I've been just thinking so much about the miscarriages and all I went thru- so much testing & seen by 3 different doctors. Some of the tests were for some pretty rare things. And they never once mentioned celiac! Which you would think would be an obvious thing to test for, as common as it seems to be. I did lots of research on the internet and read some books as well on miscarriage and don't remember coming across it on the websites or chat rooms. So many women like me just end up with unexplained m/c & , no diagnosis which makes it so scary to try again! If I have this, I plan to write a letter to all 3 of the doctors I saw and try to educate them to add this to the battery of tests they do for recurrent miscarriage.

Right now I'm kind of overwhelmed thinking about all the changes I will need to make. Was trying to find something to snack on in my pantry today and there wasn't much w/o gluten! I'm kind of scared to eat since I'm not sure yet what to look out for. Is there a link, list of all the hidden ingredients to look for? I know a few, like modified food starch and distilled vinegar. What else?

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Oh, forgot to add- I'm wondering if others have had high eosinophil counts as well? I haven't seen it listed as a symptom or common sign of celiac. It is usually seen elevated with allergies, parasites and drug reactions, and scarier conditions like lymphomas. I don't have any allergies like hay fever and didn't think I had any other allergies either. When I googled celiac and eosinophilia together, a few things came up- it may be one of the more uncommon signs? The doctors have seemed puzzled by it, even the GI doc.

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Guest Viola

Stacy ... click on the "Gluten-Free Celiac Disease Forum" on top of the page, it will give you a list of threads. Go down the list until you find "Gluten Free Foods, Products, Shopping and Medications." You'll find lots of lists, hints, and good advice there for snacks, lunches etc.

Hope this helps you some :)

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