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I'm a male, 27 years old. I have been seemingly healthy and naturally athletic most of my life though since I can remember I have had stomach problems. I love spicy foods... but they have always given me abdominal discomfort.

Rewind 5 years from now my dad was killed in an accident. I was a young adult but because of a nasty divorce him and I were best friends. And I took his death hard. I think it was then I started drinking beer almost every day. This went on for years... I have not only held down a job but have thrived in the business world and took a big step into self employment 3 years ago.

About 6 months ago the weird stuff started. My abdominal discomfort became a lot worse and it seemed totally random. I couldn't connect it to anything I was doing or eating. I became more moody and irritable than usual, started losing weight and losing... hair! First it was a couple small spots on my chin. That grew to cover my entire chin area in an irregular 3 inch radius. Then in early January it started falling out in circles on the top of my head. It isn't male pattern baldness at all. You can search "alopecia areata" and it is a lot like these folks. I have been really tired and have had no energy. I found myself recently going to lay down on a futon in my office between jobs to recoop. I have maintained a weight of about 195 lbs for the past 5 years or so. A customer casually mentioned to me about a week ago: "you have lost weight since the last time you were here". I have started to grow my hair out a little to try and hide the embarrassing bald spots and brushed it off to him that it was just the hair. Curiosity got the best of me and I stepped on a scale. 174... I had lost 20 pounds. My jeans had been fitting loose but again, I blew it off and made excuses. The wife started to worry. Then I started getting some tooth pain. I haven't had a cavity in years and have good dental habits. I go on the internet at that point and enter all my symptoms like most people do and BAM. There it was. I read a list of symptoms and it almost read me like a book. As I am looking into the celiac and gluten thing I take a few gulps of beer. Well s$#&.

I talk to a family member that is a PA about my symptoms. Of course "get a blood test, go to a gastroenterologist" so on, so forth but she agreed that it could be a sensitivity to food. She suggested going on a gluten-free diet for one week and seeing how I feel after. So I did. I am on day 4.

The bloating and discomfort almost disappeared within a couple days. I'm not having to go and lay down several times a day. I'm in a better mood. I'm not making multiple trips to the bathroom daily. I don't have to drag my ass out of bed every morning.

I found some gluten free beer but it is awful. I drank it at the end of the first two days and decided that I'd rather not drink at all, and haven't been. I wanted to while on this diet to rule out an "alcohol problem" but just can't. I don't even like liquor, cocktails, wine etc. Even still those first two days I started feeling better.

Anyone else get diagnosed with celiac at a similar age with a similar situation? I guess I would just like some reassurance before I start getting tested, biopsied etc. I have insurance but it isn't great and I have a feeling all this is going to put me out a bunch. On the other hand I don't want to waste anyone's time on here by missing something obvious or not trying to cut the beer only out first. After a week I am thinking of going back to my normal diet and keeping the beer out of it. I guess if my health, energy and mood starts declining again it would be a good implication to buck up and have a doc go in with the ol' butt camera.

Anyway thank you in advance to anyone that reads all this and shares their experience and advice.






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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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Hi Clay,

To me, your symptoms sound pretty classic to celiac. You have done a test and can now relate your symptoms to diet, or at least the beer which has barley (except I guess the gluten free beer does not). 

Are you eating other gluten daily in your diet--wheat, which will be in bread, tortillas, crackers, many types of chips, as well as other food items? If so, then you are good to go for the celiac test because you have to be eating gluten to have accurate test results from both the antibody tests and the endoscope biopsies.

If beer was your only gluten containing source, you either have the choice to start drinking it again and/or adding other gluten to your diet and go through with the testing, or to continue abstaining from the beer and see how you feel. However, if you choose the latter, then you need to cut out all gluten from your diet.

Finally, if you feel better cutting out just the beer, and you are eating other gluten in your diet, it's a possibility that you could be sensitive to just one of the grains or another ingredients.  In even,  no matter what is happening, because of the fatigue, weight loss, and stomach problems, I'd heed to your wife's concerns and go to the doctor. 

Congratulations on your successes too!


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Welcome to the forum,

Your PA gave you very bad advice!   Why?  Many celiacs do not have any abdominal symptoms or any noticeable symptoms at all yet they are still damaging their intestinal tract!  I was one of those people.  I had anemia chalked up to a genetic anemia and simply being a woman for years (post dx I found my bones had been compromised too).  But I was iron deficient because I had celiac disease!  

 If you suspect celiac disease, you must be eating gluten and you should get tested.  Even abstaining from gluten for two weeks can impact the blood tests!  





Your best defense is to research! Be your own health advocate!  Your PA should be consulting with her supervisor (medical doctor) befor dispensing medical advice beyond her training in my opinion.  

Oh, the endoscopy goes in through the mouth.  celiac disease impacts the small intestine.  The blood test is relatively cheap and well worth it, in my opinion.  But with your symptoms, insurance would most likely cover it.  

Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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