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So I am sixteen, and for the past year or so I have been experiencing some very strange things with my body. (And yes I know i'm going through puberty and change is normal.) But the things I have been experiencing are not just the typical growing up things. I have had a consistent rash on my upper back, chest and thighs, (also having major breakouts on my back and minimal on my chest. I assumed it was just acne although it is itchy which I don't think is normal for just pimples...) And a few weeks ago i was kind of freaking out because when I went to the bathroom, I had almost like a fatty liquid with my stool! (Which lasted for a couple of weeks and still comes back every once in awhile). I always feel very bloated and constipated and I have the WORST pms. I ended up in the emergency room twice from passing out after standing up and feeling dizzy, I stopped growing around age 13 and am by far the shortest in my family. I didn't think that it was related until i was looking up symptoms, (I am 5'2, the rest of my family range from 5'6 to 5'11). I went on a juice cleanse several months ago and felt soooo much better and my skin cleared up, but that only lasted a couple of weeks and since going back to eating regular food containing gluten all of my old symptoms have come back. Should I get tested?

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Hi Charity,

Have you shown your parents to rash?  Explained to them what is going on with you. Since your underage, an adult needs to be involved with this process. 

Please go to the doctor and tell him/her your concerns about celiac and ask to have the skin adjacent to your rash biopsied.  I would also ask them for the celiac panel. However, keep in mind that you must continue eating gluten until all testing is complete. Otherwise, the results will not be accurate. 

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Hi Charity,

Your symptoms sure sound like celiac disease.  Being shorter than most family members can also be a symptom.  Celiac disease impacts our ability to absorb nutrients so growth can be retarded.  You should stay on gluten until all testing is completed.  The antibodies decline if you stop eating gluten and then the testing is not accurate.

The rash may be dermatitis herpetiformis. a skin condition that is associated with celiac disease.  There is a section of the forum dedicated to dermatitis herpetiformis with more info.

The good news is if you have celiac disease you can treat the symptoms by eating gluten-free.  You'll probably eat better food than most of your peers.  And you can recover and do just fine by staying gluten-free.

It is important to get your family involved in your diagnosis and treatment.  They need to understand that celiac disease is a serious auto-immune condition and not just a diet choice.   Tiny amounts of gluten can make us sick for weeks.  I suggest you write down your health symptoms and take them or send them to the doctor.  Pictures of the rash would be good to get also.  Sometimes a rash will disappear right before your doctor appointment.  The usual test process is a blood sample for antibodie tests and then later an endoscopy to check for intestinal villi damage.  Often a gastroenterologist is involved in the testing.

There may be celiac disease support groups in your area who can help with a doctor recommendation.

Check out this newbie info 101 thread, it might be good for your parents to read also.

 

 

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