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yams88

Do these seem like Celiac disease symptoms?

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I understand this is not a doctor's office and that I need proper testing done to rule out Celiac disease, however, I am stuck waiting until November to even see a GI doctor. So I need some suggestions soon on which test to go for first and what to do as I wait. Also do note, I am 28 years old.

Right now, the most suspecting culprits to my symptoms have been Gallbadder, Celiac disease, and IBS. I have also been recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes and I am obese.  My Ultrasound and CT scan have all come up as normal and no signs of gallstones. However, I was in extreme pain as my upper abdomen was examined during the ultra sound. My white blood cell count also seems to be high at 12,000 but all blood work came back normal for liver and everything else.

Symptoms included are:

diarrhea
yellow-stools (Sometimes foul smelling but always sink)
light gnawing pain in area a few inches above belly button
burning in chest
sometimes pain below upper right rib cage.
Tenderness all around the upper abdomen, but more so on the right and center.
burping frequently after meals
Gassy
bloating in abdomen

The pains used to come and go for the past few years as something very mild, but then the yellow stools happen at least four months ago and at a constant rate. Everyday it is either yellow or orange.  Sometimes the stools are lose and other times they are not. Two months in, I was finally diagnosed with pre-diabetes and have been having a strict low calorie and non fatty diet.

So far the upper right pain has subsided but the pain above my belly button would continue. The gassy and bloated feeling would come and go as well. I get severe heart burn after almost every meal. But I felt it especially after eating whole wheat sandwiches or whole wheat pasta. I however don't feel it when I eat a Nature Valley granola bar, or pack of peanut butter crackers. I also had a chicken and vegetable stir fry with soy sauce cooked in that also had little effect on me. A bowl of cereal also made the heart burn act up pretty bad. I sometimes feel numb or light headed after various meals. Especially larger ones. In fact, it seems the more I eat, the worse I feel. But the less in the stomach, the more the pain above my belly button starts to act up.

It is usually in the morning and afternoon I feel the most with gas and bloating. Especially after any large meals from the previous day. Despite the diet and work outs I have had, nothing has changed the stools. However, taking fish oil pills has greatly reduced the pain in my upper abdomen as well as the pain  in the the area above my belly button.

My question now is, is there a very likely chance of this being celiac disease? Should I go on a gluten free diet to test since I Have to wait so long? Also, which test should I ask the doctor for first, as it will take a GREAT deal of time to pay off each one. Colonoscopy, HIDA scan, or endoscopy. 

Again, I understand this isn't a site to get compete medical advice or to know exactly what my illness is, but I am trying to narrow down the possibility or what is most likely. If this has a chance of being celiac disease, I would rather know sooner than later.

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Hi yams88,

The first test usually done for celiac disease is the gliaden antibodies tests.  They are blood test that look for antibodies to gliaden protein, which is found in wheat.  The next test would be an endoscopy to take biopsy samples for microscopic examination.  They look for damage to the villi caused by the immune system attack characteristic of celiac disease.

You need to keep eating gluten until all testing is completed.  The tests are not designed to work for some one who has not been eating gluten on a regular basis.

You  may also have an ulcer, per the description of constant pain in the upper abdomen that gets worse with less food in your stomach.

You want to get the complete celiac disease panel, which tests for several different antibodies types.

Welcome to the forum, hopefully we can help you figure things out.

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1 hour ago, yams88 said:

I understand this is not a doctor's office and that I need proper testing done to rule out Celiac disease, however, I am stuck waiting until November to even see a GI doctor. So I need some suggestions soon on which test to go for first and what to do as I wait. Also do note, I am 28 years old.

Right now, the most suspecting culprits to my symptoms have been Gallbadder, Celiac disease, and IBS. I have also been recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes and I am obese.  My Ultrasound and CT scan have all come up as normal and no signs of gallstones. However, I was in extreme pain as my upper abdomen was examined during the ultra sound. My white blood cell count also seems to be high at 12,000 but all blood work came back normal for liver and everything else.

Symptoms included are:

diarrhea
yellow-stools (Sometimes foul smelling but always sink)
light gnawing pain in area a few inches above belly button
burning in chest
sometimes pain below upper right rib cage.
Tenderness all around the upper abdomen, but more so on the right and center.
burping frequently after meals
Gassy
bloating in abdomen

The pains used to come and go for the past few years as something very mild, but then the yellow stools happen at least four months ago and at a constant rate. Everyday it is either yellow or orange.  Sometimes the stools are lose and other times they are not. Two months in, I was finally diagnosed with pre-diabetes and have been having a strict low calorie and non fatty diet.

So far the upper right pain has subsided but the pain above my belly button would continue. The gassy and bloated feeling would come and go as well. I get severe heart burn after almost every meal. But I felt it especially after eating whole wheat sandwiches or whole wheat pasta. I however don't feel it when I eat a Nature Valley granola bar, or pack of peanut butter crackers. I also had a chicken and vegetable stir fry with soy sauce cooked in that also had little effect on me. A bowl of cereal also made the heart burn act up pretty bad. I sometimes feel numb or light headed after various meals. Especially larger ones. In fact, it seems the more I eat, the worse I feel. But the less in the stomach, the more the pain above my belly button starts to act up.

It is usually in the morning and afternoon I feel the most with gas and bloating. Especially after any large meals from the previous day. Despite the diet and work outs I have had, nothing has changed the stools. However, taking fish oil pills has greatly reduced the pain in my upper abdomen as well as the pain  in the the area above my belly button.

My question now is, is there a very likely chance of this being celiac disease? Should I go on a gluten free diet to test since I Have to wait so long? Also, which test should I ask the doctor for first, as it will take a GREAT deal of time to pay off each one. Colonoscopy, HIDA scan, or endoscopy. 

Again, I understand this isn't a site to get compete medical advice or to know exactly what my illness is, but I am trying to narrow down the possibility or what is most likely. If this has a chance of being celiac disease, I would rather know sooner than later.

The first step is getting a celiac blood panel.   Any medical doctor can order one.  Live near Chicago?  They are do free screenings this month (check their website).  The cost is less than $400 for the complete panel.  If you get a positive on any one of them, then you should be referred to a GI for an endoscopy to obtain intestinal biopsies.   Here's more information from a reliable source and not just some lady on the internet:

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/

Having had my gallbladder removed (probably ruined from undiagnosed celiac disease, but I don't know that for sure), I would recommend a HIDA scan.  I have no idea how expensive that one is.  It's a nuclear test that checks for functionality.  Basically, is your gallbladder squeezing bile into your small intestines when those fries or bacon come down the tube.  Mine happened to actually be rotting (infected).  ER suspected appendicitis, but it was a rotten gallbladder.  I never had any stones (that's what the CT or the ultrasound can find). 

I am sorry that you are ill.  Keep eating gluten until all testing is complete.  This is important.  Go gluten free now?  Here's why you shouldn't.....

http://theceliacmd.com/2013/04/six-reasons-to-test-for-celiac-disease-before-starting-a-gluten-free-diet/

 

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Will this be dangerous considering how long I have to wait for any testing? I may not even get a blood test in November but here is hoping. I just worry having to wait so long will cause serious issues, not to mention delay of weight loss which I need for the pre-diabetes.

Do ulcers have a chance to cause yellow stools though? I suppose a stool test will be needed for that for any signs of blood in stools but visually it does not seem so. The biggest issue is not knowing what else could be causing the yellow stools as this would not be a diabetic or ulcer thing. And without negative signs on the gallbladder or liver, it is narrowing down the list.

At the very least this is making me assume I can wait on a final scan of gallbladder and attempt blood tests and endoscopy if they recommend it.

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5 minutes ago, yams88 said:

Will this be dangerous considering how long I have to wait for any testing? I may not even get a blood test in November but here is hoping. I just worry having to wait so long will cause serious issues, not to mention delay of weight loss which I need for the pre-diabetes.

Do ulcers have a chance to cause yellow stools though? I suppose a stool test will be needed for that for any signs of blood in stools but visually it does not seem so. The biggest issue is not knowing what else could be causing the yellow stools as this would not be a diabetic or ulcer thing. And without negative signs on the gallbladder or liver, it is narrowing down the list.

At the very least this is making me assume I can wait on a final scan of gallbladder and attempt blood tests and endoscopy if they recommend it.

I am not a doctor that's for sure.  So, I can't even answer your questions.  If you know you have pre-diabetes, you probably are working with a doctor.  Can you email them and ask for a celiac blood panel?  

You can work on the weight loss and diabetes -- that you can handle yourself now and take action.  I have diabetes and my glucose readings are fairly normal now without medication and I'm thin.  Being overweight does not cause diabetes.  It's either autoimmune (type 1) or you become insulin resistant (type 2).  You can cut out all sugar and  processed stuff ASAP to help take action and start walking 10,000 steps (helps with the insulin resistance).    But the prediabetes is not going to kill you in the next year.  Whatever's in your gut is more likely going to get you much sooner.  But heck, I'm not a doctor and I don't even know you!  

 

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I just now saw the second reply and I see what you mean. Again, the issue is that I may have to go with the gluten until close to the end of the year.

However, an idea did just come to mind, and that is, can my primary care doctor do such a test? I had normal blood work done, but they didn't really say anything about testing for celiacs. I can get an appointment with my primary care doctor much sooner than a GI.

When I was talking to my PCP last, I asked her what I should expect as far as testing goes or what she may have been concerned about. Her reply was about a HIDA scan for the gallbladder but also any test needed in case of IBS or Celiacs. Just the way she threw that in there like an after thought and left me hanging kinda had me worried.

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4 minutes ago, yams88 said:

I just now saw the second reply and I see what you mean. Again, the issue is that I may have to go with the gluten until close to the end of the year.

However, an idea did just come to mind, and that is, can my primary care doctor do such a test? I had normal blood work done, but they didn't really say anything about testing for celiacs. I can get an appointment with my primary care doctor much sooner than a GI.

When I was talking to my PCP last, I asked her what I should expect as far as testing goes or what she may have been concerned about. Her reply was about a HIDA scan for the gallbladder but also any test needed in case of IBS or Celiacs. Just the way she threw that in there like an after thought and left me hanging kinda had me worried.

She (your PCP)  can order a celiac blood panel.  It might not be a complete panel, but it's a start.  Any medical doctor can order one.  A GI is needed for the endoscopy (ulcers, Celiac disease, h.pylori, etc.), HIDA scan (gallbladder)  or colonoscopy (IBS).  

Since you just saw her, email/call/write a letter and ask her to order (lab) the celiac panel.  You could go to the lab before or after work.  Pretty easy!  

Edited by cyclinglady

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I'll give my PCP a call tomorrow and see what they can offer. My only worry is the expense as anymore tests will put me behind in being able to afford to see the GI. I have high deductible insurance but get money put into my HSA. I'm still trying to pay off the CT scan though. Which is why I'm trying to pick and choose which poses the greatest risk for me right now and what can wait. (Though I would prefer not to wait on any of it.)

I really do hope its only IBS. Though I always worry IBS is more or less a doctors way of saying "I have no clue" at that point. :C

Again, I'll be sure to give my PCP a call tomorrow then and see what the options are. I can feel a lot better trying the blood work first. however, once that is done, do I still need to be on a gluten diet before the endoscopy? Also, is it ok if I still mildly reduce the gluten. As in, can I avoid a whole wheat pasta dinner, but still be eating the peanut butter crackers? That sort of thing. Again I guess that is more of a doctor related question. I just wasn't sure if in order to raise your chance, you have to mass consume gluten or not. (Its already in just about everything to begin with.)

 

--Edit--
I just now reread the part that you still need to be on the gluten foods even for biopsy so I'll be sure to do that too.
 

Edited by yams88

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Sorry you are having to deal with so much pain.  Have you tried some Pepto Bismal liquid? That may help so might be worth a try if there isn't any contraindications. Hopefully your doctor will be willing to order the celiac panel for you. When the results come back if they are a clear positive you may want to ask your doctor if he might give you the 'official' diagnosis if after a bit on the diet the levels go down and your symptoms are relieved. Most of the celiac pamel is pretty specific to celiac and high results wouldn't be caused by anything else. I mention this idea because of your high deductable issue. Such a shame that so many have insurance they pay for but still can't afford to use. Make sure your doctor knows you are in that group.

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