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Hi guys, I desperately need some help.

I am currently studying abroad in Chile and having major digestive issues. I went to the doctor's but unfortunately the healthcare system just does not offer the same quality of care tht it does in the US and they found nothing wrong with me after doing stool\blood samples to eliminate the question of parasites and pregnancy. I will be returning to the states in 3 weeks so I figured I would wait until I got home to go to the doctor's again. I need some help from this community though because I think I may have celiac's and everyone is treating me like I am crazy. It all started a couple of months ago after I underwent a traumatic experience of being robbed.  Here are my symptoms...

-Lactose Intolerance. I have been lactose intolerant for many years though.

-Missed menstural periods.. My period used to be extremely heavy and painful and all of a sudden about 6 months ago it just suddenly stopped. It has come back every now and again randomly. (There is a 0% chance I am pregnant)

-Vomiting. Every 2 to 3 weeks or so I wake up at about 7 AM feeling sick to my stomach. I then vomit yellow bile. It seems to be associated when I eat too much fatty food or too much food in general the day before. I always feel better afterwards.

-Diarrhea\ constipation. My body keeps on jumping back and forth between having diarrhea and constipation. It is never normal

-Fatty stools. My stool always, always floats regardless of what I eat

-General discomfort after eating. If I eat anything other than oatmeal and an occassional piece of fruit I feel uncomfortably full and bloated.

-Anxiety

-Painful lower back

-Painful joints in my hands and feet

-Fatigue

-gas after fatty foods, dairy, legumes, (not necessarily gluten)

***My body doesn't feel any worse after eating gluten products as opposed to fatty products so it makes me wonder if I just have a problem not digesting fat and not gluten??

 

As you can see these symptoms are random and do not seem to be connected. I feel so hopeless because I feel like I will never get better and people usually kind of imply that I am whining or paranoid when I tell them I feel sick. But my body feels terrible almost all of the time.

I would love your suggestions on what I should do. I don´t have a doctor´s appointment for another month and I have a feeling they won't believe me if I say I may have gluten intolerance.

 

Edited by swim2hawaii

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Hi swimtohawaii,

Your symptoms do sound like they could be caused by celiac disease.  And you may have had it a long time.  Symptoms can suddenly get worse even after a long period of not being noticeable or very bad.   Lactose intolerance is associated with celiac disease because the damage to the intestinal villi affects the ability to digest lactose.  Sometimes lactose intolerance reverses after healing the gut, but not always.

Now for suggestions.

1, Don't go top just any doctor for testing.  Take the time to research celiac disease support groups in your new area and see if they can recommend a knowledgeable doctor.  If you can't find a celiac support group for the area, search for a celiac center in the area.  Some hospitals have dedicated celiac centers.  Usually the celiac testing will involve a trip to a gastronenterologist.  The testing process is usually a blood antibody test panel for celiac disease, followed by an endoscopy later.  The endoscopy should include 4 to 6 biopsy samples for microscopic examination.

You should not stop eating gluten until all testing is completed.  Stopping gluten ahead of testing can ruin the test results.  The tests are looking for antibodies in the blood and damage to the intestinal villi.  When you stop eating gluten the antibodies may start to decline limiting the ability of the tests to detect them.

There are a few things you can do to help in  the meantime though.

You on;y need to eat a small amount of gluten to keep the antibodies going.  A slice of bread is enough.  You can also stop all dairy now, if you haven't already.  You can try some Pepto Bismol and Milk of Magnesia for gut symptoms.  Peppermint Tea or peppermint Altoids can help to get gas out of the stomach.

I hope that helps some, and welcome to the forum! :)

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As above keep eating gluten. These symptoms could be for a variety of reasons. Not only celiac & gluten sensitivity, but also IBS or SIBO. If you do not get clear answers, find a good GI doctor. I know that can be hard to do, but reach out to these types of groups or local support groups. 

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