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Hi everyone. A little about my story. I have never had a food allergy before but it seems like this past year my body has turned on itself. About a year ago I had just voluntarily got out of the military and was enrolled full time in school for a previous major but that's another story. I am married and I have twin 3 year olds so I guess you could say I'm crazy for wanting to go back to work full time because I missed it. But that's what I did. It was around this time I started experiencing allergic reaction symptoms. I eliminated red meat and dairy over a few months but nothing seemed to help. In addition to an immediate upset stomach I would get these rashes around my shins and calves and arms that were miserable. I had never experienced eczema so this type of reaction was so foreign for me. One day while at work I started developing hives down my arms to my fingertips and on my ears. So I popped some Benadryl and after my shift I went to the ER. I was most concerned that I had a staph infection or something and I didn't want to take that home. 

Two physicians looked at my skin, vitals, urine and (I'm pretty sure) blood but found nothing more than a little constipation most likely from dehydration. They prescribed a steroid creme and that was that. The hives went away but the rash continued to calm down in one place only to pop up in another. Around this time my best friend was diagnosed with celiac and suggested I try gluten-free. Well that's pretty much were I've been stuck for the last 7 months. Only committing AT MAX 5 days gluten-free before I give in and snack on pretzels. My skin is in terrible shape and my anxiety is worse. I am still balls deep into school and working full time in a addition to going through a separation I don't want but need. So you could say I'm stressed but I can't be stressed all day every like this for my skin to be this bad. I do not have insurance so I'm trying to spare as many doctors appts as possible but I have one in two weeks with a gastroenterologist and I just want to make sure there's a chance it could be celiac. 

Also, note worthy info, I no longer get an upset stomach if I eat gluten, just a little bloating. I may get occasional diarrhea but that's usually brought on by something else. If I eat something containing gluten about 30 minutes after I eat it I will notice myself bothering at one of my eczema like patches. If anyone has experienced any of these symptoms please tell me which appts I need to make next. Thanks for any info!

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Hi DD,

Welcome to the forum! :)

Your rash could be DH (dermatitis herpetiformis).  DH is a skin rash that people with celiac disease sometimes get.  If I was you I'd cancel the gastro appointment and get a dermatologist appointment instead.  DH is diagnosed by taking a small biopsy sample of skin next to but not not on a lesion.  Only people with celiac disease can get DH, so if you have DH you have celiac disease.  DH is caused by the immune reaction to gluten but instead of the antibodies going to the gut they go to the skin.  So often enough a gastro doing an endoscopy won't find any gut signs of celiac disease because the antibodies are in the skin.

Don't go to just any dermatologist though.  It's helpful to find one who knows about testing for DH.  If there is a celiac support group in your area they may have recommendations.  If not you can query the doctors office before hand to verify they know about diagnosing DH.

Edited by GFinDC

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