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Brass

Am I Celiac?

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How many  times have you been asked that question?

Hello - I'm an english woman (54 years old), living in France and I know I need to seek medical advice but I am trying to gather as much information as possible before I do so... which hopefully you can help me with?

I suffered from autoimmune hypothyroidism, but had my thyroid removed due to thyroid cancer.  My mother suffered the same and also MS so we have a history of autoimmune disease.

I have had a history of stomach issues for decades.  I have been told it was IBS?  I also suffered from a burst appendix as a child and am told my stomach pain is a result of adhesions?  I had my gall bladder removed 2 years ago and I do suffer with a lot of and lots colds and coughs... much more so that my family.

When I eat pasta and pastry in particular I suffer with hang-over symptoms the following day along with sinus pain.  If I avoid bread for a period and then eat some I have the same symptoms.  I get a lot of headaches and reflux.

I am very often tired - not sleepy but achingly tired.  More recently I have noticed my joints ache and my joints feel tender all the time.  I have a dull ache between my shoulder blades and my tongue feels like it's been scolded.  I also suffer from bloating and wind. 

I have trouble sleeping and when I do sleep well I often wake feeling unrefreshed.

I dont suffer from diarrhea... I can get constipated even though I eat a healthy and balanced diet.  

I am a little overweight - I have struggled with my weight for most of my adult life.  As a result I try to eat as healthy as possible as I am always aware of my weight.  I walk a lot, I walk long distance walks (200km to 1000km) so I am reasonably fit.  I am a singer and so my job is also active.

My symptoms recently have been worse and I wondered if this was due to my thyroid medication so I had a blood test.  My Vit D2/D3 is below the lower range, my iron and B12 levels are in the bottom end of the range and my potassium levels are slightly raised.  

Is it possible that I am celiac?  I have thought for a long time that I am really sensitive to wheat.  But I've kind of refused to consider the celiac option because I dont want it!  But... has the time come for me to face up to this?  

I'm 54 and an active woman but recently I feel like I've aged 20 years?

Any and all guidance is very welcome

Thank you

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Welcome to the board. You do sound like you could be in the right place. Testing for celiac would be a good idea with your symptoms and medical history. You do need to be eating a regular gluten diet for testing though. If you have been gluten free or gluten light that can cause a false negative. You don't have to eat a lot. A couple slices of bread worth a day for 3 months or so before testing if you have been gluten free. You might be able to get away with a shorter time if you have just been gluten light.

 

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Hi Brass,

As you suspect thyroid disease, other autoimmune, GI issues including constipation, brain fog, fatigue, joint pain, the vitamin deficiences and more can all be closely associated with undiagnosed celiac disease.

I think you posted here to confirm your 'gut feeling' that your health just isn't right, and to figure out if this is the likely cause. This link might help you sort through that: https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/resources/checklist/

I think you don't need to actually register and print out the full checklist to find it helpful --  just seeing in print 'commonly associated' may help with the process of gearing up the energy for appointments & med tests.

As for your Q title? I'd say, quite possibly.

It is about a 1 in 100 chance even if you are 'symptom free' and with a family history of autoimmune+many potential symptoms... I'd say it is not at all unlikely. You might want to go in requesting a full celiac panel just so you don't have to double efforts if you get an equivocal result.

My husband & at least one daughter are celiac, and the others girls are at high risk because of the superstrong family history. As someone who just went gluten free and made our whole house gluten free (crosscontamination for confirmed family members and broader health concerns about my own autoimmune system/ family history+finding out I have at least one permissive gene) I'd say nowadays the diet is not-so-bad compared to the many myriad health problems you will face if you stay in denial. (My husband has sortof sad-hilarious horror stories about trying to eat a GFD thirty years ago when he was first diagnosed.) Before your testing though, eat a tasty French croissant for me. That may be one of the only things I will truly miss.....

Good luck on your journey! 

 

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