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I hope I’m posting in the correct place... 

I’m looking for answers for my 84 year old grandmother who was diagnosed with celiac disease about 8 years ago. Her health was beyond poor when she was finally diagnosed, and though much better, she still continues to struggle in many ways. 

One of the most troublesome symptoms she experiences is SEVERE pain in her lower right abdomen, through to her back. And this is not a woman who likes to admit she’s in pain, or has a low tolerance for such. If she says it’s bad, it is. 

Today it was so bad she actually went to the ER. Something she avoids at all costs. But I know she’s frightened they’re missing something serious as this is not her first time with such pain. In fact, she has had this off and on for years now, though it has become more severe/frequent.

I just kept thinking this is related to her celiacs disease, as I know for a fact she is not strict about her diet. 

She had an ultrasound today. Nothing. She’s had multiple scans, etc over the years. Nothing. Typically they tell her she has a bladder infection and put her on antibiotics. But she does not have a bladder infection every time the attack’s occur. She also had her gallbladder removed long ago. 

I hate watching her suffer with no answers. I’ve sat in the ER with her in the middle of the night while she’s moaning in pain. 

Could this possibly all be from her celiac disease? Does anyone else get severe pain through to their back? I’d so love to be able to tell her that it could all be the result of her not being strict about avoiding gluten. That there is a relatively easy solution.. 



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Hello Nicole

My thoughts would go straight away to some sort of issue with the ovaries, or appendix, but presumably these things have been checked?  Has she had a colonoscopy in recent months?

In my own case I've had pain on the left side, in the groin and pelvic area, which goes through to my back (not the spine area but just around the hip).  I've been told it is a sacroliac joint problem.  Having had a sigmoidoscpy and scans on my ovaries I have had to accept that diagnosis.

The pain is definitely worse if I lift heavy objects, or eat dairy.  In the case of the latter, I think the bloating that dairy causes just puts a lot of pressure in the area and adds to the pain.  That's a theory - it has never been explained.

I am strict with my diet but have had this pain regardless. 

So just a thought really - could it be to do with her hip/back, and the pain is referring to the front?

I really hope she gets the answers she needs so badly.


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Hi Nicole,

i had severe back pain centred on the left side of my back for many years. I thought it was due to an old back injury but it turned out that going strictly gluten free cured it and I now suspect the disk prolapse was a symptom of gluten rather than the cause of the back pain. 

Disclaimer, I'm not diagnosed celiac.

if I slip on the diet the pain can return. Your grandma is probably unlikely to change at this age, but she has every incentive to stick strictly to the diet as the pain is horrible and it's difficult to escape it. It blighted my life for many years and cost me a great deal.

best of luck to you both :)


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