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I’m 30 and have not been tested for any gluten sensitivities, intolerance, or celiac disease. Best as I can recall, two years ago during my first and only pregnancy to date, I began to notice a rash that would appear on my elbows, inner thighs, and knee caps. The rash comes and goes, varying in severity. Until recently, I’ve dismissed the rash, assuming it was/is hormonal or due to weather, or dry skin. I hadn’t even thought to mention it to my doctor. This time around, the rash has been present, but not very prominent until this past week. It has flared up again and is itching and burning more often than not. In addition, I’ve been experiencing abdominal muscle twitching that feels extremely similar to fetal movements. I took two pregnancy tests that came back negative. I honestly would have sworn, despite having no other symptoms and taking birth control, that I was feeling fetal movement. I’ve recently begun researching possible causes for both the rash and muscle spasms, and of course there are so many possibilities, but it seems like the locations of the rash coincide with dermatitis herpetiformis. The above symptoms are the only ones I’m currently experiencing as far as I can tell. I should probably also mention that my diet has been absolute trash until recently, as I’ve committed to trying to get back in shape and maintain a healthier life style. I don’t even know where to begin as far as making appointments, and with which specialists and so on. If anyone has similar experiences and/or any helpful advice or recommendations, I would greatly appreciate the help. Thanks. 


*EDITED TO ADD- I forgot to mention two other possible symptoms. Depression and anxiety. I struggle with both. I also realize that it’s possible that I’m overreacting and jumping to conclusions. Apologies in advance. I’m beyond frustrated with this stupid rash and the muscle spasms.


Edited by halfling
Adding symptoms

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Hi and welcome :)

You've clearly done some reading already, you may be on to something, but only testing will establish that. DH is usually symettrical if that helps?

23 minutes ago, halfling said:

If anyone has similar experiences and/or any helpful advice or recommendations, I would greatly appreciate the help. Thanks. 

Your regular doctor can probably get you an initial celiac test as well as  referral to a specialists for the DH. A dermatology specialist can biopsy the skin alongside the rash to look for celiac antibodies. 

Don't change your diet!  You need to keep eating gluten till all testing is done. 

I tried awhile back to answer some questions, you may find this link helpful. Note the testing info is slightly out of date, just ignore the top 2 tests I mention as they're no longer in regular use: https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/115138-suggestion-faq-intro-post-for-the-diagnosis-board-input-requested/?do=findComment&comment=970127

Note that even if you test negative you may find that going gluten free helps. That's what happened to me. Finally, try not to worry. If it's gluten then there's a very simple fix and you could soon find yourself feeling better. 


All the best!



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24 minutes ago, halfling said:

Thanks so much for your help, Matt. This will definitely get me started in the right direction!

You're most welcome :)

Others here have more experience of DH and will doubtless comment in time. 

Re abdominal spasms. Obviously I have no idea what fetal movements are like! but on gluten I used to get a feeling like someone had reached into my belly and twisted hard. That went after I went gluten free thankfully. Levels of depression and anxiety also improved markedly, though I found I had to eliminate dairy as well later. 

I know its tempting to try changing your diet, but it makes diagnosis impossible. So ask your doctor for the blood test and referral. It may help to make some brief notes before your appt also.

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