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New to this forum and to researching celiac. A little background: I'm a 33 year old female and have had iron deficiency anemia most of my life. I get it corrected, then suddenly it's back again and up until I got pregnant at 30, I really never worried about it much. It was more of a nuisance. But while pregnant, it was so bad that I had to get IV iron several times a week. I was seen by a hematologist twice who did further testing and basically said there was no reason as far as she could tell. But yet it comes back. I continued the IV iron into my 32nd year and as of about a year ago my levels were normal. Who knows about right now, haven't been tested since. I battled CONSTANT fatigue from the pregnancy coupled with the anemia and that has never left. Fast forward to about 8-10 months ago I began having severe abdominal pain and what I can only explain as irritable bowel symptoms. No matter what I ate, seemingly random (I never suspected gluten so I didn't look for that), my stomach would hurt very badly. Then I started having episodes every few months where the pain was so bad, I was in the fetal position in the floor or propped on a wall in tears which ALWAYS led to vomiting whatever I'd eaten last. Again, it wasn't for any 1 food it seemed. This continued and increased in frequency until I went to the doctor and he said oh you have GERD. I sort of rolled my eyes because I've never had any problems with acid. I burp it every now and then but it's almost always after I eat very spicy food. Otherwise, nothing. 

However, he tested me for h.pylori and that test came back positive. So he said ok scratch the GERD and we are going to treat the stomach infection and it should clear up. 2 weeks of very strong antibiotics that did more harm than good and either I still have h. pylori or something else is going on. I'm not months past that and my stomach is an absolute mess. I'm EXHAUSTED all day long, I've had very loose stool for WEEKS and horrible gas and bloating. Horrible headaches. I'm at my wit's end. Today, I had general genetic testing results come back that showed I have one of the genes for celiac disease and that started my research into the possibility of all of my problems stemming from this. I've read that celiac can cause unexplained anemia, which is what I have and that it seems to somehow link with an h.pylori infection. Perhaps because it lowers your immune response. 

I've just scheduled an appointment with my PCP to get tested. But after reading about how doctors tend to dance around getting this test, now I'm nervous. Of course I'd love to find out I don't have it, but I just wish I could figure out why my whole system is so screwed up. I'd love to hear from those of you who are much more experienced with this and if you had anemia or any of my current symptoms before getting tested?

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Hi Jennifer,

You could very well have celiac disease.  Anemia in iron or B-12 is a common symptom.  Also common are deficiencies in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D.  Vitamin and mineral levels are something your doctor should test for you.

Gut pain and stomach pain is common too.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where the immune system antibodies attack the body, commonly the small intestine but any body organ can be targeted.   Fatigue, and insomnia, check also.

Please don't stop eating gluten until you have completely ruled out celiac disease through testing.  Stopping gluten will change the antibody levels and give an incorrect test result.

The diagnostic testing is to do a celiac panel (blood test) and a small intestine endoscopy if the blood results are positive.  It is common for the endoscopy to be delayed for weeks or months.

My guess would be you have celiac disease and H. Pylori took advantage of the damaged caused by celiac to move in.

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This thread might help you it is about Iron Deficiency Anemia.


I hope this is helpful but it is not medical advice.

2 Timothy 2: 7 “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” this included.

Posterboy by the grace of God,

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I had anemia when my celiac disease was caught.  I went for a cancer screening colonoscopy (yep, I am over 50) when the GI mentioned celiac disease as the source to my anemia woes.  I did not believe him.  I had no gut issues at the time and I had been diagnosed with a genetic anemia.  But he was right.  I had one positive on the complete celiac blood panel and so he scooped me from both ends and found a healthy colon, but a very damaged small intestine.  No H. plylori though for me.  

Try to get the complete celiac panel.  Not every celiac (like me) tests positive to the more commonly used screening TTG.  

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My test results posted tonight in my chart. I won't hear from my doctor until tomorrow but with one of then being 24, it looks positive to me. She did a biopsy today but saw little to no damage so I wont hear those results for another week.

Can I get your opinions please? 

Link to results

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Hi Jennifer,

A positive is an indication of an immune system reaction.  The biopsy is usually sent to a lab for microscopic examination.  Sometimes the damage is severe enough for a visual determination. but more often it is found under a microscope.

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Try taking some beta carotene and Vitamin C with your Iron pills both can help you absorb your iron better.

Here is a nice heathline article about helpful tips to increase iron absorption.


quoting "In the same study, adding beta-carotene to the meals increased (iron) absorption more than 300%"

Also have your doctor check your stomach acid levels ..... this step is often skipped over.

see this research about the topic of IDA in those with low or no stomach acid.


Here is nice online article that explains how you can self test yourself for low stomach acid before having the doctor's officially diagnose you as a medical condition.


Good luck on your continued journey.

I hope this is helpful but it is not medial advice.

Posterboy by the Grace of God,

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Thank you for your reply. I have just edited my post to add nausea! Another big symptom.  Did your doctor send you straight for endoscopy with negative blood results? Or do those other blood tests first? 
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