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Symptoms for years, but never considered Gluten could be the missing link- seeking advice

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Hello! I’m a 23 year old female who has dealt with strange seemingly unrelated symptoms for years. Recently though they seem to have gotten worse and I have a doctors appointment with a new primary doctor in August. So naturally I’ll bring everything up to them then. However, a friend mentioned that my issues may be related to gluten. So I’ve been digging and wanted to see what others thought. I have a hard time understanding what’s Normal or not in these situations as it’s been so long. 

My symptoms: all of these have been going on since high school. 

joint pain. All over, especially in my hands and fingers. Sometimes my finger tips will feel tingly and numb. Sometimes the pain is so bad I have a hard time sleeping or I have to stop what I’m doing. 

low grade fevers. It’s not abnormal for me to run between 99.2 to 100 for days on end. I’ve had these what I call “baby fevers” since high school 

anemia, head aches, and trouble sleeping. I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night with out waking up. 

fatigue, again sometimes so bad everything has to stop. This and the joint pain has been especially bad recently. 

I also was diagnosed with Ibs back in highschool, and although it seems to be come and go but there definitely are times where my insides are more off than others. 

what confuses me is that the majority of my symptoms aren’t related to my digestive system. And while I do deal with Ibs and all that my main concern is the joint pain. So I’m not sure, I was confused when my friend mentioned gluten. Can you have issues with gluten with out having it effect your stomach? Has anyone ever heard of theses things before?

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It is very common for people with celiac disease to not have significant GI distress, especially previous to being diagnosed. I'm one of them. Looking back, I realize I did have some GI distress previous to diagnosis but it was never intense. 

Some of the symptoms you report are common to celiac disease ("celiac disease"). Many celiacs experience neurological issues. The tingling and numbness in fingertips could be neurological and headaches/migraines are also common with celiac disease. 

Fatigue is one of the most widely experienced symptoms in celiac disease.

The one symptom you have that I don't believe is common among celiacs per se (as a direct result, that is) is joint pain. But realize this, celiac disease is an autoimmune disease and people with an autoimmune disease are prone to develop other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, lupus and Raynaud's. 

I would suggest you do some research particularly on RA and Raynaud's. Maybe CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) as well.

But you certainly have enough symptoms that are common to celiac disease that I would push the doc for some testing. The first stage of testing fro celiac disease involves blood work but confirmation of celiac disease requires an upper GI to check for damage to the "villi" of the small bowel. But it sounds like you also need to get some blood workup for rheumatoid process markers.

Edited by trents

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