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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

babyofthefamily

Wow! I'm Glad I Found You Guys!

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I just found this forum this morning and am thanking my lucky stars I did.

My sister was diagnosed with Celiac last fall after an 11 year battle with classic Celiac symptoms. A severe bout of diarrhea landed her in the hospital for a week and a knowledgeable gasto Dr. did a biopsy which concluded the dx. I knew I probably shoud have been tested after reading a bit about the disease on the internet, but chose not to, seeing as I had no classic symptoms. Except for that itchy rash. I have been "itchy" for 8 years.

I broke out in an awful rash in the summer of '89. After seeing 2 dermotologists over a period of 10 months, and getting nowhere, I started having other symptoms I could no longer ignore. Long story short - I was dx August '99 with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I attributed my "itchies" to that. Looking back now, I don't think it was the Hodgkin's - I think it was (or is) Dermatitis Herpetiformis.

After visiting my oncologist last month I just happened to mention my sister was Celiac positive and that I had my itchy rash AGAIN (it comes and goes). I had strongly suspected since last fall after investigating my sister's condition that I, too, had Celiac.

That wonderful doctor told me "It's a simple blood test" and after a few clicks on his computer I was off to the lab for mine. A week later he called to tell me I was right; my blood test was positive for Celiac.

I immediately did a search for info at my local library where I was fortunate enough to find Dangerous Grains.

Two days ago I visited the gastro dr. he recommended. Not exactly what I had hoped for. After a brief (3 minute) consultation, whereby he asked me the classic questions, any bloating, diarrhea...are you of Irish descent...yada, yada, yada. I told him "No" I believe I have the dermatological form. Oh, (as he looked up the name ina book) Dermatitis Herpetiformis? I knew what it was called and he didn't. That kinda freaked me out. He escorted me out of the office to his receptionist who would "schedule an intestinal biopsy". I asked him if I couldn't just get a skin biopsy (MUCH less intrusive and less expensive). No, no. This first, then I'm going to send you to a dermatologist for a skin biopsy. Does this make sense??? Shouldn't you do the less instrusive test first? I thought so, especially after reading that people who test positive for DH don't always have positive intestinal biopsies.

My husband says, forget all the darn tests. Just quit eating gluten, and if you feel better - there's your answer.

After all that I've been through with my Hodgkin's, I'm really sick of doctors and tests and hospitals and procedures and needles and........ you get the picture.

So what do you think guys? I have the positive blood test, a sister with a positive dx, oh, and I STRONGLY feel that my 15 year old son has this. What the heck should I do.

P.S. When my son heard all the facts, he went gluten free immediately. today is day 4 for him.

Thanks, Margie

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Hi Margie, and welcome to our board.

Wow, you sure sound like you have DH, and you obviously have celiac disease. Personally, I think you're absolutely right to go for a skin biopsy, if you want an official diagnosis. But your husband is right, too. Unless you need a piece of paper, stating officially that you have celiac disease, I would just go on the diet and forget about the stupid tests.

Your son has the right attitude, just go on the diet, and the response to that will tell you all you need to know.

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Hi Margie

welcome to the group. And a big hooray for your son for going off wheat & gluten . At his age he seems to know alot about his body and what makes him feel better.... I think it a matter of choice on what you want to do. Some want a dx on paper and a clear ,positive no mistake about dx, others just seem to know that going gluten free and feeling better is enough for them. You husband's way is of course the lesser of the two evils...........I'm glad you may be on the road to recovery at last. Also it is much easier when the whole family is eating one way, sometimes I have to prepared two separate meals and its a real drag....

get better

mamaw

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Hi Margie! Glad you found us :) It is obvious to me that you have Celiac. There are doctors who will diagnose it with positive blood work, and a positive response to the gluten-free diet. If you plan to go ahead with the testing, you need to stay on gluten right up until the test. Dr. Green, in his book, states that a positive biopsy for dh is a positive Celiac diagnosis. If I were in your position, and I wanted to be tested further, I would opt for the skin biopsy. All of that said, if you feel that further testing is unnecessary for you, you could go completely gluten-free now. Best of luck to you and your son!

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My husband says, forget all the darn tests. Just quit eating gluten, and if you feel better - there's your answer.

After all that I've been through with my Hodgkin's, I'm really sick of doctors and tests and hospitals and procedures and needles and........ you get the picture.

Do you think you could stick to the diet without an official diagnosis? Some people can't, or use that as an excuse to cheat. Some people can't stick to the diet even wtih an official diagnosis. But only you know yourself well enough to answer that.

For me, the fear of getting more autoimmune diseases, feeling nasty, and possibly getting cancer, is enough to make me stick with it.

I'd definitely do the skin biopsy first. Absolutely no question about that. If you get a positive, there's no need for an intestinal biopsy.

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I would definitely do the skin biopsy first. Less expensive and much less invasive.

Glad you found this board. I have learned more from these folks then from any dr that I have seen. Welcome!

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[That wonderful doctor told me "It's a simple blood test" and after a few clicks on his computer I was off to the lab for mine. A week later he called to tell me I was right; my blood test was positive for Celiac.

My husband says, forget all the darn tests. Just quit eating gluten, and if you feel better - there's your answer.

After all that I've been through with my Hodgkin's, I'm really sick of doctors and tests and hospitals and procedures and needles and........ you get the picture.

So what do you think guys? I have the positive blood test, a sister with a positive dx, oh, and I STRONGLY feel that my 15 year old son has this. What the heck should I do.

P.S. When my son heard all the facts, he went gluten free immediately. today is day 4 for him.

Thanks, Margie

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You already have been officially diagnosed - positive bloodwork.

The only thing a biopsy would be good for now is to see (a) if there is any villi damage, and to what extent and (B) to possibly do another biopsy in two years to see what improvement has taken place with the gluten free diet and © to make sure there are no other complications in there due to the undiagnosed celiac for so long.

Kudos to your son for being very smart for his age! That is testament to your parenting skills, you raised a smart kid!

Welcome!

Karen

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Guest nini

I was dx'ed with positive bloodwork and positive dietary response only, I DID NOT HAVE THE BIOPSY, the Dr. said with my extremely high positive bloodwork, the biopsy was uneccesary, and it has been confirmed by my overwhelmingly positive response to the diet.

If you have a sister with it AND your blood work wass positive, you absolutely have your answer and do not need any further testing. Just forget the rest of the tests, know that you do have Celiac and get on with the business of getting healthy. You do not need a Dr.s permission to be on the diet. oh, and kudos to your smart son for going on the diet... take charge of your own health, the medical community for the most part is still sadly misinformed and operating on outdated information when it comes to Celiac, there are a few trailblazing experts out there that are recognizing that positive dietary response is THE MOST VALID diagnostic tool there is.

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Guest mmc

I was just dx'd by positive reaction to the diet. I have had my dh for 10 years, went to this doc, that doc, and it was always something...fungal infection, latex allergy, ect... After 3 1/2 weeks on the diet, it's beginning to go away. All of my gastro symptoms are getting better and I could go back to gluten even if I tried.

But I had to drop my original doctor and find a new one. My new dr said "We could run the tests, but who cares what they say. You have PROVEN that you are at the least gluten intolerant." and gave me a dx of celiac.

It's up to you...if you don't want the intestinal biopsy, get the skin biopsy, or just go gluten free. You don't need to rely on anyone but yourself. And you've already got positive blood work....there's your dx. Now just get to being healthier!

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