Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):


Join eNewsletter


Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):



Join eNewsletter

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

grey

Facial Splotching, Paleness, Puffiness

Recommended Posts

I was just reading glutenfreegirl's blog (http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2007/05/do-you-have-celiac-disease.html), and she's talking about spotting a woman on the street and identifying her to her partner as a celiac by her "splotchy-red face, the pasty-white skin around it, the puffy look, the sleepy eyes." She talks about pictures of herself before she went gluten-free with these characteristics. I realized that I often looked that way in the evening, particularly if I'd had a beer or two (the patchy flush especially - it's one of the reasons I stopped drinking it).

So I'm curious, is this common to a lot of celiacs or those who have some level of gluten intolerance? Are we recognizable on sight?

In addition to being curious, the flush is something I share with a cousin, and it made me think I maybe should be extra-sure she gets tested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):


"splotchy-red face, the pasty-white skin around it, the puffy look, the sleepy eyes." She talks about pictures of herself before she went gluten-free with these characteristics.

I don't think everyone with Celiac will look this way--some have no outward symptoms at all. An appearance like this could also signal something else is wrong.

Now, having said that, the above description does apply to me before I went gluten-free. I was sick for many years before figuring out what the problem was, and I was severly anemic.

I have a picture taken five months before I was diagnosed. I wish I could do a split screen because you would be amazed at how different I look now as compared to then. Pale, puffy and sleepy--a perfect description ;)


Patti

"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans"

"When people show you who they are, believe them"--Maya Angelou

"Bloom where you are planted"--Bev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think everyone with Celiac will look this way--some have no outward symptoms at all. An appearance like this could also signal something else is wrong.

Now, having said that, the above description does apply to me before I went gluten-free. I was sick for many years before figuring out what the problem was, and I was severly anemic.

I have a picture taken five months before I was diagnosed. I wish I could do a split screen because you would be amazed at how different I look now as compared to then. Pale, puffy and sleepy--a perfect description ;)

Oh yeah, defiently can be. I used to have great skin. Now as things have gotten worse symptom wise with the celiac, my face is puffy, horrid red rash patches on it, cruddy texture, etc. Its awful. I'm looking forward to looking more "even" once I am on the diet.


~Sorry for the million questions, I really want to learn as much as I can!~

04/07 - Diagnosed Fibromyalgia

05/07 -Diagnosed Celiac from test & symptoms - scheduled for biopsy

~Also intolerant to milk, soy & beef

Daughter - 2yo - tested negative 03/07 for Celiac

-allergic to milk and soy

-retesting Celiac soon due to symptoms~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is interesting. As a rather vain and self-conscious fella, the knowledge that my looks were being effected by something was the main driving force behind trying to get a diagnosis. I can deal with the bloating, the wind and all that, but if my looks are being degraded then that's serious. The above description sounds like me to a certain extent. I wouldn't say I am puffy in the face, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm like Mattj - a bit on the vain side. I had laser surgery last year on my face to help with the redness. And I find myself doing the same thing. We went to the Celiac 5k in Baltimore last month and I found myself sizing up folks that I thought looked like celiacs. I usually go with those that are built like me, rather thin and flabby and pale.


Gina

gluten-free since 2001

Son dx celiac March 2005

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm like Mattj - a bit on the vain side. I had laser surgery last year on my face to help with the redness. And I find myself doing the same thing. We went to the Celiac 5k in Baltimore last month and I found myself sizing up folks that I thought looked like celiacs. I usually go with those that are built like me, rather thin and flabby and pale.

Does that mean that going gluten free didn't improve things for you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't even notice how much my skin was affected when I started getting sick, until a friend pointed it out to me. I hadn't seen her in a couple months, and had been gluten free for the first time during that time. When I saw her again, she couldn't believe how good my skin looked. And then she realized it had always looked basically okay, *except* when I had been sick....

I get really puffy around the eyes, and have a lot of spider vein blotches all over.... but it's getting (mostly) better, i guess. If i have a relapse in GI symptoms, anyhow, it shows in the skin.....


Enterolab:

Fecal Antigliadin IgA 20 (Normal Range <10 Units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 9 Units (Normal Range <10 Units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 1223 Units (Normal Range <300 Units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 18 Units (Normal Range <10 Units)

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 8,7)

Gastritis dx 10/24

Eosinophilia of large bowel dx 10/29

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spotting a woman on the street and identifying her to her partner as a celiac by her "splotchy-red face, the pasty-white skin around it, the puffy look, the sleepy eyes."

That doesnt mean its celiac. A number of conditions can give that outward appearance besides celiac, including:

systemic vasculitis

uncontrolled / undiagnosed diabetes

a patient with cancer

hypothyroidism (undiagnosed)

kidney disease

heart failure / heart disease

medication side effects - prednisone or other classes of steroids can cause this appearance

adrenal issues

severe emotional or physical stress (recent loss of a loved one, recent surgery....)

blood disorders

Kawaski disease in recovery phase ( know this from experience)

...and others I am sure...

You cannot diagnose someone based on clinical appearance - you can have suspicions of a particular disorder but that's about it..

Sandy


Sandy

Type 1 diabetes - 1986

hypothyroid -1993

pernicious anemia

premature atrial beats

neuropathy

retinopathy

daughter is: age 15

central hypotonia and developmental delay

balance issues (rides an adult 3 wheel bike)

hypothyroid 1996

dermatographia - a form of angioedema 2002

celiac 2004 - by endoscopy

diagnosed Aspergers at age 7 - responded very well (HUGE difference) to gluten-free diet

recovered from Kawasaki (2003)

lactose intolerant - figured out in Oct/06

Gilberts syndrome (April/07)

allergy to stinging insects

scoliosis Jan 2008

nightshade intolerance - figured out April 2008

allergy to Sulfa antibiotics

son is 13

type 1 diabetic - 2003 diagnosed on his 9th birthday

celiac - 2004 by endoscopy

lactose intolerant - figured out Nov/06

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
QUOTE

spotting a woman on the street and identifying her to her partner as a celiac by her "splotchy-red face, the pasty-white skin around it, the puffy look, the sleepy eyes."

That doesnt mean its celiac.

Very true. You can't tell a celiac by looking at them. That is one of the reason's I hate when I hear someone say, "You don't look celiac!" Especially when a doctor says it. It's not a look, it's an illness and so many illnesses can make you look the same way. Thyroid disease can make you look very ill, cancer does, heart disease does, a number of diseases.

Although, I do believe that sometimes you can tell a celiac by how they describe how they have been feeling, how long they have been ill, never getting an answer from a doctor.


Deb

Long Island, NY

Double DQ1, subtype 6

We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!

"The calm river of your life approaches the rocky chute of the rapids - flow on through. You are the same water. The rocks cannot hurt you. Remember, now and then, that you are the water and not the boat. Flow on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does that mean that going gluten free didn't improve things for you?

Don't worry, Mattj. I had the redness from years of rosacea (which for some reason, a lot of us seem to have). After the laser surgery and using the facial washes I was prescribed, I don't have to wear make up anymore and try to hide bumpy red areas.


Gina

gluten-free since 2001

Son dx celiac March 2005

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

I don't think this is what you're referring to, but vitiligo is associated with Celiac Disease. I was just diagnosed with it recently. It's the same thing that Michael Jackson has, but in Caucasions it is not as dramatic. I have it mostly on my neck and face. The pigment in my cheeks has faded to a pale color, but the areas around it are still my normal color, which is kind of fair. Most people don't even notice it, but I find it somewhat annoying. I need to figure out what to do about my makeup. I've kind of been covering by using extra blush. The problem is that the blush looks different on the lighter parts of my face, so I don't know what to do about that. Also, I will need two shades of foundation that will need to be blended. Oh well, there are worse things by a long shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not diagosed yet, but I would have to say, no you can't spot a celiac by looking at them. And I think this is true of many illnesses, not just celiac. I am blessed (or cursed depending on how you look at it) with beautiful skin. I look younger than my age. I personally can see how my complexion has deteriorated, but compared to most others, I still look great. This is the number one reason, I think doctors don't take me seriously. They think I look healthy, therefore, I must be healthy, and it must be all in my head.


Celiac blood testing negative July 2007

Confirmed diagnosis of wheat allergy by skin test Dec 2007

Gluten-lite since July 2007 (didn't know all the hidden sources of gluten)

Gluten-free since December 2007

Life Long Symptoms

Extreme fatigue--needing 10-12 hours of sleep and still woke up exhusted

Allergic to everything--allergies remained out of control despite shots and strict enviornmental controls in my home.

Severe "sinus" headaches

More Recent Symptoms

IBS symptoms

Severe stabbing stomach pains that started 6 months before diagnosis of wheat allergy.

In my heart I feel it is more than an allergy and that I am gluten intolerant. This is based on my how eerily my childhood maladies match most celiac's histories, and my more recent increase in the severity of my usual symptoms and new digestive symptoms that have already started to subside on the gluten-free diet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites