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Daniebella

Gluten Sensitivity Passed Off As Sinus Infection?

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I'm new to this, soplease excuse me if this is already cocered ground. My son is 17 motnhs old and has thick, yellow runny nose/congestion since he was 6 months old (which is also when we introduced solid food). He is still rbeastfeeding, but had been eating almost everything else (with an emphasis fo healthy foods like whole wheat bread - what did I know?). He also had frequen diarrhea that got worse and worse, and the upper respiratory congestion led to ear infections, bronchilitis, etc. Tired of hearing that he had 'just another virus' due to his sister being in preschool (she wasn't sick), I took him to a naturopath who listened to me and asked me to cut out wheat and dairy for 3 weeks. he had never had dairy (my daughter did nto tolerate it, so we al ljust go without for the most part) so that was easy. The wheat was a bit harder, but he improved dramatically. When put back on wheat, all symptoms returned, so we took him back off two days later, and 4 days later he was again symptom free. We are stil lelarning what to avoid, so 2 slip-ups brought symptoms back, which gave us several cycles of wheat/no wheat to make it pretty clear to us that he has a sensitivity. I took him to an allergy clinic to try to figure out whether it was wheat or all gluten or Celiac's, and they did the skin-prick test, which was negative for a wheat allergy (but positive for peanuts - yikes).

So, the dr then told me that my son must have just had a year long sinus unfection which caused diarrhea. I felt frustrated by this, and asked about Celiacs, ar which point he then gave me an antibiotic prescription for th 'sinus infection' and a blood draw for gluten sensitivity. I am waiting to hear back, but feeling a bit unsure. I am going to keep my son (and myself since he nurses a lot still) off of gluten until the tests come back, but I am getting mroe confused rather than finding clarity. Help!

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Hi, and welcome to this board. You are right when you suspect that your son never had any viral infections, but is rather gluten intolerant. I get 'sinus' infections and what looks like ear infections from gluten, too.

The sinus and ear problems along with diarrhea and upper respiratory infections (which I get as well), plus his dramatic improvement off gluten and recurring symptoms when reintroducing gluten foods (or slipping up) is obvious evidence that your son cannot tolerate gluten. Since the allergy test came back negative for wheat allergy, it can't be that.

Don't bother with the antibiotic, it will mess things up more. I would instead keep him (and yourself) off gluten and giving him a probiotic instead, to replace the good bacteria that has been killed off by all those antibiotics. You can get powdered ones that you mix with liquids (like breast milk or juice) to give to infants. Make sure it is gluten-free.

If the celiac test comes back negative (they are extremely unreliable in children under six, so that is a good possibility) and the doctor then tells you that your son is 'obviously' not gluten intolerant and should eat wheat again, I would find a better doctor. It seems like this one knows precious little about celiac disease.

Congratulations for figuring out what is wrong with your baby, keep up the good work. I am sure your son will be healthy from now on, thanks to you.


I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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I've been dealing with sinus infections since I was in 6th grade, or roughly 8 years. Eventually they became chronic and doctors even stopped perscribing antibiotics since they never did any good anyway. I was just told to take 4 ibuprofen and some decongestants when things got bad, or get surgery. I was pretty surprised when going gluten free helped clear them up. Not totally, mind you, because I had to start eating gluten again to have bloodwork and an endoscopy done. Still, any improvement at all was a huge deal for me, given that I'd basically had an ongoing infection for about 10 months or so. The improvement that I saw went away and the symptoms all came back once I started eating gluten again.

I've heard of other similar reports from people on this board. You might do a search under "sinus infection" to see what else comes up! I found out a lot that way.

Good for you, finding out what's wrong with your son, though. Trust your instincts. There are surprisingly many doctors who are convinced that celiac doesn't really happen. Bloodtests are a bit unreliable, anyway. Loads of people had negative bloodwork before getting a positive diagnosis. They can be negative for many reasons, one of which is not ingesting enough gluten prior to the test. I'm pretty sure that's the reason mine all came back negative. If your son's doctor continues not to listen to you, it's time to find a new one!


Liz

GLUTEN FREE 06/13/07

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I've been dealing with sinus infections since I was in 6th grade, or roughly 8 years. Eventually they became chronic and doctors even stopped perscribing antibiotics since they never did any good anyway. I was just told to take 4 ibuprofen and some decongestants when things got bad, or get surgery. I was pretty surprised when going gluten free helped clear them up. Not totally, mind you, because I had to start eating gluten again to have bloodwork and an endoscopy done. Still, any improvement at all was a huge deal for me, given that I'd basically had an ongoing infection for about 10 months or so. The improvement that I saw went away and the symptoms all came back once I started eating gluten again.

I've heard of other similar reports from people on this board. You might do a search under "sinus infection" to see what else comes up! I found out a lot that way.

Good for you, finding out what's wrong with your son, though. Trust your instincts. There are surprisingly many doctors who are convinced that celiac doesn't really happen. Bloodtests are a bit unreliable, anyway. Loads of people had negative bloodwork before getting a positive diagnosis. They can be negative for many reasons, one of which is not ingesting enough gluten prior to the test. I'm pretty sure that's the reason mine all came back negative. If your son's doctor continues not to listen to you, it's time to find a new one!


Liz

GLUTEN FREE 06/13/07

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Hello and welcome :)

I'm very glad that you took matters into your own hands and found out what the real problem is--and that your son is feeling much better.

Your story strikes a nerve with me--I was diagnosed with sinus problems for many years. The doctors told me that this could explain my constant nausea, dizziness and frequent stomach-flu type symptoms. They attributited my anemia to "female problems" <_<

I was given many rounds of antibiotics, and when I failed to respond to them, I was given steroids.

Unfortunately, after over 20 years of this, I'm left with a leaky gut and many food intolerances, as well as now being allergic to most antibiotics. I didn't find out that I had Celiac until I was 49--two years ago.

Thank goodness you have spared your child what could be years of pain and frustration. Best of luck to you both!


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

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Hello and welcome!

I too had a sinus infection for nearly three years...I was on antibiotics and prednisone nearly that entire time...in ever increasing doses until finally I was taking 4,000 MG per day of antibiotics.

My "sinus infection" mysteriously cleared up when I went gluten/casein free and I haven't had a serious one since!

The gut controls a lot of what happens in the rest of the body and in some of us, it just happens to control the head. :P

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Wow, thank you all for your responses! The most dissappointing part was that this latest doctor was not even our regular family practioner (who is now at least somwhat onboard after I told her the resutls of the elimination diet) but was an allergy specialist. It seems more and more, Western medicine (vs something liek a naturopath) specializes in one field (family practice, allergy, etc) and if it doesn't fall within an easy category, it's :just an infection." I didn't put my son on antibiotics because he has had so many over the last year and I think over his lifeti,e that will just make things worse for him - and I don't think he has a sinus infection. I will try what you have suggested. Any good boks out there?

Thank you,

Daniela

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Wow, thank you all for your responses! The most dissappointing part was that this latest doctor was not even our regular family practioner (who is now at least somwhat onboard after I told her the resutls of the elimination diet) but was an allergy specialist. It seems more and more, Western medicine (vs something liek a naturopath) specializes in one field (family practice, allergy, etc) and if it doesn't fall within an easy category, it's :just an infection." I didn't put my son on antibiotics because he has had so many over the last year and I think over his lifeti,e that will just make things worse for him - and I don't think he has a sinus infection. I will try what you have suggested. Any good boks out there?

Thank you,

Daniela

Hi Daniela

a good book is gluten-free for dummies. I reconmend that one it will tell you everything about celiacs and other food intorents. Its easy to read and you will get a lot of laughs which helps keep your spirts up. feel free to pm me. We been gluten free for almost a year now and going cf soon too. we are waiting after vacation to go cf. B)

Jodele

PS. I had cronic sinus problem since I was very young and now I am much better since I been gluten free and I think I will get better after I go cf also.


Jodele Fecal Antigliadin IgA 21 dx with Graves diease 10/06

Emily Has a positive blood test Negitive biopsy (she has gain 10 lb since gluten-free diet)

Melinda giong for testing

Katie going for testing

All gluten free 8/06

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A co-worker that has Celiac had recurrent sinus problems and has had 13 sinus operations before her doc found out she has Celiac. She hasn't had sinus problems since going gluten-free but you don't want to ask her what she thinks about it taking her doc so long to figure out the problem.


Karen B.

diagnosed with Celiac Nov. 2003

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