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I am 41. In the past 7 years I have had trouble with Gerd, stomach pain in the pancreas area, high lipase. No diarrhea, no bloating except that time of the month. I had an ERCP last year, gall bladder removed 3 years ago when I had a pancreas attack/sludge in the gallbladder(inflamed). Still, they are not sure why I am having troubles with pain, trouble swallowing, reflux, etc.. I just scheduled an endoscope yesterday with a new doctor. Today, I found out that my brother(40) was just diagnosed with Celiac. What are the chances my symptoms could indicate that same thing? The gastro doctor last year thought I might just be having a reaction to the gall bladder surgery. Also, I have always had poor tooth enamel- explained to me as a reaction to some meds I took when I was a kid. I probably had asthma as a kid, and now two of my children do too. Any similiarities or am I way out there?

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I am 41. In the past 7 years I have had trouble with Gerd, stomach pain in the pancreas area, high lipase. No diarrhea, no bloating except that time of the month. I had an ERCP last year, gall bladder removed 3 years ago when I had a pancreas attack/sludge in the gallbladder(inflamed). Still, they are not sure why I am having troubles with pain, trouble swallowing, reflux, etc.. I just scheduled an endoscope yesterday with a new doctor. Today, I found out that my brother(40) was just diagnosed with Celiac. What are the chances my symptoms could indicate that same thing? The gastro doctor last year thought I might just be having a reaction to the gall bladder surgery. Also, I have always had poor tooth enamel- explained to me as a reaction to some meds I took when I was a kid. I probably had asthma as a kid, and now two of my children do too. Any similiarities or am I way out there?

Celiac is genetic so if you have a first degree relative diagnosed it is at least a good possibility. There are tests that could be run (before trying the gluten-free diet) or you can try the diet to see what happens to your symptoms. My suggestion is not to do both at the same time. Bad tooth enamel and reflux are just a few of the many symptoms associated with Celiac. Try to educate yourself with Celiac testing procedures and the gluten-free diet on the internet before deciding on which course of action to take first. Good luck.

Tom

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Your symptoms are consistent with celiac disease, but other causes are possible.

If you have a first-degree relative (sibling, child or parent) with diagnosed celiac disease then you should definitely be tested. Since there is a genetic factor, your chances of having it are significantly higher when you share half of your DNA with a known celiac.

The "gold standard" recognized by a majority of doctors remains the biopsy of the duodenum (upper part of the small intestine), but many are now accepting blood tests as a definitive diagnosis tool. Ask your doctor to run the full celiac blood panel. The most specific indicator, as I understand it, is the tTG test, but it should be done along with others.

I have had the duodenal biopsies twice, once in 2000 and again last month. In 2000, the doctor described my duodenum as looking like the inside of a garden hose: smooth. Last month, there was "no indication whatsoever of celiac disease damage." What that shows is that if you adhere strictly to the gluten-free diet: your intestine will (may) recover; and, you need to be eating gluten for the biopsy to detect celiac disease.

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