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libbyann

Question About Chemotherapy

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Two years ago, I was on chemotherapy for a kidney problem. I was nauseated and either couldn't eat or ate some strange things during those 3 months. I did eat wheat because sometimes that was the only thing that appealed to me. But as long as I was on chemo, the wheat didn't seem to bother me. (Or maybe I was just too sick to notice!) Once I finished the drugs, I was right back to stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, etc. Any comments?

Libby

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Two years ago, I was on chemotherapy for a kidney problem. I was nauseated and either couldn't eat or ate some strange things during those 3 months. I did eat wheat because sometimes that was the only thing that appealed to me. But as long as I was on chemo, the wheat didn't seem to bother me. (Or maybe I was just too sick to notice!) Once I finished the drugs, I was right back to stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, etc. Any comments?

Libby

I had 2 years of chemo for cancer as a teenager. That was when my symptoms showed up for the first time. Chemotherapy drugs act on fast growing cells and kill them. That's why people lose hair, get mouth sores, etc. Hair and skin cells are fast growing. I'm not a doctor, but I don't think chemo drugs would have any protective effects for people with celiac. In my case, it was quite the opposite! I had to get fed daily through an IV just to stay alive.

Hope your kidney issues are better! Chemo is a drag.

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Hmm. I'll start off by saying that I'm not a doctor or a chemotherapy expert. Chemo kills rapidly dividing cells, like hair, blood cells, and cells that line body cavities. Perhaps the immune cells that release the cytokines, which are responsible for the damage caused when a celiac patient eats gluten, are also killed by the chemotherapy. This makes since because chemo patients are more immune compromised due to the decrease in immune cells. So when on chemo and you eat gluten, there are fewer immune cells, fewer cytokines released, less damage occurs, and therefore fewer symptoms result. Just a theory. (I love this stuff. :rolleyes: )

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Perhaps the immune cells that release the cytokines, which are responsible for the damage caused when a celiac patient eats gluten, are also killed by the chemotherapy. This makes since because chemo patients are more immune compromised due to the decrease in immune cells.

That's kind of what I was thinking too. I know that RA and some other autoimmune diseases are sometimes treated with Methotrexate which I think is a chemotherapeutic. So since Celiac is an autimmune diseae maybe chemo was in a way 'treating' your Celiac disease. It reminds me how greatful I am that Celiac doesn't need the kind of harsh treatments that so many other autoimmune diseases do.

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