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Looking For Some Input

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So for the past 4 years or so, I've been having all sorts of GI issues. Things started accutely with bloody, loose stools, and some pain. This led me to go to the hospital and eventually get a sigmoidoscopy which preliminarily diagnosed me with indeterminate colitis. Things died down and the symptoms disappeared, for the most part, after being put on a mild dose of asacol.

I had a few problems during the years to follow, but nothing absolutely horrible. I had a couple colonoscopies later and they all showed mild inflammation, yet I still have no diagnosis as to whether it's colitis, crohn's, or something else. I was put on a year of Cipro and asacol.

Presently, I am living in Japan. My diet has been going through changes back and forth from western food to asian food. For nearly the past two years the main symptom I've been having is terrible bloating / gas. I don't have any of the common IBD symptoms like pain, etc. Just sometimes minor bleeding.I have made my diet stricter within the last year, but the gas and bloating refuse to go away. I'm also very underweight, at 26 years old, male, 5'9 and only 52kg (~115 lbs or so) and can't gain anything. As of now, I've been off the cipro for about 4 months and taking pentasa with probiotics and supplements.

Since the beginning of the year, I've been working with a digestion specialist who has been experimenting with my reaction to different enzymes and probiotics. Nothing yet has seemed to help drastically. Most recently (last week), I was put on probiotics and a rice bran powder with barley grass, garlic bulb, alfalfa grass, etc. in it (however there is no gluten , soy, starch, wheat or yeast in it). This gave me absolutely horrible gas, bloating, diarrhea...you name it...for the past week or so. I'm just beginning to have solid stools now...but the gas is still constant and incredibly persistent.

I have been to doctors here and had cbc blood tests done, all which were mostly normal (aside from raised bilirubin). They all seem to think I have a bad gut flora and a nasty case of ibs which will get better when my stress levels go down...right...I don't seem to respond to anything as the gas is constant, moving around, making noise, and feels like an ocean / volcano when I massage it. I can push some of it out by pressing in certain areas at times, but otherwise, it just sits in there causing so much uncomfortablility. It always comes back as well. Seems I also get really bad muscle twitches / tics all over when the gas is bad too.

What I'd like to know is, does this sound like celiac could be at all considered a possibility? I'm really starting to go crazy trying to figure out what all these symptoms are coming from (and dealing with them)...

**edit: Forgot to add a few other symptoms that may or may not relate to celiac disease. Thoughout the past few years I have had problems with:

- left ear (and sometimes right) clogging up for seemingly no reason and staying that way for 3-4 days.

- cystic (and in general, normal) acne.

- a mild, recuring case of athletes foot

-random muscle twitching / spasms

Thanks for any input you may have,


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Does barley grass not contain gluten? I would think it would ... but I don't really know.

Anyway, it does seem possible you have food intolerance issues. You can be tested for celiac and see if that is it. You could also go on an elimination diet and work out what your problem foods may be. (I can find a link to one version of such a diet if you are interested.)

Are you currently consuming anything with gluten, casein or soy in it? All can cause bloating. (Egg or high fat foods do this to me also). How about any sugarfree gum, etc. ... sorbitol can cause bloating.

It looks like you may need to be a detective, writing down what you eat and noting your symptoms. Meanwhile get what testing you can. I would think celiac testing would be available in Japan, but I don't know about testing for other food intolerances.

McDougall diet (low fat vegan) since 6/00

Gluten free since 1/6/07

Soy free and completely casein and egg free since 2/15/07

Yeast free, on and off, since 3/1/07 -- I can't notice any difference one way or the other

Enterolab results -- 2/15/07

Fecal Antigliladin IgA 140 (Normal Range <10 units)

Fecal Antitissue Transglutaminase IgA 50 (Normal Range <10 units)

Quantitative Microscopic Fecal Fat Score 517 (Normal Range <300 units)

Fecal anti-casein (cow's milk) IgA antibody 127 (Normal Range <10 units)

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0501

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 06xx

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 1,1 (subtype 5,6)

Fecal anti-ovalbumin (chicken egg) IgA antibody 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae (dietary yeast) IgA 11 (Normal range <10 units)

Fecal Anti-Soy IgA 119 (Normal Range < 10 units)

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