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Celiac Is Triggered? What Exactly Does That Mean?

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So I think that my celiac began with the birth of (or pregnancy with) my first child. I had DH for the first time 2 months postpartum and a freaky little GI episode/hospitalization 2 weeks postpartum. I read here and in books that this is common. Celiac is often turned on by a major event. What does that mean? Does that mean you have always been asymptomatic but still had celiac or that you didn't have celiac before the event? If I had gotten tested as a child would my bloodwork been negative? This is all so interesting to me. What are your thoughts/experiences?

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My doc said that I had a genetic pre-disposition to it and the stress of quitting a job, getting married, getting new job and moving to another country (all in about a month) was what triggered it. Now that I know about it I feel like maybe I have had it for a while and this more recent stress made the symptoms more severe and persistent that I finally got it checked out. I had those blisters on my hands like some other people here have mentioned when I was a kid. Off and on through college I had some celiac symptoms that were misdiagnosed as ulcers or IBS. For the past couple of years I had some celiac symptoms that I always blamed on food or stress never having heard of celiac. Also I have been on and off the Atkins diet, so maybe I was "turning off" the autoimmune response when I inadvertedly cut out gluten. So to answer your question, I don't know if these were symptoms and I've had this all along and it took the stress to push me over the edge or what.

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From what I have read it means, that an illness, accident, tramua, or stress can bring celiac out of being "dormant" It is said that celiac is genetic, but some people, including myself did not even start having symptoms until I was an adult. I hope this helps. I tried to take a medical term and make it into people's words. :)

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It's odd, isn't it ?

About 3-4 years ago I had a very severe flu like virus that took me right down - I couldn't keep food in my body for over a week. I wound up in emergency taking in two bags of IV fluids and a having a shot to stop my guts from spasming. After that it took a long time to be able to eat and not be nauseous and feeling ill. Other symptoms started to developed - GERD that needed treatment, joint pain & fatigue, irritability (sorta like PMSing ALOT !), and sinus pain and inflammation, leading to all sorts of headaches that wouldn't respond to tylenol.

During this time I had antibiotics for the sinuses, xrays and even a CT scan that all showed nothing. Before all this, I was one of those folks that was diagnosed with IBS.

To me, it seems that I had stomach issues - processed and fatty food left me uncomfortable and bloated often but not always. NOW - my sensitivity to gluten is the highest it has ever been. I can eat something and tell you within 15 minutes or so if it is cross contaminated. Ugh.

I always wonder if a gluten free diet would helped me before all this but now it's not a choice. <_<

Makes one wonder - if the 'event' hadn't happened (pregnancy, stress, virus), would the celiac gene ever turn on or is it just inevitable ? Can it be partially turned on, such as the case with folks who, like me, had that IBS diagnosis but still got by...or is that just a milder form of celiac (as some folks don't have hardcore intestinal symptoms) ?

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For me, my college roomate got Menegitis and we were exposed and didn't have the vaccine. At the same time before we knew what she had, I had a bad case of swollen glands that landed me in the hospital ER because I was losing airspace to breathe. Later that day we found out about the girl having menegitits. we were put on high dose antibotics to conteract us coming down with menegitis. The side effects from those meds were horrible. It seems things for me healthwise, went downhill after that.

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There was a theory rolling around that some babies who were given the polio vaccine went on to develop other health problems. My dad was given the vaccine in the 50s and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 18 months old.

He FIRMLY believes that this might have "triggered" the diabetes and/or the polio antibodies might have attacked his pancreas.

THERE IS NO STUDY I CAN FIND THAT HAS LOOKED AT THIS PHENOMENON, but I do think it is interesting that there was a spike in diabetes diagnosis (not necessarily an increase in persons with disease) within the decade the vaccine came out.

It gets me thinking... what if there are triggers for other autoimmune diseases/disorders and perhaps other health related things as well. Colds are triggered by bacteria/viruses, but our bodies also have to be susceptible to them. Its just a thought.

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The whole "triggering event" is interesting to me. My doctor told me that we (Celiacs) are born with the gene, and it takes the ingestion of gluten and a trauma to the body or an emotional trauma to trigger the disease. He said that we're not born with the disease.

That's what confuses me...I was often sick to my stomach as a child. I was never underweight, but got dizzy and was very sensitive, got car sick and preferred meats and other protein foods over bread and pasta.

I was my healthiest during my teen years (which is common with Celiacs)--could eat anything, etc. This went on until shortly after the C-section birth of my second child at age 29. I then began to get panic attacks, feel depressed and withdrawn, and had a lot of dizziness and nausea.

I lived with these symptoms for another 20 years--all the while being misdiagnosed (and unnecessarily medicated).

In January, 2003, I got the flu. I was terribly ill for a week with fever, aches, chills--the whole thing. From that point on, my health took a nosedive. Over the next year and a half, I had chronic, sometimes urgent D, severe anemia, brusing all over my arms and legs, tingling and numbness, weight loss, fatigue and terrible anxiety.

I quit my job at the end of 2003, afraid I was dying. I was finally diagnosed in 2005, after figuring it out myself (long story short) and asking a gastro about it. Luckily, he agreed to test me for Celiac, as well as for whatever else could be wrong.

I often wonder if it's possible that I had it all along--maybe triggered by a childhood virus or something--and I had more than one "trigger" and that it got worse each time. There events are very clear-cut to me, but confusing at the same time.

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I was very pale and anemic looking as a child. I also remember a couple of times when I was little, going in my pants because I couldn't hold it in any longer. I had petit mal eplilepsy, but it wasn't diagnosed until my early 20's (I quit taking meds for that three years ago). Throughout my adult life, I would occasionally get bad gas and boughts of D after eating a heavily glutened meal (bread before dinner, pasta for dinner, and cake for dessert). I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was 20. It never occurred to me that anything was wrong with me, I felt I just had a sensitive stomach and bad luck in the health department.

It wasn't until I quit my corporate job to stay home and start doing day care when everything came to a head. My knees started hurting badly. It was extremely painful to go up stairs and even just to sit down. I went online to find out what could be wrong with me and Celiac Disease came up many times. I tried (and failed) to cut gluten out of my diet and realized maybe it wasn't it. After many trips to a variety of doctors and physical therapists, someone suggested I change my thyroid medication from Synthroid to Armour. Well, finding a doctor to do that was nearly impossible. One day, my sister mentioned my situation to a friend. Her friend told me to contact her husband's doctor. He's prescribing Armour for his MS. I got an appointment immediately and had my prescription in my hand when I left his office. But he told me I was on to something about the gluten. After many years of him telling me to cut it out, I'm finally listening.

Now I seem to be the only one in my family who is diagnosed as gluten intolerant. I'm not sure why that is - could others have it, but not realize it? Neither parents had it, I think. My mother had diabetes, but she was overweight and lived a sedentary life.

I'm not sure why I got this, but no one else in my family does. It's just very odd . . .

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