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Chiron

Crohn's And Celiac's?

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I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in the Fall of 2004 after having an abcessed mass removed from my terminul illeum. They were hesitant to call it Crohn's before surgery, but said the pahology reports showed Crohn's.

I just relocated and so switched GI docs and he ordered a colonoscopy to see what was going on with the Crohn's. In the meantime a primary care doc ordered a celiac panel and IGA, IgA TTG, and EMA all positive for Celiac. I conviced the GI doc to do an endoscopy and he agreed but only to "rule out" celiacs- that he didn't think that was what was going on despite the lab results. He said that Crohn's disease often causes the presence of antibodies in the gut.

I have done a lot of reading about Celiacs in the last few weeks and it would explain aolmost all of my symptoms including: GI issues, chronic muscle and joint pain, fatigue, anemia, B-12 deficiency, thyroid disease, peripheral neuropathy, and depression/anxiety.

The biopsy results may soon answer my question... but while I nervously wait, does anyone know about the prevalence of the combination of Crohn's and Celiacs. I also wonder if it could have been celiacs all along and not Crohn's. Friday's colonoscopy showed no signs of Crohn's- yet I am experiencing a lot of abdominal pain and diarrhea.

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Yes, it isn't unusual for people with celiac disease to be misdiagnosed with Crohn's. If your blood work was elevated for every single one of the celiac disease tests, it is highly unlikely that it was because of having Crohn's!

After you have had your biopsy (and I mean immediately after, without waiting for results) you ought to do a gluten-free diet trial for at least a few months. The biopsy is hit and miss, with the damage being missed frequently. Even if the results are negative you likely have celiac disease.

All of your symptoms could be caused by celiac disease. I bet that was your problem all along.

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After living with an IBS diagnosis for 15 years after I was finally diagnosed celiac my GI actually LISTENED to my symptoms and gave the very telling remark 'Those symptms were not IBS symtpoms they were chrons, why didn't you tell me how bad it was' I did, repeatedly and they didn't listen. I would awaken from sleep every night for 5 years with gut wrenching pain and 3 hours of D. But when I told the doctors all they wanted to do was give me more psychotropics and sleeping pills.

So yes you can have Chrons level symptoms and have them actually be from celiac, the biggest clue is that they did not find severe ulcerations when they did your colonoscopy. You really should start the diet as soon as you get home from your endo. Don't wait for the results. For one thing if your GI is convinced you don't have celiac then he isn't going to be looking real hard for it. He may also blow off preceliac changes as something else and just hand you more meds and a list of nice 'high fiber' poison to consume on a daily basis. If you have positive blood work you need the diet no matter what the biopsies say.

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@Alaskaguy With regard to the timing, I think that everyone is a bit different! I used to have a shorter time to onset when I was first diagnosed (within 24h). As time has gone on, and I've glutened myself less and less, I have noticed that the time gets a bit longer.  Recent history seems to matter a bit too - if I've been glutened recently and then get glutened again, the rash will show up faster on the second round. For example, in the last 3 weeks I got slightly glutened by inadvertent
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