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pilatesgirl24

What Type Of Testing Do I Need?

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I've had bowel issues (constipation, fuzzy white stuff/mucus in stool, blood in stool, painful bowel movements, bloating, gas) and stomach problems (epigrastric pain, nausea, occasional vomiting, pain when swallowing, and sore throat) for at least six months now. I've had a lot of tests done, including bloodwork for viral/bacterial infections and liver function, an abdominal ultrasound, a colonoscopy, and an upper GI endoscopy with tissue biopsies. All of these tests revealed "normal" results. My doctor, a GI specialist, tells me my sypmtoms are caused by GERD and perhaps irritable bowel syndrome. I'm taking Prilosec twice a day, I'm avoiding the foods I'm told might exacerbate my symptoms (such as acidic veggies/fruits/juices, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate), and I exercise regularly. I'm also taking fiber as directed by my doc for my bowel problems. Despite these treatment interventions, I still have symptoms almost daily. I also have some skin problems, specifically intermittent outbreaks of raised, painful bumps on my fingers, palms, and feet. Additionally, I suffer from migraine headaches and heavy bleeding/intense pain during my periods. I'm wondering if I might have celiac disease or a food allergy/intolerance, and I want to pursue this possibility with my doc. I'm not sure what tests to ask for or what action to take at this point. Any advice? Thanks so much! --Maggie

P.S. I'm twenty-four years old and am otherwise in good health. I don't have any history of GI problems before all this started.

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I'd suggest telling doc you've been looking up things on the web, they hate to hear it but better they know where you got info from. Request that Doc tests you for Celiac Disease, which he may have to find out more about. If he says your biopsy indicated no problems then request a bloodwork test. Mine was positive for the Celiac Antibodies but both my lower and upper gi biopsy was perfectly ok. Another choice is to go on the diet yourself and see if problems are fixed.

BTW fiber is usually wheat fiber which may just exasperate the problem. I've heard certain fibers can also make gas problems which can also exasperate an already irritated stomach. It did for me, and that was years before i was finally diagnosed with Celiac.

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The celiac panel consists of a battery of tests:

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA and IgG

Anti-Tissue Transglutamise (tTg) IgA and IgG

Total Serum IgA

Endomesial Antiobody (EMA) IgA and IgG

If blood tests are positive (and occasionally even if they are not), the GI doctor may want to proceed to an endoscopy to confirm the diagnosis.

Hope this helps.


-Colleen

Dx 8/05 via bloodwork and biopsy (total villous atrophy)

13-year old son Dx 11/05 via bloodwork and biopsy

Daughters (16 and 5) have tested negative via bloodwork

A woman is like a tea bag - you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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cruelshoes and rosewynde,

Thank you both for your very helpful responses! I will definitely ask for bloodwork to be done. If my doc isn't interested in pursuing this, I will probably try to find another doctor for a second opinion.

rosewynde, I especially appreciate what you said about fiber. It is definitely irritating to my stomach! Whenever I take it, I feel really full and bloated, and I start burping like crazy. I keep taking it, because it does help with regularity, but the side effects are no fun.

Thanks again!

Maggie

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