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Excess Symptoms .. Help!

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First off, I am a 26 y/o, previously very active male. About 2 years ago I began having some very heavy bouts with acid reflux for the first time in my life, which I can only attribute to a massive stress overload from a rough semester of college. I was popping tums like tic-tacs almost all the time to make life bearable enough to finish out the semester.

After the semester came to an end, thankfully it was time for Christmas break. One morning I woke up, ready to eat breakfast, yet I felt full up to my throat, and felt as if I couldn't swallow anything. Towards evening, I got a very sharp, cramp-like pain in the middle of my abdomen, right above the pubic region. Until this day, when I get pains in the stomach, they are centered in this same area, always seemingly accompanied by severe diarrhea.

Finally, I decided to take a trip to the hospital to get checked out. As per the usual, they ran every test you can think of (Urine, X-Ray, Catscan, Ultrasound, Blood, etc) and found nothing, other than the fact I was a little dehydrated. They ran a few IV bags into me and sent me on my way. Eventually, I went BACK to the hospital with the same symptoms. Long story short, the doctor pretty much told me it was all in my head.

Following all of this, I went on a super clean gluten-free diet for about 2 weeks, in which I started to feel a lot better, but very weak, as I was existing solely on veggies, fruits, vitamins and water to be 100% sure I wasn't ingesting any gluten.

Fast forwarding, in the last week I've been very VERY tired. I mean physically exhausted, sometimes lightheaded. When I do anything physically demanding, ok, when I do pretty much anything other than sit down or sleep, my heart races. I ate some Reece's pieces 2 days AFTER this weakness bout started without thinking about it, which resulted in that long forgotten sharp stomach pain and diarrhea for the next 2 days, and still (3 days later), am feeling tender in that region.

I have never been officially diagnosed as being celiac, as I am a poor college student with no insurance, but I do highly suspect that I am. What I am mainly wondering, is if anyone else has had anything like I have, in terms of reflux first, then later things progressing. What about extreme weakness? Maybe some sort of deficiency? I bought some B12 tablets and started taking them today, as well as a new multi. Could there be more? I am at my wits end with it all. Thank you everyone in advance!

Edit: Also failed to mention that it seems when I eat I don't get as much energy, nor for nearly as long, as I used to before I'm flat out exhausted again

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Hi there,

I would say Celiac is a definite possibility for you. However, to know for sure you need to be eating gluten and have the official testing done. I can see how that would be difficult for you because like me, you're a college student and don't have insurance. However, I would say that if you're serious about getting a diagnosis, it's worth the investment.

I had absolutely terrible acid reflux before I was diagnosed...that was my very first symptom. My doctor told me that it was coming from the stresss my body was enduring because of all of the hernia surgeries I had. So that makes sense for you too. I was put on prescription proton-pump inhibitors when I was 15 years old. Then after the acid reflux came my other symptoms - extreme fatigue/brain fog, stomach cramping, digestion issues, etc.

Does your college/university offer any student health insurance that's incorporated into your student fees? That's how mine is, it's mandatory unless you already have health coverage through your parents.

I would say it's a definite possibility for you, and needs investigating. Have you talked to a doctor about your options?

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Unfortunately, my University doesn't offer student health insurance to my knowledge, but I will check to be sure. It is nice to hear that someone else also had reflux before they were diagnosed. You said you also had extreme fatigue ... how would you describe it? I'm so tired and weak sometimes that I worry I have a terminal illness. I've also been dealing with diarrhea ever since I ingested those Reece's, which was like 5 days ago. From the things I hear from others on the board, their symptoms after ingesting don't seem to last quite that long. *sigh* I just wish things were easier, I really miss my old self!

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The fatigue was terrible for me. No matter how much sleep I got, I'd wake up feeling like I hadn't slept a wink. Then I'd go to school or work and barely be able to keep my eyes open, and not able to concentrate at all. It really took a toll on me. I'd have to agree that I was so worried that I was suffering from a terminal illness as well, I was convinced I had cancer or something I was so worried.

By the way, it wouldn't have been the Reese's Pieces that got you...to the best of my knowledge they're gluten free, and I eat them quite often and haven't had a problem with them.

If you have extensive damage, it could take months and months on a strict gluten free diet to even start noticing a difference. I didn't start feeling like my old self again until I hit the 2 month mark.

Really, if it doesn't make a difference to you to have an official diagnosis then why not just go strictly gluten free for a few months and see what happens? There's nothing really to lose. Unless you need a diagnosis, then you need to be eating gluten right up until the testing is done for it to be accurate...even then, the testing is nowhere near as accurate and reliable as it should be...there's lots of false negatives.

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