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Alex33

I Could Really Use Some Opinions, Please?

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A couple years ago I went to a GI doctor and was diagnosed with IBS with virtually no testing. She did some blood work, but to my knowedge did not test for celiac. I can't say I agree that it's just IBS. I have not gotten any relief from meds, diet changes, and I am not under stress.

Initially I went to the doctor because I was having daily diarrhea. (Not too many times in a single day, but it was still daily) Now I seem to go back and forth between constipation and occassional loose stools. But I would say more constipation as of lately. The thing is, even when my stool is normal formed, I still get a lot of pain before, during, and/or after I go to the bathroom.

As for my abdominal pain, I get cramping sometimes (not daily, but when I get it, its very painful!) I have an overall uncomfortable feeling in my abdomen. Like there's a lot of pressure or a tightness. (I feel this daily. I have not had one day where I haven't had discomfort, and that isn't characteristic of IBS MOST of the time..) I also feel this odd feeling that my ribs on my left side are bumping into something. (Hard to explain!)

I will list other symptoms that I have experienced at one point or another:

-Frequent headaches

-I am often dizzy despite my iron levels being normal

-Chronically chapped lips, does not matter what I put on them!

-For a while last year I went through weeks of just overall 'feeling out of it"

-I have a rash on my abdomen that comes and goes. It doesn't itch but it feels kind of prickly at times. It's red/pink and not raised. It has been coming and going for months now.

-I have never been able to gain weight. I am very underweight for my size

-For as long as I can remember I have always had horrible teeth in the way of weak enamel requiring a lot of cavities to be filled)

-and the digestive problems I explained (these started out of no where!)

Opinions and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I currently am uninsured at the moment and not able to go to the doctor.

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Those symptoms sound like Celiac. I also would think you are dehydrated. That can cause dizzy spells and chaped lips. You should drink more water. Dizzy spells can also be a symptom of hypoglycemia. But I am more likely to think it is dehydration since you have diarrhea daily.

Since you have no insurance to see a doctor, you could try the gluten free diet for a few months and see if that helps. Also look into some free clinic in your area and ask for the celiac panel. Do this first before trying to go gluten free or you will get a false negative.

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If you can't go to the doctor (and you don't have to have insurance, you can even find a sliding scale clinic), then the only thing you can do with respect to testing food intolerances is to try eliminating the suspects.

If you think you could be gluten intolerant (and your symptoms do indeed overlap), then you can try going *COMPLETELY* gluten free (knowing, however, this includes new pans (if non-stick), new cutting boards, new colander, new toaster, and either a gluten-free household or careful control of contamination. Foods can be a bit more expensive, but this can be minimized by eating whole, naturally gluten free foods (fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, dairy, seeds/nuts, legume, and gluten-free grains like rice, millet, quinoa).

You would need to stick to the gluten free diet (NO cheating, no contamination) for two to three months to get a reasonable idea if this is the problem.

Despite the fact I'm probably making it sound hard, given what you've said, it's probably well worth the effort to give it a try, and is totally doable. Know, however, that if it resolves things, and you later want to get diagnosed, you would have to resume eating gluten for at least two to three months, in order to get a positive test. Tests are invalid if you've gone gluten free.

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Those symptoms sound like Celiac. I also would think you are dehydrated. That can cause dizzy spells and chaped lips. You should drink more water. Dizzy spells can also be a symptom of hypoglycemia. But I am more likely to think it is dehydration since you have diarrhea daily.

Since you have no insurance to see a doctor, you could try the gluten free diet for a few months and see if that helps. Also look into some free clinic in your area and ask for the celiac panel. Do this first before trying to go gluten free or you will get a false negative.

I appreciate your input.

I try and consume a lot of water, but probably don't get enough. I'm currently not having daily diarrhea right now, more towards constipation the past couple of months.

Thanks

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If you can't go to the doctor (and you don't have to have insurance, you can even find a sliding scale clinic), then the only thing you can do with respect to testing food intolerances is to try eliminating the suspects.

If you think you could be gluten intolerant (and your symptoms do indeed overlap), then you can try going *COMPLETELY* gluten free (knowing, however, this includes new pans (if non-stick), new cutting boards, new colander, new toaster, and either a gluten-free household or careful control of contamination. Foods can be a bit more expensive, but this can be minimized by eating whole, naturally gluten free foods (fruits, veggies, meat, eggs, dairy, seeds/nuts, legume, and gluten-free grains like rice, millet, quinoa).

You would need to stick to the gluten free diet (NO cheating, no contamination) for two to three months to get a reasonable idea if this is the problem.

Despite the fact I'm probably making it sound hard, given what you've said, it's probably well worth the effort to give it a try, and is totally doable. Know, however, that if it resolves things, and you later want to get diagnosed, you would have to resume eating gluten for at least two to three months, in order to get a positive test. Tests are invalid if you've gone gluten free.

Thanks for your descriptive input. Very helpful. So, if I decide to try a gluten free diet, I should continue it for 2-3 months? Is that how long it typically takes to see real improvement?

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A couple years ago I went to a GI doctor and was diagnosed with IBS with virtually no testing. She did some blood work, but to my knowedge did not test for celiac. I can't say I agree that it's just IBS. I have not gotten any relief from meds, diet changes, and I am not under stress.

Initially I went to the doctor because I was having daily diarrhea. (Not too many times in a single day, but it was still daily) Now I seem to go back and forth between constipation and occassional loose stools. But I would say more constipation as of lately. The thing is, even when my stool is normal formed, I still get a lot of pain before, during, and/or after I go to the bathroom.

As for my abdominal pain, I get cramping sometimes (not daily, but when I get it, its very painful!) I have an overall uncomfortable feeling in my abdomen. Like there's a lot of pressure or a tightness. (I feel this daily. I have not had one day where I haven't had discomfort, and that isn't characteristic of IBS MOST of the time..) I also feel this odd feeling that my ribs on my left side are bumping into something. (Hard to explain!)

I will list other symptoms that I have experienced at one point or another:

-Frequent headaches

-I am often dizzy despite my iron levels being normal

-Chronically chapped lips, does not matter what I put on them!

-For a while last year I went through weeks of just overall 'feeling out of it"

-I have a rash on my abdomen that comes and goes. It doesn't itch but it feels kind of prickly at times. It's red/pink and not raised. It has been coming and going for months now.

-I have never been able to gain weight. I am very underweight for my size

-For as long as I can remember I have always had horrible teeth in the way of weak enamel requiring a lot of cavities to be filled)

-and the digestive problems I explained (these started out of no where!)

Opinions and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I currently am uninsured at the moment and not able to go to the doctor.

Chronically chapped lips usually result from too little vitamin B2 http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec12/ch154/ch154d.html or B6 http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec12/ch154/ch154g.html. It could also be an overdose of vitamin A http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec12/ch154/ch154f.html but presumably you'd know about if if you were doing that. Usually people with celiac disease suffer from B12 deficiency (as well as magnesium, calcium and others); B2 and B6 are also possible I guess, but might indicate another food intolerance or a different malabsorption problem.

I'm with the other people who replied in thinking it sounds like it might be celiac disease, and that you'd probably benefit from going gluten free. If you can't go to a doctor, trying out the diet is probably your best recourse. As to how quickly you might respond, it varies. I responded almost immediately; others not so much. If you have other intolerances or other autoimmune triggers (such as gluten in celiac disease) or if you have food allergies, you'll have to track those down, too. A food diary is helpful for such efforts.

Good luck, and welcome to the board!

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Chronically chapped lips usually result from too little vitamin B2 http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec12/ch154/ch154d.html or B6 http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec12/ch154/ch154g.html. It could also be an overdose of vitamin A http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec12/ch154/ch154f.html but presumably you'd know about if if you were doing that. Usually people with celiac disease suffer from B12 deficiency (as well as magnesium, calcium and others); B2 and B6 are also possible I guess, but might indicate another food intolerance or a different malabsorption problem.

I'm with the other people who replied in thinking it sounds like it might be celiac disease, and that you'd probably benefit from going gluten free. If you can't go to a doctor, trying out the diet is probably your best recourse. As to how quickly you might respond, it varies. I responded almost immediately; others not so much. If you have other intolerances or other autoimmune triggers (such as gluten in celiac disease) or if you have food allergies, you'll have to track those down, too. A food diary is helpful for such efforts.

Good luck, and welcome to the board!

Since I don't have the chance to get tested right now, sounds like a strict gluten free diet sounds like the best idea. This board is very helpful and understanding. I appreciate it.

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