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Teachergrl

Rheumatoid Arthritis And Dh

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I am new to this site and I am looking for information.

I was diagnosed with mild rheumatoid arthritis 5 years ago. I recently went through a seven month period of extreme stress due to a traumatic divorce. About 6 weeks ago I developed what I believe to be DH on both sides of my face and two very small spots on both knees. In the past I have had small itchy spots that would disappear after a day or so. They usually appeared on my face and buttocks. I always thought they were hives. Now I believe that I have DH. The blisters itch terribly and I have been experiencing horrible stomach bloating and constipation. After seeing my GP, I was diagnosed with shingles 4 weeks ago. I'm only 32 years old and my Dr. just chalked the shingles up to the stress of my divorce and the fact that I have RA. Unfortunately, after two rounds of antivirals, my face has not cleared. Today I saw my naturopath who took one look at my face and told me that she suspected celiac and DH and to call my rheumatologist right away. In the past my blood panels from the naturopath showed that I scored off the charts for egg sensitivity and I was high for wheat and spelt sensitivities. If I do have celiac would I not have scored off the charts for wheat sensitivity? I have an appointment with my rheumatologist on Friday. I am hoping that someone here can give me a good idea of questions to ask her. She is usually very good at listening and diagnosing.

1) What sorts of questions should I ask her or expect her to do to diagnose me?

2) Can DH have a very rapid onset, especially after a prolonged period of stress?

3) Does any one here who has DH experience swollen glands with a flare up? I have a couple of smaller swollen ones near the areas of the blisters. Generally, my glands swell when my RA flares anyway, so I don't know if this is connection to possible DH or not.

4) Is there anything that I can do to relieve the itching between now and my appointment on Fri? It's driving me nuts!

5) I heard that taking NSAIDS can aggravate DH? Is this true?

Any help would be appreciated!

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It would be a good idea to get into a derm and have the area beside the lesions biopsied to check for DH. A diagnosis of DH is a diagnosis of celiac. Just one additonal tidbit, the celiac related gene that I carry is considered an RA gene here in the US but is a recognized celiac gene in other countries. Interestingly my arthritis has been in remission since shortly after I went gluten free.

I was very thankful I didn't have my genes tested before I had been diagnosed, I did it 5 years after everything went into remission on the diet. I don't think it coincidental that many RA patients are also diagnosed with IBS. I can't say with certainty that your RA will go into remission on the diet but I hope it does and you are feeling better soon.

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It would be a good idea to get into a derm and have the area beside the lesions biopsied to check for DH. A diagnosis of DH is a diagnosis of celiac. Just one additonal tidbit, the celiac related gene that I carry is considered an RA gene here in the US but is a recognized celiac gene in other countries. Interestingly my arthritis has been in remission since shortly after I went gluten free.

I was very thankful I didn't have my genes tested before I had been diagnosed, I did it 5 years after everything went into remission on the diet. I don't think it coincidental that many RA patients are also diagnosed with IBS. I can't say with certainty that your RA will go into remission on the diet but I hope it does and you are feeling better soon.

Thanks for your reply. I'm really worried and scared at the moment. I've had such a hard year so far with my divorce and now my face is covered in horrible spots and I am so incredibly bloated and constipated. Are the bloating and constipation also standard symptoms for Celiac? I am walking around feeling like there is something just "stuck" inside me. Laxatives have given me little relief and this is going on 6-7 weeks now. Does anyone have suggestions as to how I might relieve the constipation? Will the gluten free diet help this?

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Thanks for your reply. I'm really worried and scared at the moment. I've had such a hard year so far with my divorce and now my face is covered in horrible spots and I am so incredibly bloated and constipated. Are the bloating and constipation also standard symptoms for Celiac? I am walking around feeling like there is something just "stuck" inside me. Laxatives have given me little relief and this is going on 6-7 weeks now. Does anyone have suggestions as to how I might relieve the constipation? Will the gluten free diet help this?

The bloating and C are symptoms. Some of us have C some have D some have both. If you do have issues with gluten the diet will help. It is also not uncommon for celiac to appear or for the symptoms to worsen after a severe stress either physical or emotional. If you are going to persue testing from a regular MD you need to keep eating gluten until all testing is complete. If you are comfortable with simply removing gluten from your diet and not getting a 'formal' diagnosis then you are of course free to do so, you don't need a doctors permission to eat gluten free. You are in a good place to learn how to get started when you are ready to start the diet. Feel free to ask any questions you need to.

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